Bushel & Peck’s – Not Your Average Grocer
I’ve been looking for stories that articulate the uniqueness of Bushel & Peck’s. Not just a grocery store, not just a café, not just an ordinary place. There are many things that make the store unique; a focus on local foods, a sense of community, home made products, unique choices from fancy foods to cheap bulk items. There’s a lot that’s unique. One thing that struck me as really unusual the other day is our recycling program. More specifically, our composting program…..it is pretty fancy and really sustainable.
So it goes like this. And I found it sort of funny last night on my drive home. Yesterday, Jeff, a student at Beloit College started his job as Vice President of Dishwashing. His last job for the night is to take out the trash. So he does… except for the one, usual, large black plastic bag that is placed behind my 1999 Saturn Station Wagon. (It is placed there so I don’t forget it, which I have been known to do) He tells me just before we’re leaving that the big bag of garbage the staff told him to put outside is behind my car. That it is heavy and ready to burst. Then he sort of asks, “Why do you take the garbage home?” – or something like that… and I explain.
“I take the scraps home and feed them to my chickens. They love them. Today they’re getting all the vegetable extras and we shaved and froze corn so they’re getting corn cobs too! They’ll be so excited!” He looks at me a bit perplexed….but pleased. I continue, “ Every morning on my way out to the store I open the chicken door and they all run out to get the stuff that comes out of the bag. They’ve come to expect it.”
And then I explain that the chickens are our egg layers. The eggs we sell in the store. It’s really a pretty cool cycle. We grow food in soil fertilized by chickens, the food gets transported to the store. It is washed, cut and made into something delicious in the café. The scraps go into the compost can and then back into the chickens. The chickens lay eggs. The nutrition from the eggs comes from the food scraps from the café…very cool. Very unique. I don’t think Walmart or Cub or frankly any store can claim to be so sustainable. Just one of many things that make it unique.