One of the best things about Brattleboro, Vermont is the Brattleboro Food Coop. Phil and I became members of the Coop as soon as we moved to the area and have enjoyed shopping there ever since. I have never been one to use the words enjoy and shopping in the same sentence, but I do when I’m talking about the Food Coop. Walking through the door there is like a walking into an oasis in a busy world.
When you enter the Food Coop, you are standing in the wine section, where interesting wines, as well as the old standbys can be found. Wines are moderately priced and there are many organic wines stocked. Richard, who manages the wine department is very knowledgeable, and is available to make suggestions and answer questions. The beer selection is excellent too, with many local or regional beers as well as beers from around the globe. Then on to the cheese section, which features local artisan cheeses as well as cheeses from around the world. The deli is next , with delicious vegan, or vegetarian, organic, with and without meat, prepared foods. There is a salad bar with a couple of homemade soups each day, as well as a juice bar and a section of prepackaged deli items that you can grab if you’re in a rush.
Fresh flowers are displayed in florists buckets, offering a bright corner at the edge of the produce section. The produce section features mostly organic produce, and as much local produce as the season allows. It’s fabulous. The bulk section is towards the back of the store, where you can purchase beans, nuts, oils, coffee and tea, honey etc. in large and small quantities in bulk, with your own containers or containers provided by the store.
Then there are several aisles of groceries, which include fresh breads from local bakeries, organic cereals, soups, pastas, rices, corn and potato chips of all kinds, and baking supplies. This is where I find unusual ethnic and gourmet food items, things that people who live in a city take for granted. The dairy case is at the back, with local organic milk, yogurts, and lots of lactose free products. The freezer aisle features lots of frozen organic prepared food as well as a great selection of frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sorbets. The meat department has everything a carnivore could want, and all of it is organic, hormone and antibiotic free, free range or locally raised. Seafood is delivered twice a week and is available fresh or frozen. There is small area with things for the kitchen such as dishes, glasses and candles, and a large section for vitamins and food supplements as well as health and beauty products.
The people who work at the Food Coop are friendly and helpful, open to feedback and suggestions. The Coop is a community unto itself, welcoming , warm and inclusive. What a great place to shop!