When we arrived, we pulled into a parking lot and quickly realized that this was THE place to be that night. There was lots of traffic. We had our shopping bags ready and entered the building - we were greeted right away and shown where to pick up our order invoice. (an invoice is printed out for anyone who added items to their shopping cart on their site - www.westmichigancoop.com) Then, you take your invoice around to the different tables/areas set up for each "producer" that is there - and you get to pick up your food! It was so much fun! The kids really got into it and wanted to help pick up the food and put it in our bags, etc. They also got excited about the many samples being given out at each table: icecream from Moo-ville Creamery, cheeses from Grassfields Cheese, coffee and chocolate samples from Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters, YUMMY goat cheese samples from Dogwood Farms and many more!
Then, once you pick up everything you previously ordered (and maybe a few extra things like some yummy asparagus from Cherry Point Market and some kettle corn from Dorothy and Toto's Gourmet Kettle Company), you go to the "adjustments" or check-out station and pay with cash or check!
It was a great experience and I cannot wait for next month! If you want to give them a try, they give you 2 months of a 'trial' membership for free - if you like them and want to shop, there is a $35 membership for the year. You can shop once a month, year-round!
Here's a picture of what I got:
5 different heirloom tomato plants to plant in our garden, a dill plant, oregano plant, sage plant, rosemary plant, 1 lb of hydroponic lettuce, 3 whole chickens, 6lbs of grassfed ground beef, 2 lbs butter, 4lbs honey, 5lbs grassfed/nitrate-free bacon, and 1 gallon of cream-top (non-homogonized) milk - plus asparagus and kettle corn (not pictured).
We had roast chicken in the crockpot last night - which made enough meat for another meal or two. The bones are currently in the crockpot for the next 24 hrs as I am making homemade chicken stock/broth (just added filtered water, a quartered onion, several garlic cloves, some dried thyme, salt/pepper and a couple cut up carrots. I'll use it for soup and in other recipes (I freeze in various sized glass jars or heavy-duty ziploc bags.
Check out the Co-op at www.westmichigancoop.com and look around at their producers, etc.