Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods sup­ports Daily Bread Food Pantry

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Gary Puleo [email protected]­tu­ry­

Since open­ing the largest store in its nat­u­ral foods chain in Collegeville last March, Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods has forged an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship with a lo­cal food pantry.

In ad­di­tion to do­nat­ing nearly 8,000 pounds of food to the Daily Bread Com­mu­nity Food Pantry, the store, lo­cated at 222 E. Main St., Collegeville, do­nated 5 per­cent of all gift card sales for the Yule­tide sea­son, from Dec. 1 to 24.

“Since our open­ing in March, Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods in Collegeville has been pro­vid­ing food do­na­tions twice a week to the Daily Bread Food Pantry,” noted store man­ager Hope Lau­rence:

“Our re­la­tion­ship was formed from our mu­tual de­sire to pro­vide healthy food choices to ev­ery­one. To­gether, for 2019, we will con­tinue to strive to nour­ish our en­tire com­mu­nity.”

Founded in 1997 to serve fam­i­lies in need, Daily Bread Com­mu­nity Food Pantry, 3938B Ridge Pike, Collegeville, (dai­ly­bread­com­mu­ni­ty­food­ pro­vides food for 800 to 1,000 in­di­vid­u­als in the area each month, with the help of Phi­l­abun­dance, lo­cal restau­rants and gro­cers, and gen­er­ous do­na­tions from the com­mu­nity.

With lo­ca­tions in Collegeville, Dou­glassville, Down­ing­town, Kim­ber­ton, Malvern and Ottsville, Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods be­came a long-awaited an­chor store at Collegeville Shop­ping Cen­ter when it opened on the site of the for­mer Acme mar­ket.

The store of­fered shop­pers more up­scale ameni­ties than any of its other five stores, in­clud­ing a larger but cozy café with unique sand­wiches, spe­cialty cof­fee and a smoothie bar; hot foods and salad bar; ex­panded pro­duce and flo­ral de­part­ments; ar­ti­san cheese and a full-fledged deli with sliced meats and cheese.

Collegeville res­i­dent Steve Fleisher couldn’t have been hap­pier about the 32-year-old fam­ily-op­er­ated icon with the sun­flower logo fi­nally ar­riv­ing in his neigh­bor­hood.

“We’ve been fre­quent­ing their

stores since the be­gin­ning. The Kim­ber­ton store was a 20-minute ride, which isn’t ter­ri­ble, but it will be nice to have a two-minute ride now,” Fleisher said at the time of the open­ing. “They have all kinds of nat­u­ral prod­ucts and or­ganic stuff. If you come here for lunch, the food they pre­pare for you is un­be­liev­able. Plus, they have all kinds of vi­ta­mins and sup­ple­ments, you name it.”

Con­vert­ing an out­dated su­per­mar­ket into KWF’s sparkling sixth lo­ca­tion was no easy task, owner Terry Brett noted.

“Ar­chi­tect Joel Bartlett came in to a blank space and you re­ally need to have imag­i­na­tion to see what it could look like,” Brett said.

The con­struc­tion crew, headed up by Brett’s son, Ezra Brett, gut­ted the en­tire in­te­rior and set­tled in with the dis­tinc­tive KWF im­print that in­cludes a full com­mer­cial kitchen and 100 per­cent LED light­ing, perched high above the aisles.

“A lot of our grab-andgo food comes from our com­mis­sary in Down­ing­town, which sup­plies all of the stores, but our goal is to pro­duce all the food right here. This is the big­gest kitchen we’ve ever put in,” Brett ex­plained.

Mem­o­ries of nearly leas­ing space in a cen­ter down the road in Trappe — now the home of Good­will — faded fast when Brix­more Prop­erty Group grad­u­ally edged its way into the pic­ture.

“Brix­more was a de­light to work with. They met us more than half­way,” Brett said of his new land­lord. “We like to be a com­mu­nity-based busi­ness, and ev­ery­body from the Collegeville Bor­ough to the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion to the peo­ple who gave us the vari­ance for our signs was very sup­port­ive.”

The stores mostly buy di­rectly from lo­cal farm­ers and pro­duc­ers, noted Brett’s busi­ness part­ner, Den­nis McGonigle.

“Kim­ber­ton has al­ways fo­cused on lo­cal agri­cul­ture by giv­ing lo­cal grow­ers a plat­form. When you walk around the store you see a lot of la­bels that are within 100 miles of the lo­ca­tion,” he said.

When Brett and his wife, Pat, opened a small store at Seven Stars Farm in Kim­ber­ton in 1986, they prob­a­bly had no idea that their busi­ness would ul­ti­mately grow to six lo­ca­tions. Brett said that even a decade ago he could not have en­vi­sioned a store like Collegeville in Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods’ fu­ture.

“I think these are go­ing to be the stores of the fu­ture,” he said. “We’re ded­i­cated to or­ganic and we’re go­ing to stick to our orig­i­nal mis­sion, which was or­ganic food. As peo­ple be­come more con­scious and in­ter­ested in what they eat we per­ceive that or­ganic will be more … I won’t say the norm, but it’s headed in that di­rec­tion.”


At Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods in Collegeville, from left, Ester Buehler, Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods Café man­ager; Daily Bread Com­mu­nity Food Pantry Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Loretta Stever; Daily Bread Com­mu­nity Food Pantry Vol­un­teer Lisa Os­borne with daugh­ter Cara Os­borne and Kathy Sachs of Kim­ber­ton Whole Foods.

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