Story Published: Oct 23, 2011 at 5:42 PM PST
ELLENSBURG — It’s not your typical trip to the grocery store. In fact, it’s no trip at all. The Ellensburg food cooperative has found a new home online.
“It’s very convenient,” says shopper, Karen Ingalls. “Especially compared to what our options are for upper county residents right now.”
Karen speaks for thousands in Central Washington who have had a tough time finding convenient organic, local produce. Until now, Karen had to drive at least 30 miles to find organic produce. That’s why the idea of virtual shopping is catching on.
“Most shoppers, they are looking for local produce, meat and eggs,” says Co-op web master, Ed Gellenbeck.
Gellenbeck says demand for local produce is always high, especially in the winter, when farmer’s markets call it quits.
“This will be a way to extend the season for both the growers and the shoppers,” says Gellenbeck.
It’s a win-win, but they’re not the only ones coming out on top. When local growers are selling to local buyers, that’s money flowing into our local economy. Gellenbeck says that is important.
“We want to create a marketplace for local producers to be able to produce in the county and sell to local residents,” says Gellenbeck.
The virtual shopping trip is pretty simple. You just log on to the website, click ‘shop online,’ and browse their products. You can shop through everything from vegetables to baked goods to fruit. When your virtual shopping cart is full, you can go the the shopping calendar to figure out where and when to pick up your food.
And while it may not be typical, the idea of being able to shop in your PJ’s from home, is one both Karen and Gellenbeck are certain will catch on.
Right now, the online shopping is in its beginning stages and is only available once a month. But as demand increases, organizers do plan to expand the program.
To see a list of upcoming events, or learn more about the Ellensburg Food Co-op, go to http://ellensburgfoodcoop.com