Before going (to cover) the profile (story), I had never visited the People’s Food
Co-op’s new location. I remember their downtown location, which was a small storefront
with only a few shelves. Their new store is, in a word, fantastic.
While the old location was kind of like a small health food/curiosity shop, the
new building is a full-blown grocery store. It has a full produce section and a
refrigerated meat and dairy sections. There’s roughly four times as much stock as
the old space, with more fresh options and bulk foods. I could actually buy almost
everything I need for groceries here, which wasn’t possible at the old store. It’s
also really aesthetically pleasing and open, with an eye for art and interior design.
One of the other nice things about the People’s Food Co-op is that the employees
are genuinely engaging and personable. The problem with larger organic grocers like
Whole Foods is that the staff tends to be pretentious and short with customers who
are new to buying organic food. I didn’t feel any of that at PFC. The staff was
charming and willing to teach people about products.
My only problem with the Co-op was that their stock was comparatively expensive.
I understand that a lot of it is because of the cost of the products themselves,
and that the Co-Op isn’t selling them at a large mark-up, but realistically I can’t
really afford to shop there on a regular basis. However, I think it’s a great organization
to support, and I plan on supplementing my regular grocery trips with items from
PFC. It really opened my eyes to both organic food and collectively owned co-op
businesses, and I’m glad I know.