Spring 2010

Volume 26, Issue 2
The FireStarter

Doin’ the Walls!

~by Mary Vaughn

Well, the roof leaks... while we wait for the weather to dry, we are exploring quotes and what exactly needs to be done for both the roof and the ceiling. In the meantime, we are in the process of painting the walls in the main room of the Co-op. Get ready! We are taking down the old rough sawn wood! There is good plaster behind it (we hope), and a coat of paint will give the Co-op a cleaner, lighter feel, befitting our cleaner, lighter selves!

Some initial painting on the west wall has already occurred, but much remains to be done. We would love to see volunteers from amongst our Co-op members. Work parties are scheduled for Sunday March 7th and every following Sunday until the painting is complete. For further information on this project, contact Mary Vaughn (leave a note at the Co-op or call 556-2679). We hope to paint the walls and repaint the trim, finishing the overall redo of the store before Spring.

It would be great to repaint the trim on the outside too, and, how about painting the big outside west brick wall, now that the ivy is down? What color?! (Someone suggested a light color and we can show outside movies on it!) Keep an eye out for work parties scheduled over the few months, generally in the evening after the store is closed. This is a fun (and interesting) project. Bring snacks and music and we’ll party while we work!

By the way, wasn’t it great having a sidewalk in the Greenspace this winter! Thanks again to the crew who made that happen! We are looking for suggestions and workers to finish landscaping the area around the Garden Room-so please let the Management or Board know if you are interested.

Members as always are urged and invited to join committees to plan these projects. Come to Board meetings for information (on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:30 PM at the North Valley Hospital Board Room.

New Product News

~by Alice Simon, Manager

Healthy Dairy
We are now carrying lightly pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from Spokane Family Farms. This is minimally processed milk from a family farm. It is available in full and half gallons. More info is available at the front counter of the Co-op.

Local Lamb
Another great addition is local American Lamb from Liz and Joe Phares at Walking Water Ranch here in Tonasket. We have a variety of cuts and special orders are available.

Derma – E Skincare Products
We have been carrying Derma-E skincare products for several months and have several devoted customers. This is an excellent line of natural skincare products for all types of skin. If you find yourself with sun or time damaged skin these products can help you restore a youthful glow and softness to your skin and help prevent further damage. Admittedly they are a bit pricey but they work!!! These products can help young skin stay that way and help the more mature skin rebound. Samples are available for many of the products. If you need assistance or would like to special order a Derma- E product not currently carried please see Heather or Alice.

Dr Oetker Puddings
If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert with no artificial ingredients, and organic as well, try these pudding mixes. Just add milk (any kind) or cream and in no time its dessert! As Julie says, the Crème Brule is extra yummy! Other yummy flavors include vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and mocha. Butterscotch and banana are also available and may show up on the shelves later.

Beer & Wine
As you know the Co-op finally obtained its beer & wine license and began retailing it in October. We want to carry beer and wine that you want to buy so please let us know if we can bring in your favorites!


Deli window open 11-2 Monday through Saturday
For fast service, call between 9 and 1 to have your lunch ready for pick-up anytime after 11

* * * NEW MENU items * * *

Sandwiches made to order or grab & go from the refrigerated case.
Panini Sandwiches, Specialty Sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Organic Bread,
Delicious salads, and more

Hot Entrees Mon-Fri * Hot Soup Mon-Sat * Homemade baked goods daily

We use all natural ingredients -- organic when possible
--to create delicious and good-for-you food!

Moving in to 2010 Stronger!

~by Mary Vaughn

According to the initial figures for year end 2009, the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op continues to improve, both in financial stability and in product. The Board of Directors and Membership thank and applaud the hard work that it has taken to move the Co-op from fragile financial standing to a more solid growing business, holding its own in hard times.

This is in large part due to our wise manager, Alice Simon, who has invested a large chunk of her life toward helping our store thrive. She has been well-supported by our creative, intelligent, energetic and helpful staff; together they have become quite a team.

Not that the Co-op is making money hand over fist, but we are current on bills. Of course there are plenty of places for extra funds to go: to products in the store, to the store building itself (see the article above on the roof/ceiling/walls), and best of all, to reward our hardworking management and staff, most of whom donate their own time and energy toward the Co-op you know and love. Thank you to Alice, Julie, all the Co-op staff, and Volunteers!!!!

Changes in 2009

~by Alice Simon, Manager

2009 was an exciting year at the store. We would like to thank the many volunteers who selflessly devoted time and materials to help the store improve in many ways. In no particular order here is a list of the many helping hands in 2009. Apologies to anyone not listed!

We applaud Peter James, Rob Thompson, Danny Vaughn, Sandy Gleason, Gary Davis, Sun Dog, Bob Thomas, Mary Vaughn, Greg McGriff, Jere & Marion Shaub, Barb Milner, Rhonda Robinette, Patti & Sean Maher, Jane & Bob Thompson, Doug Collins, Peggy & Jim Wells, Lyman & Pam Skow, Michael Simon, Loreen Felstet, Laura O’Brady, River Jones, Janet Culp, Treebeard, Judy Linetti, Susan Smith, Ossita, Dave Kleigman, Phil Baker, Jessica McNamara, Richelle Geddes, Kayla Plakos, Chelsea Hull, Amanda Shaub, Melanie Thornton, Thom Spiedel, Raina Skye, Spurlin, Adam Foster, Mikkel, and many more folks who always have a hand to lend when needed.

We gained a new freezer, a new beer and wine refrigerator, a new stove, a sandwich unit for the deli, new signs, a new ice cream freezer, new sidewalks in the garden, and new retail space where the old cooler used to be. All of these things have helped to make the store more up to date and functional.

Despite these many improvements, we still have many goals for 2010. We have a real need for roof repair as we have several leaks that crop up from time to time. It would be great to address this issue before we have serious water damage (see related article above). We also need new flooring throughout the store. The existing flooring has many cracked and broken tiles and has become quite worn over the years. The current estimates to replace it are several thousand dollars of expense to install a durable good looking floor to last for the next generation.

Additionally we still would like to switch over to a POS (point of sale) system, which would provide us with better data and tracking of items, sales, membership, etc. This is also several thousand dollars but the right system could make a huge difference in the overall operation of the store. Other projects include replacing the ceiling tiles with an enormous stack of new tiles donated by John Jones, and painting the walls.

We would love to have some volunteers for these projects. If you are willing to help please, let a manager or board member know ASAP. These last two items are winter projects, to be completed before the good weather comes back.

Co-op Sponsors Movie Nights at CCC

~by Alice Simon, Manager

The Co-op will be sponsoring three movies nights:

If You Can Breathe, You Can Do Yoga

~by Laura Greenwood

There is a great misconception in our Western culture that Yoga is just a series of physical postures, called Asanas. Asanas are a wonderful part of Yoga, but you do not have to be Gumby flexible or even be able to move to have a rewarding Yoga practice.

"Yoga is the process of ending the random fluctuations of the mind." It is the practice of calming and clarifying the mind, so we can see things, including ourselves, the way they truly are. We all have what my teacher likes to call, "Monkey Minds", always jumping from one branch of thought to another, taking our precious life energy and our ability to be here in the now. Just coming into the awareness that your mind is doing this is huge! Then being able to watch your thoughts, without judgment or attachment is where you can find some real peace.

Even as you are reading this, your mind might be distracted, for example, by thoughts of what happened yesterday or what you are going to have for dinner tonight. All of these thoughts are okay, but when you allow yourself to get attached to them, they can carry you away from the gift that is the present moment. Part of Yoga is the constant re-centering of your attention. You notice your attention drifting off, and then you bring it back. It drifts off again, and you bring it back. This process will get easier with practice and you will see that you are not your thoughts. You might have a bad thought, but that bad thought is not who you are. We do have a choice in the matter. Do I want to identify with my mind, or do I want to see the world and myself as they truly are?

And here is the best part, you already possess the only tool you need and you already know how to use it! Your breath! Try this short single-focus breath practice:

Continue this for as long as you like. When you want to end this practice, bring yourself out slowly. Perhaps you might want to just sit with the feeling for a moment or two. Above all, be gentle with yourself! This practice is about YOU!

You can do this anywhere at any time and for any length of time. You don't have to be seated or even have your eyes closed, although having your eyes closed does help to lesson the external stimuli that can draw your mind away from your breath. It is said that doing practices like this, or any other form of meditation, for 10 to 20 minutes three times a week is the "sweet spot" where you can reap the most benefit. I wish you much peace in all your endeavors! Namaste!

A Letter from Danny Vaughn (Excerpts)

Due to the fact that I will be out of town until late spring… I feel this is the proper time to submit my resignation. I have truly enjoyed working with this board over the past 3 years. … This board has been one of the most dedicated, hard working, involved boards the Co-op has ever had. We've really accomplished so much. Not just the physical appearance (the Garden Room, the new cooler, the prep table in the kitchen, the tearing out of the old cooler and finishing that part of the store, the new sidewalks, etc.) but also the great new management and the beginning of getting the store on solid financial ground. … I look forward to serving in whatever way I can in the future. Progress and change is not only good, it’s necessary, but holding on to some of our old ways is essential.
Peace to you all,
Danny Vaughn

From the Chairman of the Board, Jere Shaub

I will only add one most important and least assured additional accomplishment, that being a consistent positive cash flow, with all suppliers accounts current. Our increased advertising and new products are paying off. We have put wage and salary increases on our agenda as promised some 2 years ago.

Our goal regarding member discounts is for such discounts, annually set by this board and future boards, to be paid out yearly and based on your purchases throughout the preceding year. This will require a point of sale system which would track how much each member spends. Be patient with one another as we transition to 20th century technology. Far future boards can deal with advancing into the 21st century!


The Co-op News is published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.
Editing, typesetting and layout by guest editor Greg McGriff.
Online layout by highlandwebs

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.