Taste #28: Fresh and Natural and Empty organic grocery store
Where no co-op has gone before Shoreview, Bloomington, Plymouth and Hudson, Wis., all have at least one thing in common: All are without a natural foods co-op (or a Whole Foods Market, for that matter). Enter Fresh & Natural Foods. Owners Kerry Larson and Bill Fogerty have been expanding their organic, health-conscious grocery store chain at a fast clip, moving from one store to four in just five years and introducing everything from locally raised grass-fed beef, hundreds of bulk food items and a host of gluten-free foods to a huge swath of Twin Cities-area shoppers.
I paid a visit to the Bloomington Fresh and Natural Foods and was not disappointed. Although the space is a little large for the amount of product they have, the quality is very high. The best (and worst) part of my visit was that there was nobody there! Seriously, there was one cashier, one stock-boy, and one manager. All for the six customers wandering the aisles. It was nice to not have to fight over the ears of corn, and to shift grocery carts around so I could get down an aisle, but how are these guys staying in business?
I picked up a weeks worth of food, including the best chicken sausages I’ve ever had. The brand is Hans All-Natural, and the flavors are unique and worth the $6 package (of four). I picked up the Spicy Cilantro flavor, but have been happy wtih all of them. But it’s the ingredients list that really sends me reeling. Check this out for the Spinach and Feta Chicken Sausages:
Skinless Chicken, Fresh Organic Spinach, Feta Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Contains less than 2% of the following: Fresh Organic Parsley, Black Pepper, Garlic, Salt, in a Natural Pork Casing.
Again, well worth the $6.
We grilled them up with some organic corn, organic chips and organic watermelon for a perfect Saturday lunch in the backyard. I’m not sure I’ll head back there, primarily because its a drive, but if you’re in Bloomington, or near one of their other locations, please stop in. It won’t be crowded and you’ll be doing a good thing.