GreenTree offers local, healthy bites for students and residents
For those looking to eat healthy and local, there’s a hidden gem in Mount Pleasant.
Tucked back in a wooded suburban area downtown exists GreenTree Cooperative Grocery, 214 N. Franklin St., or as it is locally known, GreenTree.
Manager Sara Christensen, a Mount Pleasant senior, said GreenTree is a place to buy groceries brought in from local businesses and farms.
“I think the biggest part is that we’re a community-owned organization, so all the things we do, we’re doing for the people that live here,” Christensen said.
Christensen said Community Supported Agriculture shares are becoming a fast-growing trend in which community members purchase a share, or pay a seasonal or annual fee to have the local farmers deliver batches of their products including fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats and artisan specialities.
“We like to eat local as much as possible,” Christensen said. “We didn’t have a CSA this year because our own garden was growing, but in the past we had a CSA share. We like to support local farmers that way.”
The biggest draw for many locals seems to be the gluten-free, fresh deli, and local organic meats they offer.
To get the most out of your first time at GreenTree, Christensen advises that newcomers ask for a quick tour.
“If (you) were to come here for the first time you could ask any staff member for a tour of the store,” she said. “We cram a lot into a small space and I think the staff can show you the (products) you might not see if you were to cruise through. Either that or just take your time looking for signage that tells you about where things are coming from, whether they are local or organic or fair trade.”
Senior Steven Bard paid a visit to GreenTree this summer with a group of friends who often frequent the aisles there, and discovered salsa made with all natural ingredients and he says, superb taste. He commented on how important he thought it was to get the word out about GreenTree.
“Not a lot of people know about it,” the Howell native said. “And I want them to know about it”.
GreenTree had an owner drive trying to reach a goal of recruiting 35 new owners in August. Owner members own a share of the company and have a say in what goes on, as well as receiving discounts. They exceeded their goal and gained 52 new members. GreenTree now has over 1,100 owners.
GreenTree is also going to be participating in the R.A.T. Race, sponsored by McLaren-Central Michigan, 1221 South Dr., on the Friday kickoff, at the Comfort Inn Conference Center, 2424 S. Mission St. They will be there with their human-powered smoothie-making bicycle and welcome volunteers to pedal the bike.
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