When I arrived at Kimberton Whole Foods in Ottsville, I ran into a friend in the parking lot. We were both a little surprised, because neither of us lives nearby, and it was, after all, Ottsville – not a bustling metropolis. Kaitlynn Stupak, manager of the Kimberton store wasn’t surprised. “It’s a real community atmosphere,” she explained. “People run into their friends all the time here.” It’s the kind of store – unlike a supermarket – where people take their time shopping. “Once people come in and experience it, they come back,” said Stupak. “It’s a totally different vibe than a supermarket – even than other natural food stores.”
Kimberton Whole Foods began its existence in 1986 as the Seven Stars Farm Store, selling organic dairy milk and yogurt made right on the farm in Chester County. When they outgrew their space, they moved to nearby Kimberton, PA, and in 1994 became Kimberton Whole Foods. In addition to the store in Kimberton and Ottsville, they also have locations in Downingtown and Douglassville, and their own warehouse. The Ottsville store opened in September 2008. It’s attached via an open doorway to the coffee house, Brig O’Doon, which adds even more to the relaxed atmosphere.
Kimberton is more than your typical natural food market. Ethics and a strong mission, dedicated to sustainability, local farming and organic product, form the backbone of the business. Customer service is special too. “The staff is very committed,” says Stupak. “It’s part of their lifestyle and beliefs. They want to help customers understand and learn.”
You might also be surprised at the pricing too, which is competitive with other natural food markets. Kimberton would rather take a narrower margin to support their mission, support local farmers and serve their customers. The store carries a broad range of organic and “all natural” product from dairy, to meats, eggs, dry goods, organic produce, supplements and unique health and beauty items.
Which I guess is all why Kimberton’s Ottsville store draws customers from as far away as Bethlehem, Newtown and New Jersey, not just Upper Bucks County. Stop by, says Stupak. It’s a great little store.
Kimberton Whole Foods
239 Durham Road
Ottsville, PA 18942
This article was originally published in Bucks Life magazine, April 2012.