Monday, January 16, 2012

I finally joined the Park Slope Food Coop: Shopping.

It has been about a year since I joined the Park Slope Food Coop.

Read about it here, here, here, hereherehere, here, here, and here.

The first day I shopped back in February of 2011, I just walked around and decided to buy just one thing, one new thing.

I got on the wrong line and bought a bottle Sriracha Chili Sauce.  It is the stuff that makes sandwiches spicy in Vietnamese Sandwich shops.

Yea, wrong line.  I did not pay attention at orientations so I did not know that if I had one item and was paying cash I could go directly to the cashier.  Now I know.

When I paid for it something strange happened.  The clerk talked to me.  He talked to me about my food.  At Keyfood they get fired for that.

He told me that he has never know anyone to finish a bottle of Sriracha Sauce.  I did.   I knew I would.

After a year at the Coop I have learned one thing:  Never, never go when you hare in a hurry.  Two reasons.  First, if is often super crowded.  Not just long lines but isle blocking crowds.  The lines to check out actually bock the shopping isles.  I don't know how come the Fire Dept has not made an issue of this.  But that is not my job.

Second, even if all the people in the world are not shopping at the same time you will know one of them.  I usually meet
  • Someone I did a shift with..
  • A neighbor.
  • Someone I ran with.
  • Someone who ran a race I managed.
  • A parent of one of my kids friends.
  • One of my kids teachers.
  • Someone who knows me and I don't know who they are or how I met them.
  • Someone who reads my blog and wants to meet me. (I have fans?!!??)
  • Someone who wants to know what I am going to do with that thing I am buying.
  • Someone who is buying something interesting that I want to know something about.
So quick trips to the Coop are not so quick and  easy.  If I am in a real hurry I can still go to Key Food.

The food there is also better than at most other places.  There are not so many choices, but how many different brands of peanut butter do you need?  The people who choose what goes on the shelf to sell do that based on what people want to buy, not want the distributor wants them to sell. All the meat the Coop sells is free range macro gluten free whatever.  I am not going to use this forum to tell people what to eat, but I can say that a chicken that was happy till it was murdered tastes better than one that was abused till it's head was chopped off.  That said, I was warned that the Bo Bo brand chickens still have their feet.  Feet, I could deal with, but I bought one home and when I opened the package it had a head. I jumped back so hard I banged into the stove.  It almost went directly into the trash but it was dinner.  I maned up and cut the head off and put it in the over.  Then I call my mother.

Anita Lee of Bo Bo Poultry
Photo from NYCity Culture Blog
A couple of weeks later I met the meat guy at the COOP,  I asked him if they were all gonna have heads.  He was like, " Oh shit, dude, you got the one with the head.  I saw that one and put it aside but like someone just put it on the shelf with the other headless chickens."  Lucky me.  He then told me it took a lot of negotiating to get the people at Bo Bo to even cut off the heads.   It is a good thing I did not get a chicken with a head from Purdue at Pathmark.  Then I would of had to sue them or something and then I would be rich.

I am buying parts for a while.

The food is not just better, it is cheaper.  I should know,  I am a cheap bastard.  Not everything is cheaper, I could go back to Key Food and buy cheaper meat, but I joined The Coop to get better food.  Better food is usually more expensive that crappier food. But I am buying better food, cheaper than I can almost anywhere else.

Like I said earlier, everything at The Coop is marked up 21% above cost and they we have no sales.  That is good if I want to buy Newman's Own Alphabet cookies,  they are always $1 (33%) less than key food.

I also got a great deal on a small appliance.  I like to drink seltzer, I hate to carry it home.   The Sodastream starter kit is $64 at The Coop.  I had to pay tax, but that was still $16 less than any place I could find it on line.

But the best deal that I have found at the Coop has been for a sponge.  Back at Key Food you have this. A gazillion different sponges.  I learned a long time ago that the Ocello sponge probably came off the same assembly line as the Key Food sponge.  I never had any high exceptions.  I don't have a dishwasher, so I got a few weeks out of a sponge.

At the Coop we sell one brand of kitchen sponge.  It is the Natural Value Cellulose Sponges 4 pack.  It cost less than the Key Food sponge and last longer.  Much longer.  It is also made of some recycled material.

You would think that since I joined the Coop my grocery bill would have gone down.  Not so much.  Ya see when I joined the Coop I decided to be honest.  I went through a huge hassle because I decided not to lie.  I could have told them that I was a single parent (my wife is not going to walk in the door, ever.)  and I would only have to do one shift.  I also decided to stop shoplifting.  I wasn't doing it to save money anyway. I was doing it for the rush.

It would be just to easy at the Coop.

Just kidding

No really.

Just kidding

No really.


  1. That's my old nabe (I know live in Sunset Park)! I never liked that whole food coop culture (don't ask). I worked at the Fifth Avenue Committee for many years, ever hear of them?

  2. Do you think your Soda Stream is worth it? I've been seriously considering buying one for a similar reason: I love seltzer water but it is a pain in the a@@ to carry home!

  3. Sassafrassss,

    100% worth it. I am drinking 2 more liters of H2O than if I did not have it in the house. Every day.

    Do you want me t pick one up for you? I know where to get it cheap.

  4. Chicken,

    I read your blog, I am a fan, and want to "meat" you - simply so I can teach you how to spell! I know you have a caveat in the subtitle of your blog, but come on, this is 3rd-grade stuff! me.

    Maybe I'll see you at the co-op, out running again one day, or near the WTC (I work in WTC 7) next time you are photographing the sad smokers.


  5. Thanks, but making me feel like crap did not help in third grade.

  6. Thanks Chhicken - really enjoyed the post!! Poultry with heads ON?! Fair dinkum! Anyway your post had me "chucklin' like a chicken1" Cheers

  7. Yoou shoplift? Not surprised, lol! Do you like the Soda Stream thingie? I have always toyed with buying it and can never decide.

    I buy quality food at key food and Pathmark, and only buy organic meats and dairy products, they do taste better. I know I am spending more than at the coop, but, eh, you know how I feel about that place, lol

  8. This blog is hilarious! I do not miss the coop at all and don't blame your wife. I do not want people commenting on my food purchases at all. One time, a coop cashier said, "Oh, I see it's snack time..." while checking me out when I was buying snacks for my book club. Why all the judgements in that place??


You do not have to be nice!

This is not me

This is not me
Not me.

Blog Archive