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Sawall Health Foods

December 29, 2009

  • 2965 Oakland Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 343-3619
  • No Known Website

Man, was I on a wild goose chase today.  My dad bought J a Keurig one-cup coffee maker for Christmas.  She’s not a big coffee drinker, but working the weird shift she does, she needs a pick me up every now and then.  The cool thing about the Keurig is that they make hot cocoa and tea K-Cups.  We got some coffee k-cups with the machine and we’ve just been using powdered hot cocoa, but she really wanted some chai tea.  We saw the packages before Christmas but didn’t buy them.  Now that Christmas is over, everyone is buying up the tea. 

I drove all around Portage hitting every store that I thought would have them trying to find some chai tea.  No one did.  A lady at Macy’s told me that the tea is the most popular thing for these coffee makers and they’ve sold out since Christmas.  Crap.  Wasted trip. 

Well, since I was out, I decided to drive around and explore a little more.  J was sleeping and I had nothing better to do.  Somehow, I ended up out by Western Michigan University.

Since moving here, you’ve listened to me bitch about not being able to find a bulk spice place.  In my last post on the subject, someone mentioned Sawall Health Foods.  Since I thought I was close, I went looking for it.

Sawall Health Foods is on Oakland Avenue in the Oakland Plaza.  It’s one of those places where I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I found was much better than I expected.  Even though the store is in a strip mall, it’s fairly large. 

J and I used to like going to Ann Arbor so we could go to Whole Foods.  Neither of us are really big into organic foods because of the price, but Whole Foods had some really good stuff that was nice to treat ourselves too.  Now, I’m not comparing Sawall’s to Whole Foods.  Sawall’s doesn’t have the huge produce section, cafe, or prepared foods like Whole Foods does, but they do have just about every product you could want if you’re one of those people who like to (and can afford) to eat organic. 

The main purpose of my visit was to find bulk spices.  I did find them near the front of the store, but it’s still not quite what I was looking for.  They have a  number of large plastic jars with almost every spice imaginable.  OK, they didn’t have the chili powder I like or the smoked paprika, but for my purposes, they had the spices I use most. 

Since I’m not really out of anything, I didn’t take the time to put on gloves and fill up the little bags, but I know it’s there now when I need it. 

I decided to check out the rest of the store to see what I could find.  I spent some time in the bulk foods section looking at flour.  Again, if you’re looking for specialty flour, this might be your place.  They didn’t have semolina which is something I use every now and then.

Right next to the bulk food section is the item I will be going back to Sawall’s for.  Zingerman’s bread.  Oh, how I fell in love with Zingerman’s on one of our trips to Ann Arbor.  We ate at Zingerman’s Deli first and whenever I go back to town for work, J asks me to stop and pick up some items from Zingerman’s Next Door.  The bread must be popular at Sawall’s.  They even had a sign letting you know the next time Zingerman’s would be making a delivery. 

Before I left, I wanted to see if I could find some quinoa.  J’s been wanting to try the stuff and we haven’t had much luck finding it at the regular grocery store.  I may have been looking in the wrong aisle at Meijer, but I found it pretty easily at Sawall’s.  I picked up a box and damn near through it right back down.  It was pretty expensive, but so is everything that is organic and gluten-free.  Still, I know she wanted it, so I sucked it up and headed to the cashier.

Thank you, @jennifernardi for pointing me in the direction of Sawall’s.  I’m not going to shop there very often, but I at least find a place where I can get what I need.  Like I said, it’s not quite what I was hoping to find, but it will do the job. 

Sawall Health Food is great if you’re looking for the organic foods.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but like I mentioned in earlier posts, price has more of an impact on what I buy than anything.  I would love to buy local, but when buying local costs three times as much as Meijer, I’m just not going to be able to do it. 

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