Fresh, Local Products for a Growing City
Vancouver has come a long way in the last ten years or so. Growing from an overlooked Portland suburb to one of the fastest-growing areas in the state as well as an increasingly attractive area for business. Though its growth still trails far behind many other cities in Washington, Vancouver takes advantage by reveling in the still-possible spoils of small-town life. Weekly farmer’s markets, county fairs, community events, and acres of open space for recreation make it well balanced and manageable for families and young professionals alike.
But what this small-town peppered with big city features doesn’t lack is grocery options. Every town has their IGA’s and Safeway’s, but Vancouver is too forward-thinking to stop there. Ten years ago, the only organic food stores in Vancouver were fairly limited. Trader Joe’s and Chuck’s Produce dominated the field. And though excellent choices on their own, the demand for healthier, more diverse food options increased with the population and outside influences and places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats (remember them?) swooped in to answer the call.
Great places to shop for rare, local, and organic food in Vancouver, Washington
Arnada naturals – 2407 Main St, Vancouver, WA 98660 – This place is worth mentioning simply because it’s the antithesis to the natural foods chain store behemoth. Arnada is what natural food stores were originally – not much bigger than a boutique shop with a few aisles dedicated to tinctures, herbs, extracts, superfoods, supplements, and raw powders. A place where you can go to improve your health, not find “healthy” ice cream and cookies. Arnada is owned by a former Whole Foods employee, working for them when the now Amazon-consumed market was comprised of just three modest stores in Texas.
Arnada offers a more intimate natural foods shopping experience, without the overwhelming surplus of options of their larger grocery counterparts. And with a generous supply of locally made gluten and dairy free foods as well as kombucha, baked goods, and body care items, Arnada naturally separates the wheat from the chaff.
New Seasons Market – 2100b SE 164th Ave #101, Vancouver, WA 98683 – New Seasons Markets are the shining stars of natural food grocers in the Northwest. Opening their first store in Portland in 1999, this privately-owned grocery store chain keeps a tight network of stores around Oregon and Washington, with a few outliers in Northern California. Their prices are reasonable, considering you’re getting some of the freshest, highest quality goods available locally. Their employees possess an impressive amount of knowledge about their products and are more than happy to guide you to that oddball ingredient you need for your next culinary experiment.
But don’t be intimidated by their selection of fancy culinary gems! They feed the need for quick and cheap staples too, carrying an extensive line of Western Family items including paper goods, snacks, and basic household necessities to get you by until you can spend more extravagantly. The Fisher’s Landing location also holds workshops and events for blossoming culinary artists, parents, and kids, so check their events calendar for interesting ways to make healthy foods part of your lifestyle.
If grocery shopping is too much of a chore to fully enjoy, head over to these great Vancouver second-hand shops for a bit more fun and nostalgia! Afterward, grab a bite at these independently owned restaurants in Vancouver!