May 2014 Newsletter
THE GREENE HILL FOOD COOP - MAY 2014 NEWSLETTER
In this issue
Spring has sprung! We hope you are enjoying the longer days, and with them the expanded hours of the Co-op! We are now open on Sundays! Check out the the election results and join us in congratulating our new board members. Come to the General Meeting (GM) on May 29th to learn more about our committees. We would love your feedback about potentially expanding work hours and possible changes to store hours. Learn about opportunities to volunteer to help clean up the expansion space. Spring cleaning? Send us your dishtowels! Coming soon: members will receive benefits for shopping at local businesses! Do you have ideas about local businesses you would love to support? Send them our way. You are invited to the Outreach Committee Potluck on May 20th. Learn about some new products to add some zest to your spring cooking, and take a tasty soba salad to your next picnic. Finally, check out our interview with Jake, one of the first members, and, as always, find new ways to fulfill your work shift.
|Greene Hill NewsOur membership has grown, we’ve got fancier fridges, and you’re hungrier than ever for affordable, top-quality food. We’re thrilled to announce that the Co-op is open on Sundays from 3 to 7 pm. That means we’re now open four days a week — throw a dart at a calendar and chances are it’ll land on a day you can shop for organic produce, bulk goods, and great stuff for your fridge, pantry and household!
What’s allowing us to expand our opening hours? For starters, we’re a co-op run entirely by working members, and we’ve attracted enough new members to have more people available as cashiers, stockers, receivers and members at the check-in desk. Plus, a very generous donation of commercial fridges from Greene Grape Provisions allows us to stock more dairy, juices, meats and meat alternatives and keep them colder longer. And finally, we realized that if we’re open more hours, we can sell a higher volume of goods, improving our turnover of stock, lowering our wholesale prices, and allowing us to keep a larger and fresher variety of products on the shelves!
If you’re a member, come on down and shop or work on a Sunday. If you’re not yet a member, come to the Co-op for a tour, ask our working members what it’s like to be a part of this fledgling co-op and consider joining. You’ll pay less for great food, and enjoy being a part of a thriving community.
The Co-op has spoken and has expanded the board by electing three new members. We now have a total of 9. Please join us in congratulating Keith Almon, Rachelle Faroul and Hillary Frileck to the Board of Directors. Rachelle and Keith will each serve 2.5 year terms, and Hillary will serve a 1.5 year term. Congratulations!
May 29th (Thursday), 7:00pm - 9:00pm is an ALL-COMMITTEE meeting, so if you are in a committee we would love to see you. If not, come hear about how the committees work at the Co-op and how committees can cooperate and share plans. For more details on what will be up for discussion, check out the meeting agenda.
We’ve expanded to being open 4 days a week (yay!!!) which means increasing the workload needed to support our little Co-op’s steady growth. We had a discussion about upping the work requirement a tad at the April General Meeting. This would ensure we can continue to have a smooth and functioning store, and have all the shifts covered. (The new requirement, if members agree, would be a 2.5 to 3 hour work shift every 4 weeks instead of the current 2 hours). We’ve taken great pains to keep the work requirement low, (lower than any of the other local co-ops in fact) but it’s proven to be difficult to meet operational needs, especially as shopping hours increase. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this proposal. Ultimately, we will send this out for a vote of the full membership. The change, if it passes, would be in September (and it would apply to all Co-op members including committee members).
Be on the look out for conversations about this on Facebook; speak to our store coordinator, Allison, at the store, or anyone on the Board – Nick, Sean, Keith, Renée, DK, Rachelle, Hillary, Christina or Lawrence or, if you prefer, express your thoughts to the entire Board by writing firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, talk to us in person at our two upcoming General Meetings, Thursday, May 29 and Tuesday, June 24. And, while you're at it, bring your friends so they may consider joining the Co-op: The more member/owners we have, the more we spread the joy and the workload – and the bigger and better the Co-op is! Regardless, we’d love to hear from you on this idea.
Our ultimate goal is for the Co-op to be open 7 days a week. And since we recently expanded to 4 days, when we added Sundays 3-7 pm, we also started to review all our shopping hours. At present, our Wednesday open hours are 6 to 10 pm. We (the Board) would like to move up the hours to 5 to 9 pm to accommodate more shopping members and to be more efficient. Here’s our survey which takes about 2 minutes to fill out. Whether you are a member or someone who are toying with joining – we’d like to know what you think about our shopping hours.
Shift Leader meeting
The next Shift Leader meeting will be Monday, June 16th, 7:30pm, at the Fulton Grand Bar around the corner from the Co-op. All are welcome!
We retired the old product request clipboard!
Members can now email the Merchandising Committee’s new direct Product Requests emailbox with questions, recipes, and product requests: email@example.com.
We'll be doing a final clean up of the expansion space on the weekend of June 7-8 – and we welcome you all to sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping.
Allison is starting a new newsletter column, called "Co-op Communities" which will feature various sub-communities within the Co-op. For the first edition we will feature local businesses. Are you a Co-op member with a local storefront or small business? Send suggestions of communities you would like to see featured: teachers? freelance artists? Email Allison@greenehillfood.coop.
Please donate your old, but intact, clean kitchen towels. Allison hopes to use them in the produce fridge to keep our greens fresh and crisp overnight, since our produce fridge does not automatically mist. Just drop them off at the co-op next time you shop.
New benefits for Co-op members!
Our Co-op is committed to supporting our community. That means not just providing local, affordable, organic and sustainable food, but also recognizing and raising up other locally-owned, community-focused businesses in the neighborhoods near our location near Fulton and Grand. As a young and expanding organization, we’re looking to offer more benefits to our current and potential members beyond healthy groceries, while at the same time supporting our local businesses.
Soon, Co-op members will be able to show their membership cards at select local businesses to receive great discounts on yoga classes, restaurants and more. Look out for a special announcement about the businesses we're featuring. In the meantime, if you have an idea for a discount or benefit you'd like to see, or if you're a small business owner willing to offer a benefit in exchange for free marketing to Co-op members, please contact email@example.com.
Could you talk for hours about food justice issues? Do you love planning events? Do you think that the Co-op is so awesome that you just can't wait to share it with everyone? Join the Outreach Committee! Outreach is made up of Food Justice, Events and Tabling – but we do a whole lot more. Come learn all about it at our next potluck meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 7 pm at 40 Putnam Ave. (right down the street from the Co-op). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org (and tell us what you're bringing!)
|Product Spotlights from the Merchandising Committee:High Mowing Organic Sprouting Seeds We recently starting carrying sprouting seeds, a very nutrient dense and affordable food. It is incredibly easy to sprout at home – all you need is water, a ball jar, and a small piece of screen or cloth. We are selling two different seed blends: Broccoli mix, which is a mix of various seeds from the Brassica family ( all superfoods!), and the Spicy Salad mix, which is a combination of alfalfa, radish, clover, and lentils. In 2-3 days you can have sprouts to add to salads, sandwiches, and stir-fries.El Majuelo sherry vinegar Sherry vinegar is a favorite among chefs for its bright acidity and touch of sweetness. To carry the Denomination of Origin, authentic sherry vinegar is aged in oak barrels for 6 months, and must come from a particular grape and particular region of Spain. Personally, as a vinegar-lover, I love sherry vinegar for its versatility because it’s not as sweet as balsamic, but has more flavor than a white or apple cider vinegar. Because it is so acidic, a little goes a long way, and El Majuelo is a great deal for a bottle. Try using it in salad dressing, or deglazing the pan for a meat or veggie dish.
La Morena chipotle peppers in ancho sauce I love the spicy and smoky flavor, and have used them to make chicken mole. They are also incredibly versatile if you like heat. Think black bean soup, tacos, sweet potato mash, and as a member suggested to me, adding to hummus. We always have lots in stock, and, like sherry vinegar, a little goes a long way.
| Recipe: Soba Noodle Salad
Photo credit: Mr. Michael Phams (https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelphams/5034369875/) (serves 4)
|The Co-op Q&A: Jake StevensPhoto Credit: DK Holland. This month, meet Co-op member Jake Stevens, who along with his partner, are among some of the Co-op’s first members! He responded to our interview questions over email while working abroad in Myanmar. (Thank you again, Jake!) Read below about his thoughts on cooperation and social justice, here and abroad.
Q: When did you join the Co-op, and what is your regular work shift?
A: My partner Charles and I joined the Co-op the fall of 2011 before the store opened. We helped hang the drywall on the ceiling and paint. I am a cashier, which I enjoy because it gives me a reason to meet and chat with other co-op members. I am also shameless in asking people how they plan to use items which are unfamiliar to me.
Q: What were some of your initial reasons for joining the Co-op?
A: I've lived in Clinton Hill since 1998. My immediate neighbors and I are very friendly, and I have friends from my son's schools, and from the much lamented now closed bar-bistro Grand 275. But I was looking for an institution which would help me build new relationships with my neighbors. Charles and I cook at home, so the fresh food is always welcome, but to be honest we aren't complete sticklers for organic versus non-organic. It really helped that the store opened just a block from our house on Putnam.
Q: Can you share a little bit about your background, and some of your interests?
A: I've lived in New York City for over 25 years; I grew up in New England. My career has been focused on representing clients (overwhelmingly men of color) accused of crimes. While certainly as a resident of Clinton Hill I have seen the pernicious effect that drugs can have on people, I deeply resent the use of the criminal justice system for what is a public health problem. Charles and I enjoy the return of spring so we can get on our bikes, sometimes with our 12 year old son Dashiell sandwiched between us. We travel a lot, including house exchanges to other countries. I've really, really enjoyed being a dad. I co-parent with Dashiell's mom (also gay and a member of the Park Slope Food Coop).
Q: I learned you are a legal consultant in Myanmar. What is the situation there in terms of the ability to co-operate?
A: As you may know, that country is just emerging from 50 years of military dictatorship. From my two projects – one training public defenders and the other training law professors – it is clear that the law is written to prevent the creation of independent social, let alone political, organizations. Much of the work by organizers is on the issue of law reform, seeking to give people the right to hold on to their property in the face of foreign-financed mega projects. That said, in Yangon the fresh produce is brought in daily by small farmers from local farms. There could be an opportunity for those farmers to work together. Your question encourages me to ask people more about that!
Q: Where do you see the Co-op in five years?
A: I'd like the co-op to be a bit bigger and more stable. While this may result in the lessening of the small town atmosphere, I think right now it is running off the dedication of a too-small group of people. Because the marketplace is working better at delivering similar products in private groceries nearby, I think the Co-op will have to be open more consistently and have lower prices on some products if it is going to compete and thrive. The Sunday expansion is really important. I hope the Co-op is successful, and remain dedicated to doing my part!
|Help WantedAll members work a 2 hour shift every 4 weeks. It's part of being a member /owner. Here are some opportunities to earn work credit.
Events Committee Needs Your Help!
Love to party? Shifts at the store not for you? Join Events to help build community in the Co-op and with our surrounding neighborhoods like the very popular Movie Night series. Minimal meetings are involved and most work is done from home. Please get in touch no matter the number of hours you can commit! As a bonus, you'll get to meet some cool co-members! Email email@example.com
Have you been a member of the Co-op for over a year? Are you looking to get more involved in the leadership of the organization? The Co-op is looking for a new Secretary. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that minutes are taken at the monthly general meetings and at board meetings, and ensuring that they are kept in a safe, accessible repository, and posted on the Co-op’s website. The Secretary is not required to attend every monthly meeting and board meeting, however, s/he is responsible for delegating the task of minute-taking to another individual s/he cannot be present. To be the Secretary you must be a member in good standing with the Co-op. Interested? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
New members and Board chairs needed on the Governance Committee
The Governance Committee needs at least three new members in order to continue to ensure that the Co-op complies with local, state and federal laws, as well as our own by-laws. Regular governance committee member tasks include:
Contact us at email@example.com.
Help Build Our Financial Infrastructure
The Finance Committee needs more members with financial experience, and with interest in helping build our business. We need members interested in working more than the minimum two hours every four weeks. Our start-up business still requires a lot of work, as we build up our accounting, budgeting, financial control and forecasting systems. If you'd like to help us build Greene Hill's "financial infrastructure," please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Work Available
Interested in doing some office work at the store? One of our members is a professional bookkeeper who has stepped up to coordinate accounting at the Co-op. She's organized bookkeeping tasks at the store into easy, well-structured steps: handling invoices, entering data into our accounting software, and so on. You'd 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@example.com if you'd like to join us.
New Tabling & Canvassing Opportunities
It’s finally springtime, which means it's time for our tabling season to begin again! Are you interested in a shift that’s outdoors in the sun? Do you like to talk to people and engage with your community? Then this is the job for you! Just sign up on ShiftPlanning (under the label, “community tabling”) for the location of your choice. Please make sure to review the tabling instructions and contact Juliana at firstname.lastname@example.org before embarking on your shift!
We also need canvassers to help spread the word about the Co-op! This is a great job for those of you who want to work on a flexible schedule, take strolls around the neighborhood, and love to talk with people. Canvassers pick an area and drop off promotional material at restaurants, stores, churches, apartment buildings (with their approval) and to passers-by on the streets. A copy of the canvassing map is available here. E-mail email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in joining the team!
Join the Food Justice Committee
Perfect for people passionate about social justice, with grassroots organizing backgrounds, or anyone curious about Food Justice and how they can be a part of making change to better the Co-op.
Bring your ideas for a direction you would like to see the committee go, or bring your support to on going projects. Email email@example.com or come to the Outreach Committee Potluck on May 20 to learn more!
Special Events Tabling Coordinator Needed
The Outreach Committee is looking for a Special Events Tabling Coordinator for one-time events where the Co-op can promote healthy eating and shopping, such as local health fairs, food festivals and other appropriate events. This person will coordinate with the event organizers about the logistics of the day, and then organize and schedule tablers to represent the Greene Hill Food Co-op at these events. This role sometimes includes working with the Education Committee to coordinate food demos at these events. We already have a list of special events to start with, but this is a great job for someone who enjoys finding new opportunities for Outreach within the community. This is a 6-month position only (May-Oct.) and can be done from the comfort of your own home and on your own time. But clear communication skills is key. If you're interested, please contact Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosts for New Member Orientation Needed
Our new member orientation has been very successful this year, with 15-20 attending each month. We are now looking for two members to help host the orientation each month as their regular work shift (one hour of orientation plus one hour of preparation/evaluation). This is a great opportunity to interact with members and be part of our official welcome! Email email@example.com if you're interested or have questions. Training and oversight will be provided.
UpShift Project Looking for Coordinator
You may remember the "UpShift" project that was initiated last year. The goal was to increase member engagement, to ensure more reliable shift coverage. Well, the project has generated some great insights and ideas that are ready to be put into motion. We are looking for a capable coordinator to help move the ideas into action, on a short-term, project basis. All hours spent on the project can be banked towards future shifts!
If you or someone you know would be interested, please contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Larger Banner Printing Help Needed
Do you have access to large scale banner printing (interior or exterior) that the Marketing Committee can access? Hopefully for low or no cost?
We need to print our new store hours large scale – broadcast the good news! And we like to make banners for events.... If so, please contact email@example.com.
|Et ceteraCredits: Recipe by Jill Hoffman.
The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Anna Avrekh, Carola Burroughs, Roxanne Earley, Sonia Garbesputzel, and Alexandra Miller. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join or follow the Greene Hill Food Co-op!