Shop Local at These Michigan Natural Food Stores

There’s something about going into a small, locally owned natural food store that makes you feel so good. Not only do you get to stock up on nutritious items for your kitchen, but you also help support your town’s economy and leave feeling more connected to your community. While there are wonderful health food stores sprinkled all around Michigan, here are six to check out:

Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City: This downtown Traverse City co-op was the first “Certified Organic Retailer” in the country and has been in business for 41 years. It has all of the staples: bulk items, local produce, grass-fed meat, local fish and cheeses. The store also carries organic and fair-trade tea and coffee. And if you’re hungry on your visit, head over to the Lake Street Café, which is attached to the store. It’s the perfect place to grab an espresso, smoothie, cup of soup or sandwich while local artists play music.

Plum Market in Ann Arbor, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield: With three Michigan locations, this organic and specialty grocery store is making its mark on Michigan’s food scene. Sustainable seafood, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and local produce fill the shelves. You’ll also find items from other Michigan favorites like food from Ann Arbor institution Zingerman’s, sushi from the chefs at Detroit’s Mon Jin Lau, and loose-leaf tea from Tea Haus.

Marquette Food Co-Op in Marquette: No membership is required to take advantage of the bounty of this Upper Peninsula co-op. From June to October, the shop is stocked with produce from local farmers. And in the off-season, the selection switches to organic produce from the U.S. and around the world. Besides the bulk, grocery and wellness sections, the store also promotes items from local artisans. And it doubles as an entertainment destination thanks to its frequent workshops, cooking classes, movie nights and farm tours.

Nature’s Gift Organic Market in Midland: Mark and Michelle Bone opened this market four years ago with the goal of bringing local food and organic education to the community. Nature’s Gift offers seasonal selections from local farms like Graham’s Organics and Hilhof Dairy as well as lots of other organic and gluten-free products. You can even purchase organic wines to go with their featured sandwiches.

Nourish Organic Market & Deli in Grand Rapids: This small Wealthy Street store is packed with bulk grains and nuts, local meats and cheeses. You can shop easily knowing that everything is free of pesticides, hormones and genetically-modified foods. The store also offers free delivery on something called “Fresh for You,” which are CSA-style baskets they put together each week. And if you want to learn how to make tasty juices or delicious Paleo meals, you can learn. Nourish regularly invites dieticians, artisans and cooks to the shop to share their expertise.

Grain Train in Petoskey and Boyne City: This USDA-certified organic co-op has sold natural and organic food for more than 44 years. The store is stocked with produce, meats, bulk items, ready-to-eat soups, sandwiches and bakery treats. You can also find nutritional items and vitamins on the shelves. Once a month, the owners let you (and whoever you want to go in with) order cases of your favorite products and produce to save money.

Did we miss one of your favorite stores? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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