East End Food Co-op

I had never been exposed to a food cooperative until I moved to Pittsburgh. One of the first things I researched after finding out about my shift to the Steel City was the best grocery shopping in the area. I know, big nerd foodie over here! Beyond the well-known Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I was excited to learn more about the East End Food Co-op, which features a mid-size market, full cafe (hot & cold bar, smoothies), and plenty of co-op benefits.

This member-owned, natural and organic store has been in existence for almost 35 years and supports sustainable food, environmental responsibility and community. I like the membership model, and the fact that they get to vote and make changes.

My favorite part is, of course, the food! The natural, fresh and veg-heavy foooood! They have a fantastic and affordable hot bar that’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner to go, as well as a wide variety of juices and salads. Check out my vegan Mexican fiesta for less than $7:

Co-op lunchy: Mexican pulled seitan, rice and beans, kale, daiya cheese, pinto beans, grilled veggies and salsa.

I’m really glad to know there is a place to go with fresh, locally sourced, and often organic food options. There are tons of specialty veggie items that I can’t always find at the normal shop and a very large bulk bin selection. It makes me happy 🙂

The only issue I have is the higher than normal prices for produce, but I understand some of the reasoning (organic, smaller quantities ordered), so I just need to work it into my budget for the future!

Do you have a food co-op near you? Are you a member? I’m currently deciding whether it’s worth it for me to get a membership…

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