Grocery stores often don’t have a consistent place for stocking vegetarian items. Some stores put tofu in the produce section, others put in a “natural food” section.
While I do advocate shopping at your local co-op or locally owned grocery store, sometimes you need a chain. (Or it’s 11 pm and you’re out of coffee.)
As a Michigan chain, they get top billing. Also, their selection of food is interesting and varied. They have a well-stocked gluten-free bread section, and I’ve also found gluten-free Bard’s and New Planet in their beer aisle. Locations: Ann Arbor, Berkley, Commerce Township, Northville, Plymouth, Union Lake, West Bloomfield.
As far as chains go, they’re very local: a Michigan-based company, headquartered in Grand Rapids. Also, their signs in the produce section shows what Michigan tasty flora is in season.
Tofu is kept in the produce section, typically in one of the islands. As for vegetarian-friendly brands, they stock a small selection of Amy’s soups, Lightlife soy products, frozen MorningStar and Boca Burger products, and a decent selection of vegetable stock and bouillon.
They do have a gluten-free section, with some baking mixes, noodles and frozen breads.
Well, they’re a huge chain. But they do have the convenience of being everywhere, as well as marking their gluten-free products. (A little wheat stalk, in a red circle with a slash through it.) The larger stores do have a section called “Nature’s Market,” which has a nice selection of vegetarian and gluten-free products.
I’m a reluctant shopper at Whole Foods. While I love their selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free products, their high prices and general smugness put me off. But, if you’re looking for veggie-friendly frozen dinners and a wide array of gluten-free choices, you are so in the right place.
Another great resource for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free products are, of course, health food stores and co-ops. Below is a (partial) list. If I’ve forgotten one, please drop me a line at v.8mile at gmail.com.
The Better Health Store, a Novi-based company, is high on my list of places to go for gluten-free bread (most stores carry my favorite gluten-free bread, Canyon Bakehouse, or can order it if you ask.) Also, they have a list of locations across metro Detroit, as well as Ann Arbor and Lansing.
In Wayne County: Grosse Pointe, Southgate, Dearborn, Livonia, Plymouth; Oakland County: Bloomfield Hills, Novi and Southfield; In Macomb: Sterling Heights, and locations in Belleville and Ann Arbor.
Goodwells Natural Foods, Detroit
Westborn Fruit Market, Dearborn
The Spout House Natural Foods Market, Grosse Pointe Park
Farm Fresh Market, Grosse Pointe
Zerbo’s Health Foods, Livonia
Total Health Foods, Wyandotte
The Natural Food Patch, Ferndale
Nutri-Foods, Royal Oak
Celiac Specialties, Rochester and Farmington
Lucky’s Natural Foods, Lake Orion
Ypsilanti Food Co-op, Ypsi
People’s Food Co-op, Ann Arbor