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Why Buy Bulk?

There are so many reasons! Read some of them, taken from the Spring 2016 issue of our Coop Scoop magazine, below:

Buying in bulk is what our Co-op was founded on. As a buying club in 1976, the original HWFC members placed orders for huge bags of brown rice, beans, and other shelf-stable hippie staples and divided them into portions for individual members to purchase. This saved money, enabled access to foods that weren’t widely available at the time, and eventually fostered the sense of community that has landed us, 40 years later, in a huge store, with a membership of over 12,000.

Shopping in the Bulk Department not only saves packaging, it enables you to reuse your old packaging. Were you gifted a really beautiful bottle of oil, or a pretty jar of jam, and have used it all up? Not to worry! You can continue to enjoy a trusted jar or the world’s most-beloved honey bear for years to come. Just bring your container into the store and refill it - it’s so simple, and conserves so many resources. You’ll save piles of plastic, glass, and cardboard, not to mention the energy that goes into producing, recycling, and/or disposing of them.

The selection is vast. Want some dried mulberries, guar gum for a special baking project, or wild-harvested Maine seaweed? Need a little Vietnamese cinnamon for a recipe? Sometimes the things we love or need for a special meal are impossible to find at conventional groceries. Bulk carries a huge assortment of items, from a range of cuisines, for a range of diets.
In our Bulk Department you can buy exactly what you need, and just that amount.Are you making something new that calls for an ingredient you’ve never tried before? If you buy a large package of a rarely-used item, you may be creating a lot of waste and taking up valuable real estate in your kitchen cupboards.

It saves money. Just like our founding members knew, when you buy a large quantity you receive a better rate. We’re able to pass those savings on to our shoppers and members in the Bulk Department.

It’s educational and interactive, just like our Co-op itself. Grab a recipe card near the soup mixes or a pamphlet on Soy Products, Beans, Rice or Flours near the pasta. Ask one of our friendly Bulk Department staff or member workers for tips on how to prepare any of the items you’ll find there. Did you know we have an entire mini-section of gluten-free items within the Bulk Department, slightly isolated to prevent cross-contamination? Did you know that all but one of our coffee roasters is local, and the other is a not-for-profit? There is really so much to learn, just from strolling the aisles.