Winter can be tough for shoppers looking for fresh, local, sustainable produce. Selections are often limited, and local produce might not be on the menu at all. Luckily for residents in or around Newark, Delaware, there is Newark Natural Foods.
Newark Natural Foods is a small grocery co-op on Main Street. Though they are a co-op, membership is not required to shop, and, being a not-for-profit store, their pricing reflects the actual cost of stocking items, making their prices lower than a health food store’s for many things. Best of all, their stock isn’t limited to groceries- they also carry pet products, personal care items, and a wide array of items in bulk (I’m a big fan of their selection of local raw honey). If you have special dietary or ethical considerations, they also stock items that are fair trade, vegan or vegetarian, raw, macrobiotic, sugar free, gluten free, organic, and all-natural. Of course, not everything they stock will fall under all of these criteria, so if in doubt, ask one of their staff members, they’re all very friendly and knowledgeable.
They also offer an outdoor Farmer’s Market from May to November, with several local bakers’, farmers’, and artisans’ wares on offer. I’ve purchased everything from heirloom tomatoes, to gluten-free cookies, to some really lovely pottery from their Farmer’s Market, but I’ve even stopped by when I haven’t needed to buy anything- there’s usually some live music, and the vendors’ stalls are fun to window-shop. And even if you’d rather grow your own vegetables, they offer a nice selection of organic and heirloom plant seeds and starts.
Another lovely facet of Newark Natural Foods is their location- practically on the University of Delaware campus, their selection of fresh, healthful food can be invaluable for a dorming college kid looking to avoid dining hall food… or worse, the “freshman 15.”
So, if you’re looking for fresh, sustainably raised produce when there’s snow on the ground, Newark Natural Foods may be your best bet. Their website offers a fairly comprehensive list of what they carry, as well as a .pdf of exactly what produce is still in season during winter for Delaware.