Is it possible to fall in love with a grocery store?
This is a real question, people. I'm not playing around.
New Pioneer Food Co-op is just the place that John and I have been waiting for in the Cedar Rapids area, and for many reasons. With the ribbon cutting and soft opening set for Wednesday at 10 a.m., we'll get to shop there very soon.
I'm so glad Allie from New Pi Eats invited us out. Today we were part of a small group of press that were allowed 30 minutes in the store all to ourselves for questions with the staff and experts, samples, and exploration. New Pi member-owners (i.e. - members of the co-op) joined us shortly thereafter to really amp up the experience.
The thing John and I are most looking forward to is having one place where we don't have to 'think' while grocery shopping. "We do the Label-Reading for you" is an informal motto of New Pi.
This means we don't have to feel like we're experts on every toxic ingredient that might be in our food. There are so many items on the shelves and in the cases to browse, but things we won't find anywhere in New Pioneer are:
- Artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Trans-fats or HFCS
- Animal-tested products
- Added growth hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, or chemical additives in poultry, meat, seafood, or dairy
- Non-sustainable seafood
How awesome is that? Think of how much stress and time New Pi is saving us when it comes to making healthy, socially-conscious food choices.
But the member benefits are pretty awesome, too. (Go here to read about the member-owner benefits!) We just couldn't justify a membership at the other two New Pi locations, since they were about 40 minutes from our home.
This location is a short 15 minute drive across town, and will carry a variety bulk goods, cool beers and liquor for John, and other locally made and grown products from our area. We're already eager to head back on Wednesday for the soft opening to complete our member-owner form.
The physical environment of New Pioneer is also something we look forward to while shopping. The layout of the store is quaint and comfortable. It's almost like we're shopping at an indoor farmer's market.
I am also really looking forward to their cheese, meat, and dairy offerings from the region. In fact, the deli and bakery source their ingredients from over 30 local producers, use local, cage-free eggs, organic and locally-grown flour, and organic, fair-trade, non-GMO sugar.
We do a lot of our own baking and cooking from scratch, but a few times a month we head to our local grocery store deli down the street for dinner. If we don't have time to cook for ourselves, having the chefs at New Pi do it for us is the next best thing. (That means no more MSG headaches when getting takeout from the grocery deli down the street! Yeah!)
Lastly, New Pioneer Co-op is a store after our own hearts. The deli uses compostable utensils and deli containers, they have composting programs to divert the store's waste, and the locally-produced products they sell ensure less greenhouse gas emissions.
Is it possible for a grocery store to steal your heart?
Why yes. Yes it is.
Why yes. Yes it is.
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