By Megan Barber, Grocery Manager, Co-op Owner
Local is a category that more and more stores are diving into and developing for their shoppers. Local means that items are produced, crafted, or grown within an area or region, but often the specific definition varies from store to store. Local production has numerous benefits including:
- Convenience: it’s much easier to shop down the road than to drive hours away to get the items you need.
- Environmentally Friendly: having products shipped/trucked in from closer to the consumer and having to drive less to shop creates a smaller carbon footprint!
- Supporting Local Families: buying locally produced items directly benefits local families!
- Investing in Communities: products grown and produced nearby help build a more diverse economy. This community building contributes to an environment in which neighbors may feel empowered to start independent businesses.
- Local Jobs: with rising sales and thriving businesses comes the need for more employees and additional growth opportunities! Hiring and job creation benefit the community in multiple ways.
- Customer-Focused Environment: local shops are often smaller and can be easier to shop without the large crowds of customers. They are also more often readily available for customer questions and assistance.
- Local Food Chain: adding more options and businesses to the local food chain creates a more sustainable and stable food network to feed our families. During the pandemic, our local food chain shone through brilliantly and when other stores were running out of items, our suppliers were ready and able to supply us – with very few out of stocks – a true miracle in pandemic-times.
Currently, GreenTree is offering over 270 items that are local, which we classify as those grown or processed within a hundred miles of Mount Pleasant, MI. There are items from fresh produce to honey and jams, to desserts and drinks, to breads and wines! A few of the best sellers include:
- Meadowlark eggs: these are Amish raised free-range eggs. Delivered from Morley, MI.
- Stutzman organic green and red cabbages: delicious in sauerkrauts, coleslaws, salads, and more! Grown in Blanchard, MI.
- Urbanos tortilla chips: beautifully crispy and able to lift almost any dip! Delivered from Mt. Pleasant, MI.
- Stutzman, Monroe, and Good News Farms curly kale: whether it’s oven baked into chips, tossed in salads, or added into breakfast dishes, it’s delicious and local! Delivered from Blanchard, Elwell, and Cedar Lake, MI respectively.
- Guernsey’s lemonade: tart and refreshing, this lemonade is sure to knock your socks off (prefect for bare-foot summer). Delivered from Northville, MI.
New in the past month are:
- Oh Mi Organic’s chocolate filled dessert & snack cups
- Additional flavors of Great Lakes Ice Cream
- Koegel’s Meat Company products
- Troll Smokehouse meats and cheeses
GreenTree strives to offer good quality food for everyone in every area of the store. Through carefully cultivated vendor relationships over our 52 years in business, we have access to multiple local sources to help keep the Co-op filled with delicious food and community conscious options.