I just got back from the Willy St coop, where I buy most of my food. The place is irresistible to me, which is a problem because it's very expensive since every thing is organic and as local as possible, etc. But they have the best products, the best fish (the only worth buying in the whole town), the best cheese aisle, the best bulk aisle, etc.
Warning: be prepared for some blurry and otherwise lame photos.
Here's what it looks like when you walk in, right into the fruits and vegetables section. The store is pretty small, but everything in there seems to be thoughtfully selected. The great majority of it is good.
Some fruit. It's apple season, as you can clearly see...
Squashes and pumpkins
The juice bar and bakery
Frozen meat and fish
The meat section. This used to be about half the size, and it was clear the store did not care about meat. But as smaller local producers started getting bigger and more able to get their products out by riding the wave of the local, organic, green movement and/or starting coops to compete with bigger operations in terms of distribution, the coop caught notice and expanded their meat selection to include them.
The selection is still small, and as you can see, there are times between shipments when some things aren't there. I was looking for some pork chops today, but they didn't have any. That's just the price you pay dealing with small producers I think and I'm really very happy they bring their meats here in the first place. When I get them at the farmer's market, they tend to be frozen but you can get them fresh and ready to go here.
Here's the fish section
It's also small, and it's very expensive, but the fish is good quality. It is actually an offshoot of another store, the Seafood Center that's on the Westside of town, so they are somewhat separate from the coop itself. The fishmonger's there are great though. They'll get you what you want, tell you when things are coming in, and they aren't stingy about giving away bits for stock even though they sell it already made. I asked for fish heads once and they gave me a 5lb rack of halibut, still full of meat. I made fish stew out of it, and it was plenty meaty, plus I was able to put some good fume in the freezer.
nunc est bibendum...