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communityspotlight ORGANIC

BASIC FOOD A Natural American Dream

by Gayle Wilson Rose F

amily-owned businesses are often born from a personal dream. The Organic Basic Food store in the heart of Hoboken is no different. In the 1980s, a young immigrant from South Korea left his family behind and stepped foot on American soil hoping one day his family would join him. For nearly 10 years, Hyung An worked as a produce truck driver in New Jersey, dreaming of the day he would own his own business —his own American dream. In 1993, this dream was finally realized when Hyung was rejoined by his family and they opened a 5,000— square-foot storefront in Hoboken— then called Natural Basic Food. As consumers became more knowledgeable of the importance and value of organic foods and produce, the An family redirected their focus and began to exclusively offer 100 percent organic products. In 2008, they changed the store name to better reflect that core focus: Organic Basic Food. Now, these proud business own- ers, Hyung An, his wife Kyung An, along with their son Eric An, are living the American dream.


For health and environmentally con- scious consumers, Organic Basic Food is a Hoboken oasis. Those who follow specialized diets such as gluten-free, vegan, or soy-based, are drawn here as well. With the store’s broad product selection and personalized service (think a smaller-scale version of a Whole Foods Market, but without pre-

9 Hudson County

prepped food items), they have many loyal customers that share their enthu- siasm for the market whenever they shop there.

The store’s bulk food area of 30 bins makes avoiding unneces- sary product packaging easy. Organic grains, flours, and dried fruits are of- fered here in abundance. The store’s organic tea selection rivals any dedi- cated tea seller with more than 300 varieties to choose from. The fresh pro- duce, bulk and packaged food prod- ucts are just one part of this store’s or- ganic offering. Organic home cleaning products, beauty supplies, and even pet foods please dedicated organic- oriented consumers.

When asked the familiar question about the importance and value of liv- ing an organic lifestyle, Eric explained it well, “Choosing organic products is much more than supporting just your own health; It also supports the health of our planet and allows us to live in harmony with nature.”

Eric recalls that when the organic movement first began gaining mo- mentum, the price difference between organic and non-organic products was quite significant. Now, with greater balance in supply and demand, the price differential has narrowed and is even non-existent with many catego- ries of products.

ORGANIC FOR LITTLE ONES A particularly popular attraction at Or- ganic Basic Food is the organic baby food lines. Though you may have to

push past a few strollers, moms and nannies to get to this aisle, you’ll be pleased by the variety once you ar- rive. In addition to traditional packag- ing, the store offers organic baby food lines packaged in convenient, portable pouches. Often hard-to-find organic vitamins and supplements for little ones are available here as well. The free fruit strip samples that Eric and other staff- ers often share with children make for abundant smiles.


The store staff’s wealth of knowledge is a notable differentiator that Eric speaks of with pride. A doctor of naturopathy and another staffer with a medical degree make navigating the supple- ment selection or tackling allergenic challenges easier for customers. The An family makes sure their employees stay informed and up-to-date about the health and wellness industry and its myriad of new product offerings. Just like the Dollar Store where pricing inquiries are unnecessary, at Or- ganic Basic Food in Hoboken, one can be confident that everything is organic, healthy and in-harmony with nature.

Location: 204 Washington Str., Hobo- ken. For more information, call 201- 610-1100 or visit OrganicBasicFood. com. See ad on page 21.

Gayle Wilson Rose is a freelance writer and marketing/brand consultant. She can be reached at See ad on page 21.

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