The Co-op Smell

Bushwick Co-op members chat.

We noticed that all food co-ops have a distinctive smell (no, it’s not patchouli), and for our email today we polled Brooklyn co-op organizers on their theories about the origin of that admittedly, totally pleasant scent.

Rachel Devlin, Bushwick Food Co-op:

It’s fresh greens, with a certain amount of sweet fruit, like apples or plums, cut with garlic. Have you ever noticed how in the supermarket the vegetables don’t smell like anything? Even garlic, and garlic is so smelly, doesn’t smell at all. There’s a dewy vibe at the co-op.

David Marangio, Bay Ridge Food Co-op:

It’s more fresh food and less packaging, having more living food in the store. And the spices.

Anna Mussig, Greene Hill Food Co-op:

It’s the peanut butter machine and all the bulk bins, obviously, right?


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