Grocery stores are undoubtedly an essential business. While your regular trip to the big box stores might be the most exhausting activity of your entire week, there are other local options. Enter Foods for Living – a specialty grocery store, equipped with the area’s only all-organic produce section and a massive supplement section, complete with herb experts on staff.
Foods for Living’s store director Rebecca Zader saw things during the pandemic she hadn’t seen in her decades of industry experience, including the toilet paper and baking supplies shortage. The start of the holiday season marked another shift in buying trends.
“Most recently with Thanksgiving, we had a lot of larger turkeys that didn’t sell, but we ran out of all the small turkeys because obviously, people were having smaller get-togethers and that type of thing.”
Zader said one of the “best kept secrets” the store offers is an array of items with local origins.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how many Michigan-made products we have,” she said. “Being a smaller store, when people come to our store and ask us if we’d be willing to carry their products, we’re always like, ‘yeah, we’d give it a try.’”
“We’re always willing to try smaller businesses. I think some of that stuff gets lost on the shelf, or people don’t realize this is made in Michigan or that kind of thing. I do think people miss out on how many we actually have,” Zader said.
According to their website, Foods for Living has Oh Mi Organics chocolates (previously featured in ELi), Addictive Granola from Crooked Tree Breadworks, Maggie’s Organic Socks, LorAnn Oils, ELT oils, Champane’s Bee Company honey, Saint Ambrose Cellars mead, and tons of Michigan beer and wine varieties. The store also has gift ideas on end caps, including chocolates, holiday-blend coffees, soap kits, and more local, organic, high-quality items.
Zader’s most touching interactions with customers have come from the regulars. “At this point in time, we have a lot of people who have been regular customers who are genuinely – especially during the pandemic – concerned about us, like ‘how are you guys doing, are you keeping safe, is everyone healthy?’ Interactions like that always feel appreciated – very much so.”
“This is part of their community, and they’re concerned about us, and that is always appreciated,” Zader said.
Foods for Living is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Curbside pickup is available for online orders placed via email or over the phone.
Make sure ELi can continue to support your local community in 2021.