happy accidents

When I came to WordPress this morning to scribble down my most recent post, I didn’t intend for it to turn into what it did. I actually had much more to write about in the vein of positivity, and since I’ve had a couple of hours to relax, think about things, and take a nice walk, I’m going to do just that!

Don’t you love happening upon wonderful things accidentally? Like window shopping on a whim and stumbling upon a rustic antique or a beautiful piece of jewelry you otherwise wouldn’t have found? Yesterday, by complete happenstance, I came across my new favorite grocery store. It’s called The Fruitful Yield and it’s Chicago-based, but they also have an online store (check it out!) We had already completed the week’s grocery shopping and then had a few other errands to run. We found ourselves about 10 minutes from my place at Target, and we saw a sign for The Fruitful Yield. My ears perked up. I’m always interested in finding new health food stores because Whole Foods is such a hike (and so expensive). There is another local health foods store but their prices are very expensive (moreso than Whole Foods, I think) and it’s very small, so their selection isn’t the best. I usually only buy things like seitan and agave nectar there because my local grocery store is actually pretty great with vegan items. They carry Earth Balance and have a nice selection of natural/organic foods, so I try to get most of my items there. But, still, another health foods store? I had to check it out.

When we pulled into the parking lot I could see tons of people inside, which was surprising because when we frequent the other health foods store I mentioned, we’re usually the only customers. We stepped inside and the first thing I noticed were aisles upon aisles upon aisles of supplements. I later found out, from talking with the clerk who rang us up, that they started as a supplement shop and then expanded to more of a grocery store with 11 Chicagoland locations. This particular store opened in October and he said they’re getting newbie customers on the daily. I was first looking for a vegan multivitamin but was quite overwhelmed by all of the other supplements, so I decided to just browse the remainder of the store, unsure of what I’d find. Every time I turned a corner, there was more to see. They have quite an expansive selection. Tons of gluten-free items. Tons of vegetarian and vegan items. I wasn’t going to pick anything up until I saw a dark chocolate/salted almond candy bar. Of course I couldn’t resist. From there, I happened upon a jar of virgin coconut oil. This has been on my radar for a while but I couldn’t get excited about paying $10 for it. At this store, however, the coconut oil was $7.99. I picked it up and said to my boyfriend, “We may as well…I mean, it’s right here.” The true test, I knew, would be the cold section. My local grocery store doesn’t carry any soy yogurt, nor do they carry the So Delicious! cultured coconut milk I love so dearly. Well, The Fruitful Yield had both of those things. Picked them up. By this time, I was cursing myself for not picking up a basket or a shopping cart because both of our arms were getting quite full.

The only place I’ve found seitan in my area is Whole Foods and the other health foods store we go to. They’ve only carried West Soy brand and the prices are around $7.00/pack. This is expensive and I’ve started to consider trying to make my own seitan at home as a result. We both agreed that if they happened to have seitan, we’d get a few packs. They did, in fact, have seitan–but not West Soy. They had a different brand called Upton’s Naturals (a Chicago-based brand) and each pack was only $3.99. Um, yes please. We picked up a “regular” flavor and a chorizo flavor, which I plan to stick in my next tofu scramble. They had daiya, tofutti products, tofutti pizza for crying out loud! They had not only the Amy’s cheeseless pizza, but also the Amy’s “cheeze” pizza, which I did not know existed. I decided I’d already picked up enough vegan junkfood/convenience foods for the time being, but it’s so wonderful to know that this resource exists in my community! If they had a bigger produce section, I’d say I could do almost all of my shopping there. It was a wonderfully pleasant experience. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when we left. They had so many items and made my grocery shopping efforts so simple. I usually go to 3-4 stores to get everything I need and that’s a pain in the ass. Now I know I can just shop there in addition to my regular grocery store. That will cut my time in half. And the prices, for the most part, were incredibly reasonable.

They’re even hiring for a smoothie bar/sales clerk position at another location nearby. I almost considered applying for the part time position because a) it would be nice to have some supplemental income and b) I think it would be a blast.

So now my question to you all is, what do you do with coconut oil? I’ve read a lot about it but I’m not quite sure what to do with it. I know it’s a great skincare product but I’m more interested in cooking with it than anything else. Can anyone shed any light?

What’s the happiest accident you’ve ever stumbled upon in the way of shopping (or otherwise!)?

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One thought on “happy accidents

  1. thewronggirlwrites says:

    Happy accident: I actually love reading your posts. Fact.

    My real life happy little stumbles often involve food shopping too. Even finding a particular brand that makes vegan versions of treats like nutella, or a skincare range that’s 100% animal friendly, is always a buzz. Cosy bookshops are another favourite, the ones with armchairs to sit, read and lose an hour. Or escaping the rain and finding a gem of a café off the beaten city track.

    As for coconut oil, I’ve used it as a hair treatment, overnight, once a week. I’ve also used it in drinks, rice dishes or with crunchy veg. I like a couple of tablespoons of it in water too. I might research more myself and see what more I can do with it. Let us know if you come up with any ideas 🙂

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