In Store- Health Trail
Health Trail Natural Foods
Natural products and organics produce please conscious customers at Health Trail in Newport News.
|By Melissa Marazzi|
Amidst the neatly lined rows of crops in a middle-of-nowhere farm in Maryland, two delicate hands hunted for the earth's production. The crops seemed to be growing nicely, much to the farmer's satisfaction.
It was there, toiling at the feet of Mother Nature, where a penchant for organic foods blossomed in the heart of Ted Blanton. Now the owner and general manager of Health Trail Natural Foods, a small mom-and-pop shop in Newport News, it feels appropriate that Blanton has seen the work it takes to produce that head of lettuce sitting on his shelf. Blanton had worked at the farm in Maryland for only two summers during his college years, but that was enough to whet his appetite for foods nurtured by the earth. "Back in those early days of the organic movement, you could count the number of organic farmers in most states on one hand," Blanton says.
Upon his arrival to Hampton Roads more than 10 years ago, the opportunity to run a natural foods store presented itself to Blanton and his family. Coinciding perfectly with his proclivity for the pureness of organic foods, he could not refuse.
Health Trail has been serving Newport News residents organic food options since its inception nearly 30 years ago (10 of those years with the Blantons). These days, much to Blanton's delight, buying organic has changed from a mainly New Age concept to a very favorable option.
"It has been remarkable seeing the natural approach that was so vilified by some scientists and farmers in the 1980s become appreciated and valued today," Blanton says. The minute number of organic farmers has soared since those days, and as of 2007, there are at least 13,000 certified organic producers in the United States.
At Health Trail, conscious customers find everything from the basic grocery items like bread and milk to specialty finds such as amino acids, ayurvedic herbs, and a vast array of gluten-free productsall organic, of course.
"Service and quality were always the two pillars of the store," Blanton says, "and we have continued to uphold those standards."
While Blanton is no longer digging his knees into the dirt on a farm, he is still doing what he feels is important: educating his community about healthy choices. "My passion is the products," he says.
Health Trail Natural Foods is located at 10848 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. For more information call 757-596-8018 or visit www.healthtrailnaturalfoods.com.
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