October 2009

Volume 25, Issue 6
The FireStarter

From the Board of Directors

Note: The following is a general overview and is not the official minutes of the meeting.

The Board held its regularly schedule meeting on September 22. Among other items, the Board discussed the change in the discount policy which went into effect on September 1. There have evidently been very few complaints, and the membership is getting accustomed to the change. Over 370 members have received their new discount card and this is giving us an accurate and up-to-date picture of the Co-op’s active membership.

Also discussed was the recently received initial paperwork for the co-op’s beer and wine permit, which was approved by the membership some time ago. Plans are being made for a new cooler and some new shelving. The plan is to feature organic and local products as much as possible, along with other non-organic beverages.

The Board finalized plans for the Special Membership meeting to be held September 26, for the purpose of changing the membership fee for seniors. It was noted that the change will only apply to new members and will have no affect whatsoever on current members.

The next meeting will be on October 27, at 6:00 p.m.

The fall Highway Clean-up has been scheduled for Saturday, October 17, the weekend after Barter Faire. Check at the Co-op for time and place to meet!

Store Report October 3, 2009

~ Alice Simon, Manager

The big news for October: the beer and wine license has arrived!

The refrigeration unit has been ordered and will arrive this coming week. We will begin selling beer and wine (for off premise use only) as soon as all the paperwork is completed with the distributors–which will be some time after the Faire. We plan to start with regional and organic varieties. Is there a favorite wine you’d like to have us carry? Member suggestions for brands are welcome. We have already arranged to be Tonasket’s exclusive source for Esther Briques Winery from Oroville owned and operated by Linda and Steve Colvin.

Wine and beer purchases will not be discountable under member policies that apply to food, supplements, and other products but we will pass along sale pricing when distributors make sales available to us. These sales will be posted clearly in the store. Beer and wine will NOT fall under any bulk order policies existing for food purchases. Those wishing to purchase beer or wine in quantity will need to place that order with Alice or Julie, not a cashier. Only a manager will be authorized to take special orders for wine and beer due to the variety of distributors, legalities, and availability issues involved.

This is a huge step for the store so we ask for your patience as we make the transition. We hope that in fulfilling this capacity to sell beer and wine (which was voted on by the membership quite some time ago) the Co-op will offer a more complete shopping experience to all of our patrons.

DID YOU KNOW? Filtered water is used for making coffee and all cooking in the Co-op!

Where Did All the Members Go?

~ by Mary Vaughn, Board Member

The last two Membership Meetings have been attended by less than TEN people, combined!

A Special Membership Meeting was held Saturday, September 26th, the same day as the Cultural Center’s Membership meeting, dinner and music. The Board was having a hard time finding a good weekend to have the meeting, and hoped coupling with the CCC’s Membership meeting might benefit both meetings. Well, apparently it was not a good idea--only 3 people from the membership attended, one of whom was at the Board’s request, another was Vera, brought off the job to vote.

Last April, the regular Membership meeting was attended by approximately 6-7 people, and one of those was our new accountant, there by default. Of course, there are some pluses to this situation: very little controversy makes for a quick meeting! One person felt it was a sign of confidence in what the Board is doing. On the other hand, it risks the Board being in the majority, voting on its own agenda. And it wears on the Board and Management to feel so isolated with all that’s happening at the Co-op.

We understand that life is busy, particularly in the fall and spring; some folks said they didn’t know about the meeting--even though it was posted for a month on the door of the Co-op. To improve communications, we are looking into mailing out the Firestarter--with enough paid advertising it can be done. So consider placing an ad, the Firestarter reaches a somewhat different audience than the CCC.

The bottom line is that Membership involvement is at an all-time low. Since it seems that often a few people do many things in the community, we are reaching out to those people who are new to the community, or haven’t ever 'gotten involved' before. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, and unlike it feeling like a burden, one often leaves goes home feeling good at having given back to one’s own community.

To those for whom the Co-op is an important part of what they appreciate about living here, please consider becoming involved. We are looking for people to join us--on the Board and in the Co-op. More members participating allows each of us to do more things, and that, in turn, makes the Co-op more attractive and encourages even more people to get involved. It’s a win-win situation--come join us and find out!

An easy way to start volunteering is coming up with the Highway Clean Up, Saturday, October 17th. It may sound like a nasty job, but it is more like a nice walk up the Highway and down, especially if there is lots of help. A pair of gloves is mandatory, but seeing the road by the school cleaned up is worth the little work it actually involves. In addition to needing help with the many odds and ends that come up regularly at the Store, this winter and spring we are continuing the remodeling job by redoing the ceiling, taking down the boards on the wall and painting. It will be a good time for people who have a little more time in the winter to get involved finishing what has been a great project. If you have any questions, feel free to talk to one of the Managers or Board Members.

And as always, a HUGE thank you to those who volunteer their time, in any small way, to support our Co-op.

Green Okanogan, aka “Go Recycle” has been collecting glass at the Farmers' Market all season. After October 22 they hope to schedule monthly collections, at a place to be announced. For more information, call Loreen at 486-2769, or email info@greenokanogan.org.

(Sorry we had previoulsy reported that collections stopped Oct 8-- they WILL be collecting glass at the last Farmer's Market, and GreenOK will be demonstrating their glass crushing machine--cool!)

Last Call for the Farmers Market

The last Farmers Market this year is Thursday, October 22nd. If you haven’t ever stopped in to see what is available, you are really missing out! There is a wonderful variety of vendors, from crafts to flowers to pickled anything, and of course all the local fruits and veggies. One can walk away with an armload of beautiful food for a fraction of what you would pay otherwise, and meet the equally beautiful farmers whom your purchases are supporting.

What a treat to be so connected with your food, grown with care, ripened naturally, and brought into town for those of us without gardens! What fun to see a whole wagon of melons, or peppers, see the kids running around playing & meeting friends-- the whole experience is delightful. We are grateful to the CCC and those who make the Market possible, for all the many ways it brings people and good food/ products together. May next year be an even better season! (If you miss it this year–join us in looking forward to next spring!)


The Co-op and Barter Faire

The store is not having a booth at the Faire but we do have extended deli hours in the store and we have stocked up on all the goodies that Faire goers might need. The deli is open on Sunday as well. The Co-op has been working with the Faire kitchen to make sure they have all that they need and as always, has been answering any and all calls and questions for info.


A few of the many tasty new products in the store are:
Quinoa Polenta, Chocolate Peanut Spread, Chocolate Almond Spread Brown Rice & Adzuki bean chips and Scott Bros. Coffee from Curlew.

The Co-op News is published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.
Editing, Typesetting and Layout by Laura O’Brady. Online layout by web'trice

Letters and articles are welcome from members. Deadline for articles is the 24th of each month. Please email your submission for consideration to us at .

Views expressed in The FireStarter are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Co-op management, directors, or membership. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement by the Co-op of the produce/ service offered.