Looking for a cool meal for a hot night? Or a tasty make-ahead dish to take to your next potluck? This pasta salad combines fresh, seasonal veggies & pasta with a tangy dressing, olives, and feta for a healthy, delicious meal. Many of the ingredients are featured in our weekly sale from June 8th – 14th, including local Maplebrook Farm Feta, so this one’s easy on the wallet, too! Feel free to be creative with veggie add-ins. This is the kind of salad that can be built around just about any veggies that are abundant in your garden (or your local farmstand or co-op!) this time of year!
Treat yourself to a bit of self-love in a jar with our friends at Juice Amour!They’re our featured Co-op Connection Business this month and they have a sweet deal for Co-op member-owners. Show your member card when you visit Juice Amour and you’ll receive 10% off their full line of organic, raw, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, chia puddings, and other healthy, seasonal, vegan lunch and dinner offerings! Read on to learn more about one of Middlebury’s best stops for fresh, healthy foods!
Juice Amour is owned and operated by Sheri Bedard and her father David Bedard. It was the strong belief in the health benefits of consuming vegan food and nutrient-dense vegetable and fruit juices that started Juice Amour on its path to your backyard. Creating nutritious, delicious, beautiful, and accessible food for their community is their driving force.
They wake up early to produce local, raw, organic juice and tasty vegan meals on-site every day. According to Sheri, “Every day we wake up passionate in our belief that healthful food should be accessible, taste delicious, look beautiful, help you feel amazing and have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Every decision we make here is with those philosophies in mind but (lucky for you) all YOU have to do is enjoy the deliciousness that comes from those efforts.”
Keeping it Local
Getting as much produce from local organic farmers is a core principle of Juice Amour’s mission to make a minimal impact on the earth while supporting this community. They view their support of local organic farmers as an essential step toward minimizing the global impact of their business as well as providing support and income for their neighbors. As often as possible, ingredients will be sourced locally.
Glass and the “Milk Bottle” Concept
To maximize health benefits for you and minimize the impact on our planet they avoid the use of single-use plastic and recycle and reuse the glass jars their juice is delivered in. They ask customers to return their jars (and receive a $.50 deposit) at the location they picked up their juices so that the jars may be commercially washed and reused again and again. This reduces the cost to their clients while minimizing any negative impact of drinking out of plastic as well as maximizing benefits to the community and planet.
Commitment to Organic
Juice Amour is also committed to supporting organic. Organic farming employs methods that minimize the use of toxins while building soil quality and protecting water quality. Additionally, buying organic supports chemical and pesticide-free practices that are healthier for our farmers and for our planet. Lastly, they also feel that organic foods have more intense and delicious flavors – no wonder their juice is so delicious!
In addition to a bounty of fresh organic, raw fruit and veggie juice options, Juice Amour also offers guilt-free raw smoothies, chia puddings, overnight oats, raw nut milk, fresh vegan salads, tacos, soups, and more! Click here to see their full menu.
Their juice cleanses are extremely popular and are a great way to introduce people to juicing while enjoying incredible benefits, ranging from weight loss to improved health. They also know that the true benefit to juicing is accomplished when it is done regularly so they are constantly adding new juices and products to keep things new and fresh. They have 1, 3, and 5-day juice cleanses to meet your cleansing goals.
If you’re looking for vegan-friendly catering for your next event, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Juice Amour offers a tasty catering menu to make your guests swoon!
Sheri and the Juice Amour crew are proud to be based in Middlebury, Vermont in a spacious, vibrant spot on Merchant’s Row right in the heart of downtown! If you haven’t yet visited, there’s no better time than now! Just don’t forget to flash your Co-op card for a sweet 10% discount!
We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a family-owned farm nestled in the rolling hills of Rochester, VT known as North Hollow Farm! All of North Hollow Farm’s grass-fed beef and pork products are 20% off from June 1st – 7th, so it’s a great time to stock up the freezer! Read on to learn more about this second-generation thousand-acre farm and its commitment to climate-friendly grazing practices:
Located in the heart of Vermont, on the skirts of the Green Mountain National Forest, North Hollow Farm delivers the finest in grass-fed beef, natural pork, chicken, and goat, and 100% pure Vermont maple syrup products. Owned and operated by second-generation farmers Julie Brown and Mike Bowen, the farm was first purchased by Mike’s father, Carroll Bowen in 1948. At that time, Carroll was able to purchase 200 acres for $2,000, which Mike quips wouldn’t even cover the taxes by today’s standards! Over the ensuing years, Mike and Julie were able to purchase adjacent farmland and also lease nearby land, bringing the total up to 1,000 acres of hayland and pasture.
In 2003, Mike and Julie made the decision to stop growing corn for silage, shifting to an all-grass model for the sake of soil health, bovine health, and human health. Their original herd in the 1970s consisted of Hereford purebred cattle, which they eventually crossed with Angus bulls, and added a Charolais bull a few years later. In 2005, after making the transition to a grass-fed and grass-finished model, they added several Red Devon bulls to their herd. This English heritage breed is well known for its exceptional grass-finishing qualities, thanks to genetics that predate the beef industry’s shift toward grain finishing.
Management Intensive Grazing (MIG), also known as “grass farming,” “rotational pasture management,” and “prescribed grazing” is an environmentally and economically viable system of forage-based animal production that builds soil organic carbon, promotes increased biodiversity, improves water retention, and facilitates carbon sequestration. In this flexible approach to rotational grazing, paddock size, stocking density, and length of grazing period are adjusted to balance forage supply with animal nutrient demand through the grazing season. Vermont’s landscape and topography are well suited to this type of pasture production. North Hollow Farm’s livestock is rotated from pasture to pasture and they self-harvest most of their own feed. The team at North Hollow Farm closely monitors the health of both the animals and the pasture plants to ensure that optimal feed conditions are met.
Here at the Co-op, we carry a wide range of North Hollow Farm’s grass-fed beef and pork products. Their cattle are raised without growth hormones, digestive stimulants, or antibiotics. Everything they eat is produced at the farm. Their sausage, ham, bacon, frankfurters, and kielbasa are made without the use of nitrates or fillers. If you find yourself cruising along Route 100 through Rochester, be sure to stop at the North Hollow farmstand to browse their full range of products. And if you’re looking to order from the comfort of your own home, North Hollow Farm ships!
In honor of Dairy Month, which is celebrated each June, we’re shining a bright Spotlight on the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership. To understand the importance of this partnership and the impact it’s having on our local, organic dairy farms, we must first look back to the Fall of 2021, when 135 organic family farms across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and eastern New York received the sudden news that Horizon and Maple Hill Creamery were terminating their purchase contracts, effective in early 2023. To learn more about why these contracts were terminated, click here. This news put these farms, many of whom have been in business for generations, at serious risk of closure unless they find alternate outlets. In early January of 2022, the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, a first-of-its-kind campaign in partnership with the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association (MOFGA), was created to help solve the crisis of disappearing organic family farms in our region.
The Partnership, a collaboration of farmers, processors, retailers, activists, and government agencies, invites consumers to pledge to purchase at least one-fourth of their weekly organic dairy purchases from brands that have committed to sourcing their dairy from Northeast organic family farmers. A central goal of the effort is to increase demand for dairy produced in our region, creating market stability to help save at-risk farms and build greater food system resilience for the future.
We are proud to announce that your Co-op has joined the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership. To secure the future of organic dairy farming in the northeast, we’re committed to purchasing organic dairy products from brands that source their milk from our region. We’re also encouraging member-owners and the community to become informed about the Partnership and take the pledge to purchase ¼ of your weekly dairy products from Brand Partners. When you commit to buying one-fourth of your weekly dairy items from the brands that support our region’s organic family farms, you become a proud Consumer Partner with all of these farmers.
Why Does This Matter?
Family farms reconnect us to the land and each other. They provide our communities with beautiful open spaces, abundant wildlife habitats, and rural charm. We pick fruit in their fields and orchards and pet their cows at county fairs. Family farms remind us where our food comes from and connect us with the hands that feed us.
When you pledge to buy the products from our region’s organic family farmers, you are not just helping to keep these farms financially viable. You are supporting true environmental and health heroes. Organic farmers foster healthy soils, which are both a founding principle of organic production and key to fighting climate change. Vermont’s organic farms release fewer greenhouse gases than their conventional counterparts, protect our water and other natural resources, are more resilient to extreme weather events, sequester carbon through their management practices, promote biodiversity, and provide greater community food security. Moreover, you are helping to support a fairer, more stable agricultural market, which keeps thousands of small family farms in business and thriving. In fact, organic milk prices are traditionally more stable than the conventional dairy market, so organic farmers often have an easier job of covering production costs. That means they have a better chance of keeping the lights on at the farm and the cows out in the pasture, where they belong.
“The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership celebrates the fact that when it comes to supporting our region’s organic family farmers, it really does take a village,” said Gary Hirshberg, chair of the Partnership and co-founder of Stonyfield Organic. “Everyone has a stake in the long-term financial health of our region’s farms and farm families. The simple act of pledging to purchase one-quarter of dairy items from the brands, processors, and farms that support these family farmers, can help to ensure that farms remain healthy, vibrant, financially viable, and environmentally and climate-positive parts of the northeast region for generations to come.”
The decline in the number of small family farmers is unfortunately not a new story, as the United States, and especially the northeast, has seen drastic reductions in the number of both farms and acreage over the last decade. From 2012 to 2021 alone, Vermont has lost over 390 individual dairy farms as food production has largely been ceded away from small families, and into large, agri-business operations, through no fault of their own. However, organic family farmers are important contributors to a healthy environment and thriving rural life and are important players in the region’s food system.
The next time you are shopping in the dairy or cheese cases, look for the Northeast Organic Family Farm Seal to identify Partner Brands. When you see the seal, you can be confident that your purchase supports hard-working organic dairy farmers in the Northeast. We will continue to lose our region’s farms without strong consumer support for their products. For more information on the campaign and to take the pledge, click here.
Our Member Deals Spotlight is beaming on Red Hen Baking Company this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of freshly baked breads from May 18th – 24th. Read on to learn more about this wonderful local bakery that’s been turning out fresh organic bread 7 days a week for over 20 years!
The folks at Red Hen Baking Company are guided by a belief that pure, uncomplicated ingredients and the hands of skilled artisans are the building blocks for great food. Their bakery sprouted from humble beginnings with a staff of 8 on Route 100 in Duxbury, VT back in 1999. They were committed to using organic ingredients since the very beginning and became an established presence in the area’s many cooperative and independent food stores. Their bread was beginning to appear at more and more of the area’s finest restaurants and they became mainstays of the Montpelier and Waitsfield Farmers’ Markets. To this day, these venues still make up the core of their wholesale business.
After 8 years of hard work in Duxbury and a seasoned staff that had grown to over 20 employees (many of whom are still with the bakery today), they had the opportunity to move 5 miles down the road to the neighboring town of Middlesex. It was here that they established their new baking facility in a building constructed especially for their purposes with an attached café in a renovated building that housed the former Camp Meade Diner.
Their café has become known as a local destination and gathering place where people can enjoy not only the bread they’re so well known for, but also their increasingly lauded pastries, sandwiches, and soups. To supplement their own creations, the cafe also features beer, wine, and specialty food from near and far. Next time you’re cruising through Middlesex, be sure to stop in!
Although Red Hen has grown considerably since those early days in Duxbury, they remain dedicated to creating the very best food from the best possible ingredients. You can’t make great food without great flour (or potatoes or seeds or meal, as the case may be), so a great deal of time and energy is spent sourcing the very best of these items. In many cases, the folks at Red Hen are closely acquainted with the farmers and millers that are responsible for producing the raw materials used for baking their breads. In fact, over 90% of all the flour they use comes from two farmers within 150 miles of the bakery. Each year, 430,000 lbs of local wheat go into their breads!
They employ methods that are as old as bread making itself and these processes guide their days at the bakery. This method of slow fermentation produces a complexity of flavor, a chewy texture, helps the bread to keep longer, and even adds to its nutritive value. Each loaf is then formed by hand and baked in a hearth oven. The Red Hen family of breads runs the gamut from dense whole grain varieties to light and airy ciabatta and everything in between.
Like any good hen, the folks at Red Hen feel a responsibility to do what they can to nurture the community that has nurtured them. There is never a shortage of work to be done and there are so many good organizations doing that work, but each year their staff selects a few organizations that they would like to support. Last year they directed over $26,000 to the following organizations doing work both close to home and further afield:
To learn more about Red Hen Baking, check out their web page! You can view their cafe menu, read all about their diverse bread offerings, and find great tips for storing your bread to maximize freshness.
Great coffee shops offer more than a good cup of joe; they provide a pleasant sensory experience for their patrons. It’s hard to deny the allure of the aroma and energy emanating from a great cafe. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing space to pull a caffeine-fueled remote work session or you’re seeking an inviting atmosphere to meet up with friends over a great cup of locally-roasted coffee, we invite you to check out Royal Oak Coffee! We’re thrilled to have Royal Oak as part of our Co-op Connection lineup, offering responsibly sourced, high-quality artisan coffee in a welcoming atmosphere along with a sweet 10% discount for card-carrying Co-op Member-Owners. Read on to learn more about this vibrant local business named to the list of the nation’s best coffee shops by Food and Wine Magazine, and the family that brings it to life:
Armed with 20 years of combined experience in the coffee industry, Matthew and Alessandra Delia-Lobo (known as Matt and Aless to their regulars) opened the doors to Royal Oak Coffee on Middlebury’s Seymour Street in May of 2019. The couple met in a Connecticut coffee shop back in 2011, so it only seems fitting that their lives together since then have revolved around a shared passion for coffee.
Despite having traveled the world exploring coffee and cafe culture from Boston to Italy to Sweeden and the UK, the couple (thankfully) chose unlikely Middlebury as the home for their shop. Why Middlebury? The couple shares that over the course of six years visiting Matt’s mother, who lives here in Vermont’s shire town, they fell in love with the town, the pace, the gorgeous landscape, the kind people, and the sense of community. They decided it would be a great spot to settle, open up shop, and eventually start a family.
At Royal Oak, Matt and Aless exclusively feature beans roasted in Winooski, VT, by Vivid Coffee Roasters. The couple prioritizes supply chain transparency and equity. They feel that the agricultural roots and vibrant local food scene in Addison County foster a community that understands the importance of supporting specific farmers and sustainable methods of production.
Their cafe is artfully curated to create the kind of welcoming, unpretentious vibe that they feel is more in keeping with the rural Vermont scene. When the business initially launched, Matt and Aless were a team of two, handling all aspects of the business and serving each cup of coffee with a conversation and a smile. This gave them the opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and get to know their patrons. As the business and their own family grew, they recognized the need to hire a small team to support cafe operations, but they remain heavily involved with all aspects of the business. As for the name of their cafe, Aless shares that the Royal Oak moniker was a nod to her late father’s business — a reference to the tree where Charles II of England hid during a battle.
According to Aless, “our whole shtick is to do things intentionally, consider everything and be nice. That’s it. We want people to feel like they’re welcome, that their order isn’t wrong or bad because they want decaf or something with sugar in it.” And clearly, they’re onto something. Despite the challenges of opening a new business in the midst of a pandemic, Matt and Aless have managed to keep their community blissfully caffeinated and elevate the coffee conversation along the way. We’re grateful that they’re here and thrilled to have them in the Co-op Connection lineup!
We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight this week on a local favorite – Lake Champlain Chocolates!All of their mouth-watering Fairtrade Certified chocolates are 20% off for member-owners from April 6th – 12th. Read on to learn more about this local confectionery that has called Vermont home for 40 years and its commitment to responsible sourcing:
The story of Lake Champlain Chocolates began back in 1983 when founder Jim Lampman dared his pastry chef at Burlington’s Ice House Restaurant to create a better truffle than the ones he had been buying for his staff as holiday gifts. Together they began making the most amazing hand-rolled, creamy truffles and the rest, as they say, is history.
From the very beginning, long before eating local was cool, Lake Champlain Chocolates has been committed to sourcing Vermont-grown ingredients whenever possible. They knew that using high-quality Vermont honey, maple syrup, and fresh dairy from local farmers and producers would result in superior chocolates.
The goal is to bring you their best. To make high-quality chocolate that amazes with exquisite flavor and creates a moment of pure joy. It’s also why they’ve never added preservatives, extenders, or additives, and why they’ve worked diligently to remove GMOs from all of their chocolates and use organic and Fairtrade certified ingredients whenever possible. With each new product, the goal remains the same – to create something special, and to give you the best experience.
A Family Affair:
Lake Champlain Chocolates is a second-generation, family-owned business, just like the generations of Vermont family farmers that provide them with fresh butter, cream, maple syrup, and honey. And just like the generations of cacao farmers in places like the Dominican Republic and Guatemala — with whom they have direct partnerships. Today, Jim’s son and daughter, Eric and Ellen, are defining the future of Lake Champlain Chocolates by developing award-winning organic products and spearheading sustainable sourcing initiatives. Along the way following the Lampman family principles: Dare to do better. Always do it with Passion. And do it your way.
Making great-tasting chocolate is hard work and the team at Lake Champlain Chocolates believes that every person in this process should be treated and compensated fairly and that their actions should make a positive impact on local and global communities. When you purchase Fairtrade chocolate, more money goes back to the farmers, allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty and build a better life for their families. It also allows these farmers to invest additional Fairtrade premiums in community development, ensures a ban on forced labor and child labor, and encourages environmentally-sustainable farming practices. Go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth and feel good knowing that 100% of the chocolate they use at Lake Champlain Chocolates is Fairtrade certified.
Why Buy Fairtrade Certified Chocolate?
Farmers and workers are justly compensated and have safe working conditions (this includes prohibiting the use of forced labor and child labor).
Farmers are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty and help to build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.
Cocoa farmers and co-ops receive an additional premium for investing in community development.
Farming communities develop skills that help them use the free market to their advantage.
Farming villages become better stewards of the environment — using sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices to preserve local habitats and increase biodiversity
B Corp Certification:
Lake Champlain Chocolates joined a growing community of more than 2,500 certified B Corporations worldwide who are united under one common goal – to redefine success in business. Rather than focus solely on profits, certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Unlike other certifications that look at individual products, B Corporation evaluates the entire business — assessing the yearly impact on the environment, workers, customers, community, and government. This new type of corporation is purpose-driven to create benefits for all, not just shareholders, working together to be the change we seek in the world.
For Lake Champlain Chocolates these performance standards provide a valuable third-party measurement tool, assuring customers and suppliers that LCC’s business practices meet the highest standards. “Achieving B Corp Certification is the next step towards fulfilling our company’s vision to become the gold standard of chocolate companies in the United States, a respected leader other companies aspire to be,” says Eric Lampman, LCC President. “For more than 35 years, our practices have been guided by one core value – ‘everything must measure up to the chocolate.’ And this includes making a positive impact on our local and global communities by respecting our employees, fostering long-term partnerships with our suppliers, and practicing environmental responsibility.”
We’re excited to shine a bright spotlight on the newest local business to join our Co-op Connection lineup — FLŌRA! They offer our community a comfortable, clean, relaxing place to purchase high-quality, lab-tested, premium cannabis products from Vermont growers and they offer a sweet 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners. Read on to learn more about this relatively new local business and the duo who brought it to life:
Act 164, a law passed in 2020 which allowed adult Vermonters to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and four immature plants, also signaled the green light for retail sales of recreational cannabis beginning on Oct. 1, 2022.FLŌRA, located in the heart of downtown Middlebury, became one of only three fully licensed and permitted cannabis retail shops statewide to open for business on that historic October day. Blazing the trail to make this possible were FLŌRA co-founders Dave Silberman and Mike Sims. As a Middlebury attorney and longtime advocate for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Vermont, Silberman was well-positioned to navigate the permitting process to make the retail store possible, having provided input for Act 164, and being well-versed in its requirements.
An estimated crowd of 1,000 people visited the store on its opening day at 2 Park Street, the line stretching almost to the Cross Street bridge roundabout with visitors eager to peruse and purchase cannabis flower and an assortment of related products. FLŌRA’s product lineup currently includes dozens of strains of premium Vermont-grown cannabis flower, many from right here in Addison County, plus pre-rolled joints, vaping cartridges, topicals, and a wide range of edibles ranging from gummies to chocolates and even pure maple candy infused with THC. FLŌRA also carries a wide assortment of CBD products, pipes, grinders, herbal vaporizers, and more.
In an article in the Addison Independent, Silberman shared that he’s particularly proud to do business with a Bristol-based grower who had previously been sentenced to federal prison for selling cannabis around a decade ago. “Now he is doing it legally,” he said of the Bristol grower. “To me, that’s one small way we can help right the wrongs of the War on Drugs, and it’s the path we need to travel on now. It’s not enough to just legalize and open stores, no matter how beautiful and well-received they are.”
Those who haven’t yet visited FLŌRA might be surprised by the experience. It leans more toward a spa-like atmosphere than the dank headshop vibe that one might envision. FLŌRA has nine full- and part-time staff who have undergone state-mandated training and are well-versed in store protocols and legal requirements. Patrons are greeted at a check-in counter upon arrival, where they must show a valid picture ID to verify they are at least 21. If it’s particularly busy, clients then take a comfortable seat in a relaxing waiting room where they can begin to peruse the menu. Once inside, a store “bud-tender” is available to help customers explore the product lineup, and answer questions. A recent addition to the services provided by FLŌRA is anonline ordering system where customers can make their selection in advance of their visit, show up at the store with a valid ID and proof of purchase, then leave with their order. You can even pre-pay right online!
FLORA has already received strong support and a warm welcome from residents, the local business community, and town officials alike. For his part, Sims said he believes FLŌRA will be a boon to the community and its post-pandemic renaissance, and this already seems to be the case. Simms is quoted in the Addison Independent shortly after opening day expressing that “It felt really great to open our doors to the community…downtown has been packed. All the other stores have been crushing their numbers. It felt great to see people on both sides of the sidewalk shopping at all the stores. I was proud of that.”
We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on Farmhouse Chocolates this week! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of the delightfully decadent treats from this local Bristol-based chocolatier from March 30th – April 5th! Read on to learn more about the local couple who brings these swoon-worthy chocolates to our Co-op shelves and their deep commitment to ethical sourcing:
Having grown up in a dairy-farming family here in Vermont, co-owner and head chocolatier Erlé LaBounty is described on the Farmhouse Chocolates website as always being more concerned with lunchtime than recess, so it’s no small wonder that he gravitated toward the world of fine food. He’s been crafting delicately balanced, old-world chocolate confections since the tender age of 16! No stranger to epicurean adventures in her own right, his partner and co-owner Eliza LaRocca came to Vermont in 2010 after spending time in Florence, Italy’s specialty food market, Il Mercato Centrale, and leading food and wine tours in Italy, France, and Vermont.
Since meeting, the couple has been hard at work hand-crafting chocolates while building a business and a life together. The business has evolved over the years, having started with a focus on hand-rolled truffles, then expanding to include chocolate-covered, burnt-butter salted caramels, and six different varieties of chocolate bars. While the product lineup has evolved, one thing that has remained constant from the onset was their commitment to procuring high-quality, ethically-sourced ingredients. All Farmhouse Chocolates are crafted with certified organic, fair trade, soy-free 70% and 85% chocolates. The majority of their remaining ingredients are certified organic, and the few that are not are thoroughly vetted and certified non-GMO, as well as being soy- and corn syrup-free; and sourced locally as often as possible.
Moreover, while co-packing (choosing to have products packaged at another, larger facility not owned or operated by the company) is something of a food industry standard, Farmhouse Chocolates proudly produces everything in-house in their Bristol, VT facility.
According to the chocolatiers, “our company’s ethos centers on the meeting of responsibility and pleasure. Sourcing organic, fair trade, and local ingredients, we carefully craft dark chocolate confections that emphasize taste, texture, and aesthetics as much as they do sustainability and purity of ingredients; ethics reflected in our environmentally friendly packaging and small batch production.”
If you’d like to try Farmhouse Chocolates’ delicious treats, we’ll have a tasting on Saturday, April 1st from 11-2!
We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on Sunja’s this week! This local business has been keeping our shelves stocked with authentic Korean kimchi since the early 1990s. In fact, their team tells us that our Co-op was one of their very first retail accounts! All of Sunja’s nutrient-dense, probiotic-packed products are 20% off for member-owners from March 23rd – 29th, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind this local woman-owned business carrying on the Korean kimchi-making tradition for Vermonters to enjoy:
The seed for Sunja’s Kimchi was first planted in 1993 when Sunja Hayden began offering cooking classes in her small Northfield, Vermont community. Participants couldn’t get enough of her healthy, delicious traditional Korean foods, which inspired Sunja to begin producing food for a retail market. Another motivating force was her awareness of the fact that so many foods we consume contain unhealthy chemical additives and preservatives. Sunja understood the critical role of all-natural, preservative-free, non-GMO foods for health and wellness and wanted to share more of her traditional foods with her community.
According to Sunja, “I started my company in 1993 because of my affection for healthy eating and my desire to serve my family and friends good, real, healthy food. My love for preparing delicious and healthy meals soon transformed into a desire to do the same for others. I believe in the importance of natural foods with live enzymes, which help the digestive process.”
Here at the Co-op, you’ll find a lineup of several varieties of Sunja’s kimchi. This traditional fermented Korean dish is typically served as a condiment at every meal and there are hundreds of varieties of Korean kimchi depending on regional and family preferences. Kimchi is raw, living food that is rich in flavor, high in nutritional value, and naturally fermented to create rich probiotics from the live beneficial bacteria present on the vegetables. The fermentation process also makes the nutrients in the vegetables more bioavailable and easily assimilated by our bodies. The end product offers a robust source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. It also boasts a long list of potential health benefits including improved gut health, digestion, and immunity.
Sunja’s kimchi is produced in Waterbury, VT, and the fresh vegetables are sourced locally whenever possible. Sunja is proud to support local farms and is very particular about how the produce is grown for her kimchi, specifying that her kimchi is made with the freshest vegetables and does not contain any preservatives, sugar, MSG, or additives of any kind. Sunja’s products are also naturally gluten-free and vegan and are third-party verified by the Non-GMO Project.
Whether you’re new to eating kimchi or a seasoned pro, we think you’ll love the recipes on Sunja’s webpage! They’ll provide plenty of inspiration for ways to enjoy this Korean superfood!