March 2016 Newsletter



Catching You Up on Co-op News

spring bike with flowers

This month’s newsletter is packed with good news.

Greene Hill is now open on Fridays 3-9pm which means the store is open five days a week! Thanks to the expanded store hours and to YOU, our dedicated member-owners, our weekly sales are increasing. Read on for more info and to hear how you can keep us on this winning streak.

Parents, are you having difficulty working your shift and taking care of your kids? Relief is in sight. We’re launching a new child care project in April. Right now, everyone can contribute start-up supplies and toys to get it going!

We’ve got a recipe for a hearty root vegetable stew. Plus, the new arrivals in the store keep coming! We have two awesome, made-in-NY condiments to spice up your meals: Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce and frozen pesto from Whole in the Wall.

This month’s Q&A is with born-and-bred New Yorker Naceo Giles, a Park Slope resident who joined Greene Hill three years ago.

As always, check out the Help Wanted listings for new opportunities to get your work shift credit.

Join the fun! Follow us on Instagram @greenehilllfoodcoop and tag pictures of your shopping basket, co-op goodies, and the beautiful meals you made with the things you bought.

What’s Up Next at the Co-op?

The next General Meeting will be on Wednesday, March 23, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the store (18 Putnam Avenue). Come meet your fellow member-owners, learn about all the exciting developments that have happened in 2016 or are underway, and get a better sense of what it takes to run the place. This is the first GM since we’ve switched to quarterly (as opposed to monthly) GMs, and we’re hoping that the new structure will encourage greater participation and community-building. You can find the GM agenda here, and if you have a question or item you’d like to add to the agenda, please email Emily Miner at

Member-owners can receive a shift credit for attending a GM (one time per year), so if you need to make up some hours, this is a great opportunity!

 Greene Hill Now Open 5 Days a Week We’ve added another day to the schedule and the store is now open on Fridays from 3 pm to 9 pm. So if the end of the week rolls around and you're hungry for some fresh produce or apple cider donuts, come on in!

We now have five shopping days per week:

Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 3 pm to 9 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm

In order to continue to grow Greene Hill as a resource for good, affordable food for more people, the Co-op needs more members to sign up for recurring in-store shifts. Whether you're a member-owner who has been away for a minute, a committee member wanting some in-store quality time, or a brand new member, you can snag yourself a recurring slot by signing up through Shift Planning.

And if you know someone who you think would love the Co-op, bring them with you on your next shop and get them signed up for a two-month trial membership.

Store Sales are UP! thank you daffodilsMembers, all your efforts are paying off: our monthly financials are UP! February weekly sales averaged $11,648, up from January's weekly average of $9,896. And last week, thanks to our new Friday hours, we broke $13,000!! Thank you so much for taking the extra effort to shop more at Greene Hill! It is literally paying off. And the more you do, the more we can develop and grow!

Unfortunately, however, our membership numbers have hardly increased since last year--and the number of weekly shoppers is at a standstill. If we truly are to meet our $15,000 a week revenue goal, we simply need more members.

What can you do? Remember, we ALL are Outreach members and word of mouth is the best promo — ever. So encourage friends to check us out by trying our 2-month trial membership! The more we grow, the bigger and better store we can be!

Again thank you thank you thank you for your amazing dedication to Greene Hill.

New Trial Memberships Sign-up ProcessAt the end of February, the Membership Committee introduced a new trial membership sign-up process. Instead of handwritten paper cards, all trial members will receive a GHFC membership card (key fob), just like regular members do. To accommodate this, trial member information is now entered directly into our member database when people sign up at the store. Anyone working at the store can use the laptop at the check-in desk to enter the info. Detailed instructions are in the membership binder under the desk.

This is an important improvement to our process because it allows us to better track trial members and their visits to the store — which means we can follow up with them more easily and encourage them to convert to full members!

Bring Us Your Toys!toysNotice to all Co-op parents! We’re setting up childcare for parents who need to work their Co-op shift in the store. The kids will be in the main Co-op area in view of their parents. We have an exciting plan for them to have fun and meet other Co-op kids! The Grand Opening shift will be on Sunday, April 27, from 9:15 am to 11:45 am, and is for working members. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this new program, you can sign up for a recurring 9:15 am Sunday slot through Shift Planning.

We’re requesting toy donations for the childcare project, including the following wish list:

  • Bins of different sizes
  • Crayons and other art supplies (play-dough, etc.)
  • Play cash registers
  • Play food
  • Wooden play kitchen
  • Play-pen (pack n' play)
  • Play mats

Please drop off your donations in the designated bins by the front desk of the Co-op.

Product Spotlight: Bronx Hot Sauce and Whole In the Wall PestoBronx hot sauce

Just in the store! Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is unique for a few reasons. First, the serrano peppers are locally grown in community gardens throughout the Bronx. Second, they are a community development project, which means a portion of the proceeds from this hot sauce goes right back to the gardens and gardeners who grow the product. Lastly, the hot sauce is made right here in New York City. In fact, it was created by chef King Phojanakong, whom you might know from neighborhood restaurant Umi Nom. For more on the story behind the sauce, check out this article in the New York Times.

The Co-op now has another great new product to liven up your meals: frozen pesto from Whole in the Wall in Binghamton, New York. Pesto’s strong, flavorful ingredients are what takes a dish to the next level. As Whole in the Wall pesto makers explain, pesto that's dried or bottled loses its freshness of flavor — a freshness you can't get back! Whole in the Wall freezes their pesto the day it's made, so you get all the goodness of Italian pesto: basil, Italian olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic. The only other things they add are creamery butter, sea salt and spices, leaving it free of other additives and preservatives. For those of us who are economically-minded, this pesto has concentrated ingredients so you'll get more out of one package. Plus, it can be stored frozen and safely refrozen multiple times for up to six months, so you’ll be less likely to waste what you don't use in one go.

Pesto samples

Of course you can enjoy pesto with pasta, but here are some other delicious dinner ideas:

  • Blended with Greek yogurt for a tasty dip
  • Added to eggs
  • Instead of tomato sauce on a pizza
  • Mixed in with a simple salad dressing
  • Stirred into a minestrone soup, Genovese-style!

A note on basil: the same oils that give basil its great smell and flavor are also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It is high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C. The herb also contains some important minerals including magnesium, calcium and iron, making this a great herb to get more of in your diet. Eat up!

Root Vegetable Stew

Recipe by Molly Neuman

Root vegetable stewEven though this winter has been quite mild, having a hearty stew on hand is always a great idea. The Co-op has a ton of great vegetables, perfect for stewing, and this recipe would be great with beans such as garbanzos or Great Northern. If you're inclined to add animal protein, there's usually a good selection of stew meats: beef, lamb and even goat. If you are, either brown the meat slightly before you add it to the stew, or just toss it in and add a bit of cooking time. This recipe yields a big batch so there will be leftovers for freezing!


Yields 8-10 servings


  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 t thyme, minced
  • 1 medium turnip, large dice
  • 1 large sweet potato, large dice
  • 3 parsnips, large dice
  • 1½ c crimini mushrooms, quartered or halved
  • 4 c stock (vegetable or chicken)

If you have a slow cooker you can literally throw all the ingredients in and turn it on, come back to it in 4-6 hours and you're good to go!

For the stovetop: In large pot, add olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, tomato paste and thyme. Cook until leeks and garlic are cooked through. Add root vegetables and mushrooms and combine thoroughly. Add stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for an hour or two. If adding beans, cook for an additional 30 minutes. If adding meat, cook for an additional 2 hours minimum.

Cost Estimate: $15.50 or $1.55 per serving.

The Co-op Q&A with Naceo GilesNaceo Giles

Naceo is a longtime member of the Co-op with interests that span NYC history to local politics. Find him on his floater shift or shopping at the Co-op and say hello!

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?

A: My name is Naceo Giles. I grew up in the Lower East Side in Manhattan from the time I was two to age 16. My parents migrated there from Mississippi after World War II. In my neighborhood, there were people from everywhere; there were Blacks, West Indian Blacks, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish people. In addition to the individuals themselves, the businesses were diverse, too. There were Jewish bakeries with bagels, candy stores owned by Blacks, and a bargain area on Orchard Street. It was what our social studies teachers taught us: New York was a melting pot. When people moved from that area, neighborhoods became more segregated. I now live in Park Slope.

Q: What brought you to the Greene Hill Food Co-op?

A: I looked at Park Slope Food Co-op, which was very large and had a lengthy process of becoming a member. It was very crowded. When Greene Hill Food Co-op opened up, they approached my company to do pest control. I thought it looked like a good operation! I joined three years ago.

Q: What is your job at the Co-op?

A: I’m a floater. I chose floating because the shifts migrate throughout the month and I wanted to be able to do mine closer to the end of the month or in the beginning of the month. (Want to be a floater? You can email to be added to the email list.)

Q: Where do you want to see the Co-op in 10 years?

A: I hope that it’s a seven-day operation with a full line of products that people can choose from. I’d like to see a strong educational program that covers healthy food, food choices, and Brooklyn food cultures. Learning how to prepare foods of other traditions is important because usually we learn to cook a cuisine that our parents cooked. I never had eggplant growing up, and others have never had okra. It’s good to try foods from all over.

Q: What is one thing that the Co-op could do differently?

A: I think the Co-op needs a better type of bulletin board. Maybe an electronic board. It would take up less space and give more volume of notices and announcements.

Q: What is your favorite part about NYC food culture?

A: I love the diversity of food businesses that thrive here. German bakeries, full of different kinds of breads and rolls, and Italian pastas are my favorites.

Help WantedAll members work a  hour shift every 4 weeks. It's part of being a member/owner. Here are some opportunities to earn work credit.

IT Committee in Urgent Need of PHP/LAMP Stack Developer!

The IT Committee is looking for help with the Co-op’s public facing website ( 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

Seeking Designers & Writers for New Membership Campaign!

Help us design an outreach campaign to engage new members to join the Co-op community! We’re looking for writers, designers, community organizers, and people with experience in event planning and marketing. The Marketing and Outreach Committees are a great way to get your shift credits from home, or have more flexible hours. Email to help out.

Seeking Finance Committee Members

Our rock Julia Flath is stepping back from the finance committee, creating a great need for additional support. If you have an interest in being involved in the day to day financial operations or finance strategy for the Co-op, please email

Finance Office Assistant Shifts Available

Interested in doing some office work at the store? Your role would focused on handling invoices and entering data into our accounting software. 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 if you'd like to join us.

Merchandising Committee Needs New Members

Interested in how food ends up on the Co-op shelves each week? Join us and make the magic happen. This position requires a 2½ hour monthly commitment (like any regular work shift), including attending one monthly meeting of 1½ hours. You’ll take inventory and order one key product from a small, local vendor like Mu Mu Muesli or Bridge tofu and seitan. If interested, email

Seeking Shift Leader Co-Coordinator

Help the Shift Leader Coordinator with emails, 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 2½ to 5 hours/month depending on your availability. For further information contact Matthew Talmage at

Et cetera

Credits: Root stew picture courtesy of Molly Neuman, Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce and Whole in the Wall Pesto photos courtesy of the makers, photo of Naceo Giles courtesy of Aly Miller.

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, Amy Nazer, Molly Neuman, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at

Join and/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 follow us on Twitter. Or simply stop by our store at 18 Putnam Avenue (off Grand Avenue) with any questions!