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Frugal Forager: Vibrant co-op the perfect spot to eat, browse, chill

Frugal Forager: Vibrant co-op the perfect spot to eat, browse, chill

Some people were stopping in, some were staying, all looked glad to be there
Frugal Forager: Vibrant co-op the perfect spot to eat, browse, chill
The front of the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market on Main Street in Gloversville.
Photographer: caroline lee/for the daily gazette

GLOVERSVILLE — I challenge anyone to walk straight to the Kitchen in the rear of the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market on Main Street without stopping.

You’ll see. You can’t.

You’ll pass a coffee shop, an art gallery, a grocery with fresh local products, shelves of gifts and dry goods, coolers and freezers full of local products. Also, there’s that plate of banana bread at the checkout counter with the sign that says “Try me!” (It is delicious.)

The Kitchen, as it is known, is only one part of the vibrant cooperative market, which seems to be the beating heart of Main Street in Gloversville. It seemed someone was always coming through the door while we were there. There were folks just chilling with coffee in the sunny front window, browsing art and gifts, selecting fresh fruit, local dairy products and meat, perhaps signing up for one of the Mohawk Harvest classes.

Some were stopping in, some were staying, all looked glad to be there. Sheryl and I were, too.

It’s a big storefront with plate glass windows, wood floor, exposed brick walls and ceiling; they were doing industrial decor before it was cool. Everything is bright, tidy and clean.

Pick up a Leader Herald newspaper to read while you eat. You can also read the day’s news courtesy of radio station WENT (Your Information Station), which scatters daily news leaflets on the cafe tables.

Once you’ve made your way to the Kitchen, you’ll find a few tables and a low counter where you place your order. The prep area is right there. They have three kinds of of soup, self-serve, and the menu’s on the chalkboard.

Everything at the Kitchen is made from scratch, like soups and sandwiches. They use Heidelberg bread, which you know is delicious, and provisions from local sources, like Dygert Farms Creamery in Palatine Bridge and Stoltzfus Family Dairy in Vernon Center in Oneida county.

It was busy enough that we had to wait for our food, but there was so much to look at we didn’t mind. A server delivered our orders when they were ready. You pay at the main counter on your way out. “If you get a drink or bag of chips, tell that to the cashier,” we were told, so it’s sort of the honor system, which gave us a kind of a warm feeling. They trusted us!

The cafe offers breakfast sandwiches and lunch fare. Prices are fair, and the ingredients they use come from other businesses in the community, so you are supporting a whole network by eating there.

By the way, the food was very good. We were comfortable at our cafe table nearby the art gallery, me with a can of fizzy berry-flavored water and an egg sandwich, Sheryl with a chicken quesadilla.

But wait, first we served ourselves cups of soup, and what good soup it was. We passed on the broccoli cheddar. Sheryl had the creamy tomato soup and mine was chicken stew.

The best-seasoned croutons in the world are at the cafe at the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market. They were almost completely covered in spices and were delicious. The only thing was, as Sheryl said, “It tastes great, but I don’t know if it’s the croutons or the soup.”

My chicken stew was enlightening, as I’d never thought about it before. It had chunks of chicken meat and fresh vegetables in a thickened stock, and the redskin potatoes were done perfectly. It’s so easy to just put all your ingredients in and let them, well, stew away and overcook.

My egg on a ciabatta roll was panini-grilled and appetizing, and the cafe added a few slices of red-skinned apple to the plate to make it prettier and healthier. The egg yolk was bright yellow, a sign of a high-quality egg, and there was melted cheddar cheese on both halves of the roll and a sausage patty.

The sausage, from Bolster Farm in Fort Plain, is fine-ground and tasted of sage and black pepper. It was lean and flavorful, and you can buy the sausage at the co-op, along with Bolster Farm’s other products. All the parts added up to a great sandwich.

Sheryl ordered the day’s special, a chicken quesadilla with chunks of chicken and what looked like the same delicious melted cheddar that I had on my sandwich. The macaroni salad on the side was brightened up with carrot, celery and red pepper, and she said that there was just enough mayonnaise.

You pay for everything at the counter in the center of the store, by the banana bread. We brought our lunch check, and I reported to the cashier I’d had a soda as well.

The tab came to $23.92.

You can become a lifetime member of the co-op for $150, and with membership come many privileges. Sign up online or at the market. Or just go. You can feel good

about supporting local businesses.

The co-op offers so many things for this community. It’s a pleasant place to be and the food at their Kitchen is very good.


Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market Kitchen

WHERE: 30 N. Main St., Gloversville; 518-706-0681; mohawkharvest.org
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
HOW MUCH: $23.92
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Parking on street or nearby in municipal lots on Church street. ADA compliant.

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