Thursday, January 28, 2016

we have a what?!

Main Market Co-op in Downtown Spokane, WA
Okay, laugh at me if you must, but I had no idea Spokane had a co-op until recently! Silly me. Sure, I knew we had a downtown farmer's market in the summer and of course just up the road from Spokane is Green Bluff where I love to pick fresh, locally-grown produce all Summer and Fall. But a co-op in downtown Spokane? That I've driven past a ridiculous number of times without realizing it was even there? Even though it has this bright yellow mural painted on the side of the building?? Apparently I have tunnel vision. Sheesh!

Just a portion of the dry bulk goods available!
In my quest for  decreasing my food-related waste, I did a quick search online hoping to discover we had a local co-op where I might find more bulk options than are available in the big chain stores. Yep! Right there! lol After browsing their website, I got pretty excited over the variety of bulk items they stock and stopped in while out running errands to check them out in person. I was happily surprised at the variety of dry bulk goods, but especially excited about the wet items available in bulk. There's even tofu! The produce looked good too. =)

Bulk cleaners, oils and vinegars!
Last summer, I started buying local raw honey for my morning oatmeal and baking needs to avoid using cane sugar and now I can refill my own jars. =) I was buying organic peanut butter (with nothing added) from Trader Joe's but it comes packaged in plastic jars so that was out. Now I can buy not only organic peanut butter, but it's even from Washington grown peanuts (and freshly ground too)!

Freshly ground peanut butter, agave and local raw honey!
My last happy surprise? Bulk, locally brewed Kombucha! I'll be sure to bring a bottle or two to fill next time. That passion/orange/guava sounds yummy! =)

3 flavors of Kombucha!
Do you shop at a co-op? Have you ever? If not, have you checked to see if your town has one? The prices on some items are definitely a bit higher than the chain stores, but my co-op offers a discount on one shopping trip a month and with the discount, the cost is pretty close and in some cases, lower. =) Added bonus that my money is going to support local businesses. I could of course shop in the co-op without being a member, but between the monthly discount and the fact that my membership will also give me a discount at the local feed store where I buy my pet food more than makes up for the $10 yearly cost. They do stock plenty of pre-packaged items as well, but I'll be going for the bulk. I think it's safe to say, Joe has been replaced. ;-)

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