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View Full Version : Bulk food stores near the AT?



garbanz
12-29-2010, 13:21
According to Jack Tarlin's excellent article on resupply : "Hanover has one of the Trail's best supermarkets, the Co-Op Food Store, which .....has a great deal of things you wont find elsewhere, including food in bulk and a great natural/organic section."
On my 2011 thruhike Im only planning 5 food/gear changeout maildrops ---I dont want to be encumbered by any more than that yet Id like to eat healthy. I plan on stopping at the CO-Op to stock up on healthy bulk foods such as couscous, dried veggies, TVP, whey protein, nuts, granola mix etc. Does anyone here on Whiteblaze know of towns near the AT with stores offering similar healthy bulk foods? ( ie Erwin, Pearisburg, Damascus, Harper's Ferry, Kent, Williamstown, Manchester Center, Rutland, Gorham ) Just a handful of these spread out along the trail would be great!

couscous
12-29-2010, 13:27
.. to stock up on healthy bulk foods such as couscous ..

Excellent choice. :banana

Blissful
12-29-2010, 15:18
The Co-op is nice but you will pay. They are pricey (as are most stores on the AT but for the big chains). I'd buy ahead of time and mail to other places if you are really looking for this kind of variety.

Jack Tarlin
12-29-2010, 15:36
Garbanz:

Can't speak much about the South tho most major supermarkets now have pretty good healthy/organic sections, etc. Even some small places have good selections; Bluff mt. Outfitters in Hot Springs NC is particularly good in this regard.

Also, if you have the time, I'd Google some Trail town names.....for example, I just Googled "Bulk Foods Franklin NC" and discovered that Franklin has a health food store, a fact that up to now I did not now. If you Google "bulk foods" or "health food" I'll bet you'll find all sorts of places and businesses that
aren't in the hiker guidebooks. This may take you some time, but I bet you make some interesting discoveries.

As far as healthy/natural foods sold in bulk you'll find most of this up North, i.e. in New England. Williamstown MA; Bennington VT; Rutland VT; Manchester Center etc. all have Co-ops or similar places to buy the stuff you're looking for. As you mentioned, Hanover NH has a good one too, I suggest you buy a whole bunch of stuff here and then send it North to places in NH and especially Maine where your food options are more limited.

(One tip....in the Northern Virginia Mid-Atlantic area there's a good supermarket chain called "Martin's"; if you can find one, they generally have great natural/health food sections. Also, check out Whole Foods' website, they have a search engine which tells you where there stores are, and on your trip there may well be places where there's a store not far from you).

Good luck!

garbanz
12-29-2010, 19:50
Like I said I dont want the hassle and am willing to pay stores like the CO-Op for what I want. Shipping costs too which you dont pay for if you buy retail. I can get everything I want if as you say I mail ingredients from home but I dont want the hassle of going to pick them up on a schedule during my dream hike.

10-K
12-29-2010, 19:53
There is an excellent natural foods store in Manchester Center, VT. The owners are very nice - while I was shopping they made me a small gift bag filled with cookies, dried fruit and granola and gave it to me when I left.

Warning: It is *very* hard to leave this town!

10-K
12-29-2010, 19:58
Also, just north of Dalton, MA you'll cross Rt. 2. Make a left and walk down the highway a half mile and you'll come to a huge grocery store. It's not a co-op or natural foods store but it's upscale and you can get a lot of good, healthy, natural food there.

garbanz
12-30-2010, 10:44
Thanks 10-K!
Jack, Ill take your suggestion and see whats out there online.
If I find anything I'll report back here to everyone.

garbanz
12-30-2010, 14:10
FWIW heres what I found in the line of stores stocking healthy bulk foods:


Hot Springs Bluff Mountain Outfitters
Between Erwin and Greenville on hwy 107 Mountain View Bulk Foods
Williamstown Wild Oats Food Coop
Bennington 1 Health Food Store
Manchester Center Several Health Food Stores
Rutland Rutland Area Food Coop &
High Mountain Health Foods
Hanover Food Coop

Ive been to Bluff Mountain Outfitters. They do stock some healthy prepackaged foods but dont really provide bins like found at most organic bulk food stores. Mountain View Bulk Foods is 18 miles out of Erwin ---several hikers could pitch in on a shuttle. The Wild Oats store in Williamstown stocks just what Im looking for. Rutland can be accessed by the bus stop at The INN at The Long Trail.
Unfortunately I didnt find any Whole Foods or Martins stores in the trail towns I plugged into their store locators. I do know that most of the bigger better supermarkets here in Indiana have health/organic foods aisles which may include bulk/customer measured foods. Im hoping this will hold true for larger trail towns also.

10-K
12-30-2010, 14:38
Between Erwin and Greenville on hwy 107 Mountain View Bulk Mountain View Bulk Foods is 18 miles out of Erwin ---several hikers could pitch in on a shuttle. .

I was going to suggest this but it's quite a haul. The AT actually gets withing 5 miles from Mountain View Bulk foods when you're a mile north of Jerry Cabin shelter shelter but it'd be easier to get a shuttle out of Erwin to get there probably.

Even bettter, there is a resturant next to MVBF named the Farmer's Daughter that is just incredible.

Hobbler
12-30-2010, 15:30
garbanz...

You will probably Zero in Waynesboro, Virginia and if not, You should. A great trail town.

Rockfish Gap Outfitters on the way down the mountain on the way into Waynesboro on US 250....Well stocked with gear.

They have a Martins and Wally World on Rosser avenue US 340 on the south side of town which is accessable via regular scheduled runs on the "Waynesboro Circulator" 50 cents! Good selection of high quality natural bulk foods at Martins.

Free shower at the YMCA...Free camping too!

Do not miss the Ming Garden for the best Chinese Buffet within 100 miles. Lots of healthy choices.

Weasies for breakfast.

Good place to stay...Hope that this helps you!

turtle fast
12-30-2010, 20:21
In Harpers Ferry you won't have much selection at the 7-11 but the outfitters at Harpers Ferry may have some treats, but nothing in bulk. Best bet is to send a package to the AT HQ.

ki0eh
12-31-2010, 08:11
There is a Wegmans (like a Whole Foods with a large regular supermarket attached) on US 11/Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, PA about 10 miles off trail. When you cross the US 11 overpass north of Boiling Springs probably half the cars passing there in the four lane northbound (both Trail and compass eastbound) will drive right past it.

Newport, PA, 10 miles from Duncannon, has a good natural foods store on the town square (it's unimaginatively called "Newport Natural Foods"), 717 567-3328. Perhaps you could talk someone at the Doyle into driving you up there. A regular food store (Weis, an eastern PA chain) is a couple of blocks' walk off the square. A thru here will be enough of a curiosity that you could probably talk your way into a ride back to Duncannon or at least the Susquehanna River bridge.

gillbilly
01-02-2011, 22:10
north adams Ma. at rt 2 take left(nobo) 1/2 mile stop & shop,big good selection

garbanz
01-09-2011, 16:31
Saturday during hiking club I was informed the Wild Oats chain has been replaced by Whole Foods.

Sly
01-09-2011, 16:59
garbanz if you have editing privileges you may want to change your title, to "healthy foods in bulk" or whatnot.

at big lots in waynesboro you can get ramen by the case.

Awol2003
01-09-2011, 17:28
Nature's Way, an Amish grocery, is a bit off the beaten path but only 3.5mi from the AT. Neville (Woods Hole) told me about it, so I visited the store and added it to The A.T. Guide this year. It's on page 58, a little south of Pearisburg, VA. If you appreciate quality food, also plan on a stay at the hostel.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/8/9/0/9/dsc_0082_thumb.jpg

hobbs
01-09-2011, 17:49
Nature's Way, an Amish grocery, is a bit off the beaten path but only 3.5mi from the AT. Neville (Woods Hole) told me about it, so I visited the store and added it to The A.T. Guide this year. It's on page 58, a little south of Pearisburg, VA. If you appreciate quality food, also plan on a stay at the hostel.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/8/9/0/9/dsc_0082_thumb.jpg
thank you Awol! That helps with 2 things I was looking at..

10-K
01-09-2011, 19:21
Nature's Way, an Amish grocery, is a bit off the beaten path but only 3.5mi from the AT. Neville (Woods Hole) told me about it, so I visited the store and added it to The A.T. Guide this year. It's on page 58, a little south of Pearisburg, VA. If you appreciate quality food, also plan on a stay at the hostel.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/8/9/0/9/dsc_0082_thumb.jpg

That's very similar to how Mountain View Bulk Foods outside of Erwin looks. The Amish really know their stuff when it comes to this kind of store. I bet they have some good cheese and deli meat too.

FatherTime09
01-11-2011, 16:33
Another Amish owned store, one I go to frequently, is Anderson' Country Market in Madison Heights, VA. They offer a great selection of dry goods, including small bags that would be great for hikers. They also have fresh produce, meats, cheese, Amish goods... They have been carrying salvaged foods for real cheap, but unfortunately won't be doing that anymore. Their current store is closing and they are opening 2 new locations. The addresses are 3813 Old Forest Road & 3142 S. Amherst Highway. The best road crossing to access them would be Rte. 130 in Natural Bridge. I live about 15 min from there, and 30 min from Anderson's. It's a bit of a hike (no pun intended) but is worth it I'd say. I would be more than willing to give hikers a ride (to Anderson's or elsewhere) from the Rte. 130 crossing for a few bucks gas money. Stores are few and far between in this area unfortunately. I am not entirely sure what is available as far as resupply in Natural Bridge/Glasgow but I know there's not much. Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there. PM me if you'd like to get my phone number in case you're in the area and need a ride anywhere!

PS- Hoping to start a hostel in this area soon (next few years) to offer hiking gear/foods. Donations gladly accepted! :D

FatherTime09
01-11-2011, 16:39
...Anderson' Country Market in Madison Heights, VA. They offer a great selection of dry goods, including small bags that would be great for hikers. They also have fresh produce, meats, cheese, Amish goods...

Oh, also forgot I wanted to mention they carry some organic stuff too.