Many people are becoming more and more aware of the benefit of organic and natural foods. In response to this awareness and their own personal beliefs, Stephen and Christy Gordon opened Grounded Organic and Natural Foods in the Southgate Shopping Plaza in Jasper six years ago.
In six years the store has continued to develop their product lines to better serve the area customer’s needs. The store has concentrated on its line of locally produced items as well; these include:
- Other Side of the Fence Beef
- Hasenauer Produce and Pork
- Pfaff Honey
- Homestead Farm Eggs
- Stecklers Eggs and glutten free pancake mix
- Earth and Wind Creations soaps
- Pure Heart and Clean Hands soaps, lotions, makeup, lip balms, laundry detergent
“All of our local vendors are within 50 miles. If you go any further than that the carbon footprint is too large,” Christy explained.
Grounded also carries locally grown organic produce and is the pickup for Living Roots Community Supported Agriculture project ran by Michael Hicks.
“Occasionally we even carry works from local artists and books from local authors,” Christy said.
Regarding the stores growth Stephen explained that customers become regulars once they find out about the store and the quality of the items it carries. With the limited access in the area to major brands of organic and specialty foods and the rising price of gas, the store provides locals an alternative to driving out of the area for these items.
It is hard not to become a regular at Grounded, the store has rows of shelves filled with groceries that span to the back of the store, while fresh fruit and produce fill the cooler along the wall. It is a small grocery store with personality and a warmth that most modern groceries lack. The wooden floors, the faux tree with fall foliage that oversees a small “knowledge center” filled with pamphlets and books to help educate customers on healthier living through their diet, and even the smell of the store seems natural and healthy.
A Jasper native, Stephen was employed in the airline industry but after 9/11 he was released and found himself going to pharmaceutical school and working for American Drug Stores. American Drug Stores owned Osco Drugs and is now part of CVS.
“I could be making a lot more money right now. I was doing well in school and I was managing stores, but I realized that treating people for preventable diseases rather than preventing the diseases to begin with wasn’t appealing to me. My wife showed me information on the benefits of organic foods and supplements, which led me to continue to research more and more into this prevention doctrine. Then we saw the need in this community and opened our store.” Stephen relates.
Some of the customers of Grounded are unable to shop at so-called normal grocery stores due to the additives in many of the foods that are commonly sold there. These people have to come to a natural food store to find products that will not lead to a reaction due to their chemical sensitivities. These sensitivities include food colorings, preservatives and even some chemicals added for flavor.
“Helping people is a wonderful reason for being in this business. I have actually seen the benefit of some of our own products and they are very apparent as people become healthier and they come to us and thank us for opening the store.” Stephen said.
Grounded partakes in offering their organic coffees and scones at the Jasper Farmer’s Market.
Hours of operation are Mon thru Fri 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. & Sat 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
Grounded Organic and Natural Foods can be contacted at (812) 482-4060 and the e-mail is [email protected]