The oddly shaped avocado may not be an eye catcher as you walk through the Produce department, but they sure provide a wealth of nutrients for your body. The avocado—once known as “alligator pear”—has become a commonly consumed food in the American diet and is considered a “hot food” due to its nutritional profile.
Food For Thought
“…community is the optimal condition for human fulfillment.” – Sidney Pobihushchy
I always find it interesting when hippies become entrepreneurs. Not that Allie Dercoli, owner and operator of FinAllie Ferments, is necessarily a hippie…she’s more like a combination of itinerant farmer, artist, electrician, teacher, and finally, chef, with a refined palate, innate resourcefulness, and a penchant for smelly stuff – which is an important attribute for someone devoted to crafting this delightfully pungent food. When she settled in Vermont in 2014, she wasn’t looking to start a business—she was looking for sustainable community and farming. FinAllie Ferments is simply the result of meeting the demand that naturally arose from her delicious supply of amazing kimchi and kraut.
I recently attended the Neighboring Food Co-ops’ Association annual meeting, and was captivated by the keynote speaker, Ruth Tyson, who is the Coalitions Coordinator for the Food and Environment program of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She was able to draw some very clear pictures of our agricultural food system and its prejudice. Ms. Tyson highlighted three relevant themes: Just, Equitable, and Sustainable. Finally, it seems we are beginning to connect the lines between food sustainability and social justice, and to illustrate this to a larger audience than before, as the results of consolidation and government misdirection become sadly obvious to most anyone who is paying attention. Her main takeaways for us were these:
This past Wednesday, April 24th, we had a spectacular sale: everything in the entire Bulk department was discounted by 25%. One of our morning cashiers told Emily it was like the opening day of Star Wars; Sue compared to Black Friday. People were practically camped out overnight, waiting for our doors to crack open at 7am.
As the Seasonal Overflow Shelter closes, Groundworks invites the community to Camp for a Common Cause
Each month, Co-op employees nominate colleagues they want to honor, and a committee comes together to vote on a winner. In April, Sean James in the Deli Kitchen was selected. As his colleague stated “Sean always goes above and beyond during his shifts by making sure his station and others are set in good shape. He never leaves without making sure everyone on the team is all set.” Thanks Sean for your dedication to the Co-op!
We’re gearing up!
Peter and Virginia Vogel founded Back Roads Granola with the goal of creating the best granola you have ever tasted. They have been entrepreneurs in one form or another for much of their lives, and in many ways their success story starts with Virginia and Peter’s skills: Virginia’s business savvy and sales and marketing experience, combined with her commitment to impeccable customer service, has led their strategy, branding, and sales approach; she and her team build relationships with every one of their current buyers, and are quick to respond on every level to satisfy their customer base.
Sustainability. The capacity to endure without contributing to wanton depletion. Economically, socially, culturally, and ecologically, we at your Co-op are charged with positive contributions to the longevity of our community. Specifically, I interpret this to mean that we provide the goods and services that are needed in the local community, and we operate a fiscally sound business in order to contribute to the local economy. A tall order, to be sure. For two years now, we have been able to make a profit, although that profit is well under 1% of sales. Still, being on the right side of that zero is part of our charge.