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 Spring 2023 Update​

Health & Bodycare

What makes us unique?

The HBC department at the coop has always been a bit different. I came in over 20 years ago, when Roz (the vitamin expert extraordinaire) and Paula (Herbalist and Chinese medicine expert) were the elders in charge. I am still amazingly grateful that I got to learn under those women and that several folks have added to the wealth of knowledge that our community gets to benefit from. While you can find “natural” or herbal products in many places these days…from your local grocer to the big corporations, there is no where with the customer service or experience that we have. It is one of my great joys to regularly connect with people who have come here for decades and who we have built a wonderful relationship with talking about health, herbs, gardening, our lives and struggles, navigating the pandemic, and more! 

Not only do we pride ourselves on the relationships we create, but also in choosing the best products that we can. Over the past 10 years, we have seen mega corporations buy up many of our old tried and true companies. The companies that were innovators, bringing great quality and unique goods to our shelves. In the early days of healthfood and nutrition, people created businesses out of passion. Be it fermentation and gut health or a passion for herbs, The old established vitamin and herb companies were about health rather than money. These days, its big business and most corporations know that purchasing already established companies is a better option to purchase those. The downfall, of course, is that Nestle knows nothing about these natural lines beyond that they can make money. What we have seen is depressing. Often, these companies go mass market and we no longer have access to them through distribution, sometimes they are “dumbed down” by changing formulas or ingredients, and sometimes they are shut down. It is a great challenge for us to replace these lines with better quality products, as sometimes they do not exist. 

Mainly, we do not want to support Nestle, Clorox, or Unilever. We do not want products that are owned by investment firms. We want companies that produce good quality products and who are in it, not just for profit, but for the good of the consumers. So, you may have noticed over the past several years, that our shelves have changed. They will continue to as some businesses have not made it through the pandemic. Sourcing is still a struggle in all industries and we are all having to adapt. Mega corporations will, no doubt, continue to gobble up the smaller companies. 

So what will we do? 

We will continue to research and find great quality products for our shelves and you. We will continue to stay up to date on sell outs, product changes, and new up and coming companies. And, of course, we will share with you some of our favorite lines. Companies that we believe in, quality products and ingredients that are clean and deserving of your dollar.

Here is some of our favorites:

  • Anima Mundi- woman owned and high quality products, all vegan, featuring vegan proteins, superfood blends, tincture blends supporting different body systems, heirloom cacao and blue lotus flowers
  • Red Moon Herbs- woman and local owned, local plants grown and harvested here in WNC, simples and wonderful formulas including Mushroom Elixir, Sunny Days, and my favorite salve for any topical issue: Green Wonder Balm
  • Our Friendly Allies- Providing packaged herbs grow here in WNC, and a new tincture line including milky oats, holy basil, and motherwort
  • Evan Healy- a wonderful bodycare line that is super clean. No preservatives or chemicals of any kind. Check out their Hydrosouls, Blue Cactus Serum, and the Whipped shea with vanilla and patchouli. This is not a cheap line, but one of the best on the market if you are looking for truly clean face and body care
  • Earth Temple Foods- this one is replacing the now defunct Bright earth foods. Bulk raw maca, mushroom elixirs, and Raw Soap nut shampoo and conditioner. Excellent quality!
  • Wholesun Wellness- So far, the best mushroom product that we have found on the market. All wood grown fruiting bodies, available in bulk, in capsules and in packages. No fillers, just pure mushroom goodness.

Other lines we have and love:

  • Mercola- we love their liposomal C
  • Truvani- simple ingredients, vegan multi and protein powders
  • Soap Distillery- bipoc woman owned, unique soap line
  • Spicewalla- local and amazing spice blends, now including organic blends
  • Shoyeido- clean japanese incense line
  • Sunbeam- all beeswax candles, solar powered company

There are so many more, as well.

I cannot complete this without mentioning our Bulk Herb section. Most stores do not have the selection that we carry…we have almost 600 herbs, spices, teas, mushrooms, superfoods, seaweeds, and smoke blends in our herb section. Our bulk herb room has become a destination and we work hard to provide as many herbs as we can, including local. It is a lot of work, but so worth it to meet our communities needs. 

Thank you for sharing in our vision and for supporting us. We really do hope to bring you the best herbs, general merchandise, supplements, and body care to support your health, wellness and beauty. 

Please come in and talk with us. We are here for you.