Best of Butler County winners: MOON Co-op, the best place for healthy food

While some may view food cooperatives as luxuries for big cities, the MOON Co-op (short for “Miami Oxford Organic Network”) brings fresh ingredients and a close-knit community to Oxford.

MOON’s beginnings were humble, a group of people who purchased organic goods in bulk and split them into shares in the basement of a church. Organic ingredients are easy to find now, but that wasn’t the case in the late 1990s and early 2000s, explains board president Carla Blackmar. Early members decided to open a grocery store to make these products available to the public, and by October 2012, the co-op was born.

MOON has been celebrated in this year’s Best of Butler County contest as the winner in Best Health Food Store and Best Natural Food Store and runner-up in Best Grocery Store.

We’re preparing to release all of our Best of Butler County winners on Friday, and we’re providing an early look at a few of those winners this week. To get the winners before anyone else, sign up for our Midday Break newsletter.

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Unlike traditional grocery stores, a cooperative, or co-op, is collectively owned by shareholders and managed by an elected board that represents shareholder interests.

MOON Co-op’s offerings include locally raised meats and dairy products and locally grown vegetables, as well as fair-trade coffees, teas, and wines. MOON Co-op offers extensive bulk offerings that allow consumers to fill their own containers, in order to eliminate unnecessary packaging.

“We are uniquely responsive to and interested in supporting and advancing our local suppliers,” Blackmar said. “Many of our suppliers and growers are members of our cooperative, and we represent a place where they can sell our products all week long, without having to staff multiple farmers markets. We are proud to work together to build our local economy in this way. We also have a history of assisting local startups as they look to bring their wares to market, providing shelf space to folks just getting going in retail.”

It is this community-forward focus that Blackmar loves so much about being involved with MOON. She enjoys checking customers out and talking to them about what they plan to make with their purchases and their favorite offerings at the on-site prepared-foods deli.

“In a world of delivery and self-checkout, this kind of interaction and community is becoming all too rare,” Blackmar said.



WHERE: 512 Locust St., Oxford

WHEN: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.

CONTACT: 513-280-5020

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