I recently stopped by our somewhat-local co-op grocery store to fill up on a few of our staple food items–oatmeal, flour, eggs, spices, coffee, and tea. We buy these products and a handful of others at the co-op, which is in a nearby city, instead of our small town’s only two grocery options (Fallmart and Broger).
I warn you in advance that most of our reasons for doing so will only serve to reinforce whatever notion you had of my food-nerdiness-qua-obsession.
Here are the first few that come to mind:
(a) At the co-op, some of the items, like the flour, come from a local food mill. Yes, we actually know where the darn stuff is being ground up.
(b) Some items we can get in bulk, like oatmeal and spices, and they are way cheaper than big box groceries. When you’re a nerd who makes her own granola, cheap oats are important.
(c) Some items, like fair trade chocolate and coffee, are simply not purchasable at our Broger. For us, on these sorts of things, it’s either fair trade or go without. I’ll take the fair trade option, thank you.
(d) And, lastly, we try to support locally owned stores whenever possible or, at the very least, reasonable. I prefer the majority of each dollar I spend to go back into the local economy. (Broger and Fallmart are not locally owned, in case you hadn’t noticed.)
I like this place so much I am surprised I haven’t blogged about it before. It’s a community unto itself. Many of the people who shop there fit into a particular mold, and most the workers fit a particular mold, and the magazines sold on the racks fit a particular mold. But that’s okay with me.
Needless to say, my love of our co-op is not the point of the post I set out to write today. In fact, it was just background information to set the scene for the tale of community and conversation I was about to tell.
Well, consider the scene set.
Tomorrow you’ll get the actual story…