The Berks-Mont News (

Blue Mountain Academy opens student-run store

About 500-700 attend school’s Health Food Store Grand Opening

By Lisa Mitchell, The Kutztown Area Patriot

Friday, February 24, 2017

Between 500 and 700 people attended the Blue Mountain Academy’s Grand Opening of its Health Food Store in Hamburg on Feb. 19.

“Blue Mountain Academy is excited to offer this store to the community,” said Stephen Reese, VP of Finance & Business Development and Director of Blue Mountain Sign and Apparel at Blue Mountain Academy. “We hope that the store will educate our young people in multiple facets of life. One of the big areas of education is healthy eating and living.”

The Blue Mountain Academy staff- and student-run store came to be after the company that ran the store previously moved back to New England in November, said Reese.

“The Blue Mountain Academy board voted to have the school start up the food store through the vocation program here at the academy,” said Reese. “There are several purposes for the store. Supplying health food to the community and training young people in retail and wholesale store operations, stocking and cashiering, marketing, branding.”

Reese said there will be vocation training for academy students in all areas of store operations including, but not limited to, branding design, marketing, sales, customer service, stocking, inventory controls and more.

“The nonprofit is there specifically for training and fulfilling the needs of the community,” he said.

Sold there are bulk foods, some of which are grown on the Blue Mountain Academy farm; as well as dried fruits, nuts, juices, frozen vegetarian foods, canned foods, essential oils, organic candles, local teas, honey, and maple syrup, to name a few items.

“The store is open to the public and to wholesalers and distributors. Everyone is welcome,” said Reese.

Reese said Blue Mountain Academy hopes the store supports the local community by supplying many local ingredients and foods, and also helps the community learn to eat healthier foods.

“The store also includes Christian books and literature as well for the community. The store will be setting up vegetarian cooking classes and health screenings,” he added.

The store is located right on the Blue Mountain Academy campus at 2363 Mountain Road in Hamburg.

Reese said hours are a bit fluid currently but are set up to be Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.