There’s a major part of the Mendocino Coast that is impossible to know if:
• You’ve never been involved with Little League;
• You’ve never watched the Fort Bragg High School boys play a basketball game against Lower Lake or a football game against Willits;
• You don’t have any friends who grew up here;
• You’ve never fished on the ocean with a commercial fisherman;
• You’ve never witnessed a logging operation; and
• You’ve never shopped at The Purity.
The Purity Market in Fort Bragg, California is one of my favorite grocery stores of all time. I call it The Purity in homage to a deceased elderly friend who referred to all grocery stores with the prefix “The.” Perhaps the habit stemmed from a bygone era when people announced they were going to “the market.” (DISCLAIMER: This blog is not in any way, shape, or form affiliated with Purity Market.)
Unlike the two supermarkets in town, The Purity is the perfect size and pace for anyone who desires to grocery shop without having to fight crowds.
When I moved to Fort Bragg in 1992, I was shocked at how packed the two supermarkets become during the day. The experience is like shopping on the day before Thanksgiving. The aisles are horribly congested and forget about getting close to the product that you want without waiting an hour for the two carts in front of you to move. Over the course of the trip, you’ll inevitably get hit by a cart wielded by someone experiencing grocery shopping rage.
Unless you take anti-anxiety medication, don’t even try to go to The Safeway between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. I promise you’ll regret it.
At The Purity, you can choose to get in and out of the store quickly or you can stroll through the six aisles at your leisure without someone cart-bumping you out of the way.
One of the best things about The Purity is your fellow shoppers. The store is located on the fringe of Fort Bragg’s one-square block of downtown and invites all manner of patrons, from the well-adjusted to the chemically altered, and everyone in between. You have the opportunity to run into a friend for a chat or, if you’re open to adventure, to interact with a total stranger.
My hope is that you’re open to adventure.
To me, The Purity captures the essence of living on the Mendocino Coast. I aspire to honor that essence through sharing my stories.
Check out my Facebook Page: It Happened at Purity. While you’re at it, hit the Like button.