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Jul 13, 2010 01:33 PM

Food shopping on Lopez Island?

We will be renting a house on Lopez for a week in August. I'm the host, as well as the cook (it's a small family reunion and there will be 12 of us, some foodies, some picky people, some small children.) The catch is that we are flying from Massachusetts and will have only one day to shop in the Sammamish area before crossing to the island. How good are the grocery stores on the island? I'm assuming I won't be able to find things like garbanzo flour or pomegranate molasses, but what about fresh herbs, sheep cheese, etc?

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  1. I looked at Lopez Village on the west side of the island on Google maps. It shows a 'Lopez Village Red Apple Market' and a 'Blossom Organic Grocery'. The latter has a web site. I'd suggest sending them an email to see what they carry.

    Another option is to take the interisland ferry (free I think) to Friday Harbor, the biggest town on this islands.

    Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce also lists these (and a deli), and Saturday farmers market. Population is about 2000.

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Friday Harbor's not a bad idea. I am hoping to hear from people who have spent a lot of time on Lopez though.

      1. re: paulj

        The interisland ferry is only free going east. The items you are looking for are very specialized so you should contact the stores in advance. If they don't have what you need, buy an ice chest and bring it over. We always stock up on dry goods before spending our summer vacation on SJI because of the difference in cost.

      2. I spent a bit of time on Lopez Island about ten years ago. I remember the Red Apple Market, it has bare essentials and not much more. If you are looking for specific ingredients I suggest you bring them with you to the island. Hopping on the ferry and heading to Friday Harbor is expensive and can easily take up your entire day.

        Lopez Island is a completely different way of life. It is slow going uo there.

        6 Replies
        1. re: jpc8015

          It does cost to take the car of Lopez, but not to return. Passengers are free both ways.

          But I agree that it would be best to bring what you can. That raises the question of what is good shopping around Anacortes. I've shopped the farmers stand just east of LaConor, and bought bread in Edison, but can't help otherwise.

          1. re: jpc8015

            Yeah, my parents love it there, but they are definitely non CH people. I can go for a few days without fabulous food, but a whole week? I don't think so. I've only been to Lopez once before, years ago, and I remember my parents bringing coolers full of meat and veggies, so we may have to do that again. I can't help but think year round residents must have a decent place to shop on island, though.

            1. re: Isoldamay

              Do you think you can switch the location to Saltspring Island in the Canadian Gulf Islands?
              The logo for Salt Spring is the black-faced sheep raised by islanders for wool products as well as gourmet lamb. The islanders also sell other farm products--cheese and produce, wine made from its recently established vineyards, and fish caught in local waters. The village of Ganges is a thriving business center. It bustles with residents and tourists on Saturdays from April to October when the "Market in the Park" opens for vendors to display their wares. Enterprising islanders and off-islanders sell organic fruits and vegetables, fresh bread and pastries, homemade jams and jellies, locally made goat and sheep cheese, antiques and an array of arts and crafts. The Saturday morning atmosphere is festive as people crowd around stalls to make purchases amid a cacophony of sounds from the instruments of local musicians and the laughter and conversation of shoppers.

              1. re: paulj

                Wow, that sounds awesome! I know my immediate family would love that. Alas, for my extended family, we are stuck with Lopez (paid in full), and my dad is ill, so can't travel far.

                1. re: Isoldamay

                  Lopez is quite charming and not at all a food wasteland. This is a place populated by back to the land types--it's not North Dakota. This also means it's slightly on the hippe side of things. Lopez isn't going to have as much as Orcas or San Juan, which are a lot like the description of Salt Spring given above, but you'll be okay. There is a small farmers market, which has local meat, seafood and produce. The Lopez Village Market just opened a new store and while I haven't been inside, it looks pretty nice (you can actually see photos on their facebook page--I'll link it below). They have locally grown foods. Blossom Grocery has local produce, meat and natural food staples, probably including garbonzo flour. Vita's has ready made foods and a small but decent selection of wine. If you want local wine there is Lopez Vineyards, which has tastings Wed-Fri. The pharmacy has a real soda fountain with real ice cream sodas, which makes me at least very happy. There is locally made ice cream sold at the fudge shop. Whe we bike around the island I see "fresh eggs" signs quite a bit. Even the run down looking gas station at the island's south end sells locally made jam and local products.

                  Here is a list of local producers on the islands--you'll see that some are on Lopez.


                  If you are craving more sophisticated stuff head over to Orcas. Rose's is great for meals and also for cheese and wine. Inn at Spring Bay is nice for dinner. A former sous chef at the French Laundry just opened Allium on Orcas and I'm hearing good things.

                  1. re: christy319

                    Thank you so much! That's exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping not to have to take a ferry anywhere for good food (although I'd certainly be willing to do it). We're going out there because my dad has a serious illness (still enjoys food at this stage, though) and Lopez is one of his favorite places.