Some important messages you'll find in this issue...
Reusable Mug Club
Starting in February, bring your own mug 10 times and get a free refill!
Word from your Interim General Manager
Reflections on our evolution as a Coop and bringing back the buying club
Calender of Events for February
Essential Oil Workshop: February 6th Valentine's Day Goodies: February 14th Knife Sharpening at the Coop: February 21st
Reflections on our evolution and bringing back the buying club:
It’s no secret the Co-op evolved out of a buying club, the Kennebec Local Food Initiative (KLFI). This process took several years and we are happy to now have a storefront location and be operating as a business. It is very common for this evolution from buying club to food co-op to take place. In fact, most co-ops start out this way; a very dedicated group of buying club members and volunteers rally together for something more. For the past 40+ years this has been happening all over the country. All of us staff are grateful that this has happened in Gardiner as well. We want to thank you for your hard work and membership that has brought the Co-op into existence.
We want to also acknowledge that the buying club aspect of the organization has not existed since the Co-op has opened. Many of you have expressed a concern that the buying club is not coming back. This is simply not true. Our focus since opening has been to ensure the storefront is operating successfully so that we can be a profitable business. We have spent a ton of effort in making this happen and are starting to feel like business is getting easier. Now that we have the time and energy to bring back the buying club we hope to do so very soon. We want to make sure we do it right so we are working hard on the details as you read this article. A formal announcement will be made once the buying club is ready.
Thank you so much for patience in allowing us to learn the ins and outs of our new food co-op. We look forward to continuing our success in the future and hope the buying club can be a significant part of that.
See you at the Co-op,
Reusable Mug Club – Starting in February we are launching the Reusable Mug Club at the Co-op. Bring in your own reusable coffee mug ten times and get a free fill-up. Our goal with this program is to reduce overall consumption of paper coffee cups. Reusable Mug Club cards can be picked up at the Co-op starting in February.
#spendyour20 – We've been delighted that many of you have told us you are finding more and more products on your shopping list at the Co-op. This is great! We have been working hard to develop the right item mix and glad to know you are noticing. With that, we are starting the #spendyour20 social media campaign. As you know, our members are the most dedicated shoppers. We currently have 491 member-owners.
If all 491 members spend $20 per week at the Co-op we would have $9,820 in weekly sales just from members! Try to spend your $20 (or more!) every week at the Co-op. When you get home snap a picture of your favorite items you bought or a meal you made with Co-op ingredients with the hashtag #spendyour20. You can post your pictures on our Facebook or Instagram pages. We can’t wait to see what you all come up with!
Calender of Events for February
Saturday February 6th @ 4:00 PM Essential oils aromatherapy class with Mary’s Therapies -This class is free and will be held at the Co-op. Mary Fessenden will be leading an educational workshop on the top ten essential oils. She will demonstrate how to use them safely and more effectively.
Sunday February 14th – Valentine’s Day The Co-op will have plenty of goodies for your Valentine this year. Chocolates, wine, and much more. Come check out what we have to offer before Valentine’s Day is here! We will also be promoting Valentine’s Day with other local businesses so make sure you check out what else downtown Gardiner has to offer.
Sunday February 21st 11-2PM Wicked Sharp- Knife Sharpening Event
Bring your dull knives to the coop to be sharpened! Members get their first knife sharpened for free!
David has been sharpening for Chef’s, restaurants and home cooks for 40 years. David sharpens most knives including: chef’s, assorted kitchen, serrated, pocket, hunting, scissors and shears. You can find him at farmers' markets, special events and at his shop in South Portland.
David does not grind your knife. Very little metal is removed in the process. All of his work is guaranteed to be Wicked Sharp and covered by insurance.
Learn more about David and his business at: http://wickedsharpknives.com/about/
1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar -- if you can't find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
Fresh lemon juice
Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.
Raw Beet and Carrot Salad Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
¼ C orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs lemon juice
¼ C olive oil
1 bunch beets
1 bunch carrots
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Whisk together juices, oil and pinch salt & pepper. Wash, trim and peel beets and carrots. Grate them into a bowl. Toss together beets, carrots, parsley, onion and dressing. Let stand 30 minutes. Toss again, season with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil before serving.