good but clearly not run by vegetarians/vegans
Posted on 08 / 16 / 2009
Good independent food source for any unusual, ethnic, vegan/vegetarian, some raw, some macrobiotic, diet, and other foods.
They DO have some things my local grocery store can't get. They will happily order anything you don't see on a shelf. Staff is always helpful and easy to find.
Drawbacks is that although they're running as a not-for-profit venture, their prices are always higher, even on more common items. I like the idea of patronizing an independent food store, but it's hard when sometimes the price difference is 20% or more.
I've also been frustrated at selection. They have room for tons of organic meats (which can be bought anywhere) but their refrigerator case of tofu/setian/mockmeat is smaller than my local grocery store's. Most of their meat-replacement items are common (mainstream, corporate) things I can buy in any grocery store. Staff tries to be helpful but they usually don't seem to 'get' us vegetarians. Too many meat and dairy products on the shelves. And we're back to the problem I have in any grocery store: I've got to carefully read the ingredients labels on most items because so few are labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan". I'd love it if someone put stickers on veg-friendly products to encourage us to buy more.
I also wish their produce section was a little more affordable and varied. It's summer right now and I can buy organic, local produce from farm stands for sometimes half of what they're asking.
Their bulk food and bulk spices sections are very nice, with items I can never find anywhere else.
Check their calender. They do try to bring in guest speakers.
Tip: do bring along bags or check up front for donated bags, since they don't provide their own.
You do not need to be a member, but members do get a small discount.
independent, sometimes can find less-common items, friendly staff
non run by vegns, not enough vegn products, sell lots of meat & cheese