Rhonda Koon is on a mission to make organic, healthy food affordable, and accessible to everyone. Opened in May of this year, and located in the Kinakeet Shops in Avon on Hatteras Island.
OBXorganix is not your average health food store, and Koon is not your average grocery store owner. In fact, I would call her a food activist, who in a world where more and more companies are only interested in the bottom line, has made it her choice to put the health of the people coming to her store first.
Koon is a certified natural health practitioner and digestive health specialist who has been in the industry for 25 years.
“Eating organic shouldn't have to mean that it's something so outrageously expensive that you have to give up something for your children in order to be able to eat a nice, organic home cooked meal,” Koon says.
She decided to open up a store with organic, non-GMO foods at conventional prices.
How does she do it?
Koon says she travels out of the area twice a month to get the quality foods she needs to stock her shelves.
With the World Health Organization announcing that pesticides like glyphosate cause cancer, the interest for organic foods is higher than ever, she says.
The main hang up people have is the high price, so Koon is trying to solve this problem by coming up with creative ways to keep costs down in her store.
Most of the products are from co-ops, “mom and pop” shops, and small natural companies. All of the products' ingredients are traceable, and a lot of them are even up online where you can see the test results of the products. She is so dedicated to this that she spends most of her free time researching companies in the food industry and learning which ones she can trust.
She set up a bulk station with organic grains, spices, cereals, beans, flours, nuts, etc., where people who might not be able to afford a huge bag of something can take as little as they need.
She also has sample packs of different natural supplements like you would typically see for aspirin and Tylenol. At her shop you can buy these sample packets with CBD for pain or sleep, Arnica for muscle pain, or a packet Oil of Oregano capsules if you are coming down with a cold. This is convenient for travelers who just need enough for a few days, or for people who can't afford a whole bottle of CBD at once, she says.
She makes her own natural household cleaning products and toiletries — such as deodorant, toothpaste, air freshener, hand soap, laundry soap, and sunscreen, among other things — all made with one to four ingredients.
"I call it safe haven shopping, where you can trust what you're buying, and trust what you're eating. Last year, I had a family come in here, two children, each of them had a basket in their hand, and the mother just looked at the child and said, 'Buy whatever you want.' You don't have to read the ingredients, and you don't have to do the research. All the work has been done."
Koon says she puts all the effort into what she does because "I just love to see people healthy. When you see them run through the door full of life, full of energy, it’s the best feeling in the world,” she says. "It's more for my piece of mind. I know that I'm selling good products at a good price that are healthy and toxin free, and I don't have to worry about it, so that I can sleep at night."