Join the next general meeting of the Co-op on Wednesday, February 22. Meetings are open to all members, so bring your questions, concerns and suggestions.
If you’re new to the Co-op, get up to speed at the next new member orientation on Sunday, March 5. In January, 23 new people joined the Co-op!
As reported in last month’s newsletter, we were stunned by the loss of Keith Almon, a vital Co-op presence and board member. We miss Keith’s energy and now have an open spot on the board. If you are passionate about the Co-op’s future, or know someone who is, please send in a nomination. Details below.
We know it can be tough at times to keep up with work shift hours. With the store open seven days a week, we need all member-owners to keep things going strong. Our Membership and IT committees have introduced new email reminders to help all of us stay on top of our shifts.
Don’t forget to check out the Help Wanted section for interesting and flexible work shift opportunities. In particular, we’re seeking folks for the membership desk—to answer questions, sign up new members, and help with record keeping.
Do you see a vision for the Co-op? Want to be part of its five person board? Or know a member who is interested? A seat has opened up by the heartbreaking, untimely loss of Keith Almon, who was passionate about the Co-op and worked tirelessly to pull us toward a bright future based on cooperation. And now the board must fill this seat. Of course, work credit applies. See Article 4 in the bylaws. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please email [email protected] for next steps.
What’s Up Next at the Co-op?
Find out by coming to the Co-op’s next general meeting on Wednesday, February 22, from 7pm to 9pm, at the store (18 Putnam Ave). You can access the agenda online. The Co-op is a valued community asset and space. Get involved! Meetings are open to all in our community—members and non-members alike. Bring a friend or two!
A Friendly Work Shift Reminder in Your Inbox
The Membership and IT committees have introduced a new, handy email notification feature to help us all keep on top of our work shifts. Right now, if you’re behind on shifts and you check in to shop at the store, the computer might tell you that you’re low on hours or display the dreaded “NO GO” message. Now, with our newly added feature, you’ll also receive an email reminding you to catch up on your shifts.
The Membership Committee will receive this notification as well so they can follow up with members who are behind on hours. If you think you received a low hours warning in error, just email Membership and they’ll help you resolve the situation.
We’re in this together and are always trying to find new ways to support member-owners to do their part. Thank you for working your shifts!
Our Co-op, our Work Shifts
With the Co-op open seven days a week, it’s more important than ever—for our long-term growth and success—that all member-owners work their shifts. We can’t order the goods, stock the shelves, track the finances or a million other things without you!
All member-owners are required to work a minimum of 2½ hours (one standard shift) every four weeks. If you’re behind on hours, please sign up now for a make-up shift or two. It’s easy and contributes to keeping the store running smoothly. We have plenty of shifts to choose from! Simply log into Shift Planning and find what works for you. Any excess hours you work are banked for you to apply later.
If you’re in good standing, consider banking extra hours by signing up to work red highlighted shifts on the Shift Coverage Sheet. Every shift helps!
Urgently Seeking Membership Desk Representatives
We need a total of four folks to fill this recurring, in-store shift on either Saturday or Sunday. You choose the day and the 2 ½ hour timeframe that works best for you! We’re looking to fill four shifts—one for each week in the work cycle.
Signing up new members
Answering member questions
Helping with Membership Committee administrative work (answering emails, updating membership records, etc.)
Training will be provided by a current Membership Committee member. Interested? Have questions? Contact Chad Donnick at [email protected].
New to the Co-op? Get Oriented!
Orientations are a chance to learn more about the history of the Co-op and how it works. They’re also a great opportunity to meet fellow new member-owners! All new members are required to attend an orientation session. The next one is coming up soon: March 5 from 11 am to 12 pm. We’ve also now posted Facebook events for the orientations so you can see the dates several months out and RSVP. Check it out! Orientations last one hour, take place at the Co-op, and earn you a full work shift credit. You can also RSVP or direct any questions to [email protected].
All members work a 2½ hour shift every 4 weeks. It’s part of being a member/owner. Here are some opportunities to earn work credit.
PHP/LAMP Stack Developer Needed for IT Committee
The IT Committee is looking for help with the Co-op’s public-facing website (www.greenehillfood.coop) as well as our internal systems, including our CRM and Shift Planning. If you have skills with PHP, Drupal, MySQL and CRMs (we use CiviCRM), then we could use your expertise. This work can be done remotely and is critical to ongoing success of our co-op. For further information, email Chad Donnick at [email protected].
Finance Committee Members Needed!
If you have an interest in being involved in the day-to-day financial operations or finance strategy for the Co-op, please email [email protected].
Finance Office Assistant Shifts Available
Interested in doing some office work at the store? Your role would focus on handling invoices and entering data into our accounting software. You’ll get all the training and guidance you need, while working at a dedicated Finance desk and computer, and you’d be helping the Co-op produce financial statements on a regular basis. You can set your own hours! Please email [email protected] if you’d like to join us.
Inventory Committee Members Needed!
Inventory links Merchandising and Finance, and has a foot in both worlds. This particular role involves becoming an expert in Revel systems.The data in Revel feeds into our financial reporting to help us keep the business sound and provides important information and analysis to the Merchandise Committee when they make decisions about what to buy for our store. It also supports cashiers so that everything scans correctly at the point of sale.
The key to all of this is excellent data integrity–and we need a few more experts! The weekly receiving and counting tasks require a shift in the store, but it’s not a set time, so it’s also great if you need something slightly more flexible! This role requires sitting at the computer and is very detail oriented.
Are you looking for a hugely rewarding opportunity to make change at the Co-op? We’re looking for an active and organized member to take over the Membership chair duties. As chair, you’ll steer initiatives to improve the overall membership experience. You’ll fine-tune existing processes, create new processes, help field member questions and work with the Membership Committee to ensure all tasks are being done and new ideas are given the chance to flourish.
The chair position will require more than the minimum 2½ hours of work every four weeks, but how much more is up to you, your initiatives and what you delegate. You’ll be trained by the current chairperson and given ample time to transition into the role. We ask for a one-year minimum commitment to this position. Please contact [email protected] if you’re interested.
Looking for Leaders: New Member Orientation
Do you know the Co-op in and out? Do you like speaking to others about the Co-op? We’re looking for new folks to help run the monthly orientations. You need only commit to a minimum of two orientations for an entire year. They last one hour, and you get a full work shift credit for conducting them. Help us educate the new generation of Co-op member-owners! Contact [email protected] if you
Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust
Recipe by Molly Neuman
A treat to keep us going through this winter weather. Adding cheddar cheese to this classic pie crust is a tiny twist that makes a big difference. I prefer to keep the apple filling on the less sweet side so if you like it sweeter, add a bit more sugar.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
6 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
Ingredients for the filling:
2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 pounds sweet apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
4 tablespoons (2 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the crust: In a food processor, blend flour, sugar, salt, mustard, and cayenne until combined, about five seconds. Add cheddar and butter and pulse until butter chunks are the size of large peas, about 10 pulses. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix until everything is incorporated, about 3-5 pulses. Add more water, if needed, a little at a time.
Divide the dough in half and form each half into a four-inch disk. Wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for about 20 minutes.
For the filling: Stir apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon together in a stockpot. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are just tender but still hold their shape, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Spread apple mixture on rimmed baking sheet and let cool, about 30 minutes. (Filling can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
Remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw about five minutes. Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic. Loosely roll the dough around your rolling pin and gently unroll it onto nine-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting the edge of the dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand. Trim the overhanging dough to a half-inch beyond lip of pie plate. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to its lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill pie shell with apple mixture. Roll the other disk of dough into 12-inch circle between two sheets of parchment or plastic. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto filling. Trim overhang of pie dough and crimp edge.
Set pie on foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least one and a half hours. Serve with ice cream!
Estimated total cost: $5.50!
The Co-op Q&A With DK Holland
DK Holland is one of our Co-op’s founding members. She contributes countless hours to our Co-op (including this newsletter) every week to help us grow and improve. Without her, the Co-op very well might not have formed!
Q: What is your history with the Greene Hill Food Co-op?
A: In 2007, a writer at the Brooklyn Paper asked me for ideas for her next article. I suggested that she write about a food coop. She liked that idea, but since our neighborhood, Fort Greene, didn’t have one yet, we decided that it would be interesting to see if people would come forward if the article were written. Well, 900 people replied that they wanted a food co-op in Fort Greene after that article was written (read it here!). In early 2008, Kathryn Zarczynski and I organized a meeting, and we got sucked in.
At that time, I was a Park Slope Food Coop member, so I met the co-founder of that co-op, Joe Holtz, and it was clear that I could get work credit for working on starting our coop. I’ve been getting work credit from PSFC ever since then.
Q: How was the Co-op formed?
A: Our first meeting was in early 2008. In talking to people, we realized it takes three years to start a co-op. I’m a Quaker, so I organized the first meetings in the manner of Friends–instead of rows, to encourage cooperation and familiarity, everyone faced everyone else. It became clear early on that one of the advantages we have is a huge amount of talent from different areas. Marketing, branding, merchandising, IT, architecture–all the areas we needed.
Q: What draws you towards cooperatives, in general?
A: I’ve started other organizations that are cooperatively-based, as well. Cooperation and community are two key concepts for me. I started a design guild in San Francisco in 1975 that was very much run like a coop, and it lasted for 25 years. The point is that people really crave community and their better selves can emerge through cooperation. In Fort Greene/Clinton Hill I started a journal called The Hill. That was done very cooperatively, and it was really appreciated in the neighborhood. It lasted 25 years. It was amazing to be able to explore the neighborhood with my neighbors and find out things that no one else knew and
DK with some of the kids she works with at a public elementary school in Brooklyn, right after they presented their findings to the PTA.
publicize these things, help local businesses grow, and reward neighborhood heroes. When online blogs began taking over, we realized that we didn’t want to switch to being online so we stopped publishing. The point was to have a tangible, beautiful 16 page paper that was distributed for free, to everyone. All 25 years are archived at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Q: What is the Co-op’s greatest need right now?
A: To make it really work, certain people have to put in more time. The Co-op won’t survive without dedicated, competent leadership. We are very fortunate to have quite a few members who I’d totally describe that way. And we are in growth mode. In terms of our greatest need, we need to ratchet up the way we express the vision and mission to engage more people to get involved.. Keith’s death was a wake up call, because Keith did so many things that people didn’t realize needed to be done. The week after he died, for example, there was a delivery that came to the Co-op when it was closed. Keith would have been around to receive it. Someone else handled it, but that was something he always used to do. The same week, there was a member who didn’t show up for a shift on a Sunday and we closed an hour early. I must add, no one should ever have to work as much as Keith did. We were constantly counseling him to pull back. We no longer have this man who would put in 30 hours a week because he loved the Co-op so much, and no one is going to do that.
If we care about the Co-op, we have to get more involved. We need more coverage. We have to be open the hours we say we’re going to be open. Our shelves must be well stocked.
Q: What are some Co-op items you couldn’t live without?
A: I love the pork chops from The Piggery, and also I really love the 7 Stars Yogurt. When we’ve been out of it, I’ve tried other yogurts and nothing compares! Other yogurt feels so sanitized, but this one is authentic. Also I rediscovered Dr. Bronner’s soap. I love the spirit of that company!
I’m also notorious for buying nuts in bulk. For three years, I’ve been feeding the squirrels in Fort Greene Park. You have no idea how appreciative they look until you throw them a real walnut in a shell! They were scrawny and under stress before, but now they look so much healthier. It’s my meditation! I listen to the New York Times read to me on Audible.com while I walk, and I learn things about the park. And I’ve recruited many two-four year olds to become squirrel feeders.
Buying in bulk from the Co-op is a lot cheaper than buying from a regular store or Amazon. That’s one of the under-reported benefits of the Co-op. You can buy almost anything in bulk–household items, for example– and get it at almost cost! Just email [email protected].
Q: What do you do outside of the Co-op?
A: My career as a designer/writer spanned 35 years, culminating in becoming a partner in Pushpin in Manhattan. Then I took a 180 degree turn. I have a company called Inquiring Minds, and we work with kids in mid-high-poverty public schools to help them start councils; become learner-centered in their fourth grade classrooms. My bosses are nine and ten years old. We meet after school to talk about how to improve their schools. It’s an exercise in democracy: they have choice and voice.
We also work with the teachers and administration to help kids learn peer-to-peer. If you encourage kids to develop their own learning process, you get a far better result. Kids are the greatest undervalued asset to schools. (Watch DK’s Ted Talk here.)
Shout Out to our Newest Co-op Members
January was a huge month for new members. We welcomed 14 new members on our Open House day alone!
Credits: Store pics by Kelsey Chauvin, Open House pic courtesy of GHFC; apple pie pic from Molly Neuman; image of DK and children (parent-approved) courtesy of herself.
The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Carola Burroughs, Sonia Garbes Putzel, DK Holland, Alexandra (Aly) Miller, Molly Neuman, Shannon Sodano Heffernan, Alejandro Varela, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at [email protected].
Join and/or follow the Greene Hill Food-Op!
Interested in joining the Greene Hill Food Co-op? Check out our website to learn about membership, Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. Or simply stop by our store at 18 Putnam Avenue (off Grand Avenue) with any questions!