When Organics 101 Market opened their doors in Montesano in the summer of 2014, they did it with a clear goal in mind: support people’s choices for food that’s good for them and good for the environment.
“A lot of people are becoming more aware and proactive about which foods they’re choosing to eat and feed to their family. We’ve had many people share their health and wellness experiences with us – so many stories of how they or a family member found healing through food in some way,” says Organics 101 co-owner Michelle Hutchinson.
The Organics 101 origin story: 4 key questions
The organic food industry has grown considerably as consumers learn more about the dangers of pesticides used in conventional farming.
- Where does our food come from?
- Who’s in charge of what can be sprayed on our foods?
- How many potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are allowed on food we eat every day?
- What do these chemicals do to our bodies?
“These were the questions we started asking and we wanted answers,” Michelle says. “What we found was not good news. The U.S. EPA continues to allow 85 pesticides used for outdoor agricultural applications that are banned or in the process of being completely phased out elsewhere. That’s all that we needed to know. We had to act.”
The dream realized
After many moons of discussion, planning, searching, lots of old-fashioned hard work and a little fate, their destiny location materialized – right on S. Main Street in Michelle’s hometown of Montesano, WA.
“This is where we’d build it and hopefully they would come,” Michelle says.
Today, the bustling shop provides organic, non-GMO products, along with a fresh deli and juice bar, complete with indoor seating.
Priorities were simple:
- Never sell a product they wouldn’t use themselves.
- Never sell anything containing any genetically modified ingredients.
- Only sell eco-friendly and cruelty-free household, bath and beauty products.
- Bring in locally made items and locally grown food.
- Provide wall space for local artists to display and sell their artwork. Make organic food available for everyone by ensuring we accept SNAP/EBT cards.
- Provide real food, not fast food.
“There aren’t many places you can find healthy, take out-style food when you’re on the go. We wanted to be that place for both locals and our visitors,” Michelle says.
In the deli and juice bar, find sandwiches, paninis, wraps, salads, soup, smoothies, juices and several specialty hot drinks, including delicious organic coffee! And in the market, aisles are full of grocery staples like organic milk, eggs, bread, fresh produce, raw honey, vitamins, locally made soaps and so much more.
“Some come to us for their groceries, some for lunch, and some do both! Getting to know our amazing customers is an extra perk and makes a real difference for a small business like us.
Building the vision
“We have big goals for Organics 101. We’re incredibly grateful to be able to share food knowledge and make real differences in people’s lives,” Michelle says. “This was our calling.”