Alaffia: Love, Revolution and Empowerment in the 21st Century

News from the co-op

Alaffia is a bodycare brand that exists not to make a profit but to fight poverty and increase gender equality. Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde met in 1996 in Togo, West Africa, when Hyde was there as a Peace Corps volunteer. They both grew up without much, though to differing degrees because of their countries of origin: Hyde’s family relied on assistance programs but she was still able to get a great education, while Tchala, one of 42 children (his father had multiple wives), had to drop out of school as an adolescent to help out his family. They married in the mid-90’s and moved to Olympia, WA, Hyde’s home town, and five years later they helped to form a shea butter cooperative in Tchala’s home, thinking they’d create jobs for women.

A Day in the Life of a Brattleboro Food Co-op Employee, Pandemic Style

I work at the Shareholder Services desk at the Co-op. In mid-March I returned one week early from a trip to the Pacific Northwest and California, quarantined for two weeks, and then came back to find a completely transformed workplace. It was shocking: the business had been completely reinvented in less than a month. No customers at 10 am on Tuesday when I arrived, just a sort of warehouse feel with a bunch of very busy colleagues, as though all the grocery aisles were just for storing food for purchase, none of the browsing or chatting, just dry storage, cold storage, freezers full of future shipments.

Plastic Bag Recycling…Where Do They Go?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered about the plastic bag recycling receptacle that has been living by our Co-op’s exit doors for the last few months.  The recycling industry has suffered in recent times, and it makes some of us have to ask: what is actually happening to these bags once they leave our store?  After all, – everything winds up somewhere, whether it’s in a , , or in .