Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Annual Membership Meeting

Please join us for our annual chance to share information and good food with the Co-op membership! There will be great treats from the Co-op Deli and entertainment with live flute music by Peter Ali. We will be celebrating the work we've achieved at our stores this year and hear an update on more expansion plans. We will also discuss upcoming changes to our membership cards and record keeping and hear statements from the Board of Directors Candidates. And of course there will be a chance to cast your vote!

Sunday, Nov. 2nd, 4-7p

Olympia Women's Club

1002 Washtington ST SE

Downtown Olympia

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Olympia Food Co-op Harvest Party

Announcing the Olympia Food Co-op's 10th Annual Harvest Party and Local Eats event!  

Celebrate the bounty of the harvest and our local producers, bring a potluck item to share, take part in our First Annual Zuch Fest!  Do you have a zucchini in your garden that got a little out of control?  Bring it to our giant zucchini contest!  Roll it in the zucchini derby, or bake your favorite zuch-creation for the zucchini bake-off!  Details for each are below.

This year, we'll be hosting the Harvest Party at our newly remodeled, warm and welcoming Westside location --  come see our fresh new look!  Check out the new expanded Wellness department!  With our beautiful new floor, widened aisles, and more natural light, your friendly neighborhood store now has a more open, spacious feel.  We we can't wait to see you there!

10th Annual Harvest Party and Local Eats: Sunday Sept 14th, 1p-6p.  921 Rogers St NW.

Details for the Contests:

Grow Off: Zucchinis in the Giant Zucchini contest must have been grown by the contestant.

Bake Off: Entries in the bake-off must not require refrigeration and must have been baked by the contestant.

There will be an entry table set-up for folks to sign-in.  Judging will begin at 3:30, the Derby at 4:30, and the rewards ceremony right after. 

Zucchini Car Derby Guidelines

Zucchini Car must be made by the participant. Adult supervision is allowed.
Cars must be created at the party on the day of the event, with supplies provided.  
You may bring your own zucchini, or use one of ours.

Race Day Procedures & Rules
  1. Car must be no more than 10″ wide and 12″ long
  2. The first car to cross the finish line in each race wins. The race officials have final say.
  3. Cars must cross the finish line in one piece to win the race and advance to the next round.
  4. There must be NO gas, battery, electric, wind-up or powered motors of any kind attached to the car. Fire works and explosives are prohibited.
  5. Entries are submitted by age group:
    Little Kids 10 and Under
    Middle Kids 11-18
    Big Kids Over 18
  6. Entries will be judged in the following classes:
  • Fastest Car- First one to the bottom wins! 
  • Best in Show: Creativity 
  • Best in Show: People’s Choice
If the entry rules are not followed, disqualification is possible. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Apply to Join the Board of Directors!

Update: Deadline for submitting applications has been extended to Sept. 10th

Take this opportunity to be an active participant in your Co-op’s future and the future of our community by joining the Board of Directors!

This issue of the Co-op News has important information about applying for the Board.

What does the Board do?  Glad you asked!  From the article:

The Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors is the elected body that represents the membership. The Board establishes policies, oversees the operating and capital budgets, approves plans and recommendations, and sets general guidelines for staff and working members. The Board holds ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the Co-op.

Board members receive working member credit for their time spent in Board and committee meetings. The monthly hour commitment ranges between 10 to 20 hours.

Read more about it:

August/September Issue of the Co-op News

Board application (.doc)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Westside Store Exterior Painting

Update: Painting will begin 6/20 Friday morning on the North side of the building and will end on Tuesday 6/24

The West-Side store exterior is going to be painted soon! Depending on the weather, the work will start on June 20th or 23rd.  

This project should take about 2 days. Flying Colors, the company hired for the West-Side, are active Co-op members and have been great to work with so far.  They are aware of the effects this type of work can have on a retail environment.  

Flying Colors will be using low VOC products.  And to lessen the impact they will be starting work in the entrance area before the store hours.

The Eastside store will be open as usual if you'd rather switch stores for those two days. Check back here for updates; and please contact us if you have any further questions or comments.

Here's looking forward to brighter tones and a more vibrant Welcome to the store!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Local Eats!

Local Eats!

Join us as we celebrate our Local Vendors this weekend at both stores!  
Westside: Sat. June 14th 11-5
Eastside: Sun. June 15th  11-5
Come learn about the growing local economy of our community and meet the people who make it happen.  Local vendors will be on hand sampling their offerings and available to answer your questions.  These are some our favorite food and products to carry.  We're proud and delighted to host this event, and celebrate our local abundance -- see you there!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Olympia Food Co-op Boycott FAQs

Olympia Food Co-op Boycott FAQs

Why does the Co-op take political stands?
What other countries does the Co-op boycott?
How did the Co-op come to join the boycott of Israeli products?
What does “block” or “consent” mean at the Co-op?
Why didn’t members vote on the boycott before it was enacted?
Are all boycotts decided by the Board?
How many products were affected by the Israeli boycott?
Has the Co-op lost money due to the boycott?
Is the Co-op boycotting all Jewish businesses? Is the Co-op Anti-Semitic?
Did the boycott create division in the community?
Why isn’t the Co-op pursuing community dialogue or a reconciliation process right now?

Why does the Co-op take political stands?
Politics are at the heart of what makes the Co-op different from other grocery stores. Organic standards, fair trade, and GMO policies are all political stands that the Co-op weighs in on, from the products on our shelves to the signs on our doors.
Being political is part of the Co-op’s purpose. Our mission statement directs the kinds of work we do, and that includes encouraging economic and social justice, making good food accessible to more people, fostering a socially and economically egalitarian society, making human effects on the earth and its inhabitants positive and renewing, and supporting local production.
Other, conventional grocery stores are also political. Many of them donate to political parties or other causes. The difference is that the Co-op’s political decisions are based on our mission statement, are transparent, and can be directly changed by member vote.

What other countries does the Co-op boycott?
In addition to the boycott of Israeli goods, the Co-op also boycotts products from China. This is due to China’s ongoing human rights violations against the Tibetan people.
In the past, the Co-op has boycotted Norway, for its decision to resume commercial whaling, and the state of Colorado, for anti-gay legislation passed in the early 90s. The Co-op has also boycotted individual companies, including IAMS, Gardenburger, and Coca Cola.
Some individuals have suggested that the Co-op should boycott producers in the United States, because of U.S. human rights violations at home and abroad. Although we disagree with many actions, past and present, at home and abroad, taken by the U.S. government, it would not be possible to run a co-op while boycotting U.S. producers. Furthermore, such a decision would be in direct opposition to our goal of “supporting local production”.

How did the Co-op come to join the boycott of Israeli products?

What does “block” or “consent” mean at the Co-op?
The Co-op Board and staff both use consensus process to make decisions. In consensus decision-making, there is no majority vote. Instead, everyone must either consent (agree) or stand-aside (similar to abstaining from a vote) in order for a decision to be made. Any single person can “block” a decision.
There are many different forms of consensus. Wikipedia gives a good overview of general consensus history, theory and practice at

Why didn’t members vote on the boycott of Israeli products before it was enacted?
There are three main reasons that the Board did not call for a member vote when considering the boycott in 2010:
  • It has never been a practice of the Co-op to ask members to vote on boycotts. The Co-op has instituted many boycotts, but has never brought one to a member vote.
  • The Co-op had already spent more than a year considering the boycott suggestion at the time that members—and staff—asked the Board to make a decision.
  • The Board felt that the boycott clearly fell under both the Co-op’s mission and current boycott policy, which stated, “Whenever possible, the Olympia Food Co-op will honor nationally recognized boycotts which are called for reasons that are compatible with our goals and mission statement.”
However, any member may collect signatures to put the issue on a Co-op ballot via the “Member Initiated Ballot” process.

Are all boycotts decided by the Board?
At the moment, the current boycott policy remains in effect, and the Board also continues to have the right to make decisions, too, per the Co-op’s bylaws. The boycott policy is available at
The recommendations of the Boycott Policy Committee have not yet been considered, due to the ongoing lawsuit.

How many products were affected by the Israeli boycott?
The Co-op stopped selling about nine products. They included gluten-free and regular ice cream cones, moisturizer, baby wipes, crackers, and several flavors of dairy-free chocolate bars. The boycott affected approximately 0.075 percent of the Co-op’s inventory.

Has the Co-op lost money due to the boycott?
Sales and memberships continued to rise in the months after the boycott was enacted, as well as in the years since. Although some of this rise may be attributable to the enactment of the boycott, it could also be due to other factors; it is difficult to say for sure. Although a small number of Co-op members rescinded their membership after the boycott was enacted, more joined the Co-op. In the future, we hope to regain the trust and reactivate the memberships of those who have left.

Is the Co-op boycotting all Jewish businesses? Is the Co-op Anti-Semitic?
The Co-op continues to sell products made by Jewish producers, and to stock ritual and holiday Jewish foods. We strive to work against both Anti-Jewish and Anti-Arab racism. We have passed on information and held trainings on Anti-Semitism within the community since the boycott was enacted. We do not believe that criticizing the government of Israel is anti-Semitic.
Did the boycott create division in the community?
Members of the Co-op, and members of the larger community, held strong views about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict before the Co-op enacted the boycott of Israeli products in support of Palestinian human rights. The enactment of the Israeli product boycott did not create divisions within the community – but it did expose divisions that already existed.

Why isn’t the Co-op pursuing community dialogue or a reconciliation process right now?
Because we are involved in a lawsuit, we have not been able to undertake the additional dialogue within the community that we, and many others, feel is needed. This includes reconciliation processes and community dialogue (as recommended by the Co-op Conversation) as well as updating the Co-op’s boycott policy. There are several reasons that the Board has decided to pause this work:
  1. The lawsuit poses a financial risk to the Co-op. The plaintiffs have argued that, even if they lose their appeal, the Co-op should pay any fees or fines they incurred because they are suing on behalf of the Co-op. (Page 46 of their appeal, available at
Conversely, if the plaintiffs win their appeal, the indemnification clause in the Co-op’s bylaws requires the Co-op to pay any fees or fines assessed to the defendants. (See part III, section 18 of the Co-op’s bylaws for information on indemnification of Board members.) Until the lawsuit is resolved, the Co-op’s financial risk remains unclear.
  1. As long as the lawsuit is ongoing, individual member and community comments could be used by either the plaintiffs or defendants in the lawsuit. Open dialogue is not possible when it is only attended by those individuals who are willing to take the risk that their comments might become part of a lawsuit.
  2. Full participation in reconciliation processes is not possible when some parties cannot take part because they are parties in a lawsuit. Regardless of whether an individual is in the right or in the wrong, the threat of their statements being used against them in court precludes open dialogue.
The Board is committed to continuing our work on the Co-op Conversation’s recommendations, and on the boycott policy review, as soon as the lawsuit is resolved. The Co-op Conversation report can be read at

The Olympia Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions group also maintains its own FAQ sheet on the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott. Members looking for an additional perspective can read them at