Boy, things have really changed since the early, dark, dingy food coops I remember from the 1960s/70s.
Because I have had business in the area, I have been going out to a certain neighborhood in Brooklyn, around the Cortelyou train station. The first time I went out there, I noticed the Flatbush Food Co-op, which is on my list of city food co-ops. Of course, I had to go in there and check it out. (I don’t believe that I have been in a food co-op since the early 1970s.)
What a pleasant surprise. This co-op looks pretty much like any supermarket, except that the food is organic, and they have a large selection of the usual bulk items. (They do have meat and dairy products, which are also organic.) There isn’t that hectic atmosphere of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Fairway – it is more like mid-day shopping in a chain supermarrket in Middle America. Even the prices for non-members were competitive.
The neighborhood is rather out of my way, but I am thinking hard about becoming a member of that co-op since it is so nice and friendly, and since there are currently no co-ops near where I live in Queens. They have about the fairest membership fee of all the local coops, enabling even the very financially challenged to join up ($25 to register, then $25/year until the entire $200 membership fee has been paid)
FLATBUSH FOOD COOP (open to the public, member discount)
($25 registration + $25/yr until $200 investment paid)
1415 Cortelyou Road
(btw Rugby & Marlborough Roads)
Tel: (718) 284-9717
train: Q to Cortelyou/East 16th