Marisa and Chad North both know the struggles of controlling gluten intolerance. Marisa began showing the symptoms of the condition at 18 months of age. Her mother, also diagnosed as gluten intolerant, knew how to modify her diet, but it often left Marisa feeling alienated from her friends. Chad wasn't aware of his gluten intolerance until he was 14, when a collapse from exhaustion turned out to validate the diagnosis that eight doctors had once ignored. Their shared histories and efforts in healthy eating inspired the two to create Sans GlutenFree Grocery, a store that that stocks only gluten-free edibles that are tasty, nutritious, and safe, removing would-be imposters with a series of trapdoors.
Every October, three acres of the McClellands’ cow-haunted pastures pop to life with plump pumpkins in orange, white, and green. Along with the briskly changing foliage, this autumnal bounty heralds a transformation at the dairy. The farm begins to host tours every weekend, granting guests a chance to pet the nursery’s stumbling calves and milk a cow by hand. The family also sets up a winding Hay Maze to confound any bull-man hybrids that wander by. Other activities at the pumpkin patch include a sand box full of the seeds that are used to grow cow feed, a haunted hay trail, and hay rides. After the flurry of fall activity, kids can clamber into a bouncy-house as their parents share some gossip and politely refuse a chew of cud with “the girls,” as Jana McClelland calls her bovine family members.
Stocked to bursting with handcrafted sandwiches, savory sides, and organic fair-trade coffee, this unassuming deli sates the appetites of on-the-go customers. A chalkboard menu presents the vegan breakfast sandwich with a colorful flourish of penmanship, along with the avocado hero, with the green fruit acting as "meat" amid ample veggies and cheese. Eco-friendly java from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company gives customers a welcome jolt to their morning in case they forget to kiss their toaster, and freshly squeezed juices and gluten-free pastries accommodate health-conscious breakfasts.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. Visitors can get prescriptions filled at a full-service pharmacy and browse shelves of homeopathic remedies, supplements, and over-the-counter health and beauty products. Much of the selection is curated with sustainability and organic ingredients in mind?hence cameos from brands such as Tom's of Maine, Dr. Hauschka, and Seventh Generation. The focus on sustainability extends into details, too. Customers get a credit when they bring their own bags instead of hauling away their purchases on a riding lawn mower.
Roy Strassman has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to helping people live fulfilling, pain-free lives. Although Roy can use a lighter massage technique to ease his clients' suffering, his chosen treatment modality is Hellerwork—a bodywork system that uses deep-tissue pressure to promote proper alignment among the muscles and joints. This pressure can do more than just relieve the tension caused by stress-laden muscles. It can also help increase flexibility, improve posture, and reenergize clients while contributing to a balanced sense of holistic well-being for the mind as well as the body.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.