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In Park Slope: to coop or not to coop?

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Thoughts on whether it's worth it?

Thanks!

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  1. For me, YES.
    I live in Fort Greene, where there aren't very good supermarket options. After my one trip to Pathmark, I wanted to kill myself. My time in SF also spoiled me to expect fresh produce at good prices, and truly, the prices at the coop are unbelievable. Yes, there's often a long wait to check out, and the space is small, and the multiple stopping points are annoying, but to me, it's a pretty small price to pay, especially living in a city where it's almost impossible to avoid cramped shopping and long lines in any grocery store. And despite all the warnings I got about nightmare coop members, I've only had good experiences, and I'm a cashier so I interact with a LOT of members. (caveat: I've only been a member for a few months).

    1. What is great about the coop is the huge inventory of produce at great prices and it is of the highest quality. If you're a big fan of fruits and vegetables this is not something you will find anywhere in the city. The greenmarkets never have (Maybe Union Sq.) this selection (coop does feature local crops in season.)There is a lot of everything else,too, from toothpaste to many kinds of olives to organic meats to housewares. The dreaded long lines and self righteous Slopers are easily put aside for the goods available. You would have to commit to working a three hour shift once a month. And you can take a tour, you know, to see if it feels right. I resisted, annoyed at the would be demands, but it is the best thing around for any number of reasons.

      1. What is great about the coop is the huge inventory of produce at great prices and it is of the highest quality. If you're a big fan of fruits and vegetables this is not something you will find anywhere in the city. The greenmarkets never have (Maybe Union Sq.) this selection (coop does feature local crops in season.)There is a lot of everything else,too, from toothpaste to many kinds of olives to organic meats to housewares. The dreaded long lines and self righteous Slopers are easily put aside for the goods available. You would have to commit to working a three hour shift once a month. And you can take a tour, you know, to see if it feels right. I resisted, annoyed at the would be demands, but it is the best thing around for any number of reasons.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dave

          I think what it comes down to is if you can make the time to do a shift every month. The 'tude is waaay better than the average health food store, and the variety of people so vast that the social experience is what you make it. If you're looking for community, it's there.

          But bottomline it's about incredibly good cheap food. Do you care about the parenting style of the person standing next to you? I sure don't. Bring on the fancy cheese and non-grocery-store-smell butter! Perfect kale and other stuff you never saw before, 365 days a year.

          AND the coop is one of the cleanest grocery stores in NYC.
          But if you don't have three hours a month to stack beer, forget it.

          1. re: pitu

            Agreed! With all the positives. And the negatives. Might I add that the 'tude at a normal supermareket (if you have one near you in Brooklyn, which I don't) is passively rude at best. At the coop there is not the server-served hierarchy that you have at most supermarkets as everybody doing checkout and cashier is a member. People are generally so friendly that I'm actually shocked when people are rude (which they are, sometimes). However, you always buy more than you think you will, so if you don't live nearby it is helpful to have access to some sort of vehicle...also, because of the long lines, you don't necessarily want to go all the time as it can easily eat up an hour or two.

            1. re: peasplease

              The constant access to excellent produce just makes you want to eat healthy because it tastes good, not for any other reason. We were members for several years, then dropped out in frustration over the aforementioned negatives. But We recently rejoined because we realized that when we were members we were just healthier. For us, dealing with the negatives is well worth it. Even the union square market doesn't have the variety of the coop, not to mention the prices. And in the 2 or so years that we were gone the coop has made serious efforts to address some of the shortcomings. Is it perfect? Certainly not, but if you like to cook and eat at home, it's better than any other option.

        2. Pros: Great selection, low prices.

          Cons: Cramped space, long lines, excessive checkpoints, and preachy atmosphere.

          1. Best prices/quality in the USA.