Bountiful Baskets is not a business, but rather a group of people who work together for mutual benefit. Two moms started the co-op, and not as an entrepreneurial venture, but as a way to purchase quality, fresh food for their families. They are a grass roots, all volunteer, no contracts, no "catch" co-operative. They depend on volunteers to make it happen.
I got a variety of fresh fruit and produce, plus five loaves of multi-grain bread - all for the cost of $29.50, which included a handling fee of $1.50, and a $3 "first-timer" charge. This is a great deal, and you are helping others get a great deal, too. With the conventional produce offering, you get approximately $50 worth of grocery store-quality produce.
Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op has many different pickup sites throughout the Phoenix metro area, and will soon serve the Yuma area. Mine was at a local park, just a couple miles from my house. I am very pleased that they actually have not one, but TWO sites in my little community. (I initially thought I would have to drive over 30 miles into Phoenix for something like this.) They operate every two weeks at each site.
As a group, they purchase items at deep discounts. Items are then distributed evenly among participants. They use their website to make monetary contributions toward the pools of money used to purchase products. Contributions for participation are collected for the amount required in each pool by the deadline listed on their website. For produce baskets, they purchase from a warehouse that supplies produce to many local restaurants and grocery stores. In my opinion, this is better than the produce you would get from a grocery store.
You'll get a variety of high-quality seasonal produce. They balance variety with seasonality in order to get the most appealing and cost-effective basket possible. There are even organic baskets available at some pick up locations. In any event, the co-op encourages a healthier lifestyle.
Here's what I got today:
Make sure that you bring some kind of a container to take your produce home in! Laundry baskets, coolers, grocery bags, and boxes work great. Each site has a 20 minute pickup window. Please show up on time (see the "Pickup Times" table on their homepage for site pickup times). Perishable items that are not picked up within 30 minutes are donated to the local firehouse.
Find them on FaceBook.