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Reviews (6)

First Review by ruthfw

My favorite neighborhood grocery store - Edit

I am a frequent shopper to this not-for-profit establishment. I particularly like the bulk sections, where I can find organic grains, nuts, herbs, sweets, and various other products (like nutritional yeast). They also support local farmers, suppliers, and artisans.

I have been shopping at the coop for 8 years and the staff has always been super friendly and willing to help. I feel bad that the other reviewer had such a negative experience.

The store is open to the public everyday and membership offers some good discounts. Also, watch for weekly and monthly sales.

Right now, they have Sunny Day Bakery offering vegan sandwiches and bakery goods.

Pros: Veggie-friendly, Friendly staff, Convenient shopping


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Prices, Customer Service, Parking, Hours - Edit

I have been to this store several times, and have never had a positive experience. I initially was very excited to visit this store, because it is a sponsor of the local NPR affiliate.

I had a few manufacturer's coupons in my hand as I entered. An employee (who did not greet me even though the store's retail space feels only slightly larger than a living room and she was standing at the register facing the door as I entered) started to follow me around as I shopped. She then very awkwardly approached me to inform me that I would not be able to use the coupons, even though they were manufacturer's coupons. She was not friendly at all -- no hello, or welcome to the store, etc. It was a very odd encounter.

I have returned several times, as they do carry a few things the traditional box stores in DeKalb do not carry, but always reluctantly based on my first experience. The selection is okay considering the very small space of the store, but it lacks in many areas. Another reviewer mentioned the availability of ready-to-go items. I've not seen this; if they are available, the selection of such items is extremely limited.

Also, prices ARE **NOT** reasonable at all! Not surprisingly, their prices are higher than Whole Foods, but they tend to be higher here than anywhere, including other coops I have visited. They are so high that I was surprised to see that Woodstock frozen fruit (pineapple) on sale here was still more expensive than the regular price at a coop I visited in Iowa a few weeks later. Prices on many items at Duck Soup can be downright painful in fact.

Parking is a mess! The curb is all messed up along the storefront, so you don't really know exactly where to turn in or turn out, and the lot isn't really marked, so it's a cluster as to where to park, and also very limited. In front, there is literally only room for a few cars. One time I pulled in, a car was cutting across the lot and almost hit me. (The adjacent lot just kind of blends into the store's lot...it's hard to describe but a total mess).

I've never felt welcome in the store. The employees just kind of stare at you and definitely do not have any innate sense of customer service.

Also, the store's hours on Sat. are limited (5:00 p.m.). I was there at 4:50, and there were more people in the store than I had ever seen before (no surprise; it's Sat.). They had to begrudgingly stay open past their closing time to accommodate everyone. Overall, not a good experience.

Cons: High Prices, Poor Customer Service, Limited Hours, Awful Parking


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Good Variety! - Edit

My wife and I first visited Duck Soup a few months ago and were pleasantly surprised. Though the store itself is smaller in stature, it carries a wide-variety of veg*n-friendly foods and products. The prices are no higher than those of other specialty grocery stores and the staff is always friendly. If you're in the NIU area I'd reccomend giving Duck Soup a try.

Pros: Friendly Staff, Wide-Variety, Convenient


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Excellent find - Edit

I buy a lot of bulk items, so this place makes me happy. :) A lot of the bulk bin prices are cheaper than Whole Foods, and they stock quite a few options from a local organic farm in Malta, which makes it even better. As the other review says, they pack a lot into a small space. If you're looking for good, healthy, organic grocery options, don't pass up Duck Soup.

Pros: local food, organic options, vegan options


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Nice little health food coop, with some extras - Edit

This is a small health food co-op, with some produce, bulk bins, bulk spices, a small frozen food section, refrigerated section, pantry goods, some personal care products, arts and crafts, whole-bean coffee, and vitamins. They also have a wide collection of recent back issues of Vegetarian Times, available for half off cover price, and fair trade chocolate bars/honey-based chocolates near the checkout counter.

They cram a fair amount into a little store.

While anyone is welcome to shop here, it's possible to become a member (working or non-working). Unfortunately you can't just hand over your money; you have to sit through a 90 minute lecture on Our History and Why Co-Ops are Good. These are scheduled 2 or 3 times a month and can be specially scheduled if you ask. A $25 nonworking membership means you get coupons once a month; you get 12 chits per year worth 5% off your order, and you can order items in bulk. (There's no catalog - basically you ask "can I order this?" and they say yes or no.) People who work a couple of hours a week at the store can get 10% off.

Some of the prices are excellent (notably in the bulk department) and they have some good sales. The whole bean fair trade coffee is is the cheapest I've found (bring a coffee bag; they charge 25 cents for one). Overall prices are higher than Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Of course, DeKalb doesn't have a WF or TJ's, though the local Schnuck's now carries some of the same items, such as the Amy's frozen dinners. If you're looking for hardcore health food such as Sucanat, though, the local Schnuck's can't compete. And I'd rather support Duck Soup.

Duck Soup carrys some items such as whole-wheat couscous that I simply haven't found anywhere else. I do suggest avoiding the refrigerated cheese; the rennet-free "gruyere" didn't taste anything like gruyere and when I tried a second cheese variety it was awful too.

They keep a store of plastic shopping bags, so don't fret if you forget to bring yours. Open 9-8 M-F and 9-5 weekends.

Pros: open late weeknights, half-off Veg Times, good sales and bulks


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