The last real co-op in the cities is closing. I haven’t been there since I was in college, and it had moved since then, but no matter. I have the fondest memories of wandering among its musty aisles, marveling at the bulk foods section. During my short stint as a vegetarian (bad, bad idea for someone who loves bacon as much as I do), I shopped there a lot and was even a member for a little while. I bought countless boxes of falafel mix and took home many little bags full of granola and lentils.
From what I have been told, it’s hard to sustain a true co-op — one where volunteers actually staff the store. But the dirty hippies behind the register who had to hunt and peck for every key were part of the charm of the place. And though I am far from the days when I could actually get everything I needed from a tiny hovel of a food store, I love the idea of a co-op. And, I might as well face it, thinking of the co-op reminds me of a time when my life was simple. A box of jasmine rice, a bag full of lentils and a handful of vegetables could feed me for a week.
Now I have to fill a cart at Rainbow to make it three days.