Good Foods Market Thrives and Satisfies

 Kentucky organic produce at Good Foods Market, Lexington, KY

Kentucky organic produce at Good Foods Market, Lexington, KY

How good it is, Good Foods Market & Café, aka "the Coop," and how good that it thrives and grows and evolves with our community. What began in 1972 as a wise way for a few families to buy healthy foods -- mostly grains as I recall, and some cheeses -- today serves thousands in our region in hundreds of ways.

Recently our family celebrated a sizable, happy wedding. More than 100 people came from out of town.

Looking back, I realized how central the Coop had been in making people happy and comfortable. Some portions of the wedding party ate meals there. Snacks for the bride and groom's long wedding day and weekend came from Good Foods. New reusable bags of fresh fruit and Kentucky goodies greeted some out-of-town guests. An array of Good Foods' cold teas, juices, and lemonades refreshed family members waiting for the ceremony to begin. Special Good Foods items like avocados and fresh cilantro boosted large family dinners to celebration status.

Reflecting on my household's deep reliance on the Coop over more than 30 years gives me an opportunity to notice all I take for granted:

  • Readily available special foods for specific diets: vegan, low-carb, low sodium, raw, vegetarian, macrobiotic, and more
  • Supplements that offer healing and relief for a multitude of conditions, and wise staff members who help without giving inappropriate advice
  • Kentucky-grown premium meats and some seafoods, eggs, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, canned goods, books, greeting cards, and even a few body care products
  • Extensive organic stock, including some fabric items and, I just learned, organic root beer
  • A busy café that makes it easy to eat more vegetables and fruits, and offers ways to experiment with foods few of us try at home, like wheat grass juice and vegan pastries
  • A long-term commitment to education, including a steady catalogue of classes and an intriguing recent film series. Coming up next: Dirt, on July 27 at the Downtown Public Library
  • An elected board that works both smart and hard for the organization's long term stability and future, and has invested heavily and consistently in improving its own effectiveness
  • A permanent commitment to cooperative principles and democratic decision-making

That's a weighty list. The thing that draws me to the Coop several times a month, though, is likely to be a longing for something on the shelves: Kenny's Farmhouse Aged Cheddar, or some of the signature lightly sautéed kale on the hot buffet.

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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 40.