*Y'all remember LOGS, right? The local overpriced grocery store I had to rely on back home in Rossland?
I've been volunteering at a refugee resource centre in the neighbourhood of Hastings Sunrise for a few months now, and I'm really enjoying it there. There's a community kitchen and once a week I make lunch for the staff and clients and do some baking, too. The clients love it; many of them live in poverty. Since this is a non-profit organization that has a small operating budget, I have to keep my meals cheap without sacrificing healthiness, and to facilitate this I've learned where to shop for the best deal in the neighbourhood. And there is a lot of choice when it comes to small, independently-owned markets.
The one we utilize the most is John's Farm Market at 2438 East Hastings. Their produce is hands down the least expensive of all the stores in the three block radius I try to keep myself to when I go out to do the grocery shopping for my meal.
John's is a very cultural experience for me. Right out front, facing the street, is a roaster/display thingy that usually has in it a selection of whole roasted birds and parts of roasted pig. It's touted as "Chinese BBQ" and man, does it ever smell good! Here is a closer look:
In addition to produce, John's does a bustling hot Chinese food take-out business that also smells amazing.
Price-wise, they cannot be beaten. I made a big pot of veggie soup for $6. Onions were 99¢ for 3lbs, cabbage was 49¢/lb...And I decided to do some personal shopping there after I was done volunteering, and I got bananas for 59¢/lb, mushrooms for 99¢/lb, pineapples were two for $5, green peppers were cheap...And the place is always busy! Even their canned stuff was cheaper than other places, and I wound up getting all my spaghetti sauce ingredients there for under $5.
I love this place! And I love the fact that it's a small independent business and I don't have to have that whole big name grocery store experience when I go there. I'm so glad I don't have to rely on LOGS anymore for my groceries! The staff are attentive and friendly, and the place has a nice feel to it. I'll be making it a regular stop on my way home from volunteering each week! And I'll have to try the take-out sometime, too!