I agree, not a co-op
Posted on 07 / 12 / 2012
I agree with another member's review that this is far from being an actual co-op. It's much, much more of a trendy "oh, look at us, we're so environmentally conscious" place to shop for the upper middle class to upper class -- and the prices reflect that.
If I summed up the place in one word: Uppity. (But then, I kind of get that vibe from downtown Boise in general.) C'mon folks, you're just Boise, Idaho; how 'bout bringing down the haughtiness a bit? (I'm an Idaho native, so I'm not just 'picking on' a store that doesn't live up to the standards I've seen in other states. Plus, I've lived in FRANCE and the stereotypical rudeness found in and around Paris isn't even as 'snooty' as the Co-op. Yes, that's saying something.)
It's a decent-size store, so chances are they'll have something you're looking for (but don't hold your breath for true vegan at the deli). They also moved their huge wine section across the parking lot to open up a bit more space for actual groceries. The bits of 'raw' products that are sprinkled around the store seem to get a teensy bit bigger every so often, though the prices are only 'cheaper' because to otherwise get some of the products I'd be shopping online and paying shipping.
I have also been let down a few times by items I'd think I could surely find there and haven't been able to (i.e., ceylon cinnamon). They even started producing their own coupon books, but two items in particular I was looking for which had coupons weren't even carried in the store!!
One pro I can mention is the produce section is large and the items are usually of pretty good quality--some of it local--and you can find more out-of-the-ordinary items that aren't carried at the bigger chain stores. (**A newer grocery store has opened by the mall that carries many of the same items as the co-op with more affordable prices, though the produce section is a bit smaller.**)
Also, for folks sensitive to smell... the store does have it's own unique smell. It's not a bad smell, per se--just different. (Akin to a first trip into a crystal/incense shop as a teenager...?) Needless to say, my 8-year-old niece refers to it as "the stinky store." I've only taken her once and she still asks when we're running errands and are headed to a store if it's "the stinky one."
Large produce selection
High prices, Very uppity, Membership fee to not pay add'l 10%