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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024
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Falling in love with Cornucopia all over again in the pandemic

Falling+in+love+with+Cornucopia+all+over+again+in+the+pandemic

Whether you are on or off-campus this term, all of us have had an evolving relationship with grocery stores since the onset of the pandemic. Believe it or not, I used to enjoy a leisurely weekend stroll through the local HyVee. Being able to wander the aisles sans list and run into friends and acquaintances was something that was actually a soothing experience to me. 

Instead of finding a grocery trip as a time to decompress, it has shifted to being an ugly reality check. Instead of wandering the store, I try to get in and out as fast as possible, avoiding the maskless and those laying their noses bare to the world. Every time I get back and finish sanitizing my many cans of beans, I feel like I have aged another decade, weary but without the wisdom. 

But, when things look really bad, I know there is always a place where I can turn. 

Cornucopia Natural Market and Deli, sitting across the street from the train station in downtown Galesburg, is my oasis. To step into the well-ventilated mercantile and be greeted with a properly-masked “hello” from the staff elicits a serotonin release in my brain strong enough to sedate a large reptile. I have been one to frequent Cornucopia in the past, but the pandemic has deepened my relationship with the store. There has never been a better time to get to know Cornucopia. Let me introduce you two. 

Below are three tiers of commitment to Cornucopia, based off of The Bachelor’s stages of falling in love (simplified). 

Drinks: Falling For You 

Perhaps the most user-friendly corner of the store, the refrigerated drinks section provides the most accessible space for newbie customers who are looking for a low commitment trip to Cornucopia. The beverages in this section of the store are dominated by a dizzying array of kombucha, including a new mini-fridge loaded with full-sized growlers of the stuff. Cornucopia does not carry alcoholic beverages, but loading up on a fresh pint of Pink Lady Kombucha will set you buzzing in ways that you couldn’t even imagine. Don’t fear though: there’s also quasi-conventional cane sugar sodas and sparkling waters for those who want to take baby steps. 

Bulk Section: I’m Falling in Love 

Advancing further into Cornucopia, the observant customer becomes aware of some of the deeper secrets of the store. Lying at the center of this allure is the bulk goods section. In functionality, this section appears the same as other grocery stores—albeit covid protocols don’t allow for self-service. In content though, this one is stocked disproportionately with a mesmerizing and bountiful array of wares. Would you like Ceylon or Indoneisian cinnamon? A little bag of tongue-numbing Szechuan peppercorns? How about the largest container of

nutritional yeast you have ever seen in your life? Or maybe you just want some chocolate covered almonds. That is fine too. The bulk section will provide for all (at a price point that is much lower per-pound than the rest of the store, mind you). 

Cheese: I Love You 

Ready to develop a more committed relationship? Take a gander at the deli section of the store, where there exists perhaps the most expansive collection of cheeses in West-Central Illinois. The cheese section at Cornucopia has always been a sacred space in the store. Essential to the glory of the cheese section was the work of an employee—I think his name was Aron—who became known as “that one cheese guy at Cornucopia.” This jovial Saint of Dairy gave out samples at will in a crusade to educate and nourish the lactose-seeking populus. While I haven’t seen him in the store in a while (perhaps he has moved on to greener pastures, if you will) his aura persists today. 

The ever-evolving collection of cheese taunts me. Never will I be able to keep up with all of the cheeses that they offer. When will I ever get around to that Irish Whisky-aged cheddar? Or the French Triple Cream Delice Bourgogne? To delve into the cluttered madness of the Cornucopia cheese cooler requires commitment, but one that I am willing to take. I hope you will too.

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    DIVARC GROUPAug 6, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    Hi thanks foor posting this

    Reply