I shop at a lot of different places, but here is the general list for those of you who are searching for specific products and foods.
- Whole Foods Markets – The truth is… they carry a lot of my specialty foods. I can get almost all of my gluten free, dairy free, egg free foods there. They carry fresh seafood and organic and grass fed meats. I can find most of my baking supplies there as well. When some of my products are on sale, I buy a whole bunch, sometimes even a case! Whole Foods will give you 10% off the price if you buy a case at a time (sometimes that is 6 items, other times it is 12; you have to ask how many are in a case). I also like Whole Foods because they will take ANYTHING back – even if you opened it – even if you have no receipt! This is a huge benefit to those of us who buy products that turn out to taste awful sometimes; if you don’t want to keep that expensive box of crackers, then bring them back. Not many places will let you do that. Another time, I bought a cucumber that was super sour once and had cut half of it up that first time I opened it; I brought back the ½ that I had not cut up and they gave me an even exchange for a new one. That is good customer service! They will also let you sample/try a product if you ask…so, if you’re not sure if you will like star fruit, ask them to cut you a slice and give it a try.
- Local Farmer’s Markets – When they are in season, I love going to my local farmer’s market to get fresh, local, organic produce. I am fortunate that the markets around here are phenomenal. My personal favorite is the West Windsor Farmers’ Market (it is at the Princeton Junction, NJ train station on Saturdays between late May and Sept). See if you have a local market near you.
- ShopRite – I have this incredible ShopRite near my home that has 4 huge aisles of what they call, “Natural Foods”. It is basically all the dietary alternatives you can think of and they are right there in my local ShopRite! If the prices are good, I will buy my flours, pastas, crackers, etc. Sometimes the prices are better than Whole Foods, sometimes they are not. Occasionally I will buy produce from this store as well, but their organic section is extremely small and does not look so hot sometimes. It is good to shop around for the best products and prices.
- Black Forest Acres – This mom and pop shop has two locations near where we live in NJ. They are a mini-whole foods type place that carries some of my preferred products. They also have a large selection of naturopathic products for people who want to use them. The staff are very knowledgeable and educated on the products they sell. Also, they will also order you any product they don’t have and will call you when it comes into the store.
- Dean’s Natural Foods – I used to work right next to this family owned local chain in Shrewsbury, NJ (have 4 or 5 locations now I believe), but I don’t get to go there as much anymore since it is almost an hour away. Similar to Black Forest in size and style, this store offers a variety of products. Their produce is often very nice looking. Everything they sell is organic, so no need to worry about buying conventional foods by accident. They have a ‘deli’ in the back of each store that makes on-site prepared foods as well as shakes, smoothies, and wraps/salads. The collard green wrap filled with homemade cashew cream, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and sliced turkey is amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
- Whole Earth Center – This local Princeton market is right near downtown and is filled with all kinds of natural, organic, and delicious products. My husband LOVES their fresh baked cookies and breads, which I sadly, cannot eat. Everything in the produce department is organic and the staff is very helpful. When our local farmer’s markets are closed for the season, this is where we buy local produce that we cannot find at Whole Foods. Their prices are also very competitive with local grocery stores.
- You can also search for products online at places like Amazon.com and LuckyVitamin.com