Hear ye! Hear ye! I have been to the promised land. It turns out it is not where we thought it was. El Dorado’s gold does not exist! All year we have been toiling in the jungles of Mesoamérica, searching for a treasure that wasn’t there. A treasure that never was there. I have lost many good men. I have lost many bad men. I have lost many average men. I have lost fewer women. And friends, at one point I almost lost hope. But I never lost hope completely. And when I was on the verge of giving up, of packing it in and heading home to Spain to live out my life in relative luxury, suckling on the teat of the monarchy like some kind of deranged goat, I decided to look in one more place, and there! There, my friends, I found it.
Turns out it was in Bellingham.
Located on the north side of Bellingham near Whatcom Community College, the Cordata Community Food Co-Op is your one stop shop for quality groceries and produce. This place has everything: a hot bar, a salad bar, a seating area, and even a coffee bar that serves organic, fair-trade coffee at two dollars a pop, with free refills as long as you stay in the store.
The grocery store is open daily from 7am-9pm, and is located at 315 Westerly Road in Bellingham, Washington, kitty corner (or is it catty???) from the Bellingham transit center, otherwise known as: The place where the Bolt Bus stops, otherwise known as: Everyone’s 18th favorite Can-American bus line.
On my visit to the Co-Op and the one this review is based on, I arrived at 7:30am and, to be truthful, expected it to be closed. Much to my delight, however, I saw it was open, whereupon I wasp-lined it to the coffee bar section where I found precisely what I had come for: yerba mate. I wish I could say I’m not addicted to yerba mate, but that would be like saying I’m not addicted to ketamime — simply untrue! All jokes aside, I talked briefly with one of the employees who informed me that all of the wares at the coffee bar cost two dollars per cup — including tax — no matter the size, with free refills as long as you stay in the store. Judging by the Mexican guy who’s currently preparing ramen noodles in the seating area and has a two liter bottle of Coke and his own bottle of Tapatío, I’d say you can stay here a very long time.
As I was paying for my yerba mate I had a brief conversation with one of the serfs working the register, who posited: “I think it’s the best deal in town, because it’s organic, fair trade coffee…”
She trailed off as if expecting me to say something, but I was looking at the card reader and waiting for it to say “Remove card” so I could rip my credit card from its clutches and retire to the seating area and guzzle yerba mate.
Which is what I’m doing now. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is playing on the PA system and the vibe is chill. Everyone is happy at the Cordata Community Food Co-Op, which is to say, all four of us. But now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go. El Dorado beckons, and in this case it’s kept in a thermos about 20 feet from my person. I intend to see to it that that thermos gets emptied, or at least something very close to it.