PS Co-op produce.
I am sick and tired of the awful produce in PS and can't get to the farmer's market all the time. Is the produce at the Co-op comparable/better than the farmer's market? I'm sure it can't be worse than our "supermarkets." I've never been a fan of the place, but I haven't bought onions or garlic in a month because I don't like the way it looks at any of the stores around here. Is it worth joining just for the fruits and vegetables?
In many ways, it surpasses it--it's something like 30% cheaper. Rule of thumb at the Coop is that many organics are comparable in price to conventional at the supermarket. Much of the coop produce comes from the same farms that go to the farmer's market, and what's nice about the coop is they cultivate relationships with small farmers who consistently deliver great produce. IMO, what gets people over their qualms with the Coop is the produce, you just get spoiled by the price and quality.
I'd say the fruits and vegetables are the main reason I joined. I've found the quality far surpasses anything in the area - even Union Market. And some of the prices are pretty incredible. I have to say that the first time I went I was unconvinced - but finally took the plunge and I seem to find more great stuff every time I go! I do still get my meat elsewhere, though (for a better variety and more consistent selection).
Quality and variety of fruit and vegetables is the reason we're still members, even though we've left the slope. We have a car and can easily shop at fairway or any other big grocery store, but they really are that much better at the co-op.