I started this blog partly to document my move to Old Greenbelt. It's this quirkly little town that's only 20 minutes outside DC but often feels a world away. And the cooperative grocery store really reflects this.
* The cashier knows you. Anyone can shop at the Co-Op, but you can also become a member. My sister and brother-in-law are members so I saved myself a step and just use their number. The other day the cashier said "hi, Mrs. Gary, I saw your husband in here earlier today!" I corrected him that Mrs. Gary is my sister and we had a laugh over that. My brother-in-law was probably there hours earlier, yet this cashier - whom I have never seen before - remembered and made the connection
* The other workers know you. There's this one woman who works there and I usually see her pushing a cart full of stuff to go on the shelves or sitting out front taking her break. No clue what her name is and she doesn't know mine, but she always recognizes me, smiles and says hi. The week before Halloween she asked what my favorite candy is. It's just cute. Often we know store employees, but they see so many people that they never get to know their customers.
(side note - when I lived in Adams Morgan, the cashiers at the not-so-Safeway did get to know me, but I lived there for eight years. I've barely lived in Greenbelt for a year)
* at the "grand re-opening" (quotes on purpose), they serve hot dogs and lemonade
* several times a month they have a wine tasting - plus, the wine aisle is awesome. Almost all selections are under $20 and tons are under $15 and under $10. They also have a selection of good boxed wine (not an oxymoron) and a decent selection of beer. Everything is hand-picked so it's rare to get a bad bottle.
* tonight I went and felt like the parking lot was PACKED. What does that mean in Old Greenbelt? I couldn't park in the row facing the store, had to park in the one facing away. Still in the first row of parking, though, and when it came time to pay, I was second in line. Maybe everyone was drinking their wine and eating hot dogs?
* there's a great selection of organic food, much of the produce and meat comes from local farmers, they have almost no Purdue chicken and whenever possible, they offer products from local vendors. For coffee, you can buy Green Mountain - or Zeke's that's roasted right up the road in Baltimore. So if you can't make it to the farmer's market (like me, who often sleeps through it), you can still drink local coffee. Love that.
* the grocery bags are extra-sturdy so double-bagging isn't necessary and they make excellent trash bags and can be used over and over again for lunch bags. Much better than some other plastic bags that develop a hole from carrying a single apple.
I knew the Co-Op from shopping there when visiting my sister, but even by the time I moved here, I didn't fully appreciate it. After stopping in about once a week for over a year? I'm fully in love.