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I was lucky to be part of several big-picture co-op conversations last week! On Monday in Lansing, the MSU Product Center convened a group of Small & Emerging Co-ops - there are great ideas for co-ops bubbling up in Southwest Michigan and throughout the whole state. Also, I attended a meeting of 55 of the food co-ops from the central portion of the US, from Austin to the UP. I am eternally excited about the future of our communities thanks to the growing visibility and viability of cooperatives. Thanks for supporting that work here in Kalamazoo!
This week, I want to draw your attention to an exciting event happening in our parking lot this Saturday, May 23: Wild Ones Native Plant Sale. Come by our store 9am - 3pm, and find the Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones members selling native landscaping plants and talking tips for beautifying your yard in ways that support pollinators, augment your vegetable garden, and reduce water usage. You can also stroll around the PFC grounds and see over 2000 native flowering plants, grasses, shrubs and trees as they continue to get established.We hope to see you here Saturday, and in the meantime, here is the rest of the news from your Co-op!
Ever think of asparagus as a snack food? Over the weekend I munched on some freshly picked, barely steamed local organic asparagus from Eater's Guild Farm. It turned bright green with dark purple highlights, and was complimented simply with sea salt and pepper. We didn't cut them up, just picked them up and chomped! Just now we received another delivery from Molter Orchards, harvested this morning! You'll find all your fresh picked asparagus needs here at People's! And if you're like me, you might start asking yourself every meal of the day, "What's missing? Oh, the asparagus!"
People's Produce beloved local salad mix is in for the season! Blue Dog Family Farms has been selling to the PFC for over ten years and grows some of the tastiest salad mix around. You can expect to find lovely shades of red baby romaine, mizuna, arugula, baby kale, totsoi, and other cute little salad sprigs. This salad packs loads of flavor and plenty of crunchy sunshine goodness. Each container is $3.99 and it's harvested fresh every week from farm to Co-op just for you...
Get a great deal on organic red grapes! They are finally here, punchy sweet gobs of grape sweetness. Starting today organic red grapes will be $2.99 per pound. Organic farming ensures a happier environment that takes better care of the farmland and the ecosystem it's related to. Choose organic grapes and you're choosing organic land and organic farming.
Farmer's Market Assistant
Hello, market goers!
Did you know that there is a community garden right here at People’s Food Co-op? It’s true! This and every third Wednesday of this market season you are invited to come be a part of that garden magic from 5-7pm. There will be planting, meeting, weeding, watering, building of benches, harvesting, and eating- come on down and have a hand in the People’s Garden tomorrow!
Tomorrow you’ll also find these fine vendors in our small, but mighty 100-Mile Farmers Market:
- Understory Farm, Bonamego and Evelyn Thomas with fresh produce
- Moss Funnel Farm with blueberry plants
- Eichorn Family Farm with fresh duck and chicken eggs
- Young Earth Farm with fresh meats
- Katherine Steward and Wiltse Kitchen with jams and baked goods
- Youz Guys Sausage
- Crepes by the Lakes with hot, sweet, and savory crepes
I look forward to seeing you there!
THE CO-OP DELI
Fishing for a tasty lunch that won’t leave you feeling gill-ty? Why not dive in to some tasty Tuna Salad made with love by the PFC deli!
This old-school favorite will have you hooked in no time. And if the flavor alone isn’t enough to make your head swim, right now it’s on Owner Special for 20% off. Don’t let this oppor-tuna-ty pass, come check out the Grab-n-Go case today!
New sales start tomorrow! One of the great brands we'll be promoting for the new sale period is The Honest Company, a Certified B Corporation that makes body care, cleaning, and baby care products using plant-derived ingredients. We are bringing in their USDA Certified Organic baby powder and healing balm, two terrific products to care for the most sensitive of skin. The baby powder is talc-free with aloe and clary sage oil, and the healing balm is oil, beeswax, and shea butter based, with calendula and chamomile, great for irritated or inflamed skin, eczema, diaper rash, minor cuts, scrapes, and more!USDA Certified Organic is in my opinion one of the highest standards a body care product can achieve since the certification is designed for food products, so I am excited to introduce these two products into our baby care items. Better yet, they'll be on sale through our Co+op Deals program for the next two weeks!
THE CENTER STORE
Bulk & Bakery Buyer
Hello again Co-optioronians! Max here, filling in for Ken this week as he just sleeps the days away! You see, last week he accidentally insulted a wood-gnome in the presence of the New Moon, and consequently has been cursed to spend his waking hours in the realm of the twilight dream. It seems to have worked out for the best, however, as Ken told me in my dreams last night that he has been able to lend a great deal of his extensive expertise to a fledgling Food Co-op run by some of the lingering spirits of that realm. With some new merchandising tips from our own grocery expert, they'll be back on their feet (figuratively speaking, as they are almost all completely disembodied) in no time!
How many of you knew you could grill polenta? More to the point, how long were you going to wait before letting me in on this secret!?!? Well, the cat's out of the bag, so to speak; I learned all about outdoor polenta preparation from a friendly coworker while discussing the new polenta from Pacific Organics (Garlic, Chipotle-Cheddar, Jalapeno, and Original). I'm a big fan of swapping out noodles for pan-sautéed polenta in just about any pasta dish, and there's something irresistible about preparing meals outdoors, so these came to the store with perfect timing for me to get the grill fired up!
Pretty much every kid (and most adults) that I know is a big fan of Amy's "Bunny Friends" crackers (think goldfish or teddy-grahams, only Organic and, y'know, shaped like a bunny) If you're in a rush to make lunches for loved ones (young or not-as-young) check out the new variety snack packs in the cracker section. It's just that much easier to get everybody what they want!
Okay, gluten-free heads, I've heard your pleas, and Sami's Bakery wheat-fee and gluten-free cookies are finally here in the packaged cookie section! We receive these chewy marvels fresh every week, so be sure to try each of the flavors: Classic Chocolate Chip, Crunch Peanut-Butter, and Coconut Chocolate-Chunk. Maybe try the coconut ones first - people have been snapping these uniquely nutty cookies up just about as fast as I can order them, and with good reason: they're SO good!
NOW HIRING: CASHIER & GROCERY ASSISTANT!
CASHIER: A self-motivated, food-loving people person for 20-30 hrs/wk with flexible availability.
Cashiers are leaders in providing excellent customer service to all People's Food Co-op customers and staff. They are knowledgeable about many aspects of the PFC and facilitate point of sale transactions with attention to detail and concentration on service. Download a job description and application, or pick one up in the store. Applications due by Friday, May 22.
GROCERY ASSISTANT: A friendly, self-motivated and detail-oriented person for 20-30 hrs/wk with flexible and night/weekend availability.
Grocery Assistants provide excellent customer service to all People’s Food Co-op customers and staff. Grocery Assistants supply high quality and consistently merchandised packaged products, general merchandise, and refrigerated and frozen foods while maintaining a focus on cleanliness, teamwork, and vision in a fast-paced work environment. Download a job description and application, or pick one up in the store. Applications due by Friday, May 22.
KALAMAZOO AREA WILD ONES: NATIVE PLANT SALE
PFC BOARD MEETINGMonday, June 1, 7-9pm – 525 E. Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo
The Board meets the first Monday of every month. Our meetings are open to the public and all owners and community members are encouraged to attend. For more info, visit our Board of Directors page.
OWNER APPRECIATION DAYS: OUR 45TH ANNIVERSARY!
People's is turning 45! Let's celebrate 45 years of creating access to healthy food together during Owner Appreciation Days, June 6-14. We'll bring the EXTRA SPECIAL owner sales, you bring your love for PFC!
And of course, don't forget to come by for Co-opiversary, our 100-Mile Market birthday party, on June 10.As always, Co-op Owners enjoy extra Owner Specials during OAD. And don't forget to bring in your postcard (coming in the mail) to receive 10% off (non-sale items) of one order during the period. Are you or someone you love not yet a Co-op owner? Stop in the store to sign up yourself, or pick up an ownership form for a friend or family member! More information about ownership here.
45TH CO-OPIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT 100-MILE MARKET!
Join us in celebration of the Co-op's 45th anniversary! This 100-Mile Market party will be all about YOU, our owners and shoppers. We were founded in 1970, which means your support has kept PFC thriving for over two generations -- a truly community-centric affair.To show our appreciation, we'll be hosting a kickin' party! You can expect FREE BIRTHDAY CAKE, live music, great food, local vendors, SUPER deals in the store, and so much more. More details coming soon!
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONMonday, June 15, 7:30-8:30pm – People's Food Co-op (507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo)
Volunteers are what make co-ops great, and we believe we've got some of the best volunteers in the country! If you've applied to volunteer at People's, you'll first need to attend an orientation session, where we'll make sure you have everything you need to join our all-star team. Please RSVP with our volunteer coordinator today! To learn more about becoming a volunteer, check out our Help Out page.
OWNER ORIENTATIONMonday, June 15, 7:30-8:30pm – People's Food Co-op (507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo)
Perhaps you are a PFC owner, but you're not really sure what that means. Maybe you just became an owner and want an introduction to the store. Join us for one of our new monthly owner orientations! Gain a better understanding about ownership, learn more about your Co-op, and meet other PFC owners and staff. If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP with our general manager, Chris Dilley.
OWNER COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Current owner count: 2807!
New owners in 2015: 123!
Current equity invested: $428,691!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
KALAMAZOO PEACE CENTER: CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISER
The Peace Center needs to fundraise $60,000 to build a new office. Check out the emotionally moving short video here.
The Peace Center works to educate and empower students by providing the tools, knowledge and space necessary for mobilizing around issues of justice and peace and creating effective and positive changes in our community and on the campus of Western Michigan University.
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: GARDEN TOOL TIME!Thursday, May 21, 6-7:30pm – Kalamazoo Nature Center (7000 N. Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo)
Do you need an edge to help you in the gardening world? Bring an old tool and we will help you bring new life to it. Learn the ins and outs of maintaining garden tools and gain experience sharpening and repairing.
NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: GREAT LAKES EXPLORATIONS ACADEMYOpening September 2015 -- 6200 West KL Avenue, Kalamazoo
Great Lakes Explorations Academy (GLEA) is a new tuition-free K-8 elementary school, now being built, whose focus is on the environment, but will also encompass studies in the arts, character education, nutrition and healthy eating as well as study the basics of language arts, math, social studies, and science. GLEA will initially open with grades K-5. More information at www.gleacademy.org or call our toll free number 844-492-GLEA(4532).
What makes this school unique?
- An environmentally-based curriculum
- Indoor and outdoor classrooms
- Place-based, problem-based, project-based, and play-based learning
- Opportunity for a school vegetable garden
Upcoming Community Meeting Dates:
- Wednesday, April 1st from 6-7 pm @ the Kalamazoo Public Library – Van Deusen Room located at 315 S. Rose Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Monday, April 13th from 6-7 pm @ Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan –Purple Room located at 601 W. Maple Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan
KELLOGG BIOLOGICAL STATION: PASTURE DAIRY CENTER CHEESE OPEN HOUSETuesday, July 14, 4-8pm -- W.K. Kellogg Farm and Pasture Dairy Center (10461 North 40th Street, Hickory Corners, MI)
Sample and purchase the 2014 award-winning Gouda, as well as asiago and sharp cheddar. These delicious cheeses are produced from pasture based cows’ milk. Speak with Pasture Dairy staff about cheese making and our sustainable dairy practices. Enter to win a year’s membership to the W.K. Kellogg Manor House or free lunch for two at the McCrary dining Hall at the Kellogg Biological Station. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-671-2402.
UPCOMING ERACCE EVENTS
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – September 24-26
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – December 3-5
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE SHARES
Get connected with local food and local growers! Check out the full list of Kalamazoo Area CSAs.
LOCAL FARMERS' MARKETS
Farmers' markets are providing a great opportunity to meet local farmers and to pick up some great food, including:
- Borgess Indoor Farmer's Market, Kalamazoo – Every other Thursday, 11am-2pm
- Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market, Kalamazoo – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7am-2pm (June – October) and Saturdays 7am-2pm (May – November)
- People’s Food Co-op 100-Mile Market, Kalamazoo – Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm (May – October)
Are you inspired to eat closer to home? Do you want to find sources of local foods and share with other locavores? Well, here's a tool you'll not want to miss. To join hundreds of others with similar interests, visit their Yahoo Groups page. To learn more, please email Lori Evesque.
If you know of someone who'd like to be added to our list, or have event suggestions to share, please email our outreach assistant, Chris Moore.