BEST NATURAL FOODS GROCERY - 2010
Seward Co-op Grocery & Deli
Ever since Seward Co-op moved into its gleaming, fluorescent-green new digs last year, it has threatened to ruin the reputation of natural-food groceries. Until then, co-ops were known as cramped, dingy stores with nightmarish parking. But Seward's 13,000-square-foot facility feels almost like a supermarket, with wide aisles inside and a no-hassle parking lot that by itself is a reason to eat organic. But this big, 5,000-member co-op sets itself apart in many other ways, notably with the largest co-op deli around (remodeled just this month), featuring new coffee drinks and sandwiches, hot foods, a well-stocked salad bar, and a decent bakery, including gluten-free cookies. The impressive cheese section boasts more than 100 varieties from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa alone, and the small but top-notch meat and seafood counter carries locally raised meats and an amazing array of fresh sausages. There's still one way to know you're in a natural-foods store—the prices are as hefty as elsewhere, but think of your grocery bills as support for local farmers and an investment in your health.