A lot of Miamians trek to Walmart or Kroger once a week to stock up on groceries and snacks, in the hopes of being healthier. Yet there is a little gem unbeknownst to most kids located just off campus: the MOON Co-Op Natural Foods Store.
You may be wondering, “What the heck is a co-op?” Yeah, I had that reaction, too. According to the Neighboring Food Co-Op Association, a food co-op is a business that is democratically owned by its members, customers, and employees. Lucky for us, there’s a co-op right here in Oxford. There are tons of reasons to visit MOON, but here are a few stand outs.
The Staff is Awesome
Their enthusiasm makes you feel welcome as soon as you come in, whether you’re a regular or a newbie. My personal fave is Steve “Soupy,” the deli assistant. He never fails to put a smile on your face. And yes, the deli is spectacular. Two soups made fresh daily, with “yesterday’s soup” in the fridge along with dips, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and more. They also make sandwiches and smoothies customizable to your liking. Oh, another reason why the staff is awesome: they just went through every product label and removed any products with HFCS.
The Bulk Foods Section
Here they have dried fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, granola, chocolate, tea, spices, and more. This section is a must-visit for students because we can get just a little bit to try without shelling out a whole bunch of money on a huge pack.
The Produce and Grocery Section
A lot of their produce is organic, and local when possible. They also have a frozen section, as well as an aisle for home care. There are also sales and special member prices. Added bonus: There’s a “full moon” member sale once a month.
And now, the best products that you can only get at MOON:
If you thought sauerkraut was only for hot dogs, think again. While I used to absolutely despise sauerkraut, I tried to like it because it was “good for you” (since fermented foods contain healthy bacteria). This I love. Try it on salads or a sandwich for a nice sharp crunch. The beet is my second fave.
2. Curry and Ginger Spiced Cashew
Even though I don’t like cashews that much, I decided to give these a try since I really love ginger and curry flavors. Verdict: mind blown. I eat ‘em straight out of the bag, and manage to get about equal amounts of spice and nuts. That ginger spice, man.
3. Dried Mixed Berries
These come from the beloved bulk section. Full of goji berries, mulberries, raisins, blueberries and pomegranate seeds, they pack a huge punch of antioxidants, and (just the cranberries and blueberries probably) are lightly sweetened using apple juice concentrate with no sugar added. They’re great on yogurt, in cereal, or on their own.
4. Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso
Brace yourself: I am not a chocolate lover. Or a coffee lover (tea ftw). But put the two together, and it’s a swoon-tastic (or spoon-tastic?) combo. I tried these a few months ago, and I was blown away by ’em: deep, whole espresso beans in rich, dark chocolate. So crunchy, so sweet, and sure to satisfy any type of craving. Plus, this is real dark chocolate (and for me, the darker, the better), so it does have a worthy amount of antioxidants.
So come one, come all over to MOON Co-Op. Friendly to paleo, vegan, omnivores, old or young, newbies and regulars.
Lookin’ for more? Here’s more: