Azure Standard: Your New Favorite Way to Order Organic Foods (Review)
Have you ever heard of Azure Standard, the bulk co-op out of Oregon that sells organic products, cleaning supplies, and even garden starts? Learn everything you need to know about shopping there in this Azure Standard review!
My experience: My husband and I started shopping at Azure Standard in 2020 when they were the only place we could find flour to feed our sourdough habit! They’d been recommended by our friends for years.
Since then, we’ve shopped with Azure usually every few months and hope this Azure Standard review helps you understand how great this company really is!
What is Azure Standard?
Think of Azure Standard as a bulk co-op. It is an Oregon-based company that sells a wide variety of food and household goods. They deliver your goods on a semi-trailer to a drop site near you.
Azure Standard was initially a 2,000-acre family-run wheat and cattle farm in Oregon. In 1971, the family decided to walk away from the chemical fertilizer culture happening elsewhere instead opting for more natural methods.
Over time, their customers started asking them for more options than they could provide and that’s when the company was really born. Since 1987, they’ve been helping customers source the highest quality and most sustainably grown foods they can find!
Today, Azure is like a natural food grocery store with the best organic food items, gardening supplies, eco-friendly cleaning products, and more. It’s like having a co-op even if you live way out of town.
Many people like them because you can buy bulk food: think 25 lbs of oats and 8 lb buckets of dish soap. They do sell smaller, regular-sized items, too, but you save money and reduce your packaging waste when you buy in bulk.
Our goal with this Azure Standard review is to help you see how it compares to similar retailers like Costco, find the best products to buy, and feel empowered to start your first order!
How do I order from Azure Standard?
- First, head to Azure Standard’s website to create an account.
- Then, check for the closest drop locations near you.
- Browse and fill up your cart with your favorite pantry staples.
- After you order, continue shopping until the cutoff date (usually the Monday before your drop date).
- After your order is finalized, you’ll receive an order confirmation with your final receipt.
- On your drop date, head to your drop site when you hear from your volunteer coordinator to pick up your items at your local drop point!
What are the best things to buy from Azure Standard?
There are some products we only buy from Azure now because the quality of the products is so high!
One of my favorite products? This unsalted grass-fed butter.
It is the BUTTERIEST BUTTER I have ever tasted. It smells heavenly when you’re cooking and we love that it’s certified organic from cows who had access to grass all year.
The price is comparable to or better than Kerrygold in stores, yet it’s from California! We buy the 5 lb pack and stick the extra bars in the freezer! This makes it easy to throw together a batch of Date Scones or Apple Cider Scones on the fly.
Some of our favorite things from Azure Standard:
- Wheat flour (If you mill your own flour, get their wheat berries!)
- Rolled oats (we only get Azure oats!)
- Organic popcorn kernels
- Dried lentils
- Spices (curry powder, lemon pepper, etc)
- Organic refined coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cleaning products (I’m in love with their dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent)
- Dried black beans
- Nutritional supplements
I look forward to ordering from them in the spring for their plant starts and seeds! They even sell the organic fertilizer we use in a giant 40 lb bag for just over $20!
We’re actually a little obsessed with pantries around here…
We’re big believers in keeping a well-stocked pantry! I love to help people set up a simple real food pantry so they can cook from scratch, save money, and reduce their waste.
In fact, I give my pantry staples list and weekly meal planner to all of my subscribers so they can get started right away!
All of this is totally free as a gift for our subscribers! You’ll get this and every other free ebook, guide, or tutorial we’ve ever created when you sign up for our email newsletter.
Get your pantry staples list now!
Cooking from scratch is a gift you can give yourself and your family! It’s way easier than you think and my free pantry staples list & meal planner will help you get started right away.
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What should a first-time shopper expect on their first drop day?
Your drop coordinator will likely connect with the truck driver and then reach out to you via email or text to confirm the delivery date and time.
Since the drop time is just a window, don’t head to your pick-up location until you hear from your coordinator that your truck has arrived!
When your truck arrives, you’ll see a crowd of cars appear at your drop site (often a parking lot somewhere).
The driver lifts up the trailer and people start hauling out orders and sorting them by name. Feel free to pitch in and help. Every drop is a little different, but most are run off of teamwork.
When your stuff comes out, they’ll call out your name, you grab it, and you go home.
Are the drops always on time?
Remember that your delivery time is an estimate. Especially with the pandemic, there were times my truck arrived a day later or later in the day than expected, but it always arrives!
Fortunately, my drop coordinator sends out a text to everyone getting an order that night so we can coordinate times.
How does Azure Standard compare to Costco?
Although we shop at both Azure and Costco, Azure has some distinct benefits Costco can’t quite touch.
No membership fees
Unlike Costco, Thrive Market, Sam’s Club, and other bulk retailers (online or in-person), there is no membership fee. There is a surcharge if your order is under $50, but if it’s more than that…they ship for free.
Easy and flexible ordering
First of all, you can see exactly when your drop site’s next delivery is scheduled. This means you can ensure the day and time work for your schedule.
You also have a cutoff time, which means you can completely change or even cancel your order before that time.
There are times when I set up a cart and realize I don’t want or need those products anymore…I just go in, and cancel the order before the cutoff time, and I’m not charged.
Free shipping over $50 (within certain regions)
If you live close to Oregon, shipping rates are very low. Shipping is free on orders over $50. If for some reason you have a small order, the shipping fee is only $5.
For areas further away from the West Coast, there is an additional charge of 8.5% of the order’s total.
Plus, you actually help Azure save on fuel costs when you order! Whether the truck is half full or packed to the brim, they have almost the same fuel cost.
Single size & bulk discounts
Okay, not everyone needs the bulk-size portions they sell at Costco. Sometimes you just need a bottle or two of liquid aminos. Other times, you want the 10 lb bag of oatmeal, etc.
Azure offers bulk quantities of all of their items, but they also sell single quantities, too. You can get 1 lb of cheese and 25 lbs of lentils. Or, you can get 25 lbs of cheese and 1 lb of lentils. You get to choose how much you want!
Supports lots of small and local businesses
One of my favorite perks about Azure is that they support a lot of small, American-run businesses.
For example, there is a peanut roastery near me called CB’s Nuts. Azure sells their peanut butters & roasted peanuts in bulk!
I love seeing regional farms and businesses featured. You can see a complete list of the brands Azure Standard sells here.
A small business with the highest standards
Also…Azure Standard really is a small business (and family-run to boot!), at least compared to Costco! Since both are regional for me, I’m happy to support either.
However, I love supporting them because I know it’s a pretty small crew of people literally growing plant starts for me, handing me my deliveries from the truck, and arranging my order.
Plus, they have rigorous standards and just will not sell brands or products they don’t believe in. They will even remove best-selling products if a company gets bought out or sold.
If they can’t find what they need to the quality standards they require, they design and make it themselves! Who does that? In today’s world of business, nobody does things the harder, more expensive way just because it’s right.
Excellent customer service
Like any small business, especially during the pandemic, Azure had to go through its own fair share of delays, setbacks, and issues. Sometimes products come damaged or there are other issues.
Fortunately, Azure is incredibly customer service-focused. They are so friendly, easy to reach, and they always make the problem right.
Large assortment of bulk produce
Fresh, frozen, or processed, Azure is a wonderful place to buy produce in bulk! In the summer, they’ll offer different varieties of produce in bulk quantities.
They also offer large portions of frozen items, like green beans, berries, and more. This is a great way to eat farm-fresh produce for less while reducing your packaging waste.
As with any company, be cautious about ordering easily perishable produce. We typically only buy storage crops or frozen vegetables from Azure so we can ensure premium freshness.
I did buy their produce variety pack once to try it out, and I wasn’t thrilled with the quality. I tend not to buy produce from Azure as I prefer to shop my local farmers market or eat my homegrown food.
High quality nourishing foods
Azure offers products of the very highest quality foods and ingredients. After trying so many different Azure products over the years, I continue to believe their products are truly the best.
- Grass-fed beef
- Organic grains, nuts, seeds, and beans
- A2 dairy products
- Raw milk cheeses
- Cultures for water kefir, milk kefir, cheese, and yogurt
- Fair Trade cocoa, sugar, and molasses
- Gluten-free flours
- Einkorn grains & products
We love that they sometimes even sell transitional produce, meaning produce from fields that are in the process of becoming organically certified. The growers use organic methods, but the crops may still have pesticide residue in the fields from being farmed conventionally. This is a great way to eat high-quality, organically raised food for less.
Here is a list of the ingredients and products Azure refuses to sell.
Read: Where Is the Best Place to Buy Grass-Fed Beef
Highly competitive pricing
I’ve been sourcing organic foods and ingredients for a long time. The prices are sometimes eye-bulging!
Although we don’t mind investing in food that aligns with our values, we also aren’t interested in overpaying.
Although it’s harder to track prices right now during COVID, we typically find that Azure’s prices are definitely better than our local co-op’s and they are often competitive or lower than big box grocery stores.
There are times when Azure costs more than Costco, so we have a list of products we get there instead. Plus, since Azure will not sell just anything, there are products we have to get at Costco (chicken bouillon paste!).
Read: The Ultimate List of Zero & Low Waste Frugal Food Hacks
Incredible selection of organic foods
Especially since Costco doesn’t offer as many organic options as Azure, you can’t even compare the prices! There are times Costco may be cheaper for specific products.
However, Azure Standard sells way more variety of organic rices than Costco so you’ll likely find exactly what you’re looking for compared to Costco, which has one option.
Sometimes the price difference is minimal or I save money shopping at Azure. Any time a price is higher, the savings I get on other items tends to even things out.
Azure Cash & Referrals
Azure offers cashback on all purchases with some extra cashback on different sales products. This is a nice little incentive that saves a little money here or there!
They’re especially generous with rewards with their new products, so it’s a great way to try something new and save some money on a future order.
Plus, once you fall in love with Azure, you can refer your friends to their web site.
For any new customers who spend over $100, you will get $25 in credit towards your next order! This is the Share Azure program and you can see it offered as a tab on your account when you log in.
Unless you have a Costco Executive Membership, you don’t get cashback at all. Plus, you have to pay for that privilege with your membership fee!
Read: Sustainable Baking Essentials for Beginners
If you’ve been here a while, you know we are all about sustainable living! We’re working on setting up a low or zero waste pantry.
We love that Azure typically packages their items in a way that reduces packaging waste.
For example, many of their products are packaged in paper bags that you can later biodegrade or compost. I know folks who save those bags for mulching in their garden or around fruit trees!
They also pack orders in leftover boxes from receiving the products they sell, so you might take home your purchases in an old yogurt box or kombucha box.
Azure typically offers their liquid products in either glass or plastic so you can choose the packaging that fits your standards. The glass containers do cost more.
Azure is not plastic-free nor is it zero waste, but you can definitely reduce the packaging you get all together or opt for more environmentally-friendly packaging.
Read: A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Real Food Zero Waste Kitchen
Active Facebook Group
Join the Facebook group with over 4,000 other people!
I love seeing how other folks shop. Some people do massive grocery hauls to load their stockpiles, others do a once-a-month grocery shop, and some people just shop when they need to.
You’ll learn the best tips out there from other regular shoppers, so be sure to join the group!
Why would someone not want to shop at Azure Standard?
The reason I did not order from them right after I first heard of them years ago was my concern over drop site logistics.
Sometimes the drops are in the afternoon when I’m at work, and then what happens? Does someone refrigerate my milk until I get off hours later? What if the truck arrives earlier or later?
Plus…as a socially anxious person…I was worried about how I would need to communicate with the drop site coordinator.
Which drop site would I use? What if it was all for people from one organization or something and they didn’t want a new person participating? What if the coordinator was rude or heaven forbid, they wanted to call me on the phone!
I wasn’t sure if I really needed such large quantities of my favorite organic products. What would I do with 25 lbs of oats or gallons of olive oil. Surely, I would not need all of that. Plus, if a lot of it is organic, wouldn’t these bulk foods be prohibitively expensive?
Shopping at Azure is easier than you think.
What should you not buy from Azure Standard?
Although we believe Azure sells high-quality meat, we prefer to shop at local farms to save per pound.
We prefer not to purchase organic produce from Azure simply because we have such an abundance of high-quality sources near us that don’t have to be shipped in on a truck.
Since our local co-op carries Azure products in bulk, we actually get our cleaning products there because we can fill our own jars.
They’re the same products, but we ditch the plastic waste and support a local business!
Read: Where to Buy Local Produce on a Budget
Is Azure Standard worth it?
I have to say that the longer I use Azure products, the less I even bother with Costco. We let our Costco subscription lapse last year and haven’t even missed it!
I really like that I can get everything I need in one delivery and get enough to last us a while.
Although sometimes the prices are higher, Azure often has lower prices per pound than our local stores for much higher quality. Plus, we can actually find the high-quality products we are looking for!
Since we cook so much, Azure really is a dream for people who want a pantry stocked with the best dry goods, condiments, oils, nuts, pasta, sauces, and more.
We’re so impressed with the quality of their new cleaning products and have 0 plans to go back to the regular products at the grocery store.
We definitely shop other places too (farmers markets, our local co-op, local chains), but we love Azure and get an order usually every few months to stock up.
If you’ve been on the fence, hopefully, this Azure Standard review answered your questions and explained why this great company is so special.
Start eating real food every day
Get the inside scoop from my years of cooking from scratch & preserving the harvest. Learn how to eat seasonally & sustainably… even on a budget!
More Azure Standard Reviews:
Still trying to decide if you want to try Azure? We hear you! We thought about it for a while before we bought. Now, we wish we started shopping there sooner!
Boots & Hooves Homestead agreed about the quality of their foods and also about how great their plant starts are! I’m telling you…They’re an excellent resource for your garden.
Little House Living might actually be who first told me about Azure! It’s an excellent resource for stocking your pantry on a budget.
Farmhouse on Boone shared a list of her favorite products. We totally agree and were thrilled to see she loves the same super buttery butter. 🙂
Deliberate Less also notes that Azure is often lower per pound than typical grocery stores and that buying in bulk can be a sustainable option. We totally agree!
Is this Azure Standard review helpful?
Have you ever tried Azure? Do you have any questions about our Azure Standard review? Post them in the comments below!