Marquette Food Co-op provides unique natural grocery experience

MARQUETTE — Many people these days are looking for ways to be healthier and more environmentally friendly. One local business has been leading the way in making that more accessible to the community.

The Marquette Food Co–op, located on West Washington Street, describes itself as a grocery store with a mission. That mission is to create a more equitable, healthy, and educated community.

The business is cooperatively owned, which means that anyone can be an owner of the Marquette Food Co–op. Sarah Monte, Outreach Director for the co–op, told us some of what makes it so special.

“It’s not every day you find a grocery store with a nine–point mission statement,” said Monte. “Those include being a model workplace, providing education to the community, providing access to good, nutritious, wholesome foods, all kinds of things. We are thinking about sustainability in every aspect of the building and our operations, we are holding cooking classes, and we’re carrying a really wide variety of products, so that there’s something for every budgetary need or desire for organic or local.”

The Marquette Food Co–op has the most extensive selection of local and organic products in the Upper Peninsula. The co–op also has a wellness department where you can go to ask the staff questions about a product or health trend.

Besides all these unique benefits for consumers, the co–op does everything they can for the community.

“When you shop here at the co–op, you are supporting a whole host of things that we do,” explained Monte. “We actually compost all of the vegetable produce waste in the store, and it goes out to local farms or community members who use it to create compost to feed their animals. When you shop at the co–op, you are supporting education. We have an education system that’s huge, multiple classes a month for public or for private offerings, we go into schools, all kinds of things.”

The Marquette Food Co–op also offers programs that help to keep costs lower for customers buying produce. This in turn promotes healthier eating habits and better lifestyle choices. The co–op hopes that through their goods and programs, they can help make Marquette a better place to live.