BY JUDY SHERIDAN
Justin Winton, owner and general manager of Bulk & Bunches on North FM Road 1187 in Aledo, said area residents — especially moms — have shown a lot of interest in his new natural foods store.
The small store, which had a grand opening a month ago, handles organic and natural groceries exclusively, shunning products with preservatives and artificial ingredients, Winton said.
Grass-fed Angus beef, raised without antibiotics or hormones by Aledo veterinarian Glenn Rogers, is a featured item.
More than 400 would-be customers have browsed the shelves of Bulk & Bunches since the specialty store’s soft opening two months ago, he said, many suggesting he stock their favorite hard-to-find items.
“The business has been well received,” he said, pulling out a clipboard lined with requests. “People tell me they’re glad I’m here.”
A 2001 Aledo High School graduate with a BBA and MBA from University of Texas — Årlington, Winton is living his dream of being an entrepreneur.
In business school he found he liked the environment of Whole Foods and gradually meshed his interest in business with an interest in organic foods.
His mindset was healthy to start with, Winton admitted, but the clincher was savoring a turkey sandwich and a bowl of soup served at an organic café in Denton.
“I felt like I could taste and trust the food I was eating,” he said. “It was full of flavor, and I could read and understand the ingredients.”
A convert to the organic lifestyle, Winton now believes he is reaping an abundance of energy — enough to more than shoulder his 80-hour work week.
“I like being healthy,” he said, “and I have a genuine interest in helping people get healthier.”
Bulk & Bunches, which should soon boast more visible signage near the Aledo Medicine Store, offers an assortment of food products: fresh, canned, boxed and frozen.
Heartland Grandma’s Perfect White Bread, priced at $4.99, is shelved alongside more than 40 different gluten-free foods — including 12-ounce packages of elbow pasta for $2.59.
A 10-ounce jar of Tree of Life strawberry jam costs $4.79; a five-ounce package of fresh spinach, $3.99; and a bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn, $3.49.
The locally grown Grassy Ridge Natural ground beef goes for $6 per pound.
“We are trying to offer things at a value price,” Winton said. “We can do it with our low overhead.”
Consumers can find the same brands at Bulk & Bunches that they do at Sprouts Farmers Market in Fort Worth, Winton said, but much closer to home.
“The Paleo Diet [a high protein, high-fruit and veggie diet] is very popular in Aledo,” he said. “Paleo bread and Larabars [a blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices] are very requested.”
October is non-GMO month at the store, he said, with products labeled non-GMO to raise awareness of the presence of genetically modified ingredients — which some regard as dangerous — in common food products.
“A lot of people want GMO labeling,” he said. “The anti-GMO movement is big in Aledo.”
New things are on the horizon, Winton said, some in conjunction with other local businesses.
In the next few weeks, Bulk & Bunches plans to partner with Jazbac Farm in Weatherford as a drop-off point for co-op boxes of fresh produce.
Winton also hopes to repeat a recent cooking class held in his store, where local chef Christi Flaherty, working with store products, created a delicious Southwest vegetable beef soup for others to sample.
He is also working on improving the customer experience.
“We’ll be offering more variety and more of the products they like,” he said. “I’m encouraging folks to come back in a second time.”
The name Bulk & Bunches is one the ambitious Winton plans to grow into.
“We’re working into that,” he said. “Over time we will have dried fruits and nuts, trail mixes in bulk. The bunches stems from having a variety of produce and fruit, like Central Market.”
BY JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
Teens arrested for throwing rocks on interstate
Two 14-year-old boys are facing charges after reportedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Interstate 20 Tuesday afternoon, damaging trucks and injuring a woman.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges