Wyandotte health food store has more than just vitamins

Retail therapy

Wyandotte health food store has more than just vitamins
Photo by Kelley O’neill
Total Health Foods
2948 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte 734-246-1208; thfdownriver.com Open: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

Nestled in downtown Wyandotte, a couple doors down from a cozy diner and right next door to a long-standing menswear boutique, sits a shop that isn't quite like the other stores that line Biddle Avenue.

Total Health Foods offers a host of vitamins, supplements, healthy groceries, fresh organic produce, coffee, prepared foods, and services like massage and acupuncture. It's owned and operated by twins Annette and Janette Crossman, and their partners Kathleen Gunther and Alice Huang, and they curate its shelves with tremendous care.

We called up to the store on a random Monday morning and Annette Crossman answered our questions in a rapid fire manner that would suggest she has endless energy, listing the many organic products the store carries. They stock everything from tea to vitamin D, from locally produced raw honey and syrup to 100 percent essential oils, from beeswax candles to Himalayan salt crystal lamps, from pure incense to bulk herbs, from protein powder to vegan-friendly ice cream.

The shop's been located in Wyandotte for the past six years, and it's seen some expansion since it moved there from Southgate. Recently the partners purchased an empty building next to their shop and opened an adjoining market where they sell organic salads prepared in-shop, organic, grass-fed, gluten-free deli meats, organic produce, and bulk coffee. In the coming months they'll be adding bulk nuts and chocolate and prepared sandwiches to their offerings.

"We've really become a one-stop shop," Crossman says. "People can come in for their supplements and also do their grocery shopping."

Crossman is a fount of information on the products she carries and works to share it with her customers. Ask her, her co-owners, and her employees about a particular problem and they'll surely come up with a natural way to treat it. As a family-owned business, she says it's important to keep that rapport with those who frequent the store. It's important to her to take time with her guests.

It's also important to help them heal naturally.

"We're nutritionists," she says. "We're healing with food and products that come from food. Doctors have forgotten how to do that."

Patrons can also get acupuncture, massage, colonics, and other holistic therapies right inside the shop. Co-owner Dr. Alice Huang performs these natural treatments in one of the 10 rooms found near the back of the storefront.

While the store has seen some great success in Wyandotte — Crossman notes they pull customers in from all over the Downriver area and even Dearborn — she says they were hesitant to move the shop there.

"We all live in Wyandotte and we love it here, but it's a real meat-and-potatoes kind of town," she says. "We're helping to educate the community."

That education includes being a welcoming storefront where questions are encouraged and are met with a thoughtful answer. Whether you're looking for a pinch of garlic for a certain recipe or the right type of fish oil to take while breastfeeding, you'll surely get what you need at Total Health Foods.

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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