April 2016 Newsletter



Catching You Up on Co-op News

Great news! Since the start of 2016, we have 125 trial members and 25 newbies! While we should definitely celebrate the growth of our co-op, there’s still room for more.

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 two-month trial membership! The more we grow, the bigger and better store we can be! Let them know that the next New Member Orientation will be on Sunday, May 15, from 2:30pm to 3:30 pm at the Co-op. Details are available here.

Check out the Help Wanted section to find out about new ways you can fulfill your work shift credit requirement. The Co-op is seeking folks with a range of interests and skills, including designers, writers, developers, and people who can help take inventory and keep our finances in order.

Welcome Red Lantern Bicycles to our WIN-WIN-WIN Program! Our Win-Win-Win Program keeps getting better. The newest addition is neighborhood fave Red Lantern Bicycles. Don’t remember what this catchily named program gets you? Read on for a refresher.

Childcare is here! The program will run weekly beginning the morning of May 1st. Donate your toys if you have any to spare!

Brooklyn Wine Books. the two-for-one passports to 20 great Brooklyn wine-centric bars and restaurants, are now only $10 — half the original price! The book pays for itself in one use.

Craving some carbs? We’ve got two new goodies in the store: McVitie’s Digestive Wheat Biscuits and super healthy sprouted multigrain bread from Lancaster Food Company.

Or maybe you prefer no carb? This month’s recipe is a delicious, spring picnic-ready combo of asparagus with egg salad and crispy shiitake mushrooms.

There’s a new coordinating mastermind behind the newsletter. Read this month’s Co-op Q&A to find out who it is…

Our next monthly Greene Hill Food Co-op Board Meeting will be on Wednesday, April 27, from 7:30-9:30pm at the Co-op, 18 Putnam Avenue — agenda to be posted here. Our next quarterly General Meeting will be on Wednesday, June 22 (same time and place).

What’s Up Next at the Co-op?

Welcome Red Lantern Bicycles to our WIN-WIN-WIN Program!

Red lantern bicycles logoRed lantern bicycles interior

The Win-Win-Win Program supports local businesses that support the Co-op. Co-op members can show their key fob at participating businesses to receive discounts on meals, goods and services.

A local favorite in Fort Greene, Red Lantern Bikes is more than just a bike shop, it’s an experience: a coffee house in the front (that also sells awesome wine and beer) and bike shop in the back! You could literally hang out there all day. Brian, the owner known as “the bike whisperer,” is a refreshingly friendly and unassuming character for NYC who just knows what ails your two-wheeled best friend. Go in for the repair, stay and return for the great service and smiles. (Oh, and for the organic coffee and homemade nut milks!) As they like to say at RLB, they’re all about the “bike love”!

As a member of our wonderful Win-Win-Win Program, Greene Hill members can receive 10% off bike parts or service from Red Lantern (not valid toward bike purchases or the cafe). Just show your Greene Hill key fob. Just in time for spring!! Happy cycling!

And if YOU run a local business and would like to participate in our Win-Win-Win program, please contact outreach@greenehillfood.coop.

 Childcare Program Begins! We Need Your Toys! Notice to all Co-op parents! We’re setting up childcare for parents in order to make their work and shopping experience easier. The children will be in the main Co-op area in view of their parents. It’s an exciting, fun filled program and will be a great way for our Co-op kids to meet! The program will run weekly with the first one starting on May 1, from 9:15-11:45 am. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this new program, you can sign up for a recurring 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

Major Discount on Brooklyn Wine Books Next time you're shopping, grab a Brooklyn Wine Book. It’s a two-for-one passport to 20 great Brooklyn wine-centric bars and restaurants, including Aita Trattoria, Bedford Hill, Bed-Vyne Brew and more. You can get one now for only $10 — half the original price! The book pays for itself in one use and Brokelyn has generously offered to donate 25 percent of proceeds to the Co-op. They are available at the store, but won’t last long!
Product Spotlight: McVitie’s Digestives & Sprouted Multigrain Bread Digestive biscuitsThese wheat biscuits have a history. Back in 1892, when the "digestive" biscuit recipe was created, they were thought to help with heartburn symptoms because they contained a large amount of baking soda. The scientific truth, though, is that while tiny amounts of baking soda in water could help moderate indigestion, once it's baked, the constitution of baking soda changes and won't have the same effect. These delicious biscuits are full of coarse wholemeal flour. And while they've got fiber, they also have salt, sugar and plenty of fat added, moving them from the healthy food category to a semi-sweet baked good. It’s a hearty biscuit that’s tasty and satisfying when you want a treat that's not too sweet. Have one or two with some freshly brewed tea on a rainy spring day. It’s a combo that’ll help you warm up while satisfying your sweet tooth, too!Multigrain breadSprouted bread is made up of whole grains that have been soaked in water until they begin to sprout. Some research shows that sprouted grains can be slightly higher in some vitamins and have a higher quality protein compared to un-sprouted grains. The nutrient difference is so small that it might not affect your health, but there are other benefits. Some people with allergies to certain grains find that they are less allergic to their sprouted form (although this product also contains some whole wheat flour.) Sprouted breads often have a unique, earthy taste and nutty texture. This loaf boasts a great variety of grains, including sprouted buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum and whole grain wheat flour. It has more fiber and protein than an average slice of whole wheat bread, giving this Lancaster Food Company’s loaf a leg-up in the world of breads. Find it on the bread shelf at the Co-op!
Grilled Asparagus with Egg Salad and Crispy ShiitakesRecipe by Molly Neumanasparagus recipeOk, so this recipe is a bit more of an assemblage than a proper recipe, but the combination is so umami-ful that I am asking for a pass! There are so many variations on this dish: replace the shiitakes with some pancetta as they do in this recipe in the New York Times, poach or roast the asparagus, or replace the egg salad with hummus or babaganoush. My version was inspired by a salad special at Mayfield, but I have to admit I liked my version more!




Serves 4-6.


For the grilled asparagus and vinaigrette:

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ lemon juiced and rind zested
  • ½ t sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the egg salad:

  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 t capers, minced
  • 2 T scallions, chopped (about 2)
  • 2 T celery, chopped (about ½ a large stalk)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the crispy shiitakes:

  • ½ lb. shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Grill the asparagus and assemble the vinaigrette.

Set eggs in a pot and cover with cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover, let sit for 9 minutes. Rinse eggs in cool water, drain and set aside. Mix together dijon, mayonnaise, capers, scallions, celery. Peel and roughly chop eggs, then fold gently into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice shiitakes thinly, toss in olive oil, spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until crispy. Toss in salt and set aside.

Toss the asparagus in about 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette right before serving. Assemble the dish on a platter with asparagus topped by egg salad and then the crispy shiitakes. Serve and enjoy!

Cost estimate: $12.50 in total. Just $2.08 to $3.13 per serving. (When asparagus is in season you’re stoked!)

The Co-op Q&A with Alejandro VarelaThe Co-op’s Newsletter Committee is pleased to welcome Alejandro as our new coordinator! Alejandro comes to us with a public health background and a community-minded approach to the Co-op and our neighborhood. Read on also for more information on how you can become more involved in Brooklyn social justice initiatives.

Q: Where are you from and what neighborhood do you currently call home?

A: I'm originally from Jackson Heights, but grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, somewhere near its midpoint. I now live in Fort Greene.

Q: When did you join the Co-op and what were some of your reasons for joining?

A: I joined about three years ago. My husband and I had been members of the Park Slope Food Coop for several years and we wanted to help grow co-op opportunities. In general, I'm supportive of cooperative culture and work environments because much of our society's problems have roots in, or are sustained by, our hierarchical structure.

My background is in public health. And the pool of research that shows how much our class divisions affect our health is growing. Cooperative work environments are one remedy. We don't typically talk about class in this country, we refer to socioeconomic status, income and, sometimes, wealth, but that's what I mean.

At the very least, the Co-op can be another place where everyone is on equal footing, even if we're not in the outside world. That said, for cooperatives to really make their mark they have to be much more widespread. When Google becomes a co-op, let's talk.

In addition to these Chomsky-esque ideas, it's also about the prices: expensive (good) food is much less expensive at the Greene Hill Food Co-op.

Q: What is your role at The Co-op right now? What do you like about it?

A: I'm the new Newsletter Coordinator. Until recently, my husband (Matias) worked both of our shifts as a member of the IT committee. But after our most recent paternity leave, I decided to assume at least one of the shifts! I would have liked to work in the store, but the store hours conflict with my parenting hours. Being able to work remotely is quite a privilege; it gives me a lot of flexibility. It's still too early to tell what I like specifically about working on the Newsletter, but so far everyone on this committee has been warm and welcoming.

Q: What are some things you're looking forward to as a co-op member?

A: I'm looking forward to seeing the membership grow. And it would be great if it reflected the neighborhood and the city. NYC is a mixed bag of ages, races, ethnicities, and nationalities. Whenever I walk into a space that doesn't reflect that, I think something has gone awry. It felt that way at the Park Slope Food Coop, and it feels that way here. I know that membership drive efforts are constantly happening, and I look forward to continued success with those.

Q: Where would you like to see the Greene Hill Food Coop in five years? 10 years?

A: In addition to building a membership that’s more representative of our city, I'd also like to see our political culture grow in a way that enables some of those membership objectives. For example, as an organization that values inclusivity and access, I’d like for us to be champions of the local efforts that fight for justice and against oppression, in all its ways.

There are community-based organizations with long histories in the area, and it’d be great to partner (or to continue partnering) with them. Places that come to mind are FUREE, the Audre Lorde Project, and Fifth Avenue Committee. In some cases, we’ve already reached out, but hopefully we can continue exploring. How can we be there for them so that their memberships will then be there for us? Sound cynical? Nah, it's strategic and benefits everyone. Besides, furthering the struggles for economic and racial justice ultimately brings down the barriers that keep our membership from growing. It's harder — if not impossible — to prioritize local, organic, sustainable foods and cooperative culture when you're just focused on making ends meet or when you're trying to get from here to there without being stopped by the police. A long-term objective should be to help reduce the barriers to participation by supporting social justice work that's already happening.

I'd also like to see us partner more with our senior population. Brooklyn has a population older than much of the city. There's growing concern from our seniors that food options are drying up. In the last fifteen years, we've seen affordable markets razed in order to raise condos. That's a frightening prospect for an elderly person who has difficulty moving about and suddenly has far to walk for food staples. Food delivery shifts? Senior shopping hour? I'm looking forward to having (or continuing) those conversations.

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 (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 membership@greenehillfood.coop.

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. Working for the Marketing and Outreach Committees are a great way to get your shift credits from home, or have more flexible hours. Email marketing@greenehillfood.coop to help out.

Seeking Finance Committee Members

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@greenehillfood.coop.

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 officeassistant@greenehillfood.coop 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 merchandising@greenehillfood.coop.

Et ceteraCredits: Red Lantern Bicycles photo courtesy of Red Lantern, McVitie’s pic by Shannon Sodano, Lancaster Food Company bread picture from Lancaster Food Company, grilled asparagus recipe photo by Molly Neuman, picture of Alejandro Varela and family courtesy of Alejandro.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, Shannon Sodano, Alejandro Varela, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at newsletter@greenehillfood.coop.

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!