Locale Profiles: The Fertile Underground

localesPart communal garden, part co-op, part grocery store, part cafe, and entirely local. The Fertile Underground Natural Cooperative is two years strong into its quest to change the way Providence consumes its sustenance.
Grocery Store
The Fertile Underground’s West End store front is reminiscent of a merger between an organic supermarket and a corner bodega. Shoppers can expect to find basics like toiletries and kitchen supplies along with local or organic pantry items, spices, grains, cheeses, fresh bread, frozen foods and fresh produce. Their once abundant wall of veggies has dwindled with the winter season, but standards for fresh organics have not.
The shop is dedicated to providing the best in organic and all-natural. This includes locally made, organic makeup and dried herbs, teas, salves, and more from Farmacy Herbs, based out of Providence.
The allure of Fertile’s charm and guarantee of quality is exemplified by its cafe. The small bar in the center of the storefront and the intimate seating around the front of the shop buzz with conversation as patrons sip coffee out of the kind of unpretentious mugs you’d find in your mother’s cabinet. The cafe serves up breakfast and lunch daily with items like grinders, some seriously creative bagel sandwiches, smoothies, spinach pies, salads, vegan apple pie and their famous vegan chili, perfected through the years by the “resident chili master,” just to name a few.
Fertile Underground owes its eclectic, community-oriented mantra to its structure as a co-op, operating entirely because of community support. Everyone who works at and for Fertile, other than co-owners, does it voluntarily without monetary reward. Only after a long stint of volunteering can one become a co-owner (there are 10 of them). The landscaping, elaborate mural covering the tall storefront walls, the maintenance of the structure and the snow removal on the property is all done because of the volunteers’ dedication and willingness to create a welcoming, nourishing, community mainstay.
1577 Westminster St, Providence
8 am – 8 pm (Mon – Sat)
8 am – 6 pm (Sun)

Food Trucks: