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Hello People's people! What a great time of year in Kalamazoo. Cool, but bright. I hope you have many chances to enjoy the outdoors before the impending cold.
For these next couple weeks, we are all about supporting you as you work to feed your family on a budget. We have a couple things that you might want to consider making time for yet this month along those lines:
1) Our buyers and our national co-op (National Cooperative Grocers Association) work hard to put great Owner Specials and Co+op Deals together for you. New specials start this week Wednesday.
2) Every Wednesday the 100-Mile Market offers great quality foods, direct from the growers. Look for great deals there!
3) Since I seem to be stuck on Wednesday, I'll also tell you about a project that our talented outreach and events coordinator, Jacob Pinney-Johnson is putting together for this Wednesday and next. From 3-6pm both Wednesdays, he’ll be handing out recipes for delicious main courses that can feed your family for between $11 and $15. Jacob will also be available to show you around if you have questions about how to shop in bulk, about sales, or anything else.
4) Our next cooking class is a Values class focused on Cooking on a Budget. On Monday, Sept 29, 6:30-8pm, join us for only $5 and learn from Registered Dietician Lindsay Merkel some basic tips for eating great quality foods on a budget.
Read on for more great tips and more news from YOUR co-op!
Peace PFC people, hope all are healthy and well! Between the back to school frenzy and the end of the summer, things are starting to pick up!
In an effort to address the economic stress of our time and the high cost in good food, the Co-op is doubling down on our Values Program, which highlights staple foods in the aisles that are affordable and of high quality. Keep an eye out for Values signs on products in the store, recipes, and our upcoming Values cooking classes.
We realize that to eat healthy and well can be a real challenge for some individuals and families. Please email me with your thoughts and ideas on how the PFC can better serve you and our community in creating access to food that is healthy for people, land, and the economy.
Upcoming festivities this week:
Thursday, September 18 from 7-11pm the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market is having its first Night Market, so stop by and check it out as it is sure to be a good time. With a live band and cash bar fundraiser for fair Food Matters, you can’t pass it up!
Also on Thursday, Carlson Farms is holding its Farm to Fiddle Fest from 6-10pm. There’ll be live music from the Go Rounds and others. Bring your picnic and camping chairs and enjoy the tunes and locally-sourced food. Click here for more info and tickets.
Of course, you’ve all been waiting for the best harvest party of the year, and it’s finally here! The Co-op is excited to be at the eleventh annual SW Michigan Harvest Fest this Sunday, September 21 from 11:30-5:30pm at Tillers International (10515 Op Ave E, Scotts, Michigan 49088).
New this year, the Co-op will serve as a pickup location for a FREE shuttle bus to and from Harvest Fest! The shuttle leaves from the Co-op at 10am and 1pm, and leaves Harvest Fest to return you home at 12:30pm and 5:30pm.
Oh, potato! It's a lovely time of year to love potatoes! They are freshly dug, crunchy, and have tons of flavor. My favorite way to eat potatoes is to eat them every day. Well, actually I like to cube them, roasted in the oven with peppers, onions, and lots of garlic. Speaking of lots of veggies, our veggie selection is nearly 100% local right now. Pretty impressive, and a pretty exciting time of year. When you're in next, you'll notice that potatoes are a little lower in the display than usual, and have their own bins and shelf. This way they'll stay out of the light a little longer and be easier to shop and maintain.
Everybody stop what you're doing and eat an apple! A honeycrisp apple that is! We've sold hundreds of pounds of local apples this year, and we're excited about feeding you hundreds of pounds more of your favorite variety, the honeycrisp! Our apples are grown by Molter Family Orchards. You can't get fresher than apples grown less than an hour away, certified organic and with lots of care. Also look for fresh apple cider later this week!
Farmer's Market Assistant
Get ready, get set, for the freshest market yet! 100-Mile Market had a week off and a whole lot of rain and this week we are all coming back fresh!
Come down and see the beautiful assortment of late harvest tomatoes, kale, squash, cabbage and more- I’ve seen pie pumpkins making their debut, and... APPLES! Your favorite vendors will all be there and new on the scene this week is Juicy Leaf, with fresh fruit and veggie juices.
Also this week we welcome back our friend Fresh Food Fairy on her smoothie bike! I can’t wait to see her in her super fresh kale mask, and I know kids love seeing her to, so bring ‘em down and visit our Market Kids table for coloring, games, and Food Friend fun. Family, food, fairy, fresh FUN! Times five hundred.
And don’t forget to visit the sure to be amazing Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market NIGHT MARKET, Thursday, September 18 from 7-11pm! This special event will host many of your favorite vendors from Saturdays at Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market plus live music, great friends and a cash bar to benefit Fair Food Matters! What a night!
Look forward to seeing you all TWICE this week!
THE CO-OP DELI
Has the chill in the air gotten you in the mood for something hot and steamy? We couldn’t agree more. We’re ramping up our soup production in the Deli, with the return of two soups on the weekends for those of you who like to have options. And that’s not all! Starting on September 17, all large soups are a dollar off!
Good news everyone! The future is here! We've gotten our body care reset in the wellness aisle mostly complete, with a few new products to fill in and details to finish up yet. Come on in and check it out! You might find items you never knew we had. For example, the bulk castile soaps are now much more visible and accessible, and all of the shower and hair care products are now together with them in one place. The local items are now inter-mingled with the rest of the aisle so it will be easier to see that we do have a local option for deodorants, shampoo bars, chest rubs, and body butter, among others!
We've also moved the toothpicks, hand sanitizer, breath sprays, and ear candles into the aisle from their position up front by the cash registers; and our children's vitamins and products for moms and babies now have their own special home on the side cap at the end of the wellness aisle.
The end cap around the corner is full of all of the last chance items we will no longer be carrying, which are all on sale until they're gone. If you see something there that you still want to be able to purchase after it's gone, I would be happy to look into placing a special order for you any time. (And don't forget that owners get a discount on special orders!)
Also look for some of the exciting new products we've been able to bring in with this reset, including Acure Organics facial care, the new look of Brittanie's Thyme facial care (local!), and Field Day's shampoo and conditioner. Joining them soon will be Auromere mouthwash and toothpicks, new flavors of Now's Xyliwhite toothpaste, Andalou Naturals facial care, liquid black soap in bulk from Alaffia, and larger sizes of Nature's Gate's herbal shampoo and conditioner.
If you like the new look of our body care set, love it, hate it, or just don't know what to think, let me know! I would love to get your feedback so I can continue making our wellness departments an aisle you love to shop!
THE CENTER STORE
Bulk & Bakery Buyer
Hello again co-op-a-teers! Max here, filling in for Ken while he attempts to solve the riddles of the immortal three-headed giraffe who guards the entrance to the tombs of forgotten food co-op board members.
Cheese lovers among you: if you haven't noticed already, Grassfields' raw milk cheeses are back at the Co-op! This local cheese is lovingly crafted using the freshest raw milk from 100% grass fed cows, and you can really taste the difference. With five different varieties to try, from sharp cheddars to silk-smooth Edam, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this awesome local cheesemaker.
Anyone remember the coffee scene in the 80's? (I don't, I was 4). Though it hadn't really become "cool" yet, one country's coffee beans reigned supreme in America: Colombian Supremo was the final word in quality coffee for many years. Well, though the coffee world has come a long, long way, Colombian growers have still got the goods when it comes to smooth, drinkable coffees that pack a serious punch of flavor. New in this week, check out Colombian Fondo Paez, just $10.99/lb. this week, from Higher Grounds Trading!
NOW HIRING: HUMAN RESOURCES COORDINATOR
We are seeking someone who is self-motivated for the part-time, 20-hour per week Human Resources Coordinator position with flexible availability. The Human Resources Coordinator develops and maintains the Co-op's hiring process, performance evaluation and training systems, and supports an excellent internal work environment through strong communication skills and systems.
PFC COOKING CLASSES
Register for one of our fun, interactive cooking classes! All classes are held in the Can-Do Kitchen (511 Harrison St). Values Program classes are $5 each; all other classes are $20 per adult, kids come free. And come hungry! In our classes, you’ll always eat well. Space is limited, so please sign up today with a friendly PFC cashier!
- Cooking on a Budget – Tuesday, September 30, 6:30-8pm
Join Lindsey Merkel and create a delicious, heathful meal for a family of four for under $10! This class is a part of our Values Classes series, and includes tips for shopping on a budget, recipes, and a store tour.
KALAMAZOO FARMERS’ MARKET: NIGHT MUSICThursday, September 18, 7-11pm – Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market (1204 Bank St, Kalamazoo)
The KFM Night Market will be big treat for our great city of Kalamazoo! To add to the excitement, the Night Market will feature a DON'T-MISS performance from the highly acclaimed Kalamazoo band, Maraj. They will keep the market vibrant, performing songs from their recently released album, "Voyager."
Click here to view "The Making of Maraj's Voyager", written by singer, musician and composer, Andy Catlin. To hear a couple of songs, visit Maraj’s bandcamp page. We can’t wait to see you there to show support for Fair Food Matters and local musicians this Thursday night!
100-MILE MARKETWednesdays, 3pm-7pm (May–October) -- People's Food Co-op parking lot (507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo)
Join us for the 100-Mile Market every Wednesday, May through October! All food sold at this market is required to be grown or produced within 100 miles of Kalamazoo.
We accept Bridge Cards at the market, and we'll be participating again in the Double Up Food Bucks program starting in June! SNAP benefits customers, bring your Bridge Card to the market to get your SNAP tokens. In June, SNAP benefits will be matched up to $20 for fresh Michigan-grown fruits and veggies! That's $20 for free!
KALAMAZOO FARMERS’ MARKETTuesdays & Thursdays (June – October), Saturdays (May – November), 7am-2pm – 1204 Bank St., Kalamazoo
People's Food Co-op is proud to manage the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market! Our purpose is to connect consumers directly to food sources through honest relationships and to support local food businesses through a vibrant market culture. Our Kalamazoo Farmers' Market Manager, Chris Broadbent, is available to answer questions. Find more information on market vendors, news, and events at the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market website.
OCTOBER PFC BOARD MEETING
OWNER APPRECIATION DAYS MEETS NATIONAL BULK FOODS WEEK!
OWNER ORIENTATIONWednesday, October 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 media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONMonday, October 20, 7-8pm – 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 COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Current owner count: 2616!
New owners in 2014: 265!
Current equity invested: $390,280!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
CARLSON FARMS: FARM TO FIDDLE FEST
12TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN HARVEST FEST
KALAMAZOO WILD ONES: FALL PLANT EXCHANGE
DOUGLASS FARMERS' MARKET
INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FAMILY FARMING SURVEY
UPCOMING ERAC/CE EVENTS
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – September 25-27, 2014
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – December 4-6, 2014
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
- Douglass Farmers' Market, Kalamazoo – Tuesdays 3pm-6pm (June - September)
- 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)
- Schoolcraft United Methodist Church Farmers Market, Schoolcraft -- Wednesdays, 3-6pm (June – October)
- Vicksburg Farmer’s Market, Vicksburg – Fridays, 2:30-6:30pm (May 16 - October 3)
- Richland Farmer’s Market, Richland – Wednesdays 3-6pm (May 21 – October 15)
- Texas Township Farmers’ Market, Kalamazoo – Saturdays 8am-noon (May 10 – Oct 18), Tuesdays 4-7pm (May 27 – Aug 26)
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.