They probably should let the place burn to the ground just so we can watch a bunch of pretentious, spoiled hipster douchebags cry.
A kale shortage incites widespread panic. A 4-year-old melts down when his parents won’t buy him dried papaya spears. And members debate natural childbirth while bagging nuts.
It’s tales from the front lines of the Park Slope Food Coop, temple to locally grown, antibiotic-free, passive-aggressive grocery shopping where you’ll find equal doses of corn and scorn.
“Do we have …” is a constant drone heard over intercoms the community market installed throughout the store so shoppers and employees can get info about product availability and pricing.
“There was a day when we ran out of kale and people were ready to burn the co-op to the ground,” one member tells the Daily News. Like other members we spoke to, he asked that we withhold his name for fear of being booted out of the cult-like co-op. “The intercom went crazy with ‘Do we have kale!?’ ‘Do we have kale!?’ ‘Someone needs to get fired!’ It was doomsday.”
Even mini-members throw supersized tantrums.
“The weirdest thing I have ever seen at the co-op would have to be a 4-year-old hysterically crying because he couldn’t get dried papaya spears,” says a male co-op member in his mid-20s. “I didn’t even know what dried papaya spears were until I was in my 20s.”
The chaos extends deep in to the meat aisle, too.
“There is always a generally high level of neurosis regarding running out of anything,” one member shares under the strict condition of anonymity. The thirtysomething artist has been a member since 2010 and usually works in the cheese department or bagging nuts. “There was no brisket as of Friday. That may be an anxiety-volcano in the making.”
It attracts all kinds of Brooklynites – from grungy hipsters to fortyish vegan moms chiding their multiracial children in French as they jostle for locally grown rhubarb. Recently, customers searched for filtered coconut water to prepare for a snowstorm and another was breathlessly seeking chocolate goat’s milk. The coop is so popular that claustrophobic conditions and endless checkout lines lead to “cart rage,” as one member puts it.
Gaining membership entails a seven-step application process including making a $125 contribution (of which $100 is eventually refundable), proof of identity and address, enrolling every adult in your household (everyone must work!) and, finally, enduring a two-hour orientation conducted with a strict discipline that would make any autocrat proud. Bring a visitor and they’ll have to wear a bright orange “NO SHOPPING – VISITOR” sticker.