(post #9 of the "Why I Love Laramie" series)
The Whole Foods Market in Fort Collins, 75 minutes away, is usually packed. When I take a day trips to the south its a place I always try to visit. I love their variety of specialty foods and foods with real ingredients on the label. But what to do when you want the same thing here?! Fortunately, Laramie has their own, albeit much smaller, versions. I said versions on purpose because it is the combination of two little home owned stores - one by private owner, the other by co-op, that gives you enough variety to make it between trips to the giant store to the south.
The first , The Whole Earth Grainery, has been around for years and years. For a huge selection of vitamins, wholistic cures, essential oils, foriegn packaged foods, nuts, cheeses and raw ingredients, this is the go-to store. If you are trying a new recipe that calls for a dried or canned ingredient you have never heard of, chances are - they'll have it.
The other store of the my favorite duo is literally just around the corner - the Big Hollow Food Coop. They opened more recently and rather than duplicate everything in the Whole Earth Grainery, they have a huge selection (for Laramie) all their own. They have locally grown produce, eggs, fresh and frozen meats as well as a small variety of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and dairy products. They also have a good variety of gluten free foods, all the funny flours, and quite a few packaged and canned foods that fit the wholesome organic bill.
So as much as I like the Whole Foods Market, I am so glad for our own mini-versions right here town!