by guest blogger Elisabeth Villarroel
The latest Big Bear Natural Foods market in Bucks County has been spotted in Langhorne!
One of the original health food stores in the area, this family-owned business opened its first shop in Morrisville in 1971, expanded with three New Jersey locations (Ewing, Lambertville, and Pennington), and now returns to Bucks County with a Langhorne store.
I had heard great things about Big Bear, but had never made it to any of the other locations. However, once I heard the new store was opening close to me I couldn’t wait to check it out. An official grand opening will be held in mid-October, but the Langhorne market had its soft opening in mid-September; the doors opened and registers were ready for business, but the shelves were still being stocked and many of the store’s amenities, such as the juice bar, were not yet in place. I wasn’t the only one anticipating the opening though. Both times I went in during the first week I waited amidst boxes on a line a few people deep.
The 38-year old business is still run by original owners Eileen and Habib Gardee, who have made a point of featuring products and produce from the community. Big Bear has partnered with local businesses such as Awesome Foods, a Montgomery County company that produces prepared raw foods; Fruitwood Orchards in Monroeville, NJ, which provides honey; Podere di Melo , a West Amwell, NJ farm that supplies certified naturally grown eggs, and Bucks County’s own Brad’s Raw Chips.
Genya Gardee took a moment from stocking shelves to tell me that the Langhorne market is the biggest of the five stores and, in addition to a large variety of health foods and specialty products, the Langhorne location will serve made to order fresh prepared foods, such as sandwiches and salads and have a juice bar offering organic wheat grass shots, organic vegetable juices, and smoothies. The new shop also will be bringing in organic produce and meats, including Amish Country chicken from Eberly Farms, and is seeking out partnerships with other local farms and producers.
I would be doing a disservice to Big Bear by not mentioning its large selection of gluten-free products, including a frozen foods area that has many gluten-free entrees in addition to a wide selection of other organic and vegetarian/vegan selections. As someone with food allergies, it is reassuring to know there is a local business focusing on special dietary needs. And, like the other locations, the Langhorne store’s shelves are packed with nutritional and body care products and housewares. With the newest Bucks County shop, Big Bear Natural Foods is sure to be a frequent stop for me and a great addition to the area.
Big Bear Natural Foods of Langhorne
1246 Lincoln Highway
Langhorne, PA 19056