Grocery Store Feature: The Park Slope Food Coop
In a world where profit tends to come before ethics, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, New York is redefining what a grocery shopping experience can look like. As avid lovers of the environment, members of the coop strive to source all their products from local and sustainable farms that align with their values; they recycle, refuse exploitation and discrimination, and do everything in their power to respect the planet today, as well as for future generations.
In contrast to the average Trader Joe’s or Walmart-type grocery experience, this food coop is run with a focus on integrity, quality, and community care. We spoke with a member of Park Slope, Yuri Weber to get a better idea of how they are actively changing the narrative around food distribution and feeding their community.
Tell us the concept behind your store. What makes it different from your average big box grocery experience?
The idea behind Park Slope Food Coop is to offer members of our community with an alternative to commercial profit-oriented food businesses. So, to make that possible we’re a member-owned and operated shop, which means that we all contribute towards the store’s operations. Through this communal teamwork, we are able to build trust and offer affordable prices for quality produce, all while staying true to our values.
We also put a lot of effort into sourcing the best quality organic products that are minimally processed and ethically produced. Our mission is to support as much local, non-toxic, and sustainable agriculture as possible while avoiding any products that depend on the exploitation of others.
Is the Coop open to the public?
The way it’s set up allows only members to shop, which ensures that everyone who benefits is also contributing to the work required to keep it running. This coop system allows us to offer affordable prices on high-quality food that would otherwise sometimes be double the price at conventional grocery stores. By joining the coop, members receive access to a bunch of benefits, such as high-quality produce at affordable prices, maps of local suppliers, workshops, events, and other community activities.
What are some of your signature products or popular product categories?
We are well known for the quality of our fresh, local produce that we source seasonally year-round, as well as organic and conventionally grown bulk foods, such as grains, beans, dried fruit, nuts, and cheese. There’s also a lot of work that goes into sourcing sustainable grass-fed meats.
When did you start selling rice from the Rice Factory?
We were on the lookout for rice that was freshly milled and of exceptional quality. We had a lot of demand from members for sushi rice that was more authentic than the variety that we were selling from California. That’s when we first came across and started carrying the Rice Factory’s product.
How are customers responding to the rice from the Rice Factory?
Very well! Our members have exacting demands for quality and both the sushi and short grain brown rice exceed members’ expectations. We also have many members from Japan that often remark on the quality of the rice, as well as other items we source from the Rice Factory that they can only buy here.
Do you have a message for our readers?
If you live in Brooklyn and are interested in joining a community passionate about food and cooperative culture, please visit https://www.foodcoop.com/join/. We hope to welcome you as a member and see you in the store soon!
The Park Slope Food Coop
Address: 782 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: (718) 622-0560