FIRST thing that pops up on my laptop over my first cup of coffee this morning is about to be presented to you. It was as if Christmas came early this year for me and for you. Santa (that’s me) and Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth) are bringing you, especially in NE Ohio, a way to set some goodies under your tree. The spotlight on an Ohio natural food store and delivery service is written by Elizabeth Walling, the Journal’s Alabama Correspondent over at The Nourished Life blog. I wanted to feature this store last summer after the open house I attended– but I got caught up into other things– but Elizabeth cooks this up much better than I could.
While the internet is a top source of nourishing ingredients for many of us, if you can find a local store that carries traditional foods, it is an absolute treasure. I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to Wholesome Acres Markets, a wonderful local store based in Northeast Ohio which carries many products that fans of Nourishing Traditions have come to know and love. Phillip and Mistee Leiss are the owners of Wholesome Acres Markets, and you can see their passion for local, nourishing foods shine through in the interview below (scroll down for a great offer from Wholesome Acres Markets!):
Elizabeth: What started you all on the journey of healthy eating?
Phillip and Mistee: Our initial start into changing our diets for health’s sake began when we visited an herbalist nearly fourteen years ago for some minor health problems mostly with our first daughter. Ravae Keener taught us a lot about food, and what we should and should not be eating. Over the years we continued to learn from many sources, most recently and fundamentally from Sally Fallon and Nourishing Traditions.
Phillip and Mistee: We offer: organic produce, grass-fed meats, non-homogenized milk, non-GMO cheese, raw cheese, coconut products, healthy fats, better snacks and “sodas”, bulk grains and beans, herbs and spices, supplements, and more (approximately 1,000 items in the inventory).
Elizabeth: How can we come shop at your store?
Phillip and Mistee: Our physical store is located at 5539 Butterbridge Road, Canal Fulton, Ohio. We are located 500′ east of the Ohio Erie Towpath on the north side of Butterbridge. Our store is a quaint old barn converted into a store with rough hewn timbers and a lofted ceiling. Our delivery route runs throughout the counties listed below and will consider more. All you need to do is visit http://www.wholesomeacresmarkets.com/ and join as a member ($35 per year). From there you can place an order from the items listed in our “store.” We deliver weekly on Fridays.
Here are the counties where Wholesome Acres Markets currently delivers in Northeast Ohio:
Medina County, Lorain County, Cuyahoga County, Summit County, Stark County, Holmes County, Wayne County, Knox County, Tuscarawas County, Portage County, Ashland County
Elizabeth: How does shopping with you work if we live outside the local delivery area?
Phillip and Mistee: Shipping has been minimal to date, but this is something we desire to do more of. We will ship out UPS or Fed Ex and simply add the cost of the shipping to the bill. If shipping customers increase, we will add it to the website as an option with the shipping calculator available.
To clarify what you’ll find either on the web or at the physical location, I’d like to share the history of the two businesses. In February of 2009, we found out that a small health food store was for sale and that, without a buyer showing up, would close its doors in less than two weeks. Through a series of events, we ended up purchasing the store and keeping it open, adding to the inventory, and lowering much of the pricing. Our desire was to make healthy eating more affordable and to be a viable place to shop for anyone who desired to eat local, organic, and “real” foods.
A third goal was to make home delivery of all our products available, and that came to fruition with the purchase of an already operational delivery route in September of 2009. Though the two companies work hand in hand, they are in fact separate. Therefore, you will find that the pricing on the website reflects a delivered food cost while costs at our store will be lower. Lastly, we just began shipping food to folks in the last month or so.
In addition to their store, Phillip and Mistee also participate in events that bring local farmers and consumers together. They offer periodic vendor’s fairs where customers can come to the store and meet the suppliers of their local foods, sample products from the store, listen to educational speakers and have some family fun! During the warmer months, you can also find ice cream socials with local musicians at Wholesome Acres Markets.
They also sponsor educational events where suppliers can meet with local consumers and talk about the benefits and uses of their products. They plan to host these events monthly starting next spring. They also plan on sponsoring local farm tours where customers are invited to visit a featured farm which produces a product available at the store.
Phillip and Mistee cater to buying clubs with their produce by offering quantity discounts and special pick-up locations, and also work to promote local foods to area restaurants and cafeterias through a cooperative of local producers.
As if all this wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with their store (I know I’m already wishing I lived near enough to shop there!), prices at Wholesome Acres Markets are quite reasonable. I was thrilled when Mistee informed me that I could buy coconut oil (extra virgin or expeller-pressed) from their store at a better cost than even Mountain Rose Herbs!
Phillip and Mistee generously offered me a sample of delectable baby swiss from Wholesome Acres Markets, and they have an even more exciting offer for my readers:
As our invitation to try us out, we’d like to offer the following:
1. For the first ten people living in our area who are interested in home delivery to respond via email to email@example.com (or “contact” on the web site), I’ll give $10.00 off your first year’s membership fee for home delivery.
2. For the first ten people who live out of our area and need products shipped to respond via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll give you 15% off your first order of products that we ship to you.
3. For the first ten customers that walk in our store and mention this post, I’ll give you 10% off your entire purchase.
This is a great offer, and I encourage anyone who’s interested to try it out! If you are interested in learning more about Wholesome Acres Markets, you can simply visit http://www.wholesomeacresmarkets.com/.
For another special treat, visit Elizabeth Walling at her wonderful The Nourished Life blog. She is one of my favorite real food writers and a Weston A. Price Foundation member. (She also writes for NaturalNews.com). Her professional writing style is delicious and her content is nourishing. Her tag line is “On the journey of finding nourishment in life through traditional foods and natural living!” You will want to subscribe to her blog I am sure.–Augie