I picked up my first order from a new (to me) co-op today. I've long been a fan of this one but I was sorely lacking a source for bulk organic butter and cheeses. Enter Morningside...
Not only do they have dairy products but a much wider selection of products in general. Plus, their website is a bit easier to use and their ordering schedule is easier to understand.
We ordered...oats, baking powder, peanut butter, almond butter, Veganaise, black beans, my super-favorite olive oil, butter, chips (for our beloved Mexican nights), carob chips and cocoa powder as well as pepper jack, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
Many of the products we love can be hard to find so buying them in bulk makes my life a lot easier. I hate to admit it but when I find Publix is out of, say organic PB, I can very easily spend several full minutes standing around trying to determine which of the conventional alternatives is most desirable. Even then, I usually leave without buying any at all. Those are the moments when my food nerd-dom is a major hindrance...
While I don't feel that the buying power of the co-op makes these products 'cheap', it does bring the cost a bit more in line with regular grocery prices. The real savings for me is always having ingredients on hand as I live twenty minutes from the nearest grocery.
As I remember from shopping Sam's Club a decade ago, the apparent savings of buying in bulk don't always materialize. You just end up with more 'stuff'. With these food, though, I've been careful to track how long items last. For instance, in January, I bought a gallon bucket of very high-quality (re: expensive) coconut oil. I worried that I'd love it so much that I'd tear through it in six weeks and it would have to be deemed too pricey for my budget. I did, indeed, love it for baking and cooking (as well as a very soothing face moisturizer). However, even used as my primary oil, it will last well into July so the price breaks down to something we're comfortable with.
One thing I know already, though...I hope to learn quickly how long this cheese and butter last and order accordingly only once a quarter. My drive to pickup today was an hour each way. Let me just tell you right now, I am not doing that every month!
|If five pounds of baking powder doesn't|
prove my love of baking, nothing will.
Have you ever purchased from a food co-op? If so, what did or didn't you like about it?