After sadly neglecting this blog, I was inspired to add to it after seeing how many people are reading it. Or at least viewing the page. It is amazing. In looking over my previous posts, I realize I've neglected to devote the amount of space it deserves to the East End Food Co-op. http://www.eastendfoodcoop.com/. Now that the farmers markets are almost all shut down, this is where I do most of my shopping. And you should too. It is $100 to join. Then you get a discount on all of your groceries. One Sunday a month there is a 10% off discount. And if you volunteer to work you also get a 10% discount.
They stock many local products and are very aware of issues surrounding food and the politics therein. They are a clearinghouse of information and are very responsive to their members. For example, they may be starting a local foods challenge. If you are interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. They will soon be putting signs by their produce indicating state of origin as well. And, in their most recent newsletter, they carried an article by a local beef farmer. His cows are fed on grass and locally-produced grain. He is interested in selling shares from a group of local producers in Westmoreland County. If you are interested, e-mail email@example.com.
Some products I pick up at the Co-op are as follows: Kistaco Farms apple cider, Kistaco Farms apples (right now, golden delicious. which are.), Frankferd Farms soft winter wheat and local honey (there is a wide selection) in the bulk foods section, Mediterra bagels, Wood Street Bakery bread (I like the honey wheat), Frankferd Farms pancake mix, and cheese and butter (salted and unsalted) from Minerva Farms dairy in Ohio (within 100 miles) http://www.cheesehere.com/. They have every kind of cheese you can imagine (swiss, cheddar, monterey jack, mozzerella, goat cheddar, American and a parmesan approximation just to name a few). They are not gourmet cheeses by any stretch, but they are very tasty and not too expensive. The Co-op does carry some more gourmet style cheeses from local producers such as Stone Meadow. I also purchase eggs there (usually from Nu-Way farms -- free range) and they now carry Brunton Farm milk in glass bottles. They are having a supply and demand problem with this milk (in that their supply can't keep up with the demand). I also get Woo City ice cream (from Ohio also) and anything else I should happen to want or need. I trust that these people know where their food is coming from and that it is the best they can get.
They also carry local meat (including bison and elk) in their freezer along with a very limited assortment of fresh meat -- most of it local. Of course they have lots of organic stuff from all over the place, including the best looking produce in the city, supplements, cleaning products, etc. See you there!