Skip The Big Grocery Store and Check Out The Mustard Seed Co+Operative

Before we moved to Hamilton, all my grocery was purchased from big box stores. We didn’t have many options really. But right before we moved to Hamilton, I discovered The Mustard Seed Co+Operative and it was one of the first places I visited after the move!

The Mustard Seed Co+Operative Grocery opened in January of 2014 and has been a local favourite ever since. They are a democratically run not for profit local food community grocer!  They operate with a volunteer Board of Directors and an Operations Manager. 

When I first stepped into the store, I noticed an immediate difference. The team of staff is so incredibly passionate about their work and it shows!  They actually come by and ask if you need help looking for items and with a smile on their faces. When I go to grocery stores, I like to browse every aisle and I didn’t feel rushed to get out of there at all!

When you shop at a grocer like The Mustard Seed Co+Operative, the biggest difference is the local economic impact, keeping local money in our city by means of paying a fair price for our farmers locally grown produce, to our small business owners and makers and by paying a living wage to our employees the local economic impact is much higher and stays within Hamilton.  This is so important, especially during the pandemic. I find many Hamilton residents are really passionate about this and I am glad they are! With passionate residents, we get amazing businesses like The Mustard Seed Co+Operative around!

Another thing I really love about this store is that they are very aware of how green and sustainable they are. Since they sell many local items, their carbon footprint is reduced, some of their suppliers walk or ride their bikes to bring them their wares!  Purchasing and consuming food that is grown locally also has a much higher nutritional impact. They also have an amazing selection of bulk products and sustainable product lines like soaps and cleaning supplies!

Often time people are confused if they need to be a member in order to shop at The Mustard Seed Co+Operative, and the answer is no. But here are some reasons why you SHOULD join and become a member! You are voting with your fork!  You also become a part of a community of like-minded, sustainable, eco-conscious, food security-aware humans.  It is so nice to be able to connect with people who have the same values as you. Meeting new friends can sometimes be hard when you move into a new city. Look at joining as getting a bunch of new friends who you already have something in common with! And there are perks! Members of our co+op also receive special ordering privileges, bulk item purchasing opportunities, 2% back in loyalty credits, and a vote for their governance structure.  Plus a ton of conversation, fun events and education!

If you want to have a taste of what they offer, I would suggest you try their Local Bounty Box. What is that you ask? I grab this from their website, “The Local Bounty Box prioritizes local produce. As availability, prices, and quality constantly fluctuate, at times we round out the contents with imported organic or fair trade certified produce. Each week, you can expect a variety of greens, fruits, root vegetables, and other seasonal offerings. We bring you the first and best of each season, celebrating the variety and flavours as they’re available. You can also add a loaf of bread and/or a dozen eggs to your Local Bounty Box.” You can also add stuff like bread and eggs to your box!

Oh and another fun thing, they have an amazing café inside the grocery store where you can buy delicious coffee and baked goods. Often times they host pop-ups for local artists and bakers in their shop. I love that they give these amazing opportunities to local creators to showcase their products!

Stacey of The Mustard Seed Co+Operative says it best, “If everyone in Hamilton spent $50 each month at 3 locally owned businesses, it would generate so much revenue to keep these small businesses around.  Shopping locally means our food system keeps thriving and the local economy becomes stronger, which means healthier and happier people.  Happy people = healthy people and that means less stress on our infrastructure within the city, creating jobs is also a result of a thriving local economy.  Shopping locally is also so much fun, the creativity of our local community and the dedication of our local growers is a beautiful thing to be a part of and taste!”

I am a huge fan and supporter of this amazing grocery store! If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you checking them out. Make The Mustard Seed Co+Operative your new go-to grocery store and skip the big box stores!