Food For Thought

News

Gazing Toward the Future

| Food For Thought, GM Report

Each year, during mud season, we plan. We begin to think about new options for physical space, upgrades to tools, decisions about expanding or contracting certain food categories, and along the way, we try to figure out how our sales will respond. As you can imagine, this past year has been a wild ride, with unexpected twists and turns. I have so much respect and admiration for our management team, who came together and figured out pandemic adjustments, again and again, displaying real teamwork and support for each other as we reacted and reformulated.

Round Up for Change

If nothing else, the challenge of surviving during the pandemic has taught us to prioritize, adapt and distill what is most essential. We’ve needed to re-examine and restructure how we live our lives – individually, locally in our community, and globally.

Fogbuster Coffee Works by Pierce Bros Coffee

Darren and Sean Pierce grew up in Amherst, MA, and both attended Springfield College. They loved their upbringing in Western Mass filled with hobbies, playing sports, and attending concerts. After completing their degrees at Springfield College they both worked in the restaurant industry, most often as waiters and bartenders. Darren moved to San Francisco in the early 1990’s and while working as a bartender he started to learn about the specialty coffee movement, from both creating delicious offerings on an espresso machine and conversations with one of his regular customers.

A message from our GM on Atlanta and Boulder…

| Community

At the Brattleboro Food Co-op, we have been reeling from all of the violence over the last couple of weeks. We stand with our neighbors from the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in light of the awful tragedy in Atlanta. And now, we breathlessly stand with our brethren grocery store workers and public servants in Boulder. CO. Breathlessly, because they are us. Grocery store workers all over the country and throughout the world, have worked so hard to continue to provide service and food to our communities in spite of the myriad challenges posed by this pandemic.  Those challenges are not just from the virus and its properties, but from human beings who choose to traumatize and impose their political views on those who simply come to work every day to provide for their neighbors, all the while trying to stay safe. So many of us are not safe in our society already due to our stubborn history of white supremacy. This current environment and its innate stresses only exacerbates the inequity and the inhuman actions that the inconsiderate take over our neighbors. At our Co-op, we simply want to continue to serve our community and strive to do so in a thoughtful and supportive way, for all of our neighbors. We are grateful to those of you who recognize and appreciate the task grocery store employees have undertaken, for more than an year, I myself am humbled to work with such a dedicated staff who continues to do the best that they can in difficult conditions. Let’s try to be better human beings to each other. Life is hard enough.

Not Just a Grocery Store

| Board of Directors

A large part of what brought me to Vermont, and specifically Brattleboro, was the Brattleboro Food Co-op. I have family here and have been coming to visit since around 2000. I would go to the BFC (both at its previous location and the current one) and it just felt like home to me. I had the sense that I had found my people.

Thinking Spring!

| Food For Thought, GM Report

Every year the Brattleboro Food Co-op invites its growers to gather and share their experiences with the BFC over the previous season. It’s our first sign of spring around here! This year, a dozen of our farm partners participated, our highest attendance ever! Turns out—as with a number of other discoveries we have made in this unlikely time—Zoom meetings are pretty conducive to farmers’ busy lives, and they were more than happy to join us without having to come down to the store.

The Bunker Farm

Deep in the woods of Dummerston, Vermont, you will find Mike Euphrat working on his sugarbush. Outfitted with a variety of tools, tubes, and taps he works to prepare, upgrade, and or check on his lines that deliver maple sap back to his evaporator on the Bunker Farm. The Bunker Farm is owned collectively by Mike, his wife Jen, her sister Helen, and Helen’s husband Noah. It is a multi-faceted farm in which Helen operates a nursery and private gardening business that focuses on rare and specialty annuals and perennials, Noah raises pastured chickens, pigs, turkeys, and cows for a meat CSA, and Mike manages their sugar bush and maple syrup business. It has been a large undertaking that has been tremendously rewarding.