The farmer raises his goats in the countryside allowing them to graze freely and milks them every morning. He sets the milk aside for the local woman who comes each morning to purchase the fresh milk. After picking up the milk from the farmer, she travels down the road to the gardener to pick up strawberries, passion fruit, mangoes and other fresh fruit. She takes the milk and the fruit home to culture into a yogurt. Finally, the yogurt is sold at the local Supermercado Coopeatenas.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
3 Atenas, Provincia de Alajuela
Atenas, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2446 5141
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7a – 9p | Sunday 8a – 9p
This is grocery shopping in Costa Rica. It is less of a commercial store, and more of a community co-op. The name reflects that exactly: The co-op of Atenas. Each person in the neighborhood contributes to provide a closed loop circle of goods from farm to table – in a very literal sense. There is quite a bit of processed, packaged and shelf stable items at the Supermercado Coopeatenas, but when it comes to the local produce and farm goods you can be assured they are from the community. We learned this from our host at the summer treehouse airbnb we stayed at. His are the goats who graze freely.
We found this concept so pure and natural. The idea of goats and cows left to live in a natural state only providing milk to their kids and the small community of people to which they belong makes more sense to us than the alternative factory. A symbiotic relationship where each has a specific role that when fulfilled rewards each person according to their efforts.
While staying in Costa Rica, we had an opportunity to go grocery shopping in Costa Rica at the Supermercado Coopeatenas. Of course we had to purchase the local yogurt, the local produce and the farm fresh eggs stored on the shelf. Everything tasted clean, raw and healthy. It was so interesting to know that the yogurt was made from the goats that we watched being milked each morning.
Analogous to this was interacting with the local people who shopped at the local market. One of the afternoons we were shopping at Supermercado Coopeatenas it was fairly crowded and we had to squeeze down the aisles. I was looking at something on a shelf when I noticed a woman who needed to get past our family. Pie was in her way, and in the gentlest most kindest way she reached out and stroked her hair and smiled gesturing that she needed to move past her.
I was so moved.
► For Kids: This is where you go to learn where food comes from and how food is made. Real food. If your kids like to eat, Supermercado Coopeatenas is a grocery store. World schooling opportunities in real life agriculture and farming abound in Costa Rica.
Have you ever shopped in a foreign country? Check out our posts on grocery shopping in Japan where we needed to photo translate everything! And grocery shopping in Mexico, where we found more mattresses than apples.
► Nap-Time Version: Discovering what farm to table really means when it comes to local grocery shopping in Costa Rica at the Supermercado Coopeatenas.
We loved our time spent in Costa Rica! We played at the beach, we explored a rainforest and we can tell you everything you need to know about renting a car and driving in this Central American paradise.