Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bulking up - Brazos Natural Foods

After all that baking last week (a second batch of buns, 2 loaves white bread, 4 loaves pumpkin bread, 2 loaves amish friendship bread), I was completely out of flour (go figure).  I was considering walking over to the grocery to pick up another sack when I had an idea. Ding (that's the light going on in my head - yes, it makes noise. I'm not so young anymore). What about Brazos Natural Foods? I haven't been in there in probably a year, but I remember a series of bulk bins towards the back of the store. So I gave them a call. They did indeed have bulk flour and yes, I can bring my own containers to fill. Sweet!

Since Fridays are the one day of the week we need to drive (the location for our 5:00 PM dairy pickup is far enough away from home that biking or busing dairy products home would be a worry), we made plans to swing by BNF on our way to get our weekly dairy order. The store was just as I had remembered it. Lots of natural and organic products, with a few locally produced fruits and veggies, and two rows of bulk bins at the very back. 

With a quick pit stop at the front of the store to weigh the storage containers we had brought from home, we bee-lined for those bulk isles. All sorts of organic flours, seeds, granolas, sugar, oatmeal, tea, coffee and even spices! They have spices in bulk!  For the meantime, I filled 3 containers with organic unbleached white flour (1.39/lb), 2 containers of organic whole wheat flour (1.29/lb), and one container of organic oatmeal (1.39/lb).  Those prices aren't bad at all! 

I did ask if any of the items in the bulk bins were from Texas. They told me that some of them probably were, but nothing was labeled as such. But that's ok. These items might not be local, but being whole foods, they still meet the guidelines of my diet (Exception #1). Plus,  I feel good that I'm supporting a small, local company in the process. And of course, none of those pesky flour bags or oatmeal containers to toss or compost.

Now, they also had raw cane sugar in bulk. I've never used it before. Does anyone know - can you substitute raw cane sugar for granulated sugar in recipes? 1:1?  I might just go back next week for some of that!  And those spices?  There were tons of them, all in bulk.

Before heading to the checkout, we browsed for a few minutes and made a new friend - we talked to one of the sales ladies for quite awhile (she's originally from Seattle) about growing up in Seattle, what brought her to BCS, access to local foods, and (of all things) making yogurt. You know, although BNF has the whole "store atmosphere," it reminds me of going to the farmers market where you get to know people and build relationships; a place where you are remembered and cared for. Thanks, Brazos Natural Foods! We'll definitely be back! 


Jenelle said...

you can sign up your email address and recieve a weekly email of the specials for that week. If you print it out and spend over so much ($50-70) you get an amount off your total bill. They are also asking for the donation of a good running comp with Windows XP

Heather @ SGF said...

Sweet! Thanks, Jenelle! I don't see anything on their website. Do you sign up at the store?