Post written by Cyndy Graham
“Doin’ it naturally since 1974,’’ Eats Natural Foods at 708 North Main St. is more than just a supplement store. One of the things Manager Hannah McKnight thinks those who have not visited the store might not know, is the wide variety of organic foods and produce the store has to offer. The quality and variety of produce is impressive along with gluten/wheat free products and cheeses. Eats also offers wine and beer making supplies that Hannah says are quite popular with customers.
Co-founder and present owner Stan Davis started Eats as a co-op, a member-owned business run by a board. Today, Eats is owned by Stan and wife Becky and is a Membership Cooperative; customers can pay a small fee for a membership card which offers 15% discounts on all purchases. Local residents make up the majority of customers, which includes a large number of seniors. On a recent afternoon, some customers browsed while others took advantage of the seating area at the back of the store. After Bike Barn relocated to another spot downtown, the extra space was transformed into a pleasant area to sit and read or chat with friends. The sense of community is evident in the laid-back atmosphere.
When asked what attracted her about the business and Eats in particular, McKnight recalled how as a student at Virginia Tech she studied agriculture and consumer studies. Hannah started her undergraduate degree in Charleston, South Carolina before finishing in Boston. Not feeling at home in the north Hannah came to Virginia Tech for Graduate School because Blacksburg reminded her of her hometown in North Carolina. Hannah worked part time at Eats while completing her studies. Seven years on and Hannah is still working at Eats as a Manager.
Hannah is also currently serving as a Board Member for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. The DBI fundraising Live Local t-shirts are available for purchase in Eats. Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. runs a downtown recycling program which Eats participates in; so bring your Compact Fluorescent bulbs, printer cartridges and batteries to drop off in the receptacle in Eats next time you come in.
A story I hear time and time again, is how someone will attend Virginia Tech as a student and end up being a long time resident. Evidence that once again, the Hokie spirit is alive and well, and Blacksburg is indeed, a great place to be!
Don’t forget to check out the Eats Natural Foods website
“We work to save you money while getting you the best and healthiest foods available”
Eats Natural Foods is located at 708A N. Main St.Blacksburg, right next to the new Roundabout/Traffic Circle.