ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Products boasting their “organic” and “natural” attributes fill shelves at grocery stores today, but Robin Seydel remembers when that was not the case in Albuquerque.
At least not until La Montañita Co-op launched near the University of New Mexico in 1976.
“In Albuquerque, you couldn’t get brown rice anyplace else; you couldn’t get sugarless peanut butter anyplace else — so many of the products we now take for granted,” said membership and community development director Seydel, who started working with the Co-op as a volunteer in the early 1980s and joined the staff in 1985. “It was a very different time period in terms of accessibility to healthy, whole-food products.”
Albuquerque has evolved, its landscape now dotted with chain stores that specialize in natural, healthy foods and even traditional grocers that also stock those products.