Saturday, November 5, 2011

Coop Chocolate Options

As you may know, Sisters and Brothers, our featured reviews, Saturday Sacraments or our Special Sacramental Reviews, require that a company send us a product we can write about.  Sometimes though what they really want us to focus on is the store or the company not the chocolate item itself because they are retailers.  Retailers are an important part of American culture and I imagine most western cultures.  So today we are going to focus on Bloomingfoods, the nearby coop I and my entire household and several of our friends shop at and some of us belong to. 

The product the coop gave me was this  Artisana Raw Cacao Bliss chocolate and coconut butter spread.  As you can see it was very difficult to spread on my bread here.  It also was very coconut tasting so I'll have to give this to our appropriate Acolyte and see what she thinks later.

Microwave 10 seconds = spreadable
This sort of product though is just one of the many categories you can find chocolate in at Bloomingfoods.  They have their own deli and bakery and I've have several goods from there that varied in their quality but none were poor quality just some amazing and some OK.  They have a fairly large selection of candy, energy, and granola bars most of which have chocolate or are chocolate.  Some brands we've featured or done regular reviews of here on The Chocolate Cult.  They sell baking goods so you can find baking chips or bars of chocolate and cocoa to help you make homemade goodies.  They have frozen foods which include some chocolate items and a lot of dairy free selections so it's a good bet for those of you with that allergy and intolerance.  Finally, their alcohol selections sometimes have a chocolate liquor, beer, or wine and of course their brands are mostly small brew and organic.

My East side store I shop at.
Bloomingfoods serves over six counties in south-central Indiana.  It is also part of a virtual chain of over 120 other coops around the USA.  We get general fliers about sales around the nation along with the monthly newsletter.  As you may recall, back in July 2011, they did an article on me, your Chocolate Priestess.  They have three stores now in Bloomington, Indiana, though I primarily go to the East side one since it is only three blocks from me so I can walk or even take a short drive if I'm feeling lazy or want to get a lot.  I go there at least once a month, often with another Acolyte who is also a coop member.  We've been members since 1998 I think if not 1997.  We've seen a lot of changes over that time.  From speaking with the folks who run Bloomingfoods they have been supporting fair trade, eco-friendly coffee, tea, and chocolate for decades now.  If you find a coop that does the same thing, strongly consider supporting them because by doing so you encourage more sustainable cacao growing around the world.

Bloomingfoods is a great shop that brings me variety that I have difficulty finding in other stores in my town.  Unlike international or small shops, their coop nature means that they listen to their customers but especially to those of us who are members.  Their focus on organic, fair trade, and local products means they are supporting the planet, the only one we know of which can grow cacao, Sisters and Brothers.  So if you don't like in my town, still give a look to your local coops, make sure they are in fact coops, not big name chains masquerading as them, and join. You'll get discounts and a voice that goes beyond your wallet.

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