Mountain Valley Health Foods opens Wellness Center

(front row, L-R) Staff members Emily Chambers and Teena Glass (employee MVHF),  (second row) Dee Graham, Neuro-Muscular Therapist and Sandy Ochsner, co-owner Mtn. Valley Health Foods; (back row) Bill Abraham, co-owner Mtn. Valley Health Foods,  and Dr. Eric Shapiro, Chiropractor. 

Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer

Staff member Beatrice Bruckner-Sheppard (L) and Dr. Tracey Dogan (Naturopath/Acupuncture).

 Bill Abraham and Sandy Ochsner got their start in the health food industry at the Health Food Center in Winter Haven, Fla.  They have both studied nutrition extensively for more than 30 years.  After working at the Health Food Center for many years, they both realized they longed to be in the mountains.  They moved to Franklin in 1996 and started Mountain Valley Health Foods in a little old house on a hill, on Church Street.  They remained in this location for over a year, then relocated to a larger building on Highlands Road where they remained for 24 years.  They were joined by employee Teena Glass in 2014, who remains employed by them to this day and who has been a very positive asset to their business.

During the years of owning their store, Bill and Sandy aspired to offer more to their customers in the way of healthcare, but knew their Highlands Road location wasn’t conducive to achieving that goal.  Their search for the right location ended when they found the two story red brick house on 150 Georgia Road and moved into it last March to start the first Wellness Center in Franklin.

Joining them in this endeavor is Dr. Tracey Dogan, Naturopath/Acupuncturist.  Dr. Dogan is board certified and licensed in both Naturopathic Medicine & Acupuncture from Natural University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), a top ranking college for Alternative Medicine in the U.S. Dr. Dogan went to college full time for 10 years to achieve her medical degrees.  She has been practicing in Franklin, for 15 years.  Some of Dr. Dogan’s credentials include Electro-Acupuncture, Magnet Therapy, Hormone Therapy, Cupping, Chinese and Western Herbals, Iridology and Homeopathy.  Dr. Dogan states, 

“I like sharing new ideas or new healing modalities with like-minded professionals.  It’s good for us and good for the patients.”

You can reach Dr. Dogan at (828)332-0259 or at

Also joining them is, Chiropractor Dr. Eric Shapiro.  Dr. Shapiro received a Doctor of Chiropractic in 1997.  He started his first practice in Hickory, N.C., and eventually began a mobile clinic in Franklin in 2020.  Throughout the span of his 24-year career, he has treated thousands of patients with a variety of conditions, however, he is known to be an especially successful practitioner when it comes to treating chronic headaches.  Dr. Shapiro is also a certified personal trainer and often utilizes exercises as an adjunct to his chiropractic care. 

“I am so happy to be in Franklin and at Mountain Valley Health Foods,” shared Dr. Shapiro. “The warmth and acceptance of everybody has been absolutely amazing. I look forward to serving the chiropractic needs of Franklin for years to come.”

Dr. Shapiro  is at this location on Tuesdays and Thursdays and accepts walk-ins.  While he doesn’t accept insurance, he does offer health care at  affordable rates. He can be contacted at (828)808-9487.

Neuromuscular (NMT) therapist Dee Graham has also joined Bill and Sandy at the Wellness Center.  Graham got her start in NMT after a major auto accident in 1997 led her on a path of natural healing.  She utilizes a combination of techniques that include Trager, Acupressure, Manual Compression, Friction, Myofacial Release and much more to address and treat areas of reduced mobility, flexibility, and associated hypersensitivity due to prior injury, and  typically associated with scar tissue and adhesions affecting surrounding connective and vascular and neurological areas.

“I feel as though I was sincerely guided to this position and feel extremely blessed to work with Sandy and Bill. They are so very dedicated to the health and welfare of the community. I’ve dedicated my own practice to the same principles for over 24 years and feel honored to network with a center and staff that truly care, and strive to provide the highest quality in alternative and holistic practices, remedies and nutrition to its customers. I truly look forward to many more years of assisting with the healing and wholeness of all who grace our doorways.”

Bill and Sandy have strived over the years to offer supplements, groceries, cosmetics, pet products and more at discounted prices.  They are very appreciative of the customers who continue to support local businesses and regularly take advantage of these discounts.  They both feel very fortunate to have been able to open this Wellness Center and are extremely grateful for the incredible feedback they are getting from customers who have been treated by Dr. Dogan, Dr. Shapiro and Dee Graham.

When asked if they were apprehensive about taking on such an endeavor, Bill looks at Sandy with a smile and says that he had cold feet at times but Sandy responds “Bill, I don’t understand it, but God has given me enough faith for the both of us that all will go well with this transition!”