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
Ride for Heroes a success
Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.
Callaway gets A+
Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Man dies in Farmer Road crash
A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.
Fire victims' fund established
Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.
Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project
The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.
Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11
Theft of property
A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment
• 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
• Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
• Tickets cost $100.
• Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
• Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.
• For more information, go to aledoef.org.
EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation
For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.
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