Some important messages you'll find in this issue...
Changing Store Hours Starting June 8th we will be open until
7 PM on Wednesdays & Thursdays!
Be on the lookout for a separate notice regarding the $15 annual equity payment
Trek Across Maine Update
The Co-op's own Jake Wilson will be participating!
News from your General Manager:
The sweet smell of fresh ground coffee, savory grilled cheese, or intoxicating soups is often the first part of the co-op shopping experience. You walk through the door and receive a friendly greeting from one of our staff members. Meanwhile, your nose picks up on a delicious smell that draws you in even farther. You may not know quite what it is but your taste buds and appetite start telling you to share some of the sensory experience that your nostrils are already enjoying. One of our favorite things as staff is when a customer walks in and says, “Wow, it smells so good in here!” Offering an assortment of prepared foods has become a very recognizable and talked about part of our business. We appreciate those of you that comment on the Co-op having the best coffee, sandwich, soup, or whatever it is that your senses go crazy over.
Just at the start of our second year we recognize there is still plenty of room for improvement. As we grew through our first year of operation so didn’t our role as a lunch or breakfast destination. We appreciate all the feedback you have given us on how to make that aspect of our business better. We’ve listened to a lot of your suggestions and have payed close attention to our food production process, all the way from slicing the veggies to washing the dishes. What we’ve learned overall is that the current process does not allow us to serve as many customers as we’d like to. By now you’ve seen a glimpse of our cafe production area, which I’m sure is smaller than a lot of your kitchen counters. We’ve recognized that for now we are limited by this space in terms of being able to produce lunch for a growing volume of customers.
We are excited to announce that later this month we will start making several improvements to our cafe that will allow us to serve more customers each day while also adding many more options to our mix. You may have already seen some of our Grab ‘n Go options (most notably our wraps). We have had great feedback on this introductory selection of Grab ‘n Go items and will be expanding those offerings. Another part of this process will be to expand our cooler space for displaying Grab ‘n Go options. A big improvement will be placing a designated cooler right up front near our cafe and register. We will have many of your favorite selections including the Herbie Turkey and Hummus Wrap made fresh each morning and ready for you to pick up when you stop by for lunch. Our daily made-to-order menu will be slightly reduced as some items will be available as specials and others will be featured in the Grab ‘n Go case.
This improvement process will allow the cafe part of our business to grow and become much more successful than if we continue as it currently functions. We are so happy that our food and drinks have become a core part of what people like about downtown Gardiner. Our goal is that as we start getting more travelers through Gardiner this summer we will be prepared to offer a diverse and impressive variety of lunch options to serve a higher volume of people. Be on the lookout for improvements starting to roll out just in time for the Greater Gardiner River Festival on Saturday June 18th.
See you at the Co-op,
CHANGING STORE HOURS
Starting June 8th we will be open until 7 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Trek Across Maine Update
As you may know, they Co-op’s own Jake Wilson will be participating in the Trek Across Maine June 17-19. Thank you for helping Jake reach his fundraising goal. If you have not yet donated to the American Lung Association and would like to, please check out Jake’s full Trek Across Maine bio page found here. If you happen to be a spectator during any part of the trek, look for Jake in his green cycling jersey with the Co-op logo on it!
We will be sending out a separate notice with details regarding the $15 annual equity payment soon. Be on the lookout.
Events for June 2016
Co-op Scoop Ice Cream Special - Friday June 17th 3-7 PM - Celebrate the end of the school year with delicious ice cream at the Co-op. We will have tons of varieties for sale including locally made ice cream and gelato as well as organic and dairy free ice cream. Members will receive 20% off ice cream purchases! Samples will be available for you to try before you buy. Make sure to head down to the Waterfront Park after to enjoy a free concert and fireworks. Muddy Ruckus will be performing from 7:30-9 PM with fireworks to follow.
Greater Gardiner River Festival - Saturday June 18th - A true kickoff to summer in beautiful downtown Gardiner. There will be an open air craft fair on Water Street, fun & games at the Waterfront park, and live music throughout the day. Water Street will be closed off to traffic all day for a safe, walk-able environment. Plan on spending a good part of the day in Gardiner, there is enough to keep you and your family busy all day! The Co-op will have plenty of cold drinks, coffee, and ready made wraps to keep you satisfied. We will also be hosting a game for kids at the Waterfront park from 10-2 so be sure to check it out.
Annual Meeting at Johnson Hall - Thursday June 23rd 5-7:30 PM - We will be starting off the evening with light snacks, drinks, and socializing at 5:00, then kick off the meeting at 5:30. We will review highlights from our past year as well as give you a glimpse of our vision for the future. Member-owner input will be a key part of our brainstorming session to cap off the evening. We hope to see you there!
Farmers' Market - Every Wednesday 3-6:30 PM at Gardiner Common
Chicken Salad - Serves 8
2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded (a stand mixer with a paddle attachment shreds chicken quickly)
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or more to taste
1 cup grapes, halved
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve on top of salad or bread.