Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Honest Weight

I seem to be on a co-op tour this week. Next stop: Honest Weight Food Co-Op on Central Avenue in Albany, a little closer to home (this time "home" meaning my apartment in Albany, just to be clear). It is a different experience: Honest Weight is the foil to Community. I can't say that it has the low prices of the Mohawk Valley, but it far exceeds the Community's selection of goods. The outside wouldn't suggest anything special; in fact, I wouldn't go to this neighborhood alone at night. However, once inside, I was amazed by how big it was... room after room of local, organic, and specialty products. Oh, the beautiful cheeses! The lovely pies! The wall of dried fruits! Yesterday was actually my third or fourth visit, and I didn't need anything in particular, but it's fun to look, and I always find something new to try.

Here at Honest Weight, the dry goods (fruits, nuts, grains, etc.) are in self-serve bins, with a scale and baggies nearby. Keep in mind that you are charged for the bags ($0.02-$0.05); however, on the same token, you are credited a nickel for bringing your own reusable shopping bag.

My staple purchase has become the half-pound bag of baby spinach. At a $1.99, it's at least fifty cents cheaper than Price Chopper's spinach on sale. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the natural peanut butter; I'm not good at math, but it's either the same price or a bit more expensive than my Natural Smuckers and Jiffy. At least, however, it's local, so I can feel that my extra fifty cents or a dollar supported a local business. And might I add, it is delicious-- better than the chain brands. Meats and cheeses here are also very expensive, but of top quality. I haven't purchased either yet (due to my frugality), but I did have a sample of some cheese and it was one of the best I'd ever had-- and I know my cheese. My splurge this trip was a dozen natural, local, "farm-fresh" eggs, which I haven't yet tried, but look delish (and they should be, at $3.25!)

Also not to miss:
Choice brand organic teas (my favorite is the Toasted Brown Rice Green Tea)
BWC organic aromatherapy Rosemary Mint Tea Tree Shampoo

One really nice touch is that Honest Weight clearly marks all local goods with a sticker so they're easy to find and identify.

If you can spare no expense, you can do all of your shopping here, it really has almost everything (or the materials to make it if you can't find it). For me, Honest Weight is a good supplement to grocery store shopping. I will buy many items from the co-op, due to it's lower price or better quality, but there a few things still, like my meats, that I won't buy there, unless I'm in the mood for a splurge. Now that I'm thinking about it, I do need to find a good place to buy meat...

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