Flatbush Food Coop
Owner: cooperatively owned
Opened: 1976, 2007 in current location
Cooperative: affiliated with Coop Food Stores
Location: 1415 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY
Photographed: May 2019
I made a reference to the Flatbush Food Coop in yesterday's Natural Frontier post, so here's a look at the store. In business since 1976, this community-owned natural food coop moved to their present location, a former Associated supermarket, in 2007.
This store is, as the storefront advertises, open to the public and not just owners as some are, such as the Park Slope Food Coop in western Brooklyn (which has had more than its share of controversy over its life). The Flatbush Food Coop is fundamentally more welcoming, but the store also makes an effort to be incorporated into the community.
It competes with Natural Frontier about four blocks west and a Key Food a block and a half east, so it has to balance the specialty positioning with competitive prices. And from my observation, it seems that they're very successful.
The store's entire produce department, which lines the left side of the store, is organic. A small prepared foods-bakery area (no deli) is at the end of the first aisle, with meat and dairy on the back wall, and frozen foods in the last aisle.
As you can see, the 6400 square foot store is not enormous, but it's plenty spacious.
Prepared foods, juice, soup, and bakery are at the end of the first aisle in the corner. Even though this section is very small, it's still beautiful.
No sliced-to-order deli, but some outstanding prepared foods options.
Small meat section and dairy line the back wall of the store.
Grocery aisles are quite attractive and nicely stocked, with a selection of natural and specialty products, plus some more unusual items in the bulk department...
And looking back towards produce and deli along the back wall...
Dairy continues into the alcove in the back corner of the store.
Frozen foods and beer in the last aisle.
Clearly, the Coop gets crowds at peak times, as they have crowd control down to a science. The line extends past customer service, the manager's office, and into the bulk section (which was not necessary at the time of my morning photography, but became necessary when I returned to the store in the early evening when people were getting off work).
You can see there's a somewhat unusual checkout layout, as they are all in one island and angled towards the exit. Not common, but it worked quite well at the busy time I observed.
That's all for the Flatbush Food Coop! Our next stop is the Key Food just a block and a half east on Cortelyou.