So Raf and I have been hearing about this ABC Vegetarian outlet advertised on the Air America affiliate here and were stoked to find out about it. We are no longer vegetarians, but while living in Santa Cruz got used to visiting the many local vegetarian-friendly grocery stores (and there are LOTS of them there). We still enjoy many of the foods we were introduced to as vegetarians.
So we planned on going there this weekend. I went online to find the address and I saw that the ABC actually stands for Adventist Book Center. That’s cool. I’m totally fine with that. So we drive out there.
It’s on the west edge of town, near the airport. As we drove up, closer to the address, we noticed that it was kind of in the middle of nowhere, nestled in a forest-like area. We drove past it at first, because it didn’t look anything like “food outlet.” To drive into the place you had to drive past this heavy gate. It kind of felt like driving into a compound. As we drove up to the place it was clear that this was not your average grocery store. This was a “food outlet” that was inside the church’s bookstore. It had a very “churchy” feel.
We walked in and, sure enough, the Christian books were on the left side of the store, the vegetarian stuff was on the right side of the store. We went ahead with our purchases, and were very happy with them. The people working there were very nice to keep the store open for us while we shopped.
It was a very strange experience. It had a very culty feel. The whole “compound” thing is what does it, I think. But they did have a nice assortment of vegetarian food.
I just think it’s so funny how vastly different this experience was than, say, going to this awesome hippy vegetarian grocery we used to go to in Santa Cruz called the Food Bin. These places were polar opposites. At the ABC food outlet we were being checked out by a nice, gray-haired, church-going lady, while at the Food Bin we would be helped by kids that looked like they were born in the wrong generation.
There is another vegetarian-friendly grocery in this town near where i live. It’s kind of like a local version of Whole Foods. It’s got some good stuff in there, too. But the vibe is very yuppy and pretentious.
So my search for a cool Food Bin-style veggie grocery in Spokane continues…