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New owner takes over Down Home Foods

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Barb Uselman holds a meat and cheese tray at Down Home Foods.

A longtime customer of Down Home Foods is now its new owner.

Barb Uselman, along with her husband Todd, has taken over the ownership of the natural and organic foods store which is marked by the "Cheese Shoppe" sign and shares a building with the DMV.

"My tagline for the business is 'Naturally Good For You,'" Uselman said.

The previous owner, Mary Zeise, has moved to Idaho after having run the store for 31 years.

Uselman is expanding the store's gluten-free line and doing some redecorating. She is open to suggestions.

"We'll keep the supplements we have. I know a couple people were worried that we'd be switching, but I'll keep the NOW brand here, and we have a few other brands too," she said.

Uselman said that the store's cheese section, which carries both processed and natural varieties of cheese, gets a lot of compliments.

"Colby's a big seller," she said.

Even though the outside lettering says "Cheese Shoppe," it is not the only focus of Down Home Foods.

"That just was never changed," Uselman said. "It was out on the highway before. Then they moved it here, and then she bought this, and combined that with the health food store."

Other items carried by the store include bulk spices, bulk grains and other items which are different from traditional grocery stores. There are senior discounts on supplements starting at 62 and increasing with age.

The store carries ready-to-eat sandwiches made from the deli, a large tea section, frozen items, vegetarian food, Gardens Gourmet produce, gluten-free items, natural personal and cleaning products, nuts, cooking oils, essential oils, free range eggs, homeopathic medicine and specialty items for people with allergies.

Eggs and honey are labeled with the local farms where they originate.

Uselman has had other experience in local business.

"I help my husband with his business, Building Maintenance Systems," Uselman said.

Down Home Foods can be contacted at (218) 631-2323.