About two years ago, my drop point had grown so large that I asked one of my members to split off and start her own group with the members that were closer to her. Now, it seems as if we are back to that point again where we need to split because we are outgrowing my driveway - this month's delivery for our group totaled 1700 lbs of organic, wholesome goodness to the tune of $3200.
I am not surprised how quickly shopping through Azure Standard is growing in popularity. For one, there is the convenience of grocery shopping online, anytime, in your nightgown if you wish, without distractions from the kids, with all the time necessary to compare prices and tweak the order to fit the budget. Score!
Then, the delivery - even though we take items off the end of the truck ourselves, and distribute them by last name in my driveway, that is still a lot faster and easier than dragging the kids through the store and putting items into a shopping cart. Especially for me, who has everything delivered to my front door!
Beyond that, the experience as a whole is much more social than grocery shopping ever will be: We see what others are ordering, share our experiences, split large bulk orders, and chat and catch up - all while the kids are happily playing together and the adults work the co-op.
The prices, of course, are what initially draw many to order from Azure. I like to say it's like an online Whole Foods as far as availability of items, with a smaller price tag.
What's the downside, you may wonder? As for my drop point, it's zero customer service! Drop point managers like myself are not recompensed in any way, shape or form (beyond the satisfaction of knowing that we are helping others eat better). So people who are only there to freeload, show up late and not help unload and distribute, or expect me to store and refrigerate their goods until they have a convenient time to pick them up as if I were a for-profit store, quickly get the boot from our group. My driveway is not some sort of budget Whole Foods - and I make that clear to those who think otherwise.
As it stands, I would say we spend about 50% of our grocery budget on Azure, about 30% locally on dairy, meat and produce, and about 20% at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods to round out the odds and ends I need throughout the month.
I have often been asked about what I like to order from Azure. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will blog here and there about my favorite products. Really, though, I have yet to order anything I don't love.
Stay tuned for part 2! :)