Brian and Marcia, managers of Black Mountain Natural Foods, have sought out natural alternatives to almost all products found in more traditional grocery stores at their central Black Mountain storefront. They specialize in vitamins, supplements, health, and beauty products; stock local and organic produce, meats, and foods; and maintain an extensive special dietary selection including gluten free breads and baked goods. They also stock a more natural, renewable fuel than the traditional grocery store might: the B99 biodiesel pump out back has been the place to buy local, renewable fuel in Black Mountain and communities east of Asheville since 2007.

Natural foods and renewable fuel are a perfect fit. “A natural foods store entails the same clientele that might be using biodiesel,” explains Brian. “Those people come in and get things here.” In addition to grocery items, Brian and Marcia always stock healthy prepared food and cold drinks. Biodiesel customers can fill-up their vehicle, enjoy a lunch outside, and pick up some groceries all on the same trip.

The biodiesel pump is an important part of commercial sustainability efforts in communities east of Asheville. The owner of the store initially began carrying biodiesel to reduce its carbon footprint. “Anything we could do to help save the Earth,” says Marcia. They also host a Cooking Oil Recycling (COR) Program collection bin and using Bioheat in the store’s oil furnace. Brian and Marcia have found that local businesses and city fleets rely on their pump for access to a fuel that can help them meet their commitments to sustainability. From landscaping and construction companies to acupuncturists, small fleets throughout the area are running clean on biodiesel from Black Mountain Natural Foods.

At Black Mountain Natural Foods, you can participate in almost every stage of the local fuel economy. Use natural cooking oil and organic ingredients to create healthy, nutritious meals. Save the used cooking oil and bring it back to the store to put it in the COR bin so that Blue Ridge Biofuels can turn it into biodiesel. Then fuel up your diesel vehicle with local fuel at the B99 pump.

Look for our ad featuring Black Mountain Natural Foods in the Mountain Xpress and Black Mountain News in June and July.

By Dan Pungello, UNCA student and BRB Summer Intern.