May 2015 Newsletter



In this Issue

Mark your calendar for the next General Meeting on Wednesday May 27. Come and catch up with your fellow Co-opers, discuss the latest Co-op issues, and work credit may apply for just being there!

We’re always looking for ways to make our store better. Store coordinator Lauryl recently held an operational analysis night. An intrepid group of Greene Hill owner-members took a second look at our systems and got advice from our friends at other NYC working food co-ops. For one thing we’re looking to expand our bulk offerings soon -- stay tuned!

With spring truly sprung, we have wonderful new seasonal produce at the store. Check out our wild foraged ramps. And with the warmer weather, what better time to make some tomatillo salsa?

Exciting news for our neighborhood: the redesign of the Putnam Triangle, a great public space just down the block from the Co-op, was approved.

Check out the Help Wanted listings for new work shift opportunities. We’re especially in need of Sunday store workers to keep shifts during our new 10AM -9PM hours running smoothly.

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, May 27 at 7:30 pm at the Co-op

The General Meeting (GM) is where anyone may raise concerns or bring new ideas for making our Co-op great. If you’re behind on shifts, attending a General Meeting is an easy way to make up hours. The last meeting included updates on the store’s sales and active members, a discussion about decision-making at the Co-op, and brainstorming ideas to boost summer sales.

At this GM Matt Talmage will discuss the new ‘Shleader’ group and trainings. What’s a shleader you ask? Why it’s a shift leader with a mission to make the store run smoothly. We’ll also talk about our lease. We have been blessed with amazing landlords - the Collymore family. We will discuss changes they wish to make to the property and our long term prospects at 18 Putnam. In addition, the Directors are currently called to meet 21 times a year. Yowzers! That’s a lot of meetings! We will discuss reducing that number. For one thing, should we put more emphasis on energizing the 10 yearly GMs and getting more member-owners to participate in them? You can check out the meeting agenda and notes from the last GM here.

For more details, check out the upcoming GM agenda once it’s posted on the GM page of the Co-op website. And save the date for the following meeting on Wednesday June 24!

Putnam Triangle Re-Design Approvedputnam triangle redesignMember-owners and visitors to our Co-op will have a new public space to enjoy by 2017! Almost five years since the idea was first born, Community Board 2 voted in overwhelming support of the $3.75 million re-design of Putnam Plaza, that triangle of community space between Fulton Street and Grand Avenue. Amenities will include twice as many trees plus planters, water fountains and bike racks as well as new seating and public art. Check out this DNAinfo article for more information! Kudos to the FAB (Fulton Area Business) BID to ushering this through.

Making Our Store Better: Operational Analysis RecapGreene Hill Co-op recently hosted a “meeting of the minds” to look at possible ways to improve systems and processes at the store.

On May 6, store coordinator Lauryl organized an operational analysis night and invited other NYC working food cooperatives to help us take a look at how things are working. In the spirit of Cooperative Principles 5 and 6 (Cooperation Among Cooperatives and Education Training & Information at Work), member-owners and employees from the 4th Street Food Co-op, Bushwick Food Coop, Lefferts Community Food Co-op and the Park Slope Food Coop worked together with Greene Hill member-owners to review different aspects of the store, including our systems for ordering, receiving, and stocking. Participants shared their own experiences and made suggestions for improvement. An ad hoc group has formed from this discussion and will be carrying forward some of the suggestions! (Note again that “co-op” is spelled both with and without the hyphen by different co-ops!)

New Point of Sale System Just Around the Corner!

Learn Cashiering the last weekend of May!

The new Point of Sale (POS) system is powerful on the back end -- for stocking, ordering, accounting -- and clean on the front end -- for uncomplicated cashiering and quicker check out lines -- HOORAY! If you are a cashier now, you'll need to learn the new POS system; if you've ever wanted to get trained as a cashier, do so on the new POS!

Trainings will be held at the store on the hour and half hour from noon to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 30th & 31st.

Space is limited -- only 5 people per training session -- so please use the following link to the spreadsheet where you can sign up for your desired time:

New POS Trainings at the Store

Saturday May 30: Noon, 12:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30

Sunday May 31: Noon, 12:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30

Product Spotlight: Ramps

rampsSpring is here, and along with it the first ramps of the season. What are ramps? They’re part of the allium family, which includes garlic, onions, leeks, and scallions. They’re a kind of wild leek — they look like skinny scallion shoots with wide green leaves and have a pungent oniony flavor. Since they’re mostly foraged wild (if you’re lucky you can find them in Prospect Park) and have a very short season, they tend to be pretty pricey. But at the Greene Hill Food Co-op for we have them for the low price of $17.92 per pound (sounds high, but remember they’re small and light and you don’t need a whole lot!)

We like to eat them on pasta: soften them in a pan with some butter and/or olive oil and then stir in fresh or frozen peas until cooked through. Toss with hot pasta and a bit of the pasta water, and add some cubed Lioni fresh mozzarella for an easy and delicious spring dinner. If you want to make your ramps last a bit longer, you can make pesto out of them:

Ramps Pesto

recipe courtesy of Merchandising co chair Sarah Chinn

Serves 4-6

  • 8-10 ramps (for more rampy taste, add more)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (toasted)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or 1/2 cup, you kind of have to eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • a squirt of lemon
  1. Wash and cut off the leaves of the ramps.
  2. Wash and cut off the leaves of the ramps.
  3. Optional step: blanche the ramp leaves in boiling water. Some say this makes the pesto more bright and vibrant. I think it's plenty beautiful either way.
  4. Chop the ramps and walnuts just a bit and put them in your food processor.
  5. Add most of the cheese (save a sprinkle for serving) and a good dash of salt and pepper.
  6. Pouring the olive oil in slowly, process contents until they combine and look, well... pesto-y.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add a good squirt of lemon.
  8. Use to top your favorite pasta, or grilled bread... and enjoy.
The Future of Bulk at Greene Hill

bulk binsYou may have noticed the new bulk bins in the expansion space at the store and wondered when they’re going to fill up. Well, they’re a sign of things to come! Right now, because of New York health codes, we can only sell bulk products that will be cooked, e.g. beans, grains, popcorn, flour, and pasta. To sell bulk that you can eat raw, like nuts, seeds, and granola, we need a special license from the NYC Department of Health. To get that license we need to have much more elaborate sanitation facilities, including a 3-compartment sink and an area dedicated to processing bulk.

Up until now, that hasn’t been possible. We’ve focused on getting a greater variety of items on the shelves, installing a walk-in cooler, hiring a part-time store manager, buying our fabulous fridge and freezer cases, and making the store as pest-proof as possible -- urgent needs without which the Co-op would have had a hard time functioning. But the recent opportunity to acquire bulk bins at a bargain-basement price pushed getting full bulk certification back onto the front burner.

So stay tuned for more updates on Project Bulk! We’ll let you know how the process is moving along, as soon as we have a firm ETA for the updated sanitation facilities and can begin to stock all kinds of ready-to-eat bulk items. We’re also planning on stocking some bulk cleaning and/or personal care products so you can stay fresh and help the planet!


Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

by Co-op member owner Molly Neuman

tomatillo salsaTomatillos are an often-overlooked but fantastic addition to soups and stews. You can use them instead of tomatoes or alongside them, as they have a brightness that really makes a dish stand out. I recently made super-simple salsa (inspired by chef Rick Bayless) for these chilaquiles and it was a big hit. You can also make this salsa without roasting everything; just use less or no garlic.

All ingredients available at the Co-op!


  • 1 pound (about 5-7 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, seeded
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay all ingredients (except for the lime and cilantro) on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until all ingredients have a slight char. Remove and let cool. Remove garlic from peels and put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add cilantro and juice of lime and blend again. Add salt to taste. Chill in refrigerator and serve with chips or use in the chilaquiles recipe.

Makes 3 cups of delicious salsa. Total cost of ingredients: $4.75.

Help WantedAll 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.

Sunday Store Workers Needed!

As you may have heard, we’re open from 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays now! Great, right? This is an important step to make shopping more convenient for all our members. But we need more people to help operate the store for these new hours. Please consider picking up a Sunday shift to keep things running smoothly!

Interim Board Members Wanted

The Board of Directors has two open seats, and any member with a minimum one-year membership at the Co-op is qualified to join. You can help shape the direction of our co-op. The Board of Directors is involved in all aspects of guiding Greene Hill activities from maintenance and store management to strategic planning. Directors are expected to regularly attend both the 10 monthly General Meetings and the bi-monthly Agenda Committee meetings (but as you read above, the AC meetings are under discussion). More details here. If you’re interested or have questions, please contact Allison at

Secretary Wanted for General Meetings

The Board is looking for a secretary that will be official note takers for General Meetings, the 4th Wednesday of each month . This position will be roughly 2.5-3 hours per month and responsibilities are to take detailed notes at meetings, edit, and upload them to our website! Contact if you are interested.

Outreach Committee Seeks New Members for Canvassing and WinWinWin Program

You can spread the word! Tell our Co-op neighbors and friends about this incredible member-owned business and let them know how they can join and support Greene Hill. The Outreach Committee is seeking new members for regular canvassing, distributing flyers in the neighborhood, as well as assisting with special events and Open House days on site. This position is great for members seeking a flexible schedule and who can work independently. We’re also seeking one member to spearhead and oversee the fantastic WinWinWin program. You’ll solicit new local businesses to join the program and give discount offers to all Greene Hill Co-op members. This is a perfect job for someone who wants to work from home! Contact Alix and Juliana at for more information.

Designers Wanted!

Calling all graphic designers and communications pros! Support the Marketing Committee on a few upcoming projects – including designing a fresh membership campaign. Join the committee, or help out on a per-project basis. Drop us a line at marketing@greenehillfood.­coop!

Design Build Operations (DeBOp) Co-Chairs & Members Wanted

Are you an avid project manager? Do you like to get things fixed? Do you want to work behind the scenes at the Co-op? Then join the Design Build Operations team! As a Design Build Operations co-chair, you will be designing, building and planning the operations of the store. Contact Jeannie Hamilton with inquiries at

Seeking IT Committee Members

The IT Committee is looking for new members for both in- and out-of-store tasks. We are looking for IT people who are willing to work in the store to troubleshoot new and existing challenges with the POS machines and network. Individuals who have experience with LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySql/PHP) applications, Drupal, CiviCRM, WordPress, Linux server administration, or network setup and administration would also be an asset to the Committee. If you are interested or have questions please send them to

Become a Shift Leader and/or Shift Leader Co-Coordinator

Considering becoming a shift leader? Take the plunge! We’re looking for good people, especially for leading shifts on the weekends, Sundays in particular. There are no qualifications necessary. We’ll get you formally trained so you have the tools to lead with confidence. You’ll be invited to our monthly meeting where you can meet the other leaders and contribute your ideas and opinions May's meeting will be held Wednesday May 20th at the store's expansion space from 7pm to 8:30pm. You can make a difference in how our store runs! Concerns or questions? Contact Matthew Talmage, Shift Leader Coordinator, at Shift leader training sessions take place every other Monday evening (weeks B & D) from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Sign up on ShiftPlanning and get trained!

Shift Leader Co-Coordinator Also Wanted

Help the Shift Leader Coordinator with email traffic, scheduling, social media contact, representation at General Meetings and Shift Leader Meetings. Not necessary to be a shift leader (yet!). Organizational skills a plus! Work load is 2.5 to 5 hours/month depending on your desire. For further information contact Matthew Talmage at shiftleaders@greenehillfood.­coop

Love social media?

Well, Greene Hill also has a Social Media Committee that helps spread the word about the Co-op. We’re looking for some need contributors. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact them at

Et cetera


Credits: Putnam Triangle proposal illustration: NYC DOT, DDC and ThomasBalsey Associates. Bulk bins photos: Renee Renata Bergan. The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Carola Burroughs, Roxanne Earley, Sonia Garbesputzel, Alexandra Miller, Amy Nazer, Molly Neuman, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at

Join or follow the Greene Hill Food Co-op!

Interested in joining the Greene Hill Food Co-op? Check out our website to learn about membership, like us on Facebook, or stop by our store at 18 Putnam Ave. (off Grand Avenue) with any questions!