There may have been a time when a grocery co-operative could get by on good vibes. But to survive and prosper in the free market, a co-op needs business smarts. Which brings us to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The co-op recently united with nine other California co-ops to improve its purchasing power. The savings have been dramatic, with costs plummeting 10 to 20 percent on many items in the bulk foods section alone. The co-op’s organic bulk goods often are much cheaper than similar items produced by agribusiness giants, and the selection of flours, grains, legumes, herbs and spices is matched nowhere else in the region. Smart business decisions have helped build the Sacramento store into the second-largest single-store co-op in the nation. So check out the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, where their motto of “sustainability, livability and community” also adds up to a healthy bottom line. 1900 Alhambra Blvd., 455-2667, www.sacfoodcoop.com.