In Season: The Blog

A note from the Board

Celebrate Sno-Isle Food Co-op’s 20th Anniversary!
Saturday, June 24 from 12 to 6pm at the Wetmore Plaza

Photo courtesy of nakanoassociates.com
Photo courtesy of nakanoassociates.com

In 1996, faced with the closing of the S. Everett Puget Sound Consumers Co-op (PCC) store, some concerned Everett citizens were faced with having to travel many miles north or south to purchase natural, organic groceries.

Sad to lose PCC, a group of five citizens concerned with their health and well-being, began meeting to put together a proposal to develop a natural foods co-op. Soon, the word spread. that there might be a natural foods market in town. More people began to show up at meetings; financing discussions were begun; a location (at the time a flea market) was identified on the ground floor of the Public Market Building.

Coastal Community Bank and PCC (yes, PCC!) stepped in to encourage building a store at what is the present Grand Avenue location. PCC donated shelving and bulk bins from its former
S. Everett store. Several PCC personnel helped to oversee the interior design and marketing plan of the co-op. Coastal 20-years-window-1Community Bank promised a substantial loan if enough Everett area residents could be enticed to become member/owners of the store before it opened.

Seeing the possibilities, a couple dozen people came forward to volunteer, doing the painting, carpentry and all the other jobs that needed to be done to get the store opened. While this was going on, the membership grew from five to about 200. But that wasn’t enough! The bank wanted each of 2000 people to invest $100 in the store before it would make the loan needed to finance the store’s opening and initial operation.

The new Board of Trustees realized that if they could just get the store open and operating, despite the low number of new members, people initially reluctant to become members could thereby be encouraged to sign up. That is how it happened! When the store actually opened in March of 1997, there were only a few hundred members. But the numbers, once the store opened, grew and fairly quickly hit the 2000 mark. Membership has climbed steadily over the years to about 5600 today.

We thank the pioneers, those who had faith that even Everett could support a store selling healthy, vital foods. We thank the farmers who began to supply locally-grown produce. We thank the companies large and small, who for years had been supplying bread, meat and packaged food to PCC in Seattle but now began to stop in Everett to supply products for the new Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op.

On Saturday, June 24 from noon to 6pm, we celebrate and honor twenty years of the Co-op offering only the best quality food to its member/owners and the community at large. Congratulations and thank you to the staff of the Co-op, the General Managers, the various members of the Board of Trustees, and the many volunteers over the years, many of whom have been with the Co-op from the beginning.

The Anniversary Celebration takes place on Saturday, June 24 from noon to 6pm at the Wetmore Plaza between Village Theater’s Second Stage kids’ theater and the Everett Performing Arts Center on Wetmore Avenue. Live music, food trucks, entertainment for the kids, beverages for young and old, yoga and tai chi will be on the menu. Member/owners, and the general public too, are cordially invited. Come and help us celebrate!


Written by  Bruce MacCracken, Board of Trustees President

For more information on the co-op’s Birthday Party Celebration, visit snoislefoods.coop/party

Welcome, Roots & Shoots!

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Photo by @rootsandshootsorganics

This Thursday was our first delivery from Snohomish’s Roots and Shoots Organics!  Our staff at the co-op loves to support our local farms and with this one only 6 miles away, this produce is the freshest ever.

The co-op is also a drop off spot for Roots and Shoots CSA boxes! What’s CSA stand for? Community Supported Agrictulture! For a one time fee, for 16 weeks, Roots and Shoots CSA members can come to the co-op and pick up a box of fresh produce once a week!

Owner and operator Curt Krause deliveries to the co-op about twice a week during the spring and summer months. On Tuesday, we asked this easy goin’ fella a bit about his farm life.

What got you started farming and how long have you been at it?
I’ve been tinkering with gardening my whole life. It wasn’t until 5 years ago I made a plunge into farming as Roots And Shoots. I had a passion for plant life and growth, along with a passion for food and thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice to grow my own food and share it with others?” Food gives us a very intimate way to connect with others. Many cultures are defined by their food.

Farming is so much work! You must have some help, right?
I do the majority of the farm work with a little help from some friends and some part time help when harvesting gets intense.

Curt with Produce Managers Carty, & Andrew!
Curt with Produce Managers Carty & Andrew!

Tell us about a typical day for you…
There are really no typical days, that’s what is so nice about it, everyday is different. Almost everyday I am planting something during the growing season. Most days I weed a little and I harvest about 4 days a week when late spring/summer hits.

Do you have any advice for someone who may want to try their own hand at farming?
Don’t chew off more than you can handle (Pun intended, Curt?!). Although I believe in great diversification, I also believe you should start small and succeed with what you start with. It’s a lot of work and it’s easy to get excited and fall behind because you be put too much on your plate.


To kick off the season, this first delivery includes rhubarb, arugula, and green garlic! Check out this recipe for Green Garlic Pesto!

To learn more about Roots and Shoots or sign up for their CSA boxes, visit their website!


 

Nice to meet you, Jonathan!

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He’s taken ladies! Photo by Jonathan’s wife, Kristin Olson

The co-op classroom is a community space welcoming people of all ages to create, learn, and engage. Classes often include topics on fermenting, crafting, healing, and in March – Guitar! We are so excited to welcome our newest instructor Jonathan, for his new (and free!) beginner’s guitar class: The Guitar Circle. With a warm and inspiring glow, we couldn’t help but to ask Jonathan a few questions.

Tell us a bit about yourself, have you lived in Everett long?

My family and I are originally from Madison, Wisconsin. We moved here about 2 years ago in what we call our pursuit of a “new chapter”. Big change, but good change, and we are so glad we decided to be a part of the Pacific Northwest. I currently work as an audio engineer and craftsmen, enjoying such wonderful simplicities like coffee, a crusty-flakey croissant, and listening to the same albums on end for months. Men’s fashion is also a big interest of mine.

Neat! How long have you been playing guitar? 

I began playing guitar around the age of 7. I built my first guitar from some craft supplies around home. I took a large red sheet of plastic, cut it into the shape of an electric guitar, threaded yarn “strings” through it, and voila. It made no sound whatsoever, but it encouraged my parents, “perhaps we should invest in a real guitar for him”. They ended purchasing a red Samick “stratocaster” for my birthday.

And what made you decide to teach?

In my teens, I was approached by people after shows asking if I could teach them. I didn’t really know how to teach, but I enjoyed helping people in general, plus music was always an exciting passion of mine. I thought I would give it a try.

How about group lessons? What inspired this as opposed to one-on-ones?

Growing up, I have this specific memory of seeing students exit my private instructors room as I waited for my lesson to begin. There was little communication or no exchange at all, but yet, we already had so much in common. We had the same instructor and enjoyed the same instrument. That missing line of communication and/or loss of potential friendship made a large impression on me and how I viewed private instruction. My first group lesson was at Berklee College of Music, where a circle of us jammed to “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix. All of us watched each other and would take turns improvising a guitar solo, then hand it off to the next guitarist. It was magical, filled with friendship, and encouraging to my growth.

Back in 2012/2013, I was a part of a church ministry where my role was heavily involved with music. There, the pastor of the church had seen me providing private lessons, and approached me “What would it look like to start a ‘school of the arts?’” It was a BIG dream idea, but it was exciting to me. I developed a curriculum for guitar, and opened the class to groups. The energy and fun in those classes was fantastic – the desire to learn was enriched by seeing the diversity within the room: parents taking lessons with their son/daughter, brand new beginners, even some students who wanted to have a reason to pick their guitar up again. I uncovered the hidden beauty of community with group lessons; it was an unforeseen discovery.

Thus, The Guitar Circle! A great name! Does it have a story too?

Yes! In group lessons, students sit in a semi-circle on one side, while the teacher faces them from the opposing side. With these two semi-circle formations, you get a completed circle! “The Guitar Circle” name was born from what it is, but also the value and potential it has for community involvement, fellowship, and mindset.

When I started developing the heart of the business, I took time to research the name and confirm its uniqueness and availability. Unaware to me, Robert Fripp, the guitarist from King Crimson, created an organization called “Guitar Craft/League of Crafty Guitarists”. Many of these groups performed live as “The Guitar Circle” worldwide, so I immediately reached out to the organization. After speaking with some of his representatives to share my intentions of starting group guitar lessons under the “Guitar Circle” name, they were delighted to learn about my desires and approved.

To be clear – Robert Fripp will not be attending my classes, but we do share a spirit of music and community, for sure.

We’re flattered to have you, but why host lessons at the co-op?

The co-op honestly couldn’t be a more fitting place. I believe we both have matching values of involving the community in all matters of education, and having a multi-purpose classroom makes this possible. I personally enjoy shopping at the co-op, heard about the room, visited the location – and knew it could be a great fit. Thank you!

Thank YOU! Who can take your lessons?

At this time, students ages 8 and above are welcome to take lessons. I am hoping to design classes for younger students down the line as well. I have a 2 year old myself and am still learning about his development.

What do you hope to see from your business in the future? 

Big picture for me would look like “The Guitar Circle” transforming into a music school, with teachers of multiple instrument disciplines, and a stage for both practice and recitals, located on the developing waterfront! Big dream, I guess! I can’t do it alone, but I can start somewhere, and this is the beginning.

Jonathan’s class will be on Saturday’s from 10-11am from March 4th-25th in the co-op’s classroom (located just down the hall from the store). This is a free class and sign-ups are extremely limited. To sign up, head to theguitarcirlce.org. And for more exciting classes and events at the co-op, check out snoislefoods.coop/events

The co-op is always seeking teachers! If you’d like to host a class or event, you can do so at snoislefoods.coop/classroom