Why I Shop at the Co-op #5

November 8, 2021

Jeannie Ellis loves all the healthy food choices and being able to walk to the Co-op.

Jeannie focuses on eating plant-based. 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a mother of two grown daughters and I have four grandchildren. I own two art studios in downtown Fredericksburg, Canal Quarter Arts at 1517 Princess Anne Street and Darbytown Art Studio at 241 Charles Street, which have over 40 artists combined. I love creating art and working with other artists. I’ve lived in Fredericksburg since 2007. I grew up in Virginia Beach and lived in Chesterfield from 1975-2007. I try to live healthy and eat clean foods – organic as much as possible. I became vegetarian in 1980 and remained vegetarian for 33 years. For years – before my children were born — I made all of my own breads, yogurt, pasta – everything from scratch. Although I now eat some non-vegetarian foods, I always focus primarily on plant foods. I am also an avid bird watcher and I feed the birds and squirrels in my yard. Some years ago, I raised a baby squirrel. Once she had babies, the little squirrels were also very friendly with me. I love working in my yard.

When did you first hear about the Co-op?

I met Food Co-op volunteers at the Farmers Market at Hurkamp Park several years ago. I was so happy when the Co-op finally opened. Having a health food grocery store within walking distance of my house is terrific! In the 1980s I used to go to a co-op in Richmond, but this one is so much better. I’m so happy to be a Co-op owner.

What are your favorite products at the Co-op?

I love the fresh organic produce, the wonderful bulk items, the organic peanut butter – really, just all the great organic and natural foods that the Co-op offers. And I totally appreciate the Co-op’s focus on local products. That’s what we should all be doing – buying from local producers, whether those producers are farmers, bakers, writers, craftspeople or artists. 

What do you love most about the Co-op?

The healthy choices of foods are right up my alley! And I appreciate the Co-op’s convenient location. I can walk to do my shopping. I come in the Co-op sometimes 2-3 times per week. 

Have you ever made a suggestion to the Co-op and what was it?

Yes, actually. I loved the chicken salad that had pecans in it, but was told they stopped making it because it had nuts in it and some people are allergic to nuts. My suggestion was to place a sticker on the container saying “Made with Nuts” so the rest of us could enjoy it. I know that if the Co-op doesn’t carry a product that I want, I mention that to them or leave a suggestion in the suggestion box and they will try their best to carry the product. Just this week I was looking for Santa Cruz Organic No Stir Peanut Butter. The Co-op was out, but Julie checked and they will soon have it in stock for me!

What advice would you have for someone thinking about checking out the Co-op?

Definitely check it out! If you enjoy healthy food choices, you’ll love our Fredericksburg Food Co-op.