We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Muir Glen this week! From February 21st – 27th, all Muir Glen products are 20% off for Member-owners, so it’s a great time to stock up the pantry with these staples! Read on to learn more about why they shine:
Muir Glen was founded on the belief that there must be a way to grow a better tasting tomato—it must be grown organically. That’s why they grow their signature organic tomatoes in the rich organic soil of California’s Sacramento Valley. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.
Their Principles –
Muir Glen is building on their commitment to source 100% of their ingredients from certified organic farms by expanding their priorities to include regenerative practices like cover cropping and diverse crop rotations.
The unsung heroes of agriculture, the tiny but mighty bees work hard for our food. Because the folks at Muir Glen want them to keep on buzzing for generations to come, they’ve partnered with the Xerces Society to plant pollinator habitats on the California farms that grow their tomatoes.
Farmers as Partners
As they learn more about the farmers and communities that make Muir Glen products possible, they’re working to find ways to support them all on a deeper level. Muir Glen seeks to understand their challenges and opportunities by cultivating real relationships with these champions who are committed to regenerating natural resources to ensure long-term prosperity.
We’re shining this week’s Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that’s been providing local honey to the Co-op since the very beginning – over 40 years ago. In fact, Champlain Valley Apiaries was founded long before the Co-op existed, way back in 1931, and they’ve been producing pristine, delicious Vermont honey ever since! From February14th – 20th, member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of gooey golden goodness. Read on to learn more about this wonderful local business and their commitment to environmental stewardship:
Champlain Valley Apiaries is a 3rd generation Vermont family-owned business. Founded in 1931 by innovative beekeeper Charles Mraz, they have been producing delicious Vermont honey for over 85 years. Their mission, along with producing the highest quality honey, is to foster sustainable agriculture and bring awareness to the essential role of honeybees in our food system. They are committed to protecting all pollinators, the environment, the well being of their employees, and the local community where they live and work.
They also continually assess and modify business operations so as to lessen their impact on the environment by increasing operational efficiency, conserving energy, water, and other natural resources, reducing waste generation, and eliminating the use of harmful materials. Champlain Valley Apiaries is committed to a triple bottom line, not only valuing profit but seeking environmental excellence and social awareness within their company culture.
The folks at Champlain Valley Apiaries describe their honey as a floral snapshot of a particular area at a given time. Bees gather nectar from a variety of floral sources, depending on the time of year. Sources include things like clover, alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, various trees, dandelions, and goldenrod, to name a few. For this reason, the exact makeup of their honey will vary from year to year and even from bee yard to bee yard. In order to keep a consistent product, they blend their Vermont honey with other premium honey produced in the U.S. and Canada.
They treat their bees organically and during the winter, hives are left with enough of their own honey to survive and thrive. Throughout the company’s history, they have earned a reputation among beekeepers for producing a hardy strain of honeybee that is disease-resistant and able to thrive in the harsh Vermont winter. At the Co-op, you’ll find Champlain Valley Apiaries liquid honey and their raw, naturally crystallized honey.
Looking for a sweet local treat for your Valentine? Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Douglas Sweets! All of their sweet and savory Scottish shortbreads are 20% off for member-owners from February 7th – 13th. Read on to learn more about this local bakery based in Shelburne, VT and the mother-daughter duo who are carrying on a cherished family tradition:
Armed with a traditional shortbread recipe developed and perfected by her Scottish mother, founder Debra Townsend, along with her daughter and co-founder Hannah (named for her inspirational grandmother), launched a business out of the kitchen of their condo. Fast-forward a few years and countless batches of these delectable, buttery shortbreads, the Townsends needed to scale up, moving their business into the Vermont Artisan Village in Shelburne where they also operate a retail bakeshop. There you will find their signature shortbreads along with great coffee and an array of baked goods from fruit tarts to cheesecakes, all of which are made with their famous shortbread dough.
According to Debra, “In 1956, my mother longed for the traditional Scottish shortbread she had grown to love while in the old country. After much experimenting, she duplicated that perfect rich buttery taste. For years our family has been baking that same shortbread and enjoying it with friends.”
The Townsends are committed to using Vermont ingredients like King Arthur Flour and Cabot butter whenever possible. At the Co-op, you’ll find their sweet and savory buttery shortbreads in a wide variety of flavors ranging from the original traditional Scottish shortbread to more exotic flavors inspired by Townsend’s world travels like spicy Indian curry, Italian lemon and rosemary, or Thai sweet basil and peanut. The bakers offer the shortbreads plain or dipped in chocolate for an even more luxurious treat!
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 31st – February 6th. 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!
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 10th – 16th. 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 over 35 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 36 years, but it still remains firmly rooted in Brattleboro, VT where they proudly employ more than 150 area residents.
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.
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.
We’re shining the Member Deals Spotlight on Niman Ranch this week to celebrate their efforts to provide all-natural meats raised by family farmers committed to sustainable & humane practices. All of their meats will be 20% off for member-owners from December 27th – January 2nd. Read on to learn more about Niman Ranch, their dedication to sustainable meat, and the small family farmers who make it possible.
Niman Ranch began in the early 1970s on an eleven-acre ranch in a small coastal town just north of San Francisco. The cattle were raised using traditional, humane husbandry methods and given wholesome all-natural feeds. Before long, Niman Ranch beef became a favorite in local grocery stores and at San Francisco Bay Area restaurants. Today, the Niman Ranch network has grown to include over 720 independent American farmers & ranchers, who all share Niman Ranch’s dedication to the strictest protocols. Their meats are Certified Humane ®, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed only the finest all vegetarian feeds.
Niman Ranch believes that sustainable agriculture is best described as livestock raising and production practices which balance current resource demands without compromising the future of these resources from an environmental, economic, and human perspective. They also believe that sustainability does not end with the farmer and must carry throughout the supply chain. For this reason, they choose to raise livestock in areas where feed sources are locally available to reduce the environmental impact of feed transport. Sustainability at Niman Ranch incorporates sustainable agricultural practices with economic sustainability for the farmers, the ranchers, their customers, and their employees; all of which are an integral part of their overall business philosophy of RAISED WITH CARE.
The Niman Ranch Top 10 Sustainability Best Practices
Pay farmers a premium in accordance to our strict raising protocols to ensure the economic viability of their business.
Establish a floor price for our farmers tied to the cost of inputs of feed and fuel.
Provide a robust and growing national marketplace for our small, independent farmers and ranchers to sell their products.
Promote agricultural biodiversity by using breeds which thrive in their natural environment.
Practice genetic diversity to keep breeds healthy over generations.
Maintain livestock density well below the conventional industry standard so the land will not be overburdened.
Raise livestock in areas where feed is locally available to reduce transportation needs and lower the carbon footprint.
Mitigate soil erosion and/or loss by maintaining pasture with coverage for livestock, crop rotation, rotational grazing, and responsible waste/manure management.
Prohibit the use of concentrated liquid manure systems that are used in conventional feedlot settings.
Utilize buffer strips and grassed waterways to support soil and water quality.
Humane Animal Care
As of September 2016, 100% of Niman Ranch’s proteins- Pork, Beef and Lamb, and our Processed Products, will be Certified Humane®. The Certified Humane® certification program is a program of Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). HFAC is a leading non-profit certifier of the highest farm animal welfare standards.
Our farms, ranches, harvest facilities, processing locations, and co-packers have been audited by the Certified Humane® Auditors to meet the Humane Farm Animal Care Animal Care Standards. It was easy for our farmers to meet the HFAC standards since our standards were developed with the same strict oversight by Dr. Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin is a member of HFAC’s scientific committee.
We will still have more field agents working directly with our farmers than salespeople. We will still have dedicated staff who review our protocols and conduct audits of our farms, ranches and harvest facilities. HFAC auditors are experts in the species they audit, as they are animal scientists with master’s degrees or Ph.D.’s.
Click HERE to read more about their practices and view maps of their farm locations
Looking to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Krin’s Bakery this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off Krin’s full line of local confections from December 20th – 26th! Read on to learn more about this wonderful bakery nestled in the mountains of Huntington, VT.
Krin’s Bakery is the home of artisan baker Krin Barberi. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, then exploring and working for others, Krin opened her Bakery in 2005.
According to Krin, “We are a community of 7 Huntington women bringing diligence, humor, and really good taste buds to work every day. Our team is devoted to delicious baked goods made in small batches with deep attention to the baking process. We bring pride to our production process, using only “real” ingredients (butter instead of shortening, sugar instead of corn syrup). From ingredient choice to the mixing bowl, from oven to cooling rack, we bring that sense of pride from our kitchen to you.”
Krin is a passionate local foods activist supporting the cause by working with local distributors, markets, producers, and farmers. She takes her inspiration from her rural New England family’s tradition of supporting and participating in the life of her community. She believes that where our food comes from is important and takes pride in using local Vermont ingredients including carrots and zucchini from Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg, Bee Happy Honey from Starksboro, Huntington’s own Maple Wind Farm eggs, and dairy from Middlebury’s Monument Farms.
It is from this deep sense of community and place that Krin continues to bake love and care into each and every treat.
At the Co-op, you’ll find Krin’s famous cupcakes, mini cakes, macaroons, and cookies!
Is there a delicious Italian dinner on your menu for the week? Be sure to check out Bionaturae! We’re casting our Member Deals Spotlight on Bionaturae from December 13th – 19th. to shed a little light on this Italian-American partnership that has been bringing us a fine lineup of authentic organic Italian foods for over 20 years! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners this week, so it’s a great time to stock up on these staples. Read on to learn more about this company and their philosophy!
While majoring in Italian in college, Carla Bartolucci spent a year in Italy and met her husband, Rodolfo, who had a background in agriculture. In 1995, the two teamed up and enthusiastically created an organic selection of authentic Italian foods for the American & Canadian markets. Now, more than 20 years later, Bionaturae has remained a family-oriented, privately owned company, with a heartfelt devotion to quality and tradition.
Bionaturæ (bee-oh-na-too-ray) roughly translates to mean “organic nature.” For the founders of the company, it means this and far more. It means the celebration of Old World tradition, of authentic Italian food and of family.
What makes their products taste so great?
Their Pasta is made with wheat grown in Italy on small family-owned farms that have been using traditional agricultural methods for centuries. All ingredients are certified organic and are grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Rather than the Teflon dies that most commercial pasta makers have turned to, Bionature uses the original bronze dies common to traditional authentic pasta making, resulting in a coarser pasta that holds sauce exceptionally well. Equally important is the slow drying methods they incorporate. Where most modern pastas are heat dried to speed the process, Bionaturae insists on using the more traditional method, which can take as long as 14 hours to dry the pasta and avoids cooking the wheat during the drying process.
Their Olive Oil is a unique blend of five renowned varieties of Italian olives, grown on small family farms in Northern Italy where olives ripen slower. Within twenty-four hours of hand-harvesting, the olives are pressed at a century-old frantoio, where expertise and passion have transcended three generations. They press the olives the same day to avoid oxidation. Their oil is cold pressed at temperatures no higher than 27 degrees Celsius.
Their Balsamic Vinegar is made by one of Modena’s oldest family of producers, who for generations has preserved the antique traditions that make balsamic vinegar so unique. In keeping with tradition, their vinegar is made from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grape must, and has a distinct sourly, sweet flavor.
Their Fruit Nectars are produced using hand-harvested heirloom variety fruits from small family farms in select regions of Italy. The flavor of heirloom fruit is sweet, intense and true. The nectars combine fruit juice with fruit purée for a thicker, distinctly different flavor without added sugar. The resulting beverage tastes exactly like the fruit from which it is derived and is not too sweet or pulpy.
Their Tomatoes are vine-ripened, hand-harvested and have an unparalleled flavor that is both sweet and tender. Italian tomatoes just taste better. The sun, soil and tomato varieties provide the finest tomatoes in the world. One taste will convince you. There is no calcium chloride added to their tomatoes and the linings of their cans are produced without BPA.
According to Carla, “In Italy, we try to eat the foods that are the most seasonal, in their most natural form, with as little done to them as possible, and to eat a wide variety so that we are getting everything we need. The wisest thing, I feel, is to eat simply prepared, organic foods. It’s important to know where your food comes from.”
We’re shining our Co-op Spotlight this week on one of the most awarded specialty food companies in North America- Trois Petits Cochons! Les Trois Petits Cochons has produced award-winning, all natural pâté and charcuterie since 1975 by crafting small, handmade batches using only the finest high-quality ingredients. Their full product line is 20% off for member-owners from December 6th – 12th – just in time for creating beautiful, crowd-pleasing holiday platters! Read on to learn more about this company that has been producing high-quality, hand-crafted products for over 40 years!
Les Trois Petits Cochons first opened its doors as a small charcuterie in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1975. It has since grown to become the leader in the pâté and charcuterie industry, offering a complete line of artisanal pâtés, mousses, terrines, sausages, saucissons, smoked meats and other French specialties. Their products have garnered a long list of SOFI awards, earning great respect in the culinary world.
Les Trois Petits Cochons is committed to continuing the tradition of making delicious, authentic and quality pâté and charcuterie for its customers. By combining time-honored recipes, choice ingredients, innovative cooking methods and strict quality control they are able to create consistent, handcrafted products. All of this, together with dedicated customer service and a passion for good food, have allowed them to stay true to their small charcuterie roots.
Les Trois Petits Cochons believes in taking care of the earth that gives us so much. All Les Trois Petits Cochons paper packaging is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. This means that all paper is harvested legally and sustainably and that the chain of custody — from the forest to the grocery store — has been verified. In addition, Les Trois Petits Cochons uses all-natural ingredients and hand-crafts its products in small batches.
Be sure to check out the fabulous collection of recipes on their web page!
Looking for the perfect gift for the chef in your family? We invite you to keep it local and check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Kiss the Cook! They’re one of the newest businesses to join our Co-op Connection lineup and one of the newest businesses to join Middlebury’s downtown scene. If you haven’t yet dropped by their store and checked out their incredible variety of kitchenware, December is a perfect time to do so! You’ll find gifts for everyone on your list and don’t forget to show your Co-op card for a 10% discount! Read on to learn more about this family-owned business:
The folks at Kiss the Cook have a deep love of food. According to their web page, they love “to eat it, cook it, talk about it, look at it, dream about it, and then eat it again.” They recognize that food can be a powerful force that unites us all and brings us together across cultures and generations. They draw on this passion and understanding of the power of food and strive to provide you with the right tools regardless of the food journey you’re on. They’re committed to bringing you the best products, knowledge, and service whether you’re just learning to cook, a professional chef, or anything in between.
Kiss The Cook has been a family-owned business from the very beginning. You may have seen their flagship location while strolling the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. The original store was opened in the early 1990’s by Marie Bouffard & Mike Soulia, who operated the store for over 20 years. In 2014, the store was purchased by current owners Luke & Ashley Wight and, lucky for us, they expanded to Middlebury in 2017, taking over the operations of the former Otter Creek Kitchen & Electronics right in the heart of downtown.
In addition to their dazzling lineup of the latest and greatest culinary wares, they offer a fun schedule of events and demos. A quick peek at theirWhat’s Cooking blog for November showed an exciting new cookbook launch by legendary local Author Andrea Chesman, a tasty turkey slider tasting and cooking demonstration, and a book signing with Chef and Author Gesine Bullock-Prado, star of the Food Network’s “Baked in Vermont”. If you’re looking for a little culinary inspiration, their blog also features a regular “New Meal Monday” segment with tasty recipes to try.