Funnily enough, we went to the Third Street Cafe, which is owned by the Food Coop before we went to the Food Coop! There are plenty of reasons to love your local Coop. We love this one for its deep connections to the Skagit Valley–a rich agricultural area. We first popped in to grab ingredients for homemade macaroni and cheese. I’d been craving good mac n’ cheese and came to the conclusion that I make a better mac n’ cheese than I was eating at restaurants. It was time to take things into my own hands. There is something indulgent about using really high quality cheese for mac n’ cheese. It was a perfect dish–I chose a Gruyere and cheddar mix and it was perfect.
I digress. This is meant to be about the Coop.
The argument that I so often hear that is anti-coop is around the cost. I get that. For sure. Step one for fighting the cost is to become a member/owner. You will instantly see the cost of your food go down. I was once a member of a dying-breed of coops….ones that allow you to work at the store for even deeper discounts (Mine was the Mariposa in Philadelphia!! Shout out!). If you have more time than money, that could be an option for you. And, as much as we love the Coop philosophy, we typically will buy fresh fruits and veg and milk and eggs at a Coop. The difference in quality is usually worth it to me–especially if I am cooking to impress! Likewise, when I very rarely eat meat, I like to know that it isn’t coming from a huge slaughterhouse because I love PEOPLE too much (it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US, often filled by undocumented folks who go on to suffer long lasting effects of that work–including antibiotic resistance!). There is also the strong environmental argument for eating local and probably in the near future Coops will be how we all shop. Plus, fair wages.
I digress. This is meant to be about THIS Coop.
In anycase, this Coop is amazing. One of the best. It is huge and chock-o-block with everything you could possibly want or need. Including specialty cheese for ventures into mac n’ cheese making. This Coop is so great that I had a friend in SEATTLE who would make a point of stopping in whenever she passed through Mt. Vernon.
So, this Coop or any Coop, stop in. Check it out and know that you can do a little bit of good just by filling up your produce basket.