Loudoun County peeps, have you been to the Natural Mercantile in Hamilton?
(And even if you don’t reside in LoCo, you may be interested in some of the items we purchase at The Merc. No doubt you can find them online, or at a health food store near you).
It’s my favorite health food store, and here’s why:
- It’s small. Not too overwhelming.
- Despite its smallness, it boasts quite an inventory.
- Sue Phillips is quite simply the friendliest and most helpful shop owner around! Her customer service is unbeatable.
- Her staff is wonderful, too!
- The building itself is so charming. Lots of old wood gives it a homey, vintage feeling.
I can’t afford to do all my shopping there (wish I could!), but these are my favorite things to buy at The Merc:
If every member of my Yankee Homestead family could drink milk, we’d be drinking raw milk. But to do that in VA, you have to buy a share of a cow because it’s illegal to sell raw milk in our state. I’m super-jealous of my parents, who live in PA farm country. There, you can waltz right into certain stores and buy raw milk by the gallon. It’s so convenient, and so much cheaper!
For us, the next best thing is non-homogenized, lightly pasteurized milk from organic (or almost-organic) farms where the cows are pastured. The milk sold at The Merc comes from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA.
As a side note, their milk comes in glass jugs that you rinse and return after drinking the milk. Kind of a pain, on one hand, but kind of fun, on the other! And Mr. Native Texan swears milk tastes better from a glass jug. I wouldn’t know, but I suspect he’s right.
Note: milk arrives every Tuesday morning and sells out pretty quickly. If you plan to pick up milk on Friday or after, you may be disappointed.
The Merc sells wonderful yogurt which is distributed by Trickling Springs Creamery, but comes from Pequea Valley Farm in Lancaster County, PA. My son LOVES this stuff! We get the plain variety, and add Cooked Frozen Berries and a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia. And sometimes hemp hearts or chia seeds, as well.
- fish oil
The Yankee Homestead adults take Green Pastures Butter/Cod Liver Blend. More about this another time…
This stuff is A.Ma.Zing! It’s kept in a big barrel thing, with a spout. The first time, you pay about $10 for a new bottle. Then you bring back that same bottle for a refill from the barrel. The refill costs about $8. We LOVE this vinegar on salads and in marinades.
- homeopathic remedies
The Merc carries a variety of excellent products in this category, and Sue is knowledgeable and willing to discuss them with her customers. More about this another time, too…
- Sami’s Bakery products (gluten-free)
We LOVE their cinnamon raisin bagels, sourdough bread, spinach lavash and more! Sami’s items arrive every Friday, and generally sell out within a few days. So don’t plan your trip for a Wednesday or Thursday if you’re hoping to pick up any Sami’s items!
Honorable Mentions: The Merc carries many other wonderful foods and products…
- Traditional Medicinals Teas
- Many, many natural care products for home and body
- Extensive and excellent collection of vitamins and supplements
- Vitamix blenders!!
- Organic meats and cheeses from local farms
- And much, much more!
Tip: Like Natural Mercantile on Facebook in order to be informed of sales and events.
If you stop by, be sure to tell them I sent you!
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…