Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Food Fight!

Co-op Lawsuit Hearing Postponed!

For those of you following the lawsuit against 16 current and former OFC Board members regarding the Co-op's boycott of Israeli goods, our hearing date has been postponed. We do not know the new date yet, but it will no longer be this Thursday. We will post the new date as soon as we know what it is.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Delicious, free chocolate (and brie!) at the Co-op

On Wednesday, February 1st

Theo Chocolate from Seattle will be giving out tastes of their fair trade organic chocolates.  Theo Chocolate is the only fair trade chocolate made completely in this country.

11-2 Eastside
4-7 Westside
Theo Chocolate

But wait, there's more!

"Brie to be You and Me"
On February 11th from 4-7 pm Michelle Noel, Eastside Co-op Cheese co-manager & Virginia Lange, Westside Co-op Chocolate buyer will present the Olympia Food Co-op's first ever Cheese & Chocolate Affair.  Michelle and Virginia will provide cheese and chocolate pairing suggestions along with some simple recipes for your February favorite holiday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raw Milk & the Co-op

You probably heard of the Cozy Vale milk recall in December, followed by a lawsuit. Customers have asked why we sell raw milk, whether it is safe, and what we do to protect our customers. Read on for some answers, and contact info for further questions! 

The Olympia Food Co-op is committed to offering a variety of products to our shoppers, which includes local farm products like raw milk and cheese.  We believe in the integrity of our local dairy farmers and their operations, but want to acknowledge that raw, unpasteurized milk carries some inherent dangers to consumers.  The possibility of bacterial contamination is always present, and is most likely to be dangerous for at-risk populations such as infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.  All of our suppliers are certified and insured as raw milk dairies and comply with all inspections and health department guidelines.  When concerns or problems have surfaced, the dairies as producers and the Co-op as retailer have always put consumers first and removed products from our shelves immediately.

We know that many of our shoppers value being able to purchase local, fresh dairy products at our stores like raw milk and find that its benefits outweigh the potential risks.  We are writing this to acknowledge the recalls that have happened over the last couple of months and welcome open dialogue with our membership about this issue.  Please let us know if you have questions or concerns!  Feel free to respond here or to customerservice at olympiafood.coop.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Participate in the Co-op Conversation!

The Olympia Food Co-op has grown and evolved to meet the needs of our membership, yet it’s been many years since our organization came together to decide upon our collective future. During this time our community and world have changed in many ways. We face a weakening economy, rising inequality, and unprecedented ecological crises. The Co-op is also confronting challenges, such as the changing market, expanding customer demographics, and the cost of maintaining an equitable labor system. How can we respond to this climate as a collectively-run, consensus-based not-for-profit business, and what can our organization do to make the world and our community a better place for the next generation? As the Co-op expands to better serve our community, it is time to check in with the membership, staff, and the board to understand where best to put our energy and focus, and to build mechanisms for increased communication organization-wide, in order to foster unity and strength as a food Co-op.

The Co-op Conversation has been developed to hear and engage the entire Olympia Food Co-op community in a process where all voices are heard. It has been designed based on inclusivity, anti-oppressions, collaborative, and deep democracy models. This gives you, a Co-op member, a chance to create and answer questions about where best to put our energy and focus for the future direction of the Co-op. With the guidance of a skilled facilitator, the conversation will take place in three stages. In light of the Co-op's mission to "support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society," a goal of Stage 1 is to reach out to individual members whose voices are under-represented in mainstream society. Their voices will resonate throughout the process. In the second stage, participants will analyze the outcomes of Stage 1 to create themes and powerful questions for the large, Stage 3 meeting, where the entire membership will collaborate on envisioning the Co-op's future direction.

Stage 1 – Saturday, January 28th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-3pm - For Board, Volunteer Members, Staff and Co-op Members whose voices are least heard in mainstream society.

Stage 2 – Saturday, February 25th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-3pm - For participants selected randomly, space is limited so please pre-register.

Stage 3 – Saturday, March 24th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-4pm - Large scale Co-op community Open Space Meeting, entire Co-op membership is welcome with pre-registration.

You must register to participate. You can do it by coming into either the East or Westside store to fill out a handbill, or take the survey here!

Childcare and food will be provided at all three events.

For questions and special accommodations for the events, or to volunteer, please email 
the Member Relations Committee: coopconversation@olympiafood.coop, and, check out thewebsite for more information. See you there!

GMO Wheat in Washington?

  URGENT !  This week in our WA State House and Senate-GMO labeling bills

Everyone's food supply & health is at stake 

What you can do- come to the hearings!  This Thursday and Friday!
Bills to label GMOs have been introduced in the
House (HB 2637) and Senate (SB 6298).

SB 6298 is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Water & Rural Economic Development at 10:00 AM on Thursday, Jan. 26.
HB 2637 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources at 8:00 AM on Friday, Jan. 27.
OR- Call YOUR representatives and senator
     It's quick and easy even if you have never called.

1.  Write your state reps to ask them to cosponsor the bills.
2.  Write your state senators to ask them to cosponsor SB 6298.
3.  Call your state reps to ask them to cosponsor HB 2637.
4.  Call your state senators to ask them to cosponsor SB 6298.

5.  Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund so we can reimburse the travel costs of supporters who couldn't otherwise attend the hearings.
6.  Links for more information to give others            
to get them involved in this campaign:
1) www.TinyURL.com/GMOBillWa - link to this information
www.GMOFreeWashington.INFO   (to get GMO updates)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some logistics for the Westside

Power is up at the Westside Store! If everything goes well, we'll be open tomorrow at 8am as usual.

Except...not so usual. The coolers and freezers have been cleared out, mostly donated (yay!); and we're going to work to get 'em re-stocked. This is actually a good chance to do some deep cleaning and resets. We're getting a partial UNFI (large) delivery tomorrow; and another Tuesday if we need it.

During the next few days, we'll be getting more in from our backstock at the Eastside, various smaller distributors, and local vendors. On Thursday we'll be getting our full (and then some) large delivery to fill in whatever gaps may be left.

Thanks to the hard-working members; everyone's been amazing!

Please come on in everyone, we'd love to see you!

Return of the Westside!

After days without power, the Westside store is once again up and running! We will reopen tomorrow morning. at the regular time. Please be patient with any product delays, as we will be moving products from the Eastside back to the Westside to get the shelves stocked.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Board meeting postponed!

Tomorrow's (Thursday 1/19) Board meeting is cancelled. The meeting is rescheduled for next Thursday, 1/26, due to SOPA.

Just kidding. It's actually due to the weather and dangerous travel conditions.

The Thursday 1/26 meeting will be at the regular time, 6:30-9:30pm, at 610 Columbia Ave.

Co-ops open! Eastside will close at 6pm

The eastside Co-op will close at 6pm today due to the snow. P

The westside Co-op will remain open regular hours.

Hooray for dedicated staff and volunteers who braved the roads to keep the stores open!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As part of the 2012 Year of the Co-op, OFC is exchanging workers with a Co-operative in Venezuela! Two staff members leave for Venezuela next week, and will spend five weeks working alongside and learning from Cecosesola staff. Then, in May, several Cecosesola staff will visit us in Olympia and do the same!

Follow our intrepid Co-op travelers' blog! Alejandra and Emily will keep us abreast of their travels and their work with Cecosesola with regular updates.

We're not the only ones celebrating the Year of the Co-op - the National Cooperative Grocers' Association has created a "tour" of Co-op's across the country, including a video series on different Co-ops across the country. The first video premiers on Jan. 21st! Check it out.

Board Agenda!

Please note: The Board meeting may be postponed due to inclement weather. If this happens, we will update here.           

All Board meetings take place at 610 Columbia Ave. in downtown Olympia. 

Proposed Board Agenda for January 19, 2012 6:30-9:30 pm

Announcements                                                                                  2 min
Mission Statement/Agenda Review                                                     3 min
Commitments Review/Minutes Review                                                3 min
Welcome new Board Members                                                           5 min
Member Comment                                                                            10 min
BPC Report                                                                                        5 min
Officer selection                                                                                10 min
Committee Membership                                                                    15 min
Committee Reports                                                                            20 min
Branding/Logo                                                                                   30 min
Overtime statement –draft-                                                                 20 min
Meeting Eval/Commitments/Next facilitator                                           2 min

                                                        Total Meeting Time:               2 hours 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lawsuit: hearing date changed

The hearing date for the lawsuit against sixteen current and former Co-op Board members has been changed: the new date is Thursday February 2 at 9am.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A new logo for the Co-op? Take the survey!

Follow the link to the survey, check out our new logo options, and tell us what you think!

(Don't forget to pass the link on to your friends! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OFC)

Monday, January 2, 2012

AMAZING lineup of Co-op Classes this winter!

Our classes Coordinator and the many volunteers that she works with have outdone themselves for this winter's Co-op Classes offerings. Check out the amazing classes you can take for only $5 each! Use your credit or deit card to sign up online, or if you don't have a card, sign up in the stores.

Note our first ever bilingual cooking class, "Amazing Plantains"!

Here's the list:

Garden Planning for Seed Saving
Building a Thriving Body Ecology
Simple Spanish Cooking
Gluten-free Bread Baking
Ethnic Spice Blends
Simple Soups
Understanding Mushrooms: Basic Cultivation
Homemade Vegan Soft Cheese
Successful Starts
Acid-Alkaline Balance: the pH Health Mystery Explained
Quick Winter Cold Recovery
Beginning Backyard Chickens
Southern Indian Dal
Spring Cleansing and Whole Body Detoxification
Amazing Plantains: a Bilingual Cooking Class
Intermediate Backyard Chickens
Cheese Making 101
Medicinal Foods 1: Healing Yourself with Food
Keeping Yourself Motivated to Eat Well
Exploring Edible Weeds


Co-op & GRUB Volunteer Opportunity!