Bellingham's Community Food Co-op, our natural cooperative grocer is opening their new store on January 15. The 'second store' will serve the north side of town, located in the fast growing Cordata neighborhood. It is conveniently located across the street from Bellingham's new Cordata Bus Station and down the street from Whatcom Community College. It is not the prettiest building I have ever seen, but it is functional, within budget and green. The new store was built to meet the standards for LEED certification, a national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Co-op began in 1970 in Fairhaven as a single 900-square-foot store with fewer than 10 items and has grown to a 12,000-member-strong natural grocery store chain of 2 stores. I first joined the co-op in it's early days in the mid 70's when you could work in the store for your membership and discount. I remember spending time in the old co-op (which was located in the Good Earth Building, in a space equivalent to it's current produce department. where the Artwood Gallery is today), cutting weighing and packaging cheese and cleaning up the store.
The Co-op has a large selection of organic produce, meat and seafood, wine, an awesome deli with lots of delicious home made salads, an espresso bar, great house wares and fun stuff, bulk items, natural and organic grocery items, baked goods, dairy, supplements and wellness products. The Deli is one of my favorite lunch spots. They are big on supporting local suppliers and farmers and offer a wide array of local vegetables and fruits and many other locally produced items.