January 2020

Spotlight on Grafton Village Cheese

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Grafton Village Cheese. All of their local, award-winning cheeses are 20% off for member-owners from February 6th – 12th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up on your favorites. Read on to learn more about this unique mission-driven creamery with a rich local history:

 

History

The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was originally founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities of Vermont and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. A devastating fire destroyed the original factory in 1912, pressing a decades-long pause on the cheesemaking operation. Thankfully, in the mid-1960s the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in an effort to breathe new life into Grafton’s agricultural economy. Their traditions have endured over the years and they remain committed to making their cheese by hand using premium raw milk from small, local family farms.

Cheese on a Mission

Grafton Village Cheese remains a mission-driven Windham Foundation-owned enterprise, supporting Vermont’s rural communities through grants, programs, and social enterprises. When you purchase Grafton Village Cheese, you’re not only supporting the local family farms that produce the milk and the 60 plus employees at Grafton cheese, but you’re also supporting educational initiatives like the Kindle Farm School, dedicated to serving students with a variety of emotional, behavioral, neurological and learning needs; you’re supporting grants that fuel farm to school efforts by Food Connects; and you’re supporting the preservation of a historic homestead owned by Alec Turner, who was an escaped slave who settled in Grafton in 1872, as part of Vermont’s African Ameican Heritage Trail. Now that’s cheese on a mission!

Visit

In addition to their production facility in Grafton, the Foundation operates a manufacturing plant and cheese store in Brattleboro, Vermont, where visitors can watch the cheddar being made and sample a wide variety of Vermont cheeses. If you’re traveling through the Brattleboro area, this is a must-see! 

 

 

On Transparency

It is said that members support co-ops because they trust that whatever the co-op does is ultimately done in their best interests. Here at our co-op, that’s certainly true. But as Canadian co-op scholar and writer Brett Fairbairne points out in his essay, Three Strategic Concepts for the Guidance of Co-operatives, “the second part of trust is that the co-op must not only promote member well-being: it must also be seen to do so–seen clearly, repeatedly, and over time to be making members better off.” This second part is what creates and sustains a co-op’s transparency.

“A co-operative is made transparent,” Fairbairne continues, “not only by good communications but by structures and operations that members can see are designed around their own needs.”

That is, our co-op’s communications–from our website, newsletters and social media to in-store signage and product labeling–are only as valuable to our members as the systems and products they describe.

Window to the World
Transparency lets you see something clearly, but even better transparency lets you see beyond that thing to the greater conditions and contexts that inform it. Take a carrot in our produce department, for example. Its label tells you the price, and perhaps that it’s organic and from a local farm. But with additional transparency, you can also see the big picture, such as why small farms are vital to our local economy, and why organic farming practices are sustainable and better for the environment, especially in a time of rapid climate change.

Standing there in the produce department, you could see right past that carrot out into the local, regional, national and global reasons why buying that carrot at our co-op is a far better choice than buying a conventional carrot somewhere else. In a flash, that extended view would connect your simple purchase to the socio-economic, environmental, health, and political values at our co-op’s core. These core values are expressed in our co-op’s Ends Statement.

With good transparency, members can see “through” their coop (and its products and services) to the markets, forces, and conditions in which it resides.

In Action
Here’s another example of our co-op’s powerful transparency: our recent By-Law revision process and vote.  Faced with decades-old By-Laws, we asked ourselves: how can we create the best, most transparent and inclusive process to bring our By-Laws up to date?  What we then did was:

1) Convened a workgroup of board, staff, third-party co-op advisors, and member-owners

2) Created a first draft of the revisions

3) Engaged with member-owners and staff via all co-op communication channels. Shared the draft and a list of significant changes

4) Reached out to veteran member-owners for feedback

5) Ran the draft past our co-op’s attorney

6) Ran the draft past our Board of Directors
7) Scheduled open meetings for feedback and discussion

8) Printed entire proposed draft in Annual Report along with a list of major changes

When the voting was over, 97% of our voting member-owners chose Yes, and overwhelmingly approved the new By-Laws. Looking back, we can all be proud of how the entire process both met member needs and did so with excellent transparency. In fact, we can look right through that process to the big picture and see how a strong democracy (like our co-op’s) can deliver what its members need (updated By-Laws) when good values (our Ends) align with great process and…transparency.

Tam Stewart is our Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Board President

Spotlight on Late July

Are chips and dip part of your game day spread? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear that our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Late July this week! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from January 30th – February 5th. Read on to learn more about them:

 

 

Late July is named for that sweet spot of summer when life feels simple, pure & good and it’s also their philosophy on snack-making. They believe that the best parties need a few simple things — great friends, good stories and delicious food! At Late July, these three things always come together around a big bowl of delicious tortilla chips. That is why they take so much care in using the highest quality ingredients without sacrificing on taste. They care deeply about using organic and non-GMO ingredients and making chips for everyone at the party. 

Their snacks stand out in a crowded snack aisle, not just because of their delicious taste, but also because of their commitment to sourcing the highest quality organic and non-GMO ingredients that are free of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. You’ll find a variety of gluten-free, vegan, Kosher and nut-free offerings to please every palate.

They hope that you enjoy eating their snacks as much as they enjoy making them!

 

Spotlight on Field Day

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Field Day this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all Field Day products from January 23rd – 29th. You may recognize these products as part of our Co-op Basics lineup, so you’ll be thrilled to hear that the discounts run even deeper this week! Read on to learn more about this company with a goal to fill consumers’ homes with a wide selection of value-priced items that they can use and feel good about every day.

Field Day believes in understanding where our food comes from. At every step of the way, they ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards. All of their ingredients and products undergo third-party certifications such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Whole Grains Council, Gluten Free and Fair Trade. You will never find preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors in any of their products. What you will find is delicious, good-for-you and genuinely simple products.

Values

  • Real food: Promoting organic and natural products with a commitment to Non-GMO.
  • Real flavor: Producing genuinely simple products that are not only good-for-you but taste good.
  • Real people: Field Day works as a team, from their valued employees to their inspiring retailers to their treasured consumers, every step of the way.
  • Real fun: Creating memories one family meal at a time.

 

Mission

Their goal is to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day. Their harvest of Non-GMO, organic, and quality products are delicious and genuinely simple. They take a less-is-more approach with ingredients and packaging. No confusion, just what you need. That’s Field Day.

 

Promise

  • To sell only the highest quality of products. Field Day ensures that offerings adhere to the most rigorous of standards through third-party certifications.
  • To provide great taste. What they leave out in artificial flavors, colors, and unnecessary preservatives, they make up for in pure deliciousness.
  • To remain value priced. With the cost of living and organic food on the rise, Field Day believes that healthy eating should be an achievable lifestyle for every family.
  • To have you and your family’s best interest in mind. From the growth of an idea to the moment it hits your dinner table, Field Day acknowledges what their products mean to your family.

 

 

Organic

What does it mean? This means knowing exactly where our food comes from, how it was made, and that it meets the highest quality standards along the way. Bearing the USDA Organic seal ensures that products are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing soil qualities, animal raising practices, the use of additives and more. 

How does it affect your family? Organic foods are cleaner for your family and the environment because they do not allow toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics and growth hormones. They prohibit the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

What are is Field Day doing about it? Whenever possible they source organic ingredients to produce USDA Certified products that you can use and feel good about every day.

 
 

Non-GMO

What does it mean? The Non-GMO Project defines GMOs as genetically modified organisms that have been “artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating unstable combinations of genes that do not occur in nature.” 

How does it affect your family? Many of the foods that are popular among families and children contain GMOs. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs, meaning that these unwelcome additions are likely present at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their use and consumption could lead to harmful effects on both the environment and human health. 

What is Field Day doing about it? All of Field Day’s products are currently verified by or enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, a third-party organization that tests and certifies a product does not contain GMOs. The seal indicates that any at-risk ingredients are continually monitored and tested through a rigorous verification process. Field Day works to source organic products, support sustainable farming practices, and give you the right to make an informed choice. Therefore, by choosing Field Day, you are committing to live Non-GMO.

 

 

Made in the USA

What does it mean? The majority of Field Day’s products are produced in the USA with some containing domestic and imported ingredients.

How does it affect your family? By taking pride in our country and the work that our farmers put in every day, sourcing Made in the USA and local growers we work in supporting your communities and bringing the fruits of their labor directly to you!

Solar Powered Real Pickles Wins Two Good Food Awards

Real Pickles, a Greenfield, MA worker co-operative, won two Good Food Awards on January 17th for their Organic Beet Kvass and Organic Nettle Kraut.  Real Pickles co-owners Annie Winkler and Greg Nichols received the awards at a San Francisco gala hosted by renowned farm labor activist Dolores Huerta, food author Michael Pollan, and chef Alice Waters.  The Good Food Awards recognizes American food and drink crafters who demonstrate both a mastery of their craft and a commitment to maintaining exceptionally high social and environmental standards in their work. 

Staff at Real Pickles

A timely example of Real Pickles’ commitment to responsible food is their recent 31-kW solar array which, installed beside their existing 17-kW array, makes Real Pickles’ facility 100% solar powered. “Environmental sustainability and strong regional food systems are at the core of our mission,” says Dan Rosenberg, founder, and general manager. “We are always seeking ways to reduce our carbon emissions, increase our use of renewable energy, and support policies that push for climate mitigation.”

In operation since 2001, Real Pickles makes fermented dill pickles, sauerkraut, beets, kimchi, hot sauce, and other traditional pickled foods. The co-operative buys over 300,000 pounds of certified organic produce each year from Northeast family farms.  The winning products feature beets from Harlow Farm in Westminster, VT; cabbage from Atlas Farm in South Deerfield, MA; and fresh nettles from Sawmill Farm in Florence, MA, and Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, VT. 

“These awards highlight the reason we’re in business,” said Annie Winkler, production manager. “We are proud to contribute to a community that values a healthy and nourishing food system – for people, communities, and our planet.”

The Good Food Awards celebrated its tenth anniversary by announcing 219 winners in sixteen food categories who are fostering land stewardship, strengthening communities, and building soil health. 

The winners rose to the top in a blind tasting of 1,835 entries, then passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they meet Good Food Awards standards regarding ingredient sourcing and environmentally sound agricultural practices.

Real Pickles products are sold at over 500 retail outlets in the Northeast, including co-operative grocers, natural food stores, and regional farm stands

Spotlight on Cabot Creamery

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Cabot Creamery this week to shed a little light on this 100-year-old cooperative creamery, established at a time when cows outnumbered people in Vermont. Cabot’s full line of dairy products are 20% for member-owners from January 16th – 22nd! Read on to learn all about their humble beginnings, the local farmers that are part of this cooperative, and how the Cabot name became synonymous with dairy in Vermont:

Print

The Cabot Creamery, headquartered in Waitsfield, VT, is a cooperative made up of more than 800 dairy farm families located throughout New York and New England. They also manage four plants in three states, employing over 1,000 people, who make “The World’s Best” cheese and dairy products.

The Cabot story reaches back to the beginning of the 20th century. In those days, the cost of farming was low and most farmers produced way more milk than they could market. So, in 1919, farmers from the Cabot area figured that if they joined forces, they could turn their excess milk into butter and market it throughout New England. Ninety-four farmers jumped on board, purchased the village creamery (built in 1983), and began producing butter.

Lucas Dairy Farm – Orwell, VT

Over the next two decades, as the nation’s population flocked to urban areas, Cabot’s farmer-owners thrived by shipping their milk and butter south. While the national economy shifted away from agriculture, the Vermont economy was still largely based on dairy farming. In fact, in 1930, cows outnumbered people! It was at this time that the company hired its first cheesemaker and cheddar cheese entered the product line for the first time. By 1960, Cabot’s membership reached 600 farm families at a time when the total number of operating farms around the nation was in sharp decline.

Steady growth continued and 1992 was a pivotal year in Cabot’s history as their farmer-owners merged with the 1,800 farm families of Agri-mark, a southern New England co-op dating back to 1918. 

Four Hills Farm – Bristol, VT

Today, Cabot’s future looks bright. Their company blends state-of-the-art facilities and a savvy entrepreneurial spirit with the timeless values and personal commitment to quality that comes from being 100% owned by their farm families. In the Middlebury facility, they installed a  huge new piece of machinery that allows them to process 4,000 more pounds of cheese curd per hour than the 8,000 pounds the previous machine handled. This 22-ton piece of equipment known as the CheeseMaster will increase the production of the 26 truck-sized vats — each holding enough milk to make 6,000 pounds of cheese — that get filled daily.

The Middlebury facility runs 24 hours a day/seven days a week and serves to make and age Cabot’s famous Vermont Cheddar. The plant also processes whey liquids, which are leftover from the cheesemaking process, to produce whey proteins and permeate, which is sold around the world. Additionally, the facility serves as a warehouse for cheese and whey products, with the capacity to store up to 2 million pounds of cheese. On a daily basis, 114 Vermont and New York dairy farmers supply the milk for the Middlebury plant, although that number increases on weekends and holidays when other plants are closed. Addison County is one of the largest membership areas in the farmers’ coop, helping to supply the milk that comes to the plant every day.

Cher-Mi Farm – North Orwell, VT

To learn more about the eight farms in Addison County that are part of the Cabot Cooperative, click on the links below:

 

 

Spotlight on New Chapter

Looking to step up your wellness game in 2019? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Chapter this week and all of their supplements are 20% off for member-owners from January 9th – 15th. Read on to learn more about this Brattleboro-based B Corp that has been honoring natural well-being by nurturing body, soul, and Earth for nearly 40 years:

 

New Chapter was originally founded in 1982 by Paul and Barbi Schulick out of a passion to promote health through innovative botanical formulations made with 100% real foods and herbs. The company has grown and evolved over the past 38 years, but it still remains firmly rooted in Brattleboro, VT where they proudly employ more than 150 area residents.

 

Mission

  • To deliver the wisdom of Nature, thus relieving suffering and promoting optimal health.
  • To advance the organic mission, nourishing body and soul with the healing intelligence of pure whole foods and herbal supplements.
  • To nurture and sustain Mother Earth, the source of natural healing.
  • To honor and reward personal growth, for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the New Chapter® family.

 

Commitment to Sustainability

At New Chapter, concern for the planet is expressed not only through careful sourcing and formulation principles but also with every action they take as a company. New Chapter is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, which means they define success in holistic terms that encompass not just profit but people and Earth too. 

  • Sustainable Sourcing – They travel the globe to identify and build relationships with supplier partners who share their commitment to sustainable sourcing. Knowing their suppliers and the origins of their crops helps to uphold a supply chain that is both socially responsible and environmentally conscious.
  • Welfare of People – Throughout the supply chain, from Vermont to India, New Chapter aims to engage partners whose workers are treated with respect and provided with working conditions that are safe, healthy, and balanced.
  • Climate Friendly Farming – New Chapter is proud to be a part of the growing regenerative agricultural movement. Replacing industrial practices with regenerative ones can reboot plants’ natural cycle of removing carbon from the air by sequestering it in the ground. Along with adherence to organic standards, soil regeneration practices include rotating crops, composting, using cover crops, and avoiding deep tilling. These techniques create healthy, carbon-rich soil that is full of organic matter and holds water like a sponge.
  • Waste Reduction – New Chapter is able to compost, recycle, or reuse more than 80% of the waste they produce – everything from lunch leftovers and office paper to pallets and shrink-wrap. And they’re now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, which reduces their carbon footprint and uses energy recovery to convert their waste into clean energy.

 

Giving Back

As environmental stewards focused on human health, New Chapter works to increase accessibility to organic food, farming, and traditional herbal medicine. And as a Certified B Corp, they endeavor to use their business resources to help solve social and environmental problems—in communities around the world where our ingredients come from as well as locally right here in Vermont. Partners include Kindle Farm and the Vermont Food Bank.

 

 

Spotlight on Spectrum

Spectrum is featured in our Member Deals Spotlight from January 2nd – 8th and their full line of products are 20% off for member-owners. Read on to learn more about why they shine:

 

OUR STORY

In 1986, Spectrum Naturals® brand was founded in Petaluma, CA to bring nutrition and quality into the vegetable oil market. Soon after Spectrum Naturals® brand was founded, Spectrum Essentials® brand was created to produce and market dietary supplements. Both brands were committed to offering premium, wholesome alternatives to conventional products. This commitment stemmed from the brand’s use of organic, non-GMO ingredients and its chemical-free extraction of oils.

Spectrum Naturals® brand soon became a leading innovator in the development of expeller-pressed and certified organic vegetable oils, as well as a leading proponent of testing and verifying the absence of genetically modified organisms in its culinary oils. In 2005, Hain Celestial Group acquired Spectrum® Organic Products, and today, Spectrum® brand is the #1 Natural and Organic Culinary Oil brand!

OUR COMMITMENT

Spectrum® brand was founded for one simple reason: to provide a reliable source of high quality, wholesome products. Our brand offers 30+ varieties of Non-GMO Project Verified culinary oils, sourced from worldwide geographies including Spain and Italy. This collection of oils feature premium expeller-pressed and cold-pressed products. As your culinary partner, we are here to educate, guide, and inspire you with tips and resources that will take your dishes to new heights. Explore our products and our website to learn how to give your healthful lifestyle a boost.

Click here to check out delicious recipes and suggested uses for Spectrum products!

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Pro Skin Studio

Is your skin in need of some TLC? Or maybe you’re long overdue for a massage? Check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month, Pro Skin Studio! Co-op member-owners can enjoy 10% off when they visit this beautiful boutique spa in the heart of Middlebury’s Marbleworks!

As a Co-op shopper, you likely know that eating well does a body good, but did you know that carving a little time out of your hectic schedule to care for your skin and body can also reap major benefits to your overall stress level and sense of well-being?  Experience the bountiful benefits of the wide range of treatments that Pro Skin Studio has to offer!

Pro Skin Studio offers a unique experience unparalleled to that found in a large salon and spa or medispa. Their skilled staff members provide technology accelerated skin treatments, peels, massage, shiatsu, fireless cupping, gua sha massage, lash lifts, full-body waxing and eyebrow waxing/design. They have the ability to customize services not only to a clients’ skincare needs but also to their budget.

 

Meet the Crew

Jenn Buker, the owner of Pro Skin Studio, has completed over 200 hours of post-graduate education in the skincare industry. She is acne-certified by Educated Therapists, oncology-certified by Greet The Day, certified in natural brow design by Regina Brows and was personally trained by Cricket Enos, one of the most highly respected Brow and Brazilian waxing educators in the United States. She is a Dermalogica Expert Plus and Roccoco Botanicals Skin Specialist. In addition, Jenn is a master trainer for ThermoClear and is a distributor for many of the large equipment brands in the skincare industry. Jenn’s philosophy on skincare is simple – healthy skin is beautiful skin, and only needs accentuating, not covering! She is deeply committed to her clients, and truly enjoys the time spent with each and every one of them.

 

 

Georgia has been a licensed esthetician since 2018. Her holistic approach to skincare is influenced by her former 14-year career as a certified massage therapist. She combines her skilled, confident touch with her ongoing studies in the skincare field to offer exceptional skin care and waxing services. Georgia is a well-rounded esthetician with a focus on helping people make significant and lasting changes in their skin, which ties in well with her passion for wellness. Georgia is dually certified in acne treatments by Educated Therapists & Face Reality and is a Roccoco Botanicals Skin Specialist.

 

Gina has been in practice as a certified Massage and Bodywork Therapist for 16 years. She started her training in Minnesota at Centerpoint School of Massage and Shiatsu Therapy. She has continued to expand her repertoire in Thai Massage, Reiki, Ayurvedic Energy Balancing & and variety of spa relaxation treatments and wraps. Gina loves to read people’s body and designs treatments specific to each client. She is very well rounded with her training and ability and loves to range from relaxation massage to energy work and deep tissue massage. She believes each individual is unique and manifests stress and blockage in different ways. It is her job to find what each client needs that day to leave feeling revitalized and refreshed.

 

 

 

Chelsey is our fabulous ‘receptionist / keep-Jenn-organized’ chica. She apprenticed as a cosmetologist, and is our resident makeup guru! She is a highly organized individual that always greets our guests with a huge smile.

 

As skilled bodywork practitioners, the team at Pro Skin Studio is able to bridge the gap between the result-driven corrective services of a medispa while still providing the relaxation and pampering of a larger salon and spa. The only way to truly know the unique services that Pro Skin Studio has to offer is to come and experience them for yourself. They guarantee that you will look and feel your best!

Call (802) 458-8964 to schedule an appointment today!

Click here for great skin care tips from the pros at Pro Skin Studio!

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