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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Local grocery store emphasizes personal health care

Photo by Photo by Savannah Skirvanek

Brazos Natural Foods has been providing Bryan-College Station residents with healthy food options since 1988.

Since 1988, Jenn Atkins and her family have been providing the Bryan-College Station area with healthy and organic foods, supplements, vitamins and natural cosmetics. After the Brazos Valley community co-op failed, the Atkins family took it into their hands to provide the same services. Today, that family business still stands as Brazos Natural Foods on University Drive across from Café Eccell.
Not only does the store provide products to customers, it goes beyond that to accentuate quality customer service. Atkins said her employees are both helpful in locating items for customers and giving genuine advice when customers come in looking for ways to improve their health.
“It’s very important for us to have trained staff,” Atkins said. “We try to recruit those who have health field backgrounds, and in the past, we’ve had staff who were midwives, staff who were aromatherapists and staff who were physician’s assistants.”
Although knowledgeable, employees cannot prescribe or diagnose when customers come in searching for medical answers. Instead of taking on a doctor’s job, Atkins has the customer consider their lifestyle choices that may affect the problem they are having.
“You know your own health, you know what you eat, you know your life stresses,” Atkins said. “It’s kind of empowering to the customer to get them to think about their own health and to be responsible for their own health and be aware and more educated.”
Customer Kathy Faust has been shopping at Brazos Natural Foods since before 1995. Her family started shopping at the store after they moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Somerville, Texas. Faust said she appreciates the variety of items she can find at the store, including organic foods and vitamins, but what she appreciates most is the customer service.
“They explain everything to you, and you can find about anything you need here,” Faust said. “They will answer just about any question you have. I have told them about things that are going on with me and they will help me find the best thing. The people are wonderful, I love them here.”
Nursing freshman Devereux Havlick has been working for Brazos Natural Foods since she moved to College Station. She said she was interested in working for a grocery store and was drawn in by the seemingly tight-knit group and the simplicity of it all. She said not only has the store been a source of information to the public, but also to those who are employed there.
“I never realized how many things there are to learn and it’s really interesting to me,” Havlick said. “I want to be a nurse, so I like knowing all aspects of health care whether it may be alternative, natural, western medicine, whatever it may be to expand my knowledge.”
Brazos Natural Foods strives to be more than just a small business. Atkins said that the amount of effort put into the store includes being involved in organizations like the American Herbalist Guild and American Botanical Council and knowing the local providers she purchases products from.
“This is my practice,” Atkins said. “This is a field that is very important to me. This is not just a business, this is a whole practice and philosophy.”

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  • Brazos Natural Foods provides customers with organic foods, supplements, vitamins and natural cosmetics.

    Photo by Photo by Savannah Skirvanek

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