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Food For Thought 
NEWSLETTER OF THE LOS ALAMOS COOPERATIVE MARKET  (AUGUST 2013)  
Greetings!

Green chile season is here along with a variety of other local produce! Learn how to prepare these local treats in a Shop with the Chef culinary class at your local Co+op!

Our regular hours are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
So, How is My Co+op Doing?

 

As most of you could imagine, that is the number one question I get from folks when out and about in our town. I never tire of answering, "We are crushing the budget!" or "We are well over expectations!" or simply, "We are kicking some bee-hind!" But what do all those less than precise statements really mean. Well, in terms of this summer (June, July & August-to-date), sales are greater than budget by 15%. In fact, we haven't had a week below budget since the week ending April 14th! Individual departments are also faring extremely well - produce, deli, grocery, meat and bakery are all experiencing tremendous growth. While revenue is very important, expenses are critical to control. I am happy to report that expenses are down (refrigeration is now more reliable and staff are more productive) and this has created positive cash flow, i.e. more money in the bank now than when we began the year!

 

Thank you for asking and caring about your Co+op!

         

~Steve Watts, General Manager

Local and Genuine  

 

While browsing the produce section of one of our large competitors in Santa Fe last week, three large signs stood out. They declared "ORGANIC," "LOCAL," and "FRESH." Although conventional produce dominated the floor space, they did indeed carry a handful of organic items. However, I was having trouble finding anything local. I decided to ask the produce clerk on duty.

 

Me: "How do I know if something is local? I'm not seeing anything from New Mexico."

Clerk: "Local?"

Me: "Yeah, your gigantic sign says LOCAL. Where's the local produce?"

Clerk: "Oh, it's all local."

 

As much as I would love to believe there is such a thing as locally sourced bananas and mangoes for sale in New Mexico, I knew the clerk was full of it - there wasn't a speck of local produce in the store.

 

Here at the Co+op, we source as much organically grown, local produce as we can. When we can't get it locally, it's certified organic from elsewhere. No exceptions. No gimmicks. We set high standards for our produce and are proud to support local agriculture and give back to the Los Alamos community. It's part of our mission statement.

 

Speaking of local, organic green chiles from Hatch are in! We are roasting twice a week and taking orders for full cases.

 

Thanks for continuing to support the Los Alamos community and our hard working local farmers!

 

~Matt Drier, Produce Manager

Local Spotlight: MoGro Provides Healthy Food for Rural NM Communities

        

Did you realize New Mexico is doing something about the lack of quality food made available to rural communities, especially pueblos and reservations? MoGro, The Mobile Grocery store, uses a temperature-controlled truck to provide access to healthy, affordable food in communities that currently lack access due to physical location and cost. Recently, Sandra West, our Outreach Coordinator and I traveled to Cochiti Pueblo to see firsthand just how MoGro is contributing to the health and nutritional needs of these isolated communities.

 

Upon arriving at the Cochiti Senior Center, we were impressed to see a gleaming white semi-tractor trailer with the large MoGro logo on the side. The entrance to the "store" was like most stores you walk into - a small deck with baskets and a regular-sized, glass door. MoGro's interior was well lit, temperature controlled (the day we were there it was over 85 degrees outside), and laid out in one long aisle. Food was displayed on regular grocery shelves and there were frozen, dairy, produce, meat, and cheese selections. Fittingly, the store was clean and inviting.

 

We talked to Lorenzo Otero, who has a laundry list of titles including customer service, driver, outside sales, and part time refrigeration technician, about his impression of how the operation was doing. Lorenzo recounted the challenging start-up process and less then successful previous attempts to provide MoGro to rural communities; however, his story is one of success. Sales recently increased by 300%, and he went on to assure us that sales currently are sufficient to pay for the operations. When we asked about what changed between initial operations and now, he spoke of trust. As they gained the trust of these communities, sales increased, and he expects the trend to continue. The community wanted to be assured that MoGro would be consistent in its delivery schedule and continue to offer high quality healthy foods. By the looks of the operation, I'd say that MoGro has risen to the needs and desires of the pueblos and rural communities it serves!

 

Just the Facts:

  • MoGro was envisioned in 2010 by Rick and Beth Schnieders as a sustainable solution that would increase access to fresh food, provide nutritional education, and empower local communities while creating a positive return for the company. Richard J. Schnieders is the retired chairman and CEO of Sysco Corporation. He and his wife Beth reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • MoGro is assisted by:
    • La Montanita Co-op. La Montanita employs and insures the vehicle driver, and leases and maintains the vehicle. La Montanita also purchases, stores, and transports the food products for the project, owns the food inventory, and provides regular reporting on inventory and financials.
    • Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health (JHSPH). JHSPH provides community education, ongoing market research analyses, and marketing to local communities. In addition, JHSPH has input in product selection, provides program evaluation, and assists with the development and provision of staff to oversee these responsibilities.
  • On MoGro service days in some communities, MoGro and Johns Hopkins arrange for a chef to cook a nutritious dish on site, featuring MoGro products. Some foods, for example eggplant, may be less known in many communities, so this on-site meal preparation and recipe distribution provides an introduction.
  • Check out their current schedule

 ~Steve Watts, General Manager

Kids at the Co+op
    
 
Over the summer, we met wonderful youth from a variety of summer programs, who came to the Co+op on a field trip and toured our facility. We started the field trips with an educational game as we got to know the kids. During the tour they learn about composting, growing food, different types of fruits and vegetables, recycling (including TerraCycle), shopping, and - the most popular summer attraction - they visit our walk-in freezer. No trip to the Co+op is complete without experiencing great food (either at the store or later in your kitchen) and field trips to the Co+op are no different.  Youth get the chance to taste an uncommon vegetable such as fennel, fresh ground nut butter, and fruit.
 
The pictures above are from The Family YMCA iCARE Camp field trip. These environmentally aware kids were very interested in the types of plants growing in our educational garden and our production hoop houses. Thank you to all the kids and camp staff who came to the Co+op for a field trip.  We are looking forward to sharing the Co+op with more youth during the year and next summer.  If you would like to set up a Co+op tour, please me at outreach@losalamos.coop.

~Sandra West, Outreach Coordinator 
Cooperative Values: How we make Decisions

  

We measure our success by how well we reflect the values of our community through our products and services. Member surveys are one of the ways we gather information to guide our decisions. The Co+op operates with a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Performance; and we are successful when we support all three components of the bottom line. 

As a co-op, we also follow the 7 cooperative principles - adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995 with roots back to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844. Two of these principles address decision making:

3. Member economic participation

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested. 

 

4. Autonomy and independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

 

Would you like more information on cooperative principles?  Click Here

Upcoming Events
 
Aug. 19  Co+op Board Adopt-A-Trail Dedication 6 p.m.
Trail: Canyon Rim Trail
Dedication and hike will start from the east end of the trail.
Aug. 20  Shop with the Chef: Raw Dessert Alchemy -
                Cacao 6 - 8 p.m.
($15 for members; $20 for non-members
Registration Required)  
Aug. 20  Volunteer Orientation 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Become a Co+op Volunteer. Earn discount coupons, support your community.
Aug. 21  Volunteer Orientation 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.   
Become a Co+op Volunteer. Earn discount coupons, support your community.    
Aug. 21  CLOSING EARLY at 5 p.m.
Thank you for your patience.
Sept. 5  Member 5%* Day
*Members save 5% on regular priced items today and every 5th of the month.
Sept. 7  Co+op Health and Wellness Fair  
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Attendance is Free!
Sept. 10  Shop with the Chef: Raw Dessert Alchemy -
                 Cookies & Pies  6 - 8 p.m.
($15 for members; $20 for non-members
Registration Required)  
Sept. 17  Shop with the Chef: Vegan on a Budget                  6 - 8 p.m.
($15 for members; $20 for non-members
Registration Required)  
Sept. 18  Co+op Board Meeting 6:30 p.m.
All Co+op members welcome.
Location: Holiday Inn Express
Oct. 1  Shop with the Chef: Fermentation
6 - 8 p.m.
($15 for members; $20 for non-members
Registration Required)  
Oct. 5  Member 5%* Day
*Members save 5% on regular priced items today and every 5th of the month.   
Oct. 10  Member Appreciation Day: 10%* Off!
*Members save 10% on regular priced items today. Thank you for supporting your local Co+op!
Oct. 16  Co+op Board Meeting 6:30 p.m.
All Co+op members welcome.
Location: Holiday Inn Express

 

Coming September 15: New Website and Newsletter Format   
         

 

As member of the National Cooperative Grocer's Association (NCGA), a cooperative business that links over 100 food co-ops, we will be the first co-op to implement a new co+ brand. This change will allow us to further utilize resources available from NCGA as well as set a standard for the "co-op experience," providing a clear, consistent message about food co-ops nationwide and bring awareness to the cooperative business model.

 

The new website and newsletter will roll out in September!

 

Thank you for supporting your local co-op!

Thank you for support.
 
Sincerely,

 


Sandra West
Los Alamos Co+op Market
Monday,
August 19
6 PM

Co+op Board Canyon Rim Trail Adoption and Hike 
Join the Co+op Board on Monday, August 19 as we place trail signs on the
Canyon Rim Trail. Several years ago, the Board adopted the section of the trail that runs along Hwy 502 from the Co+op to the fire station. We'll
put up the sign on the east end of the trail (across from the store) at
6:00 p.m. Then, we plan to walk the trail, talk to Co+op members, and enjoy the evening. The Board will provide water and snacks.

In other board news, we will have our monthly board meeting on Wednesday, Aug 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express. The agenda will be posted in the Co+op.
 
~Tracy, Vice President of the Board of Directors
___________________
Tuesday,
August 20
6 to 8 PM

Raw Dessert Alchemy - Cacao
with
Casey Greenling 
Learn how to prepare some of the best superfoods using raw techniques, which maintain the maximum energetic potential and taste. This class will focus on desserts containing cacao, the raw version of chocolate.

 

Register at the Co+op today!

___________________
Tuesday,
August 28
at 5 PM

CLOSING EARLY
for Staff Meeting
at 
5 PM
The Co+op is closing at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, for our annual meeting.

 

Thank you for your patience. We are open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28.

 

Hour regular store hours are Mon. through Sat. 

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 

Sun. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

___________________
Tuesday,
September 7
11 AM to 3 PM

Co+op Health & Wellness Fair
Attendance is Free!
___________________
Tuesday,
September 10
6 to 8 PM

Raw Dessert Alchemy - Cookies & Pies
with
Casey Greenling 
Learn how to prepare some of the best superfoods using raw techniques, which maintain the maximum energetic potential and taste. This class will focus on delicious cookies and pies. 

Register at the Co+op today!

___________________
Tuesday,
September 17
6 to 8 PM

Vegan on a Budget
with
Liz Miller

Eating healthfully and plant-based doesn't mean you have to break the bank! Learn techniques for vegan cooking that will keep the flavor high and the cost low on Tuesday, September 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Register at the Co+op today!

___________________
Tuesday,
October 1
6 to 8 PM

Fermentation
with
Ray Joggerst
Join us for an evening of mouth watering food and fermentation science on Tuesday, October 1 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

 

Register at the Co+op Today!

___________________
Tuesday,
October 29
6 to 8 PM

Kale Chips
with
Lisa Kennard
Learn how to save money and make healthy snacks the whole family will enjoy! Join Lisa Kennard for an evening of delicious, healthy, dehydrated kale chips and other snacks on Tuesday, July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Register at the Co+op today!

___________________
Thriving Co+op Gardens
The Co+op educational garden (next to the grass) and the hoop houses (in the parking lot) are thriving!
 
Many people help to make these gardens bountiful including Nicole Kliebert, our Hoop House Coordinator, our gardening volunteers, and  Youth Food Project students and volunteers. The recent rain and the Co+op compost also help this garden flourish. Thank you to all who contribute to these beautiful raised beds.

________________ 

Free Organic Soil!
 
We still have soil left over from building the educational hoop house raised beds.  Please take it and put it to use! Thank you.
 
Questions: email Sandra at
___________________

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Los Alamos Co+op Market
Heart of the Community at the Edge of Town.
Open  M-Sa 7 - 9 p.m.
Sun 8 - 8 p.m.
(505) 695-1579