ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends

COOP Food Store. Making it easier to eat locally


A label for locally grown Courtland Apples at the COOP Food Store.

Sam and I are falling for the COOP Food Store in Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction. They have a good collection of standard groceries found around the middle of the grocery store, plus basic self-care products, soaps and cleaners, etc… They also have a wide range of prepared foods to go and a nice patio to eat lunch. We have been over there most every day since we got into Hanover.

We can get brats here. We will not starve.

Having a good coop makes eating locally easier. Kudos to the COOP food store for labeling the origin on almost all of the produce and featuring local farms. I haven’t bought meat from them yet, so I don’t know how well the meats are labeled. They stock lots of local dairy too – this is VERMONT, mind you… I expect that this is the peak of the local produce season, but I was surprised at how little local fruit they have for sale. I’ll have to compare the COOP’s inventory with that of local farmer’s markets and food stands before I pass judgement.

We will certainly become members at the COOP and I’ll be able to tell you more about the advantages of membership once we join.

Of course, I’m comparing this COOP to the Willy St. Coop in Madison. Sam and I had been members for two years, ever since the new Willy West store opened. We got to know the staff and the weird quirks of their product selection. (Note: NEVER buy graham crackers at the Willy St. Coop. Every single variant is disgusting. And, avoid homemade pork sausage. It’s not fatty enough.) Navigating a new grocery is never fun, especially when I want to do a Tactical Strike. I’m left fumbling around the wine and cheeses looking for olives and pickles.  Willy St COOP has a great selection of local produce. I think they’re either better able to source, or, since Willy St is smaller than the COOP, then maybe they can buy smaller volumes from smaller farms.

Whatever will I do if I can’t find local pears to can?


5 thoughts on “COOP Food Store. Making it easier to eat locally

  1. I’d imagine the lack of fruit has to do with the early blooming of fruit trees this year coupled with a few, devastating late frosts. So many farms near us are suffering from low crops this year!

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