French Broad Food Co+Op

Open Daily: 8am to 8pm
(828)255-7650 | 

Open Daily 8am to 8pm
90 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

HBC Fall Update

It is hard to accept that we are solidly into November this year. A little over a year ago, we moved the department to its new location, and we are still finishing that, with small projects forever taking place. It always takes a while to settle in and fit within a new space, and with the added struggle of being short staffed (along with most businesses) and consistent sourcing issues…things are slow going. We have added some new products and discontinued some others so I thought I would let you all know whats happening. 

As many of you know, Nestle Corp has purchased so many companies in the natural sector. We have a couple of grandmothered items, but for the most part we are choosing to discontinue lines consumed by them. The latest to go is Solgar. I know many of you are sad to see them go, as we had carried them for over 2 decades and they were a long time favorite of our beloved Roz. In the end, we have to grow and adapt and this gives us the opportunity to bring in a new food based line, that is more in line with our ethics and small business preference. We do have several new lines that I wanted to introduce:

I have been bombarded with social media ads for “adaptogen coffee substitute beverages” and it can be challenging to weed out the trends from solidly great products. I brought in RASA because they actually employ an herbalist who formulates for them and they source their products ethically. This is such an important issue to consider when making our purchases. Rasa has several formulas including Cacao, Bold and Calm and were created by an overly caffeinated woman, looking for a healthier alternative to coffee. These are brewed just like coffee….in a press pot, coffee maker, pour over, etc. I love the Cacao blend, the taste is rich and perfect for starting the day. 

As we consume more adaptogens in our culture, especially the easily over harvested plants such as rhodiola and american ginseng, making sure that their use is sustainable and the products we purchase are sourced well is very important. Speaking of adaptogens, Ashwagandha is the belle of the ball this year, which means pay attention to where yours is coming from. Adulterations often happen when the sales of a specific plant rises quickly and there is money to be made. I highly recommend our local line Wise Earth Ashwagandha, as she grows and prepares her own, right here in the mountains. Another favorite is Red Moon Herbs Adaptogenesis, containing holy basil, ashwagandha, reishi, and Jiaogulan. These are both tinctures, but if capsules are more your style we have Organic India and Himalayan Ashwagandha available as well. Of course, we have lots of adaptogen herbs in our bulk herb section. One of my daily blends I love to make:

Adapt & Nourish Powder
  • 1 part ashwagandha powder
  • 1 part eleuthero powder
  • 1 part maca powder ( I use gelatinized maca)
  • ¼ part cinnamon powder (vietnamese)

Blend together and add daily to milk or milk alternative, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or fruit and nut balls as a snack. This is a great way to let your medicine be your food.

We have been carrying Our Friendly Allies dry herbs for a few years, happy to have local options for some of our favorite herbs such as holy basil, oatstraw, nettles, chamomile, and echinacea. This year, we have added her tinctures as well! I am constantly thrilled at how many local medicine makers are available. And on the local tract:

We finally got in The Healing Garden by Juliet Blankespoor!!!! This book is so wonderful and filled with so many great recipes, growing information, and pure plant porn. I highly recommend this book for your apothecary shelves and for gifting your favorite plant people. Also in our book section are Wild Witchcraft by Rebecca Beyer and Southeast Medicinal Plants by Corey Pine Shane. 

In bodycare we have added to the Evan Healy line with their decadent Sandalwood Serenity Serum and Replenishing Rose Drops. I cannot say enough about the quality of this line and the simplicity of their oil and hydrosoul ritual. The entire line is 20% off in November so it is a wonderful time to try them out. 

If you want regional Face and body care, we have Laughing Tansy in from Savannah Georgia. Their Amber Glow Face Serum is filled with antioxidants and nourishment for your skin and smells divine. Their line also includes lip balms, Self Absorbed Body Oil, Carrot Eye Oil, and Coffee Body Scrub. With the winter weather coming in and the skins need for some extra moisture, these are terrific products to try.

In vitamins, we have added Ancestral Supplements, a grassfed line from New Zealand which includes Beef thyroid, beef liver, Minerals, collagen, and even fish eggs. Glandulars have always been hard to find from clean sources, without antibiotics or chemicals included. These are some of the cleanest sources that we have found and if you are looking to include more liver or other glandulars into your diet, these are my favorite source. They are GMO, pesticide, and hormone free.

We are beginning to get our calendars and gift items in for the season, so keep an eye out for those. As in years past, we strive to supply some sustainable gift options and winter needs like beeswax candles, wellness products to keep you healthy, spices to enhance your winter feasts, and teas to warm and nourish you during the cold. I hope your fall is filled with beauty, good health, and ease. The world has forever changed, but we are still here trying to provide good food and herbs, and hopefully some laughter and community along the way.

In warmth,