member deals

Spotlight on New Leaf Organics

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Leaf Organics! This local, organic farm not only keeps our produce shelves stocked with an array of fresh seasonal veggies but also supplies us with an abundant array of veggie and herb seedlings each Spring. Perhaps you have a few of them growing in your garden? All of New Leaf Organics products are 20% off for Co-op member-owners from August 3rd – 9th, so it’s a great time to stock up on the flavors of summer in Vermont. Read on to learn more about this female-powered farm and all that they have to offer:

Nestled in the rolling hills near the Bristol-Monkton town line is a sweet little farm called New Leaf Organics. Now in her 23rd year in business, Farmer Jill Koppel leads her rockstar all-female crew to produce some of the most beautiful and delicious flowers, fruits, and veggies you’ll find anywhere in Vermont. Their farm has evolved quite a bit over the years, but their core mission remains the same; growing high-quality organic produce, flowers, and plants that improve soil health and strengthen the community.

Their Mission

  • to grow high-quality, deliciously fresh organic produce and flowers.
  • to maintain and build the health of our soil and water.
  • to keep this land open and in agricultural production.
  • to bring community together in appreciation of good food and eating with the seasons.
  • to help couples create a memorable wedding day brightened with our beautiful flowers
  • to be a healthy and joyous place for kids to roam and discover and help them learn where our food really comes from.
  • to provide a positive and meaningful place to work for our employees and ourselves.
The 2023 New Leaf Farm Crew

New Leaf Organics grows 5 acres of vegetables, berries, and flowers which are all sold in Vermont. You can shop their online store and/or visit their farmstand. Their online store offers farmstand pickup and delivery options. Farmstand hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 12 pm – 6 pm. While visiting the farmstand, you’ll find  New Leaf’s fresh-picked veggies, berries, and flowers. You’ll also find a great selection of locally sourced products from around the Champlain Valley including fresh breads and granola from Bicycle Mill Bakery; sweet and savory hand pies and small pies from Humble Pie Baking; and take-out meals from Chomp Cookhouse.

New Leaf Organics Farmstand

You can also sign up for their Farm Stand Card Program. What’s a Farm Stand Card? Here’s how their website describes it:

“It’s like a gift card, but tastier. Farm Stand Cards give you pre-purchased credit to use at our Farm Stand. It’s an affordable and flexible way to enjoy the freshest, local organic produce and flowers and support our vibrant local food system. They come in increments of $225, with an additional 10% spending bonus. For example, when you pay $225, you’ll get a spending credit of $250. You can use your card any time you shop to buy anything we sell at our farm stand — from produce and baked goods to bedding plants and groceries. Pick your own flowers are included for Farm Stand Card holders.

​How Does This Compare to Your Traditional CSA Model? Farm Stand Card shares are similar to a CSA in that you receive fresh organic produce and flowers each week and a discount on your purchase while committing to and supporting our local farm. They’re even better than a traditional CSA, though. The Farm Stand Card allows you greater flexibility to shop anytime the Farm Stand is open, and to purchase anything we sell in the stand. It gives you the vegetables, flowers, and local goods you want, when you want them, at the best price. Win-win-win!”

 

Looking to send a local, organic bouquet to someone special? New Leaf Organics offers Home Sweet Blooms floral deliveries to homes and businesses in Hinesburg, Vergennes, Middlebury, & Bristol! They also offer a pick-your-own flowers option throughout the growing season or you can purchase a flower bouquet subscription. The flower fields are located across the street from the farm stand. 

Need flowers for an upcoming wedding or event? New Leaf Organics raises over 100 varieties of organic, specialty cut flowers and creates exquisite floral arrangements for weddings and events, from casual to formal. Their services, from full-service arrangements and delivery, to “pick-your-own,” to “weddings-in-a-bucket” are a great fit for all your events. Buying direct from the grower ensures the freshest, highest quality flowers at the best price. Buying organic ensures that agricultural chemicals aren’t endangering our environment or the farmworkers who handle the flowers. Click here to read more about why this matters.

According to Farmer Jill, “I’ve been lucky enough to find a dedicated crew of farming “geeks” who get equally as excited about discovering a great new variety to try or the thrill of our first seeds germinating in the Spring. Having a great crew keeps the farm dynamic and is better every season because of them. My kids, Ruby and Ada, and husband Skimmer make sure we don’t work the whole Summer away… Thanks for your interest in our farm! Supporting local farms like ours ensures that high-quality agricultural soils will be kept in farming for generations to come and proof that together we really can keep Vermont agriculture alive and thriving!”

For the latest info and insight into how the season is sprouting, blooming, and unfurling, follow them on Instagram @organicsnewleaf and Facebook @newleaforganics

Spotlight on Aqua ViTea

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Aqua ViTea! Their full line of Kombucha and Aqua Selzer is 20% off for member-owners from July 20th – 26th! Read on to learn more about this unique local business with humble beginnings on a Salisbury Farm!

 

History

Aqua ViTea began in 2007 in the Salisbury, Vermont farmhouse of Jeff Weaber and Dr. Katina Martin, based on the naturopathic principle of “food as medicine.” Weaber and Martin had just relocated to Vermont after 9 years in Portland, Oregon, where Katina pursued medical degrees in Naturopathy, Midwifery, and Acupuncture and Jeff served as the brewer for The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. Honing the craft of fermentation at work and learning about functional foods and the governing role of the digestive system from Katina at home led Weaber to discover the wonders of Kombucha.

Aqua ViTea founder Jeff Weaber with his wife Katina Martin at their Salisbury home where they first began brewing kombucha

By 2007, he was selling his Kombucha to the happy crowds at the Middlebury Farmers Market under the Aqua ViTea brand, and in 2008, he began bottling his product and selling wholesale to our Co-op and a handful of other local markets. By 2014, demand began to outpace production capacity, and plans to move Aqua ViTea’s production off the farm began to ferment. They first moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Bristol, VT, followed by yet another upgrade in 2017 to an even more impressive facility — the former home of Woodchuck Cider just off Exchange Street in Middlebury. Today, the rapidly growing company is the largest Kombucha producer on the east coast, employing a team of 30 full-time employees proudly brewing low-sugar, alcohol-free, organic kombucha with naturally abundant probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants, whose balanced blend of sparkling refreshment and bold flavor makes it the perfect substitute for juice or soda. 

The Aqua ViTea team

As the business grew, Weaber called on Mike Kin, who was a close friend of Weaber’s in Oregon, and convinced him to move to Vermont with his family to become the company’s brewer. If you dig the artwork on Aqua ViTea’s packaging and materials as much as we do, you’ve got Mike to thank for these. He sketches each one by hand, creating the funky, colorful, amazing signature artwork that you see on all of AquaVitea’s products!

Mike Kin creates the signature Freshketch artwork for Aqua ViTea

 

Commitment to Authenticity

Many commercially available Kombucha brands have been found to contain significantly more sugar and alcohol than their labels disclose. Additionally, some large-scale Kombucha products are being manufactured in a lab setting, force carbonated, and even pasteurized, with the probiotic cultures added artificially as “ingredients” to the end product.

Aqua ViTea, since day one, has shown a deep commitment to authenticity. This begins by sourcing the highest quality ingredients, including sustainably sourced organic tea from Middlebury’s Stone Leaf Teahouse and organic cane sugar to feed the ferment. Their Kombucha is the product of a live, active fermentation, which allows the live cultures and enzymes to develop naturally and delivers the tangy effervescence that Kombucha drinkers love. They are one of only two kombucha makers in the country who have invested in a spinning cone column, which allows for the extraction and recovery of volatile compounds, including alcohol, without the need for excessive heat. And since the alcohol is removed at the end of fermentation, the active cultures can grow at their own pace, which results in authentic, delicious, and non-alcoholic Kombucha. They even employ an in-house microbiologist to analyze the safety and purity of their products! The organic alcohol that is extracted from Aqua ViTea Kombucha is repurposed to support innovations like hand sanitizer and new beverage development. The nutrient-dense organic green and black tea used in their brewing process is composted to support local agriculture. 

A tour group from Addison Central Teens visits Aqua ViTea and learns about the cone extractor, which removes the alcohol from Aqua ViTea’s kombucha

 

Aqua Seltzer

The newest addition to the Aqua ViTea lineup is Aqua Seltzer! Better than your average bubbles, Aqua Seltzers, infused with organic kombucha, are refreshing better-for-you offerings packed with probiotics for immune & gut health. Weaber shares that the idea for a seltzer line was born when he looked at the ingredients list on a can of the seltzer that his teenage kids love to drink and realized that there was nothing much to them. He wondered if there was a way to create a seltzer that also offered functional nutritional benefits aside from simply providing hydration. After months of research and development and countless hours of taste testing, a new, bubbly, better-for-you beverage was born. It’s infused with kombucha, providing 5 billion probiotics per serving, along with amino acids and antioxidants, with only one gram of sugar and 15 calories. They’re thirst-quenching refreshers filled with goodness for your gut!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Green Mountain Adventures

Summer in Vermont is a spectacular time to hike, bike, paddle, and swim your way through some of the most scenic vistas New England has to offer. Regardless of your outdoor sport of choice, Middlebury’s Green Mountain Adventures (aka Middlebury Mountaineer) is the perfect place to get outfitted with everything you need to explore the forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes of Vermont and we’re excited to collaborate with them through our Co-op Connection program! Thanks to this partnership, card-carrying Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 10% discount when shopping at Green Mountian Adventures! Read on to learn more about this family-owned local business and its wide variety of offerings for the outdoor enthusiast in all of us!

The History

Co-owners Steve and Marion Atocha first opened Middlebury Mountaineer (d/b/a Green Mountain Adventures) in 1998 on Middlebury’s Mill Street in a spot above the Storm Café. Around five years later, the store moved to a Park Street location formerly occupied by Ben & Jerry’s. After a short stint there, the business inched a little further up Park Street to the storefront next to the Henry Sheldon Museum, and finally, in the Spring of 2017, they found what they’d been looking for all along — a prime location with great visibility in the heart of Middlebury’s Main Street.

The Family

Steve is the co-owner and founder of Green Mountain Adventures. On the store’s webpage, he is described as a father, a fly fishing enthusiast, and a certified American Canoe Association Kayaking Instructor. He spends his free time hiking for out-of-the-way fishing holes or backcountry skiing on the Lincoln Gap. Green Mountain Adventures is co-owned by his wife Marion, who also serves as a clothing buyer for the store. She divides her time between the shop and working full-time as a nurse in Bristol. An avid hiker, swimmer, and Nordic skier, Marion’s real passion is raising her three boys and working on her family farm. In true family business fashion, their boys pitch in as part of the Green Mountain Adventures team. 

Steve and Marion Atocha
Steve Atocha with his sons

 

The Gear

Green Mountain Adventures provides only the best gear and apparel with a commitment to quality merchandise and a high standard for personalized customer service. You’ll find many of your favorite brands including Patagonia, Darn Tough, Prana, Blundstone, Howler Bros., Hydro Flask, Yeti, and more. They also carry a wide range of cross-country skis, boots, poles, wax, and accessories from Fischer, Rossignol, Bjorn Daehlie, Salomon, Rottefella, Craft, and Swix. If you’re not ready to commit to an equipment purchase but want to try out some of the best gear in the industry, check out their summer and winter gear rental and lease options. 

 

Guided Adventures

If you’re looking for a guide for your adventures, Green Mountain Adventures offers professional guide services and equipment rentals for fly fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing. Whether you’re a beginner interested in learning the basics or a more experienced adventurer looking to hone your skills, Green Mountain Adventures will personalize any full or half-day trip to meet your needs.

Summer Camps

Now in their 24th season, Green Mountain Adventures offers a variety of outdoor adventure day camps uniquely designed to safely lead children and young adults (ages 6-14) into the vast playground of rocks, rivers, and mountains surrounding our Central Vermont community. Participants engage in multi-activity wilderness adventures including canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, river tubing, and rock climbing. Each GMA camp provides imaginative and unforgettable journeys in some of the most beautiful backcountry wilderness areas in and around the Green Mountains. Their programs offer a low camper-to-guide ratio to ensure your camper receives individualized attention and support. Guides are hand-picked from the local community based on their extensive wilderness experience and skills, intimate knowledge of the local environment and terrain, and youth service experience (as teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, etc.). In addition to providing outlets for youth to immerse themselves in nature, there is also a strong focus on relationship building. According to Steve, “as an outdoor adventure camp in the local community for over 20 years, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to witness the personal growth of many returning campers as they develop confidence in themselves and their ability to relate with peers in a group setting. Our programs are very small and inclusive, without much room or opportunity for cliques to form. We encourage a “come as you are” ethic where campers can be fully themselves, without external pressure to act or perform in a certain way.”

 

 

Better Burgers

Tired of bland burgers? Looking to up your burger game? Then this recipe is for you! A hamburger patty is a great vehicle for loads of flavor, so feel free to be creative! This particular recipe features Italian flavors, but you can experiment with other herbs and spices for your own unique twist. You’ll find Lucas Family Farms’ local grass-fed ground beef in our weekly sale from June 15th – 21st, along with Cabot sliced cheese, so it’s a perfect time to fire up the grill for Father’s Day and give these a try!

Spotlight on American Flatbread

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on a company with humble roots here in Vermont – American Flatbread! From May 25th – 31st, member-owners can enjoy 20% off American Flatbread’s products (applies only to frozen flatbreads here at the Co-op, not at their fabulous restaurants). Read on to learn more about the history and mission of this locally-born company:

 

George Schenk, the founder of American Flatbread, founded his business with a firm understanding that food is more than what’s on the plate, which he shares in “The Five Faces of Food” and his simple phrase, “food Remembers the acts of the hands and heart.”

“Food is important. What we eat and how it’s grown intimately affects our health and the well-being of the world,” says Schenk. He created American Flatbread based on the philosophy of food for the greater good, and the company remains committed to building upon that legacy.

American Flatbread was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, but demand for frozen flatbreads soon outgrew the humble kitchens of their flagship location. Rustic Crust, the company that now produces American Flatbread frozen pizzas, took over the reins and says that they’re proud that George entrusted them with his mission and they remain committed to upholding it. 

Headquartered in New Hampshire, Rustic Crust continues to work with fresh, all-natural ingredients to bring you the authentic flavor you’ve come to know and love. According to Rustic Crust CEO Brad Sterl, “Our two good-for-you pizza brands make their home in the beautiful New England countryside, and are made by real people and using real ingredients. American Flatbread frozen pizzas feature 100% organically grown wheat crusts and topped with fresh herbs, vegetables, and the finest of cheeses (no rBST growth hormone!). They’re all-natural, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and handcrafted from scratch and par-baked in wood-fired ovens.

Truly nutritious, light, crisp, and flavorful — convenience without compromise – American Flatbread pizzas are honestly delicious, the best premium frozen pizza bar none, for people who care about pizza and the planet.

 

Spotlight on Red Hen Baking Company

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!

 

History

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!

Members of the Red Hen Baking Crew visiting Les Cedres farm in Quebec where some of the organic grain for their bread is grown.

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.

Red Hen Baker Randy unloading fresh baked baguettes

Giving Back

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.

 

Spotlight on Alaffia

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Alaffia this week and Co-op member-owners can enjoy 20% off of their full line of Fair Trade Certified, Co-op-made body care products from May 11th – 17th!  It’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about Alaffia and their efforts to empower African communities through the advancement of Fair Trade, education, sustainable living, and gender equality:

 

Alaffia was founded in 2004 with Fair Trade as the fundamental foundation of their organization, which is comprised of the Alaffia Village in Sokodé, Togo; the Alaffia Coconut Cooperative in Klouvi-Donnou, Togo; and the Alaffia headquarters in Olympia, Washington. Their cooperatives handcraft indigenous raw ingredients, and the Alaffia team in Olympia creates the finished products. Proceeds from the sales of these products are then returned to communities in Togo, West Africa through Alaffia’s nonprofit arm, the Alaffia Foundation, helping to alleviate poverty and advance gender equity through the Fair Trade of Indigenous resources and community empowerment projects. With every purchase, you directly support Alaffia’s social empowerment projects.

 

What impact have your Alaffia purchases had in these communities thus far?

 

 

Each year in sub-Saharan West Africa, 160,000 women die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Over her lifetime, a woman in sub-Saharan Africa has a 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 1 in 4,000 in developed countries (UNICEF, 2015). There are several reasons for the high maternal mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, including extreme poverty and inadequate infrastructure.  It is possible to save lives with basic health care and gender equality.

Alaffia’s Maternal Health Project has two parts; The first is a direct approach by which Alaffia provides funding for full pre-and postnatal care, including special and urgent needs, to women in rural Togo. Alaffia product sales have paid for the births of 5,597 babies in rural Togolese communities through the Togo Health Clinic system!

The Alaffia Women’s Clinic Project is the second part of their women’s health efforts. In 2007, they formed partnerships with local Togo clinics to provide information and training on all women’s health issues, including nutrition, preventing female genital mutilation, and much more. They believe that saving mothers is a necessary step in reducing poverty. When a mother dies, her surviving children’s nutrition & health suffer, and they are more likely to drop out of school, reducing their ability to rise out of poverty.

 

 

The future of African communities depends on the education and empowerment of young people. Since Alaffia founded their shea butter cooperative in 2003, they’ve provided school uniforms, books, and writing supplies to children in Togolese communities to offset the financial burden these items have on families. They also donate desks and install new roofs on schools to make learning a more enjoyable experience. Since 2011, Alaffia product sales have funded the construction of 16 schools throughout Togo and provided school supplies to 37,521 recipients.

 

In rural areas of Togo, students walk up to 10 miles a day to attend school. There are no buses, and families cannot afford private transportation. As a result, school becomes very time-consuming, and most students decide to quit school in order to fulfill their family obligations. In rural areas, less than 10% of high school-aged girls and only 16% of boys attend school (UNICEF). In 2004, Alaffia began collecting and sending used bicycles to Togolese students to encourage them to stay in and complete school through their Bicycles for Education Project. Now, with over 10,817 bicycles sent and distributed, they are seeing a real impact on exam scores and retention in rural schools. 95% of Bicycles For Education recipients graduate secondary school.

Alaffia collects used bicycles in and around their communities in Washington and Oregon, with the help of their retailers, volunteers, and staff. All costs of this project – from collecting, repairing, and shipping bicycles, to customs duties, distribution costs, ongoing maintenance, and follow-up – are paid for through the sales of Alaffia products. This project brings communities in the US and Togo together. Bicycles that would otherwise be destined for the landfill are encouraging students in Togo to stay in school so they can lead their communities out of poverty. To find out how you can be involved, visit their web page or email foundation@alaffia.com

 

 

Deforestation and climate change have had a devastating impact on West African farming communities. Alaffia product sales fund the planting of trees by Togolese farmers to help mitigate soil erosion and improve food security for their families. 99,964 trees have been planted through this project! Allafia also conducts trainings to discourage the cutting of shea trees for firewood and charcoal to preserve this important indigenous resource for future generations. Additionally, they are investigating sustainable fuel alternatives, such as bio-gas and bio-oils, to reduce the demand for wood and charcoal.

 

In Togo, it is extremely difficult for visually impaired people to obtain eyeglasses. An eye exam costs as much as one month’s wage and a pair of eyeglasses can cost up to four months of wages. Alaffia collects used eyeglasses at retail locations throughout the US and employs an optometrist in Togo to correctly fit and distribute the glasses. A pair of eyeglasses is life-changing for a child struggling in school, the elderly with failing vision, and adults who have never been able to see clearly. To date, Alaffia has collected over 30,852 pairs of glasses.

 

 

Social Enterprise Model

Alaffia’s Social Enterprise Model is a comprehensive approach to providing safe, efficacious hair, face, and body care while alleviating poverty in West Africa through the preservation of traditional skills and knowledge in the global market. The following principles guide Alaffia’s Social Enterprise Model:

  • EMPOWERMENT PROJECTS
    Targeted areas of development (Maternal Care, Education, Environmental Sustainability, Eyeglasses) as mentioned above that safeguard basic needs for sustainable communities.

 

  • INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS
    Local resources and traditional handcrafting knowledge celebrate cultural diversity in the global market and ensure Alaffia’s safe, nutrient-rich, and efficacious products.

 

  • WOMEN’S CO-OP’S & COLLECTIVES
    Alaffia’s women’s cooperatives and collectives promote gender equality through fair wages and by celebrating the traditional skills and knowledge of West African women.

 

  • ETHICAL, SAFE, EFFICACIOUS PRODUCTS
    Alaffia’s products are safe and effective alternatives for your health and wellness. They are both ethnobotanist and pharmacognosist informed. Third-party verification also ensures that Alafffia’s products are held to the highest industry standards.

 

  • SUSTAINABLE & TRANSPARENT PACKAGING
    Clear communication and third-party certification showcase Alaffia’s high product standards. They are proudly certified For Life (by ECOCERT), and are Good Manufacturing Practices/GMP certified.

 

  • PRODUCT SALE FOR REINVESTMENT
    Alaffia’s primary goal is to reinvest a portion of product sales into our Empowerment Projects in West Africa. Your purchase helps improve living conditions and supports an end to poverty.

 

Spotlight on Seventh Generation

Are you gearing up for some spring cleaning? Keep it green with Seventh Generation! They’re basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of products from May 4th – 10th! Read on to learn more about their energy-efficient practices, socially responsible business model, their fight for labeling transparency for cleaning products, and their impressive efforts to tackle climate change:

More than 30 years ago, a group of like-minded individuals came together to create Seventh Generation, a company dedicated to nurturing the health of the next seven generations. They do that by creating everyday products using plant-based ingredients, and by creating positive policy change through their mission and advocacy work. They’re on a mission to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.

 

As a mission-driven founding B-Corps business, Seventh Generation aims to pioneer a more mindful way of doing business. They remain committed to examining their impacts as a business and considering the principles that matter to them as a company:  responsible sourcing; using materials from plants, not petroleum; ensuring the health of our planet and the people on it; having an engaged, motivated workforce; and caring for their community. They track their progress toward these goals and present them with total transparency. Click here to check out their most recent climate impact assessment.

Not Business As Usual

Our planet’s future and the health of generations to come are far too important for business as usual, which is why Seventh Generation constantly strives to make their products more sustainable, why they’re racing to reduce their carbon footprint and become a zero-waste company by 2025, and why they’re advocating for climate justice. They stand with the Youth Climate Movement and seek to use their platform to elevate the voices and initiatives championed by the leaders of the Movement who have heard the call and stepped up to lead the charge. 

As many climate activists have noted, though, this movement is about more than just switching to a renewable energy economy and curbing our fossil fuel usage. It’s about demanding true Climate Justice. It’s about changing our energy usage in a way that is fair and equitable so that frontline communities and those among us who are most vulnerable aren’t compromised in the process—as they often are. It’s about the need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a renewable energy economy that prioritizes the health of people and planet over the health of the fossil fuel industry. The students have raised their voices and the team at Seventh Generation feels compelled to not only stand beside them but also to take action and use their own ability to affect change to help the movement grow and create the healthy future all of us deserve. As a sustainable business, Seventh Generation feels a responsibility to fight for that future and they invite you to join them. Click here to read more about their ongoing Climate Justice efforts.

 

 

 

Envisioning A Zero Waste Future

Packaging is more than just a container to the folks at Seventh Generation. In every packaging decision they make, they consider the impact on the health, safety, and sustainability of people and the planet. And as industry leaders in their use of post-consumer recycled plastic, their sustainable packaging embodies their mission to nurture the health of today and the next seven generations. By 2025, they plan to ensure that all of their packaging is sourced from 100% biobased or PCR (post-consumer recycled). By 2025, they also plan to ensure that 100% of their materials are reusable and reused, recyclable and recycled, or biodegradable and degraded. 

But recently, the company doubled down and shifted tactics to involve moving away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare.

“What we realized is that we really need to take action and move ourselves as a business away from plastic, because as good as the plastic is or as little you use, recycling alone will never solve the problem,” says Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein. In the U.S., according to an EPA report last year with the most recent data, only around 9.1% of plastic waste is recycled; another 15.5% is burned. The rest—26 million tons per year—ends up in landfills. That’s despite years of effort to improve recycling rates.

To eliminate plastic in the new line, the company rethought the products themselves. By using non-liquid products, the containers don’t need plastic to act as a “moisture barrier.” “If we remove plastic from the equation, that means removing the liquid from the equation as well,” says Joe Giallanella, who leads the company’s growth incubator, the team tasked with eliminating plastic from packaging. The cleaning power of these liquid-free tablets and powders is activated with water when you are ready. A fundamental clean is achieved without the use of dyes, bleach, wrappers, or plastic. And they will biodegrade once you are done with your cleaning routine.

For now, these products are available exclusively through a small handful of online retailers. This will allow Seventh Generation to test the products with a smaller audience before going more mainstream. We look forward to seeing how these work!

The Fight for Ingredient Disclosure

Seventh Generation firmly believes that you have the right to know what is in the products you buy, which is why they helped launch the #comeclean campaign. Through this campaign, they aim to air the cleaning industry’s dirty laundry. They support state and federal legislation to require manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrance components, on their product labels and on their websites.  Thanks to their vigilant efforts, landmark legislation (SB 258-California’s Cleaning Product Right to Know Act) was passed which required that, by 2020, companies must list certain ingredients on their packaging and website. It’s a major step forward in the fight for ingredient transparency and affirms our collective right to know what’s in the products we buy.  This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the emails, calls, texts, and tweets from our collective community.

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Royal Oak and Lost Monarch

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. 

Royal Oak Coffee at 30 Seymour Street in Middlebury
Royal Oak 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. 

Matt behind the counter 

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.

The smiling team at Royal Oak

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!

Spotlight on Seventh Generation

Are you gearing up for some spring cleaning? Keep it green with Seventh Generation! They’re basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of products from May 4th – 10th! Read on to learn more about their energy-efficient practices, socially responsible business model, their fight for labeling transparency for cleaning products, and their impressive efforts to tackle climate change:

More than 30 years ago, a group of like-minded individuals came together to create Seventh Generation, a company dedicated to nurturing the health of the next seven generations. They do that by creating everyday products using plant-based ingredients, and by creating positive policy change through their mission and advocacy work. They’re on a mission to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.

 

As a mission-driven founding B-Corps business, Seventh Generation aims to pioneer a more mindful way of doing business. They remain committed to examining their impacts as a business and considering the principles that matter to them as a company:  responsible sourcing; using materials from plants, not petroleum; ensuring the health of our planet and the people on it; having an engaged, motivated workforce; and caring for their community. They track their progress toward these goals and present them with total transparency. Click here to check out their most recent climate impact assessment.

Not Business As Usual

Our planet’s future and the health of generations to come are far too important for business as usual, which is why Seventh Generation constantly strives to make their products more sustainable, why they’re racing to reduce their carbon footprint and become a zero-waste company by 2025, and why they’re advocating for climate justice. They stand with the Youth Climate Movement and seek to use their platform to elevate the voices and initiatives championed by the leaders of the Movement who have heard the call and stepped up to lead the charge. 

As many climate activists have noted, though, this movement is about more than just switching to a renewable energy economy and curbing our fossil fuel usage. It’s about demanding true Climate Justice. It’s about changing our energy usage in a way that is fair and equitable so that frontline communities and those among us who are most vulnerable aren’t compromised in the process—as they often are. It’s about the need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a renewable energy economy that prioritizes the health of people and planet over the health of the fossil fuel industry. The students have raised their voices and the team at Seventh Generation feels compelled to not only stand beside them but also to take action and use their own ability to affect change to help the movement grow and create the healthy future all of us deserve. As a sustainable business, Seventh Generation feels a responsibility to fight for that future and they invite you to join them. Click here to read more about their ongoing Climate Justice efforts.

 

 

 

Envisioning A Zero Waste Future

Packaging is more than just a container to the folks at Seventh Generation. In every packaging decision they make, they consider the impact on the health, safety, and sustainability of people and the planet. And as industry leaders in their use of post-consumer recycled plastic, their sustainable packaging embodies their mission to nurture the health of today and the next seven generations. By 2025, they plan to ensure that all of their packaging is sourced from 100% biobased or PCR (post-consumer recycled). By 2025, they also plan to ensure that 100% of their materials are reusable and reused, recyclable and recycled, or biodegradable and degraded. 

But recently, the company doubled down and shifted tactics to involve moving away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare.

“What we realized is that we really need to take action and move ourselves as a business away from plastic, because as good as the plastic is or as little you use, recycling alone will never solve the problem,” says Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein. In the U.S., according to an EPA report last year with the most recent data, only around 9.1% of plastic waste is recycled; another 15.5% is burned. The rest—26 million tons per year—ends up in landfills. That’s despite years of effort to improve recycling rates.

To eliminate plastic in the new line, the company rethought the products themselves. By using non-liquid products, the containers don’t need plastic to act as a “moisture barrier.” “If we remove plastic from the equation, that means removing the liquid from the equation as well,” says Joe Giallanella, who leads the company’s growth incubator, the team tasked with eliminating plastic from packaging. The cleaning power of these liquid-free tablets and powders is activated with water when you are ready. A fundamental clean is achieved without the use of dyes, bleach, wrappers, or plastic. And they will biodegrade once you are done with your cleaning routine.

For now, these products are available exclusively through a small handful of online retailers. This will allow Seventh Generation to test the products with a smaller audience before going more mainstream. We look forward to seeing how these work!

The Fight for Ingredient Disclosure

Seventh Generation firmly believes that you have the right to know what is in the products you buy, which is why they helped launch the #comeclean campaign. Through this campaign, they aim to air the cleaning industry’s dirty laundry. They support state and federal legislation to require manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrance components, on their product labels and on their websites.  Thanks to their vigilant efforts, landmark legislation (SB 258-California’s Cleaning Product Right to Know Act) was passed which required that, by 2020, companies must list certain ingredients on their packaging and website. It’s a major step forward in the fight for ingredient transparency and affirms our collective right to know what’s in the products we buy.  This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the emails, calls, texts, and tweets from our collective community.