Founded by Athen’s native, Barry Wolfe (St. Vitus) in 1970, so folks could finally have a place to buy brown rice, unsweetened peanut butter and other hard-to-find commodities and local and organic produce in bulk, The Farmacy began as a one room hippie shop, unlike any other in the region. A few years later, friends of Barry, Tom and Sue Zano, joined forces with Barry and then-wife, Donna, to expand the options and varieties of groceries on The Farmacy’s shelves. They operated out of a couple of temporary locations on W. Washington St. before finally settling in nicely at The Farmacy’s current cozy spot on Stimson Ave. in the early 80s, where they increased their inventory and opened a natural foods deli. Though Barry and Donna moved on to other ventures in the mid-eighties, the Zano’s continued pioneering the health food scene- not only in Athens, but throughout this region of Appalachia, to build the resilient foundation on which The Farmacy still grows, eventually selling the Farmacy to current owners, Kevin and Carrie Tidd in December 2011.
After becoming a radical vegetarian in 1980s Appalachia as a late-teen, desperate to correct health concerns caused by a traditional American diet, Kevin Tidd found himself on the path that would change his life forever at an unusually early age. Unable to find organic, whole grain, unprocessed foods in any of the grocery stores in his rural WV hometown, he ventured several miles to find a natural foods store where he would soon land a part-time-job-turned-full-time-managerial-position, and his passion for creating ultimate health through clean, conscientious, whole foods and supplementation was ignited. Though he managed this store graciously for nearly 25 years, his dream of creating his own wellness market began early on in his career, and grew with each passing year.
In the early 90s, Carrie (Brace) Tidd walked into the same little health food store in WV on her 20th birthday, hoping to find work in an atmosphere that supported a conscientious, healthy lifestyle through paying reverence to the body via unprocessed, whole foods, vegetarian-friendly options, and a positive global consciousness- a job that had purpose. This is, of course, where she and Kevin met, dated, broke up, worked together for many years, forged a life-long friendship, tried dating again, and decided to marry three months later in March 1997.
A couple of decades and four children later, Kevin and Carrie are now the proud proprietors of The Farmacy, finally bringing Kevin’s dreams into fruition. Determined to continue to build on the incredible foundation laid forth by their predecessors, Kevin and Carrie continually strive to create a fresh environment, current, alive and thriving, while maintaining the essence and unique vibe The Farmacy is known for; all the while, honoring the roots while continuing to grow new shoots.