I’ve often sung the mixed praises of the Utah Community Food Co-op, a monthly food ordering program providing fresh produce and meat, bread and grains for a very reasonable price. We love the produce, eh on the meat, but we’re sort of eh on all meat. It has two employees, I think, but is mostly run by volunteers. It’s gotten even better with online ordering, which is available for the January pick up until Jan 15th, pick up on Jan 30th.
But there’s a NEW GAME in town. And I like it. A few weeks ago, Matt decided he’d like to find a place where he could buy nearly expired food, because it’s usually not any worse for the wear, and should be cheaper. Well, Erika saved the day when she told me about a Grocery Co-op here in Salt Lake City. Really? Are you kidding? How did I miss this? Apparently it’s been operating since February of this year and I’ve been too absorbed in my own world. And it’s a non-profit, donating food to other charities. Hello, awesome?
We went. We spent, and I became a member. Three times. It’s not a comprehensive store, so you can’t make a list and go buy everything you need, and it’s only open three days a week for 2-4 hours at a time, but the schedule is fine by me. Dairy and fresh food are delivered on Fridays, and dry goods on Thursdays and Saturdays. For your sake, go on the dairy days. I brought my husband this week because he needed to pick up some parts for the basement in the same area and wanted to check out this thing he thought he’d only dreamed of.
Here’s the loot:
2 whole grain pizza flatbreads (there were also frozen dough balls if you prefer that, and we had one last night for dinner so it’s not shown, and it was delicious)
2 bottles strawberry Lifeway Kefir
1 box Health Valley Organic Amaranth Flakes
1 bag Kettle Chips
1 box Peach Apricot Honeybush tea (for Matt)
1 package wonton wrappers (for butternut squash ravioli next week … yum)
1 wedge of Wensleydale Cheese with cranberries
1 tub kalamata olives
1 cake Queso Cotija (yummy mexican cheese)
1 package Boursin
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
1 package Cabot Pepper Jack (Matt’s family farm is part of the dairy co-op that feeds into Cabot)
1 wedge Cheddar with English Ale
1 package smoked Gouda slices
1 package frozen snap peas
2 packages Sunspire white chocolate chips – they are actually white chocolate, not that white confectioner thing)
1 container Greek honey yogurt (best dessert on the planet)
Did I miss anything? Did I mention that all of that cost $20? It did. Most stuff (and all cheese) costs $1. And I can’t imagine the amazing macaroni and cheese I’ll be making this week. Availability every week is different, but this was this week’s take.
If you get a membership, it comes with 10 cases, yes cases, of food. You don’t exactly get to choose the first 8 cases, but in our basket of stuff we got a case (6 bags) of Bare Naked Granola in Mango Almond Agave flavor (which we love) and a case of grated romano (8 containers fresh, and now in the freezer) and I was able to donate a bunch of other stuff to the food bank. The two cases we did keep are worth the membership fees, if you ask me, and we picked up a case of Cafix for one of our other two remaining cases. There are also member deals, like 10 packages of granola for $10. You can get multiple memberships, and each one comes with 10 cases, and you can sort of pick them up at your leisure.
It’s essentially in a little warehouse with a walk-in fridge and side wall freezer, and it’s sort of weird, but okay weird. I’d love to see bulk grains and beans, but it’s still growing. We’ll keep an eye out.
Check out the website for more information. Join me, and bring cash and your bags, although she seems to always have boxes if you forget your bags.