September 28, 2016
Raspberry’s Natural Food Store in Charleston, SC
has a spot in my heart. Tiny, but it does exist with the amalgamation of many places carrying warmth from my heart to my mind. About two miles off the peninsula taking the bend on 61 to the left, Ashley River Road in West Ashley, you were there.
Raspberry’s was an unassuming building, a former home I believe and it looked. As one would expect it did have notices covering the outside and inside of the door and the walls in close proximity, many overlapping another and corners rough with age. Homes for rent, bicycles for sale, and seems to me sometimes classes on yoga were advertised. A small counter at the rear of the store held the cash register, business cards and from it more notices hung.
After entering and on my right, organic produce sat in a lonely used grocery store stand, white with several shelves. Not much was available, but in the eighties this wasn’t surprising. As well, on the opposite side of this one large room, books on herbs, paperbacks warning of the health risks of consuming white flour, those advising organic pest control were for sale. My memory is far from stellar, a fact that saddens me as I used to own a good sense of it, but there were multitudes of books condoning a chemical free, natural lifestyle.
A trip to Raspberry’s was a special trip for me. I had thrown myself full force into the raising of my little ones and to feed them in this manner seemed the only way to see them grow. Again, not much was available, and it was more expensive. My trips there were few and far between as we were a young family living on a very tight budget. I longed to go weekly, and more.
The staff at Raspberry’s was quite pleasant, not intrusive; yet they were able to answer a myriad of questions. I had many and often was too embarrassed to ask them. By doing so I would reveal my lack of knowledge about tinctures to help with minor aches and pains, teas and the like, herbal remedies, and substitutes for poisonous (to humans and needed creatures) pest control.
It is spectacular to see how things have altered. My 25 year old self never expected to see the availability of organic food stuffs we enjoy now 30 years later. Full markets built around organic healthy foods were not something I thought I would ever know. Grateful I am for the changes, but I do miss climbing the front steps to the door of the first natural/organic food store I tried to frequent. I do wish I could find a photograph of its front door facing Hwy. 61 in Charleston. Does anyone have a photo?