Behind the Counter: Nature's Pantry
Organic foods for everyone from vegans to those on raw food diets are the order of the day at this Harford Road bodega
Since we started the Visions for Vacancies feature on Patch three weeks ago, a common suggestion among our readers has been an organic food store like Trader Joe's, but did you know we already have a place to get organic flour, sugar, spices, and even produce right in Parkville?
Nature's Pantry owner and Parkville resident Sam Walters has been providing healthy food to the Parkville area from her store at 7984 Harford Road for the last 36 years.
"I cater to everybody: vegans, vegetarians, people doing raw foods diets, people with celiac [disorder]," Walters said.
"If you come and and I don't have it, I'll get it for you; I'm like your personal shopper and I love buying for the store," she said.
The store is evidence of her passion for natural foods — organic nuts, pastas, spices and more are available and stacked floor to ceiling.
"I do a little bit of everything," Walters said.
She explained that recently she's ordered vegan donuts for one customer, and Naked juices for another.
She also gets deliveries of organic produce — everything from onions, kale, baby spinach right on through to fair trade bananas at least once a week.
"If you're a cook, I've got spices 95 percent cheaper than a grocery store," Walters said. She sells them from huge jars on the wall in paper bags and reusable jars.
Lou Stewart, a Bel Air resident by way of Essex, has been shopping at Nature's Pantry for "15 or 20 years" for the raw wheat bran his diet requires.
"This is the only place I could find — I think I found her on the internet. I walked in and asked if she carried it, the price was right and that was good enough for me," Stewart said. "I think only once or twice I've come in and she hasn't had what I needed. I always call ahead and she can make sure to have it."
A customer from Bel Air isn't altogether uncommon for Walters — she said she has customers from all over Harford and Baltimore Counties.
"When we opened we were the only store like this from here to Towson," she said.
"If you're looking for something, you can give me the list — all at once — and I'll get it for you. Just make sure that you pick up what you order," she said.