Lately, we have been grocery shopping at Outpost Natural Foods, a local co-op that has a handful of locations scattered around Milwaukee. Their Bay View location is quite close to our house, so we find ourselves going to that one most of the time. We still make runs to a closer grocery store in the event that we forget something, but we are trying to get our staple items at Outpost. We have been spoiled with our CSA this Spring, Summer, and Fall. Nothing beats freshly picked, healthy produce. We have just a couple more pick-ups before the CSA is done for the winter season. At that time we’ll probably have to depend more on the store for our produce.
Every time I stopped at Outpost to grab a few items I am asked at the check out if I am an Outpost owner. I continually said no, but on one of my recent trips, Ryan and I thought sheesh! We better check this ownership deal out. Annually, you’ll pay a small fee to maintain your ownership. As of now it costs $25, which I thought was super reasonable. A few of the perks of the ownership include: savings on sale items, 5% off of certain local products, discounts on pre-ordered bulk products, supplement savings, and early bird rewards, which is a points system where you can earn money back “coupons” that are mailed to you.
Not only are you supporting a local business, but it’s a local business that is involved in the community that you live in. For 2012 their community partnerships included: Center for Resilient Cities, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Milwaukee Urban Gardens, and Milwaukee Empty Bowls. Throughout the year they also offer different educational workshops.
If I would have done more research sooner, I probably would have become an Outpost owner sooner…better late than never, right?! I all too often feel disappointed when shopping at a regular grocery store. There are SO many products that have no nutritional value…no wonder such a large number of Americans have health problems! You can feel good when walking down the aisles of a co-op knowing that all of those items have been hand selected to be on the shelves.
I am constantly looking for local, healthy, food options in our area that don’t lead me to a regular grocery store…it may be a bit of an obsession. Healthy, of course. Ha. Farmers’ Markets, local farms, and shops are quite appealing to me these days. Outpost Natural Foods is just one way I found access to healthier food options. I wanted to share this with you today, so that you can research what food options are in your community. You may have a co-op right down the road that you never knew about. Or you may drive past one frequently, but finally decided to stop and check it out. I encourage you to explore local food options in your community. Not only will the food taste good, but you can feel good about putting money back into the community you live in.
A co-op ownership or membership could be a great gift giving option for friends or family this holiday season. A little less traditional, which makes it fun, but a healthy gift that will continue to give all year long. Bonus!
My challenge to you is to get out and explore the food options in your community. Happy hunting!
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