Elm City Coop - 360 State Street, New Haven
Hi all, here's a question out of sheer curiosity.
How is the Elm City Coop, the grocery store at 360 State Street? I wrote a paper on the development -- it's written into the plans that a grocery store had to exist in the building's retail areas and stay for five years -- but never got to visit.
Do people go? Is the experience comparable to that of going to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's? Has it become an accepted, frequented part of the neighborhood?
I'll try to stop in next time I go back to New Haven, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I suppose it's similar to Whole Foods, with good produce, meats and cheeses, but the jury's out on some of the choices for sale. I don't think this will be my only grocery shopping destination.
The first time I went I inadvertently spend about $190 for groceries for the week. I usually spend about $130. Part of this was because I wanted to try some of the cheeses and meats that I normally would not get.
On subsequent trips, I paid closer attention to prices. No one is snapping up the $23 local raw chickens, the $14 finger limes or the $9.50 bottles of spaghetti sauce.
But the produce was good and well priced, as was some dairy items and grocery items. The store favors natural foods, but it also offers some mainstays. For example, you can get Cheerios or a few organic Cheerios copycats. But note: the store was out of Cheerios on a recent visit, while the more expensive copycats sat on the shelves.
The store seems busy when I go, but that might just be because it's a small cramped space compared to the usual suburban grocery store.
It is similar to a Whole Foods in the sense that there are bulk bins and a deli area. There's a seating place as well so you can grab food and eat there.
It's much smaller and has less variety than a whole foods though.
The prices are rather reasonable but membership is EXTREMELY expensive. I'm not a member because I'll be moving after I'm finished with school.
All in all...I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place. It's no Trader Joe's or Whole Foods but it gets the job done and gets it done well!