A look at the new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.
Golden 1 Center wasn't the only splashy new building to open in Sacramento this autumn. The new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op debuted just days after the downtown arena opened its big hangar doors in early October.
Everything about the new co-op is bigger and better than the old store, from the parking (which has more than tripled) to the check-out stands. The old co-op on S Street, while much loved, was crowded and cramped. The new co-op has wide aisles, roomy display cases and new offerings like a full-service cheese department, a taco bar and an on-site sushi maker.
The $26 million project puts Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op in competition with retailers like Nugget Markets and Whole Foods.
A quick look at what’s new and noteworthy:
- The all-organic produce department is larger and easier to navigate. Local products include pea shoots and sunflower greens from Natural Trading Company, baby beet greens and chard from Riverdog Farm, walnuts from Full Belly Farm, butternut squash from Terra Firma Farm and satsuma mandarins from Capay Organic.
- A floral cart displays colorful flowers from Full Belly, Good Humus and other local growers.
- The expanded bulk foods department carries dried shiitake, porcini and reishi mushrooms and dried morels (at $363 a pound!), local wildflower honey, Bariani olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There’s also a crazy array of dried herbs and spices you may have never seen before: arnica flowers, mugwort, dong quai root, feverfew, plus two types of sea salt.
- The expanded refrigerated grocery and dairy cases carry things like vegan mozzarella and organic duck eggs.
- The meat and seafood department is several times larger than the old store’s, with lots of ready-to-cook options: seafood fajitas, salmon burgers, stuffed chicken breasts, bacon-wrapped pork medallions and close to 20 varieties of sausage—all made in-house.
- The cheese department is a marvel, with more than 200 domestic and imported cheeses. You can request a sample or have cheese cut to order.
- A good portion of the store is devoted to ready-made foods that you can eat on the premises or take with you. There’s a pizza station, a taco and burrito station (similar to Chipotle), a sandwich bar where you can get burgers and hot dogs as well as cold sandwiches, a sushi station, a gelato bar (serving locally made gelato from Devine Gelateria), and a coffee, juice and smoothie bar.
- There are serve-yourself stations, including an olive bar, salad bar and hot and cold food bars.
- There’s seating for 140 in four dining areas, including two outdoor patios.
SACRAMENTO NATURAL FOODS CO-OP
2820 R St.; (916) 455-2667