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Welcome to the New Boise Co-op in the Village at Meridian

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About an hour after the Boise Co-op opened its new location in the Village at Meridian on Nov. 12, the aisles were already crowded with shoppers pushing small green carts. 

The turnout for the soft opening at 2350 N. Eagle Road was much larger than Marketing Manager Maureen "Mo" Valko expected. 

"There's a demand for a good, natural food store on this side of town that doesn't exist out here," Valko said. "We are excited to fill that need."

Valko said she's excited to see familiar faces from the North End, where the Co-op has been a neighborhood staple for 40 years, as well as creating a new membership base on the west side of the Treasure Valley.

Each section of the store has different thematic elements, called "clouds." - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Each section of the store has different thematic elements, called "clouds."
While the North End location is the flagship store, the new 25,000-square-foot location is equivalent to the original market, the Co-op Wine Shop and the Pet Shop combined. The look and feel of the Village store is also different from what longtime Co-op customers have come to know.

"Being able to have this custom build gave us a lot of control over the layout," Valko said. 

The store is designed in pods. The wellness section at the front has low-hanging lights and large aluminum lotus flowers suspended from the ceiling. The space devoted to wines sits under a giant wooden trellis. The cheese counter has a back-splash of green and white tiles.

Valko said the industry calls this sort of pocketed layout "clouds." She said the building owners spent $4.7 million constructing the storefront and the Co-op contributed another $3.5 million setting up shop. The new store is estimated to be 30 percent more efficient than the North End location, with the help of low-energy lighting, skylights and closed-door refrigeration.

The new deli is also bigger, offering fresh sandwiches and burritos, as well as rice bowls. 

"My favorite is the Bavarian Bowl," Valko said. It has housemade weisswurst sausage, homemade sage spaetzle cabbage salad and homemade deli mustard over rice for $6.99. 

Photos of area food producers are displayed throughout the store. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Photos of area food producers are displayed throughout the store.
The new shop also includes a cooking classroom complete with a kitchen. Classes are slated to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and include topics such as "Host a Holiday Party Like a Pro," "DIY Edible Holiday Gifts," "P, B & J is so Yesterday! Healthy Kids' Lunches" and "From Scales to Skillet: Learning to Cook Fish." Attendance fees range from $25-$40 per class.

Valko is particularly excited about the flour and polenta grinding stations, [image-3]as well as the new chocolate peanut butter grinder. She pointed to the black-and-white landscape photos wrapping the deli, which were taken by Idaho Conservation League artist in residence Peter Lovera.

Large-scale work by local photographer and food writer Guy Hand are also featured—printed on canvas—throughout the store, profiling area food producers like Rollingstone Chevre, Cinder Wines, Acme Bakeshop, Peaceful Belly Farm and Purple Sage Farms.

"Our producers are so excited to increase their supply to us," Valko said. "Take Mary [Cogswell], at Wildflour Bakery. We just doubled our orders to her."

The Co-op will celebrate its grand opening Friday, Nov. 13-Sunday, Nov. 15, which will include samples and wine tastings as well as a raffle for a handful of gift baskets. The store will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.