Take Ownership Of Your Grocery Shopping
Sno Isle Co-op, Everett
My health issues over the last two years have meant having to be more aware of what I eat, making choices that are fresh, organic, and GMO free. Needless to say, that has meant a lot more eating in, and a lot more cooking. That wasn’t the only thing that had to change though. Finding things I could eat and cook with meant having to change where I shopped as well. Lucky me, I was already committed to saying goodbye to chain grocery stores.
My first step was getting set up with CSA Box delivery from Klesick’s Farm of Stanwood. Every week they bring me a box full of veggies and fruit, as well as eggs and milk. More was needed though, and many times I find myself needing or wanting something that isn’t in my box on a given week.
After doing some research and shopping around, I stumbled upon Sno Isle Food Co-op in downtown Everett. It is a small grocer that features many of the same veggies and fruit that come in my CSA Box, and often they are far larger than what you would find at chain grocery stores (check out the size of the parsnip and radishes in the photo). That isn’t all you will find at the Co-op though. They also have many of the things you would find in any other grocer, they are just a lot heathier for you.
While we don’t take full advantage of everything the Co-op has to offer (we have a large family, which often requires larger sizes or thriftier options), it is our go to spot for many things. They have an amazing selection of what my kids call smelly cheese, bread, and bulk section featuring hundreds of dried goods and spices. The dairy case is pretty awesome too. I go through my fair share of butter, heavy whipping cream, and more from it for my from scratch baking and cooking.
There is more to this little grocer than meets the eye though. It is a community owned, nonprofit, grocer. What?
No you didn’t read wrong. The Co-op is owned by over 5,000 families in Snohomish and Island County, not some big box retailer. Each owner has made a commitment to invest $100, either all at once or for as little as $5 a month. That commitment allows the Co-op to not only continue operating, but to be open to the public, and help support the communities it serves.
And yes, in case you are wondering, my family happens to be among the list of owners. While that does mean getting to participate in the governing of the Co-op and getting exclusive discounts and other benefits, it also means being a part of something bigger than yourself.
The Co-op uses those ownerships dollars to support local farms, businesses, and makers by carrying their products. I absolutely love that I can pick up a bottle of mead from Everett based Aesir Meadery while I’m there. More importantly though, the Co-op uses any profits left over for donations and sponsorships in the community. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $5 a month, or $100, could you?
There is still more to this grocer though. It is also a gathering place. It is somewhere you can go to enjoy local art during the Everett Art Walk, to learn about reducing your waste and nutrition, enjoy tastings, or sit down to a random pancake breakfast. They offer so many opportunities that I couldn’t even begin to list them all.
So, you see, the Sno Isle Food Co-op isn’t just owned by the community, it is a community. It is a group of amazing individuals who come together to lead better, healthier, and more socially responsible lives. It is a group that I am proud to consider myself a part of and that I truly hope you will consider becoming a part of. It is one of the best decisions you could ever make and your family, body, and mind will thank you for it.
It is worth a try even if you, like I, can’t do all of your grocery shopping done there. It is a start, and there is more than enough to throw together a spectacular meal. We challenge ourselves to fill our bags with enough to make at least one big fancy one each time we go (check out the goodness we picked up on the last trip. It’s an adventure in cooking.
You can find out more about the Co-op and ownership at www.snoislefoods.coop. Or you can always just stop on by. Believe me, once you catch the smell and the atmosphere coming through that door, you will want to come back over and over. P.S. Starting tomorrow they are giving away awesome gift bags worth over $100 to the first 75 to sign up for membership.
Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.
Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island, and Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls.