During our trip to New York, one of the places that made quite an impression on me was the GreenStar Co-op. Scott had mentioned it to me several months ago, so I wanted to check it out when we made our trip to Ithaca. It was hard to miss: visible right off of Buffalo Street at the beginning of town was the large grocery-store-like co-op.
I’ve never been to a co-op before, but I understood the general idea: individuals selling their food and products under one roof in a familiar atmosphere with a common cause in mind. I got what I expected: lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, a nice bulk herb section, and lots of other typical health-food store offerings (but often with non-typical brands). And the prices were so nice in some cases, that I stocked up on some normal things (like Kiss My Face soap), since they were cheaper than at the grocery store back home.
Among the things I was particularly excited about: some really good Celtic sea salt, organic nettle in non-gelatin capsules (alas, my search for veggie caplet fennel continues…), some quinoa pasta, some snacks, and a bunch of fresh fruit that we snacked on during our trip. I would love to have a large co-op like that nearby, though the health food stores around me do have a pretty good selection themselves.
The co-op also provided a lot more interesting people-watching as the variety of customers was much greater than in a standard supermarket. Everybody there, from hippies to Rastas, looked vibrant, excited, and enthused, something you don’t find walking the aisles of Safeway.
Before I left, I dropped off a few Veg Blog stickers for the Ithaca masses.