Support Local, Shop the Iowa Food Coop

Iowa Food Coop

The last year or so my family has been on a quest to buy as much as possible from small business in our community—when our budget allows that is. We started this practice as a way to invest in our communities businesses as well as reduce our family’s carbon footprint.

Over time, as we run out of things we need, we search for a local small business we can purchase from verses ordering from Amazon.  For example, earlier this month I ran out of my favorite honey…….and that is how I stumbled upon the Iowa Food Cooperative.

Local, The Iowa Food Coop, Des Moines, Iowa

As I said, I ran out of my favorite honey.  This was honey I had purchased straight from the producer at a local business vendor event last year.  After some investigation, I learned I could purchase from this producer via the Iowa Food Coop.

What is the Iowa Food Coop?

The Iowa Food Coop connects local producers with access to a new market and a new revenue stream.  It also helps reduce the time and cost of marketing their products to consumers. For shoppers, it provides convenient, all-year access food and non-food products directly from Iowa farmers and artisans.  

There is a small membership for for joining the coop–$50/year for the first year and $10/year after that.  However, you can get a FREE 6 month trial. This means you can try it out for no cost!!!

I had no idea what to expect.  I really just wanted my honey…..if you haven’t guessed already, we are very serious about honey at my house……

I was amazed at the wide variety of products available for purchase!!!!  Lettuce, carrots, yogurt, handmade soap, baked goods, locally raised meats and eggs, honey, and so much more!!!!   

How do I shop?

Coop members can shop twice a month. Simply add the products you want to your shopping cart and checkout! Items are then available for pick up at several different locations around the state.  To see a schedule of pick up dates and locations, check out their website.  They also have a retail location on Franklin Avenue in Des Moines, near the library, which has meats, eggs, vegetables, and much more available for purchase without ordering.  

My last purchase with the coop cost $36. I got two heads of butter lettuce, a 4 pack of Greek yogurt with the fruit on the bottom, 2 pounds of thick cut bacon, 4 beef sticks, and 1 dozen of the most amazing gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  

Iowa Food Coop, local, produce, food, support local

If you are interested in purchasing more of your groceries from local producers, give the Iowa Food Coop.  It makes finding local farmers and purchasing from them a breeze!! If you happen to pick up from the Franklin Avenue location, you will probably see me there with my kiddos…..most likely buying honey…..

About the Author

Amanda Arnold is a mom to two young kids. She and her husband have lived in the Des Moines area since 2012. Amanda works as a freelance marketer and virtual assistant for small businesses. She also runs a cloth diaper loan program for low income families in her area.

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