We're so grateful to work with some truly incredible individuals creating social change in communities across the south east and mid atlantic through small businesses. For every small business, there's a story. These stories need to be told -- which is why we've decided to start featuring some of our favorite independent retailers each month on our homepage. This program is just beginning, and we'll be posting updates as it continues to evolve.
We're proud to proclaim our first featured retailer: Whole Health Center in Abingdon, VA.
In addition to having a beautiful store with a diverse and ever-updated offering of premium natural foods and supplements, Whole Health Center is the FIRST independent retailer in the country to offer Buchi on tap! We didn't even approach him about this, he approached us before we even had draft distribution up his way because he believes in our product and the people behind it. In fact he believes in us so much that for the past 8 months he has been driving 4 hours round trip down to Asheville (sometimes multiple times per month) to pick up kegs and drive them back to his store!
So for the rest of August in addition to featuring his store on our website and social media, we're running a special sales promotion on Buchi to encourage you to visit him in Abindgon.
Draft: Get FREE Glassware (32 oz Amber Flip Top) when you purchase a fill up. (A $5 Value)
Bottles: Get $1 off any bottled Buchi!
Why Whole Health Center:
To answer why, we must first show you who. Sean Bossie is a Master Herbalist, Certified Natural Health Consultant and Homeopathic Certified Specialist. Here's some of his story in his own words:
Why Did You Start Whole Health Center?
I have been interested in the health and wellness field for over 35 years. My parents lived the healthy lifestyle and weekly trips to our local health food store was part of my upbringing. I became a certified herbalist in 1987 and over the years I continued to study and learn more while pursuing work in a different field yet always hoping one day to own my own health food store. Seven years ago our daughter moved from New England to Virginia and after she was married and had our first grandchild we began to consider moving to be closer to the them and also because we were getting weary of the harsh New Hampshire winters. One day while visiting the health food store in Abingdon, I mentioned to the owner that I was looking to move to the area and if he ever was interested in selling, I might be interested. He told me he was in fact considering selling and over the next 12 months we communicated monthly by postal mail as he didn't use a computer and couldn't email. In 2011 we officially bought the store and moved to Virginia after living in New England our entire lives.
What Sets Your Store Apart From Larger Chains or Other Less Badass Health Foods Stores?
We offer all the usual health food store items but also stock a unique selection of products that you could find in smaller health food stores in the past but are disappearing as the big box healthy grocery stores continue to dominate the market. Things like supplies to make your own cheese, kombucha, yogurt or kefir. We also carry a wide selection of bottles, droppers and containers and over 140 bulk herbs and spices to make your own extracts or salves. Unique to our store is that we carry a much wider range of vitamins, supplements and neutraceuticals--over 1,400 different SKU's. Our decision to add our Buchi Bar with kombucha on tap was made from this philosophy of offering unique products. But the primary thing that sets us apart is our commitment to customer service and creating a shopping experience that is friendly, helpful and comfortable. There is something to be said for the special feel a small store has and we try to foster that.
What is Your Vision for the Future of Whole Health Center?
Incredibly the store has been in the exact same location for over 27 years and now things are... a little tight. We are actively looking to move to the store to a much larger location to make the shopping experience better and to be able to bring in more products that our customers have been asking for. We also want to add a juice bar and seating for people to enjoy a quick, healthy lunch or to just hang out and relax with some juice, tea or Buchi. Finally, we want to offer workshops, classes and even a "movie night" on topics related to health, wellness and sustainability.
Why Are You Excited to go to Work in the Morning? What Drives the Vision Forward?
Well, fortunately I can honestly say that this isn't '"work" for me--it's a lifestyle-- and to be able to discuss health and wellness all day while being immersed in the products and food is simply my bliss. Sure, there are days that are long and perhaps even stressful but being of service in the health and wellness field is very rewarding. I have seen first hand the results of customers that begin to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to know I was part of improving their quality of life is exciting.
What Excites You About Working With Buchi?
I have home brewed and enjoyed kombucha for over 15 years so when you guys first visited me a year ago and l sampled your organic herb infused kombucha I was hooked. In addition to the product making this partnership exciting, it was also the culture and philosophy of the company that earned my loyalty. Everything Buchi does seems intentional--from the naming of each elemental flavor to the design of each flavor logo. I knew for Buchi this was much more than brewing a good kombucha, it seemed more like alchemy with an emphasis as much on the power of the herbs as how it tasted. As an herbalist this resonated with me and I knew I had to support and offer this amazing kombucha to my friends and customers.
Picking Future Partners:
With over 200 independents and growing, it will take a long time to feature them all--so if you have any suggestions or would like to see someone bumped up the list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org