The New Orleans Food Co-op, located inside the Healing Center at 2372 St. Claude Avenue in the Marigny, opened to the public yesterday. From 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week, the Co-Op will offer an alternative to chain supermarkets, showcasing fresh, healthy food. More than 1770 member-owners control the Co-op, but the store is open to both members and non-members. An official grand opening celebration takes place on November 12.
A trip to the Co-op on opening day found the store to be bright and spacious, with a nice selection of organic produce, bulk items, dairy, packaged goods, frozen foods, and even a few bakery items. I bought pea shoots, sprouts, and radicchio. I even briefly considered joining the cooperative, but then I realized that the neighborhood is most inconvenient to my usual traffic patterns. I’m not knocking the location, mind you: right in the heart of the city least served by traditional grocery stores. So if you’re a frequenter of downtown/the Marigny/Bywater/the 9th Ward, definitely check out the Co-op.
I am a reader of your blog (a lurker) but normally not a commenter. I so disagree with you about the so called co-op. I was excited about it. Someone was bringing fresh food to the food dessert. I normally shop between Dorignacs and Whole Food. I was appalled by the prices. I could do much better at WF. There was a decent amount of customers in the store, but nobody was buying anything much. What’s the point? it’s priced out of sight. What a disappointment.
I don’t think that low prices are the point at the co-op….it is about locally owned & managed, self-directed operation. Anyone can buy into the co-op as an owner/member and can thus influence the products on offer, etc. I was a bit disappointed by the bulk section: I expected more, but I’m hoping it will expand as the store grows.