Barter Theater Costume Designers Create a Green Space That Feeds Body & Soul!

by Danielle Bussone

The Barter Theater, Abingdon, VA

The Barter Theater, Abingdon, VA

The closest thing to Broadway one can find outside of New York City, at least in the US, is the Barter Theater. The Barter, Virginia’s state theater, has put Abingdon on the map, making it a destination for tourists from around the world. One has only to attend a performance, any performance, to recognize the breadth of the talent that resides in this tiny corner of SW Virginia.

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Whole Health Natural Foods — Now Located Near The Virginia Creeper Trail!

by Laura Blankenship

 

Chris In Doorway

Chris, long-time employee of Whole Health Natural Foods, welcomes customers to the new store.

 

NEW LOOK, NEW LOCATION, SAME INTENTION

This June Whole Health Natural Foods store (aka Whole Health Center) opened at its brand new location in the heart of Abingdon.  Conveniently situated between I-81 exits 17 and 19, the new location is nestled between neighboring restaurant 128 Pecan—a fun, casual spot with some vegetarian dishes and a vegan option or two—and the trailhead of the beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail.

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We are sorry to report that Uncanny Kitchen is now closed for business. Uncanny Kitchen – Southwest Virginia’s Most Socially Responsible Restaurant!

by Danielle Bussone

 

Not the tiniest detail was overlooked in creating Uncanny Kitchen, hands-down the most socially responsible restaurant in the region. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

The secret to the appeal of  Uncanny Kitchen is in the partnership between owner David Basinger and his girlfriend of three years, Lisa Sykes. If David is the chef and the creative culinary mind behind Uncanny Kitchen, Lisa is its social conscience and marketing force. Aside from their talents, experience and market savvy, these two are a couple of seriously nice people!

David with freshly baked bread

David with freshly baked bread

David, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Western Culinary of Portland, OR, has had opportunities to work in large restaurants and run the kitchens of high-dollar establishments in other areas of the country. He preferred, however, to bring his talents home to serve the community he grew up in, offering wholesome, delicious food at affordable prices.

It is important to David to connect with the farmers in the area. When he was at culinary school, one of the things he liked best was the opportunity to join the co-op. He was instrumental in the development of the Farm To Table program in Portland. He often volunteered at Sauvie Island, where the school had some land. He peeled potatoes or turned compost on his off time.  He’d pick berries and volunteer with Sauvie Organics who gave him plants to grow at the school. He came to see the value of working within a community of agricultural entrepreneurs and he liked this model of doing business. (more…)

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We are sorry to report that Uncanny Kitchen is now closed for business. Uncanny Kitchen

by Danielle Bussone

When Uncanny Kitchen of Abingdon, VA first opened in early summer they set the bar  for being the only vegetarian, mostly vegan, restaurant in the area using quality organic, locally grown produce. Uncanny Kitchen goes the extra mile in serving only GMO Free edibles! This restaurant is a new and very welcome addition to the casual dining scene in Abingdon, VA. The name refers to the concept that everything is made from scratch. Nothing owner David Basinger makes comes from a can.

Cornbread Salad

Cornbread Salad

Uncanny Kitchen is the only restaurant in Abingdon Rich and I frequent because it is the only restaurant in town where we can be assured of a healthy, plant-based meal. The restaurant is small and the dining room is tiny, with only four tables.  It was originally envisioned as more a take-out kind of restaurant and the number of clientele who have opted to eat in came as a bit of a surprise to the owner.  Still, even considering the steady stream of traffic in and out of the restaurant, I’ve never had to wait for a table. (more…)

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Whole Health Center, Abingdon, VA

by Danielle Bussone

If you find yourself  low on organic supplies while tooling down Interstate 81, pull off at exit 19 in Abingdon, Virginia and stock up! Just a couple minutes from the Interstate on Main Street is a small family owned health food store called Whole Health Center. You can find organic bulk items, some fresh locally grown vegetables, packaged items like Bob’s Mills grains, coconut oils, date sugar, Braggs Amino Acids, Coconut oil, essential oils, soaps and the ubiquitous shelves of supplements.

Sean and Donna Bossie bought Whole Health Center two years ago from, Charlie, its former owner of 27 years. They had been visiting Abingdon from North Conway, New Hampshire, where they owned a coop. Their daughter had moved to Abingdon where she teaches school. The winters in New Hampshire on White Mountain were as brutal as the name suggests. Their children were grown and moved away and there didn’t seem to be much tying them to their home in the north. When Charlie commented one day, “You know, if you ever want to move closer to those grandbabies…  I’m thinking of selling if you are thinking of possibly buying,” the wheels begin to turn in the Bossie’s brains. After a year of negotiating through snail mail (Charlie was not computer savvy), Whole Health Center became theirs and Abingdon, Virginia became home. (more…)

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Abingdon Olive Oil Company, Abingdon, VA

by Danielle Bussone

After reading the book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, which exposes the seedy underbelly of the olive oil industry, I sought out Veronica Foods in California to learn where I can buy their products. This company was specifically mentioned in the book as a reputable purveyor of excellent quality olive oil. To my complete surprise they have a retailer three blocks from my house in Abingdon, VA!

Since my first visit to Abingdon Olive Oil I have visited numerous retailers and have found the experience at all the others lagging far behind what you will experience here. You will be met at the door by the owner, K.C. St. Louis or her culinary expert, Penny Arrington, or by Ashley Johnson or Lori Price, two of Abingdon Olive Oil’s full-time knowledgeable sales persons. You will be received like a special guest invited into a lovely home.

In the front parlor you will be introduced to the newest oils from California, Spain and Portugal. These regional oils will change over the months as Veronica Foods brings in the freshest oils from around the world and as the picking season varies from region to region. These oils are currently $17.99 for a 375 ml bottle.  You will be educated on the region, the amount of polyphenols in each of the oils and the type of olives used. You are free to sample anything in the store. The specialty and gourmet oils are also found in this area, the decadent truffle oil ($33) , the richest and most flavorful sesame seed oil I’ve ever tasted ($23), and the sensuous walnut oil, ($23). (more…)

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