Tucked off the main roads of Willimantic, a small food coop thrives. A beautiful garden graces the entrance in a low income neighborhood. Inside, a vast variety of food high in quality, but reasonable in price stock the selves, many from local farmers and providers. This particular coop seems bent not on financial gain but on providing quality food to those of all income levels.
Unusual food items (especially produce suitable for the New England climate) fresh or prepackaged are availabe for purchase year round. Consumers are free to chose from brands or even the farms they were grown/raised in.
Any grocery store that stocks produce from local farmers is providing much higher nutritional value, taste, and freshness to the buyer; far beyond what any grocery store chain does today. The reduced transportation lowers carbon emission due to trucking across the country and foreign imports, and lessens the time for the food to decay and lose potency. Local farmers can pick food ripe, then have sold it the very same day. This also benefits the local economy. The Willimantic Coop offers the location where fresh produce was grown whether it was California or Ellington Connecticut.
The coop sells mostly organic food, and some others that do not have the certification but usually with the same philosophy and practices as the certified organics. Conventional lemons are available next to the organic ones, with a lower price labeled from California.
All in all the prices at the Willimantic Coop are reasonable. Conventional foods offered here are consistent with prices at chain grocery stores as are their organic prices. Though, because some items come from local farmers, in season organic vegetables and fruit are usually cheaper.
Shopping at this local coop, consumers have more control and choice over price and quality of the food they feed their families. Buyers can help stimulate their local economies, reduce automobile emissions, and spend about as much cash as they would at a grocery store doing so. This coop has the right mentality for helping the local people in many ways from nutrition to finances.