In Season: The Blog
A Note from The Board
Cheers, to a co-op celebration!
Hello and thank you for tuning into our Sno-Isle Food Co-op blog! Since this is my first submission for this blog, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Mark Thornley, Board of Trustees Vice-President, and I am serving my third three-year term on the Board of Trustees (BOT). My wife and I have been members of the co-op for about 9 years, for almost half of the co-op’s existence, but the store’s 20th anniversary is really what I wanted to write about.
Co-op member/owners, co-op staff, supporting sponsors, vendors and the public recognize twenty successful years of co-op healthy existence and growth. The co-op’s mission and purpose is to provide more healthy lifestyle choices and educational resources, and most definitely it is succeeding. The co-op has enjoyed steady growth for the past twenty years, and is currently, as the general managers put it, “bursting at the seams”. Looking at this I would consider the co-op wildly successful, with much to celebrate.
For this celebration I would like to thank lots of people. First, our managers and employees who helped to make this happen! I know from personal experience and from people I meet that Sno-Isle is a welcoming and convenient place to shop, and I really appreciate the employees helping to make it this way. They take it personally. It has been a learning experience for everyone, for sure, but the learning has continued, through many challenges and successes.
So thanks to everyone who works with the co-op; your co-operation and service give us all a reason to celebrate.
Thanks also to all of the people who supported and enabled the anniversary celebration itself. Especially Leah Scates, our Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, who worked for months to arrange and organize this celebration. Thank you, Leah!
The celebration was enriched by sponsors who contributed to it and participated in it.
Everett Makers Market coordinated all the vendors booths next to our celebration area. They were fun and unique and local and added variety to our afternoon.
We had a fun “cookie toast”, a toast to the co-op’s continued success because Macrina Bakery generously donated 250 cookies without a request to do so!
Justice Brewery created a truly original and delicious IPA beer recipe just for this celebration. “Twenty”, a Belgian honey ale, was a big hit. Justice Is Served! I will be looking for Justice in the co-op beer cooler, but it sells out fast.
Thank you to Bluewater Distillery for providing unique cocktail creations! Their cedar and gin cocktail was perfect for that warm afternoon. I’d like to offer an e-blog round of applause for our libations providers, as all proceeds from the libations sales were donated to Housing Hope, a local non-profit providing shelter for a broad spectrum of community members with critical needs.
Thank you to local Narrative Coffee (home of nationally recognized barista champions), and to Anchor End Pretzel Shoppe, for providing delicious food in that stylin’ vintage 1969 Shasta trailer!
In addition to all of the above we were lucky to have live music by The Porters, Edmund Wayne, Araless and the Greater Good, and Low Hums; a tai chi workshop by Body and Brain Yoga and Tai Chi; and an educational childrens performance by The Real Food Show.
This was a phenomenal amount of contribution and participation all packed into a beautiful afternoon. Thank you everyone!
Twenty years ago I don’t believe the original members and Board of Trustees would have expected the wide availability of organic foods and other healthy options in so many stores, or the growth of co-ops in general with the huge variety of goods and services they offer. It is another perspective on the success of our Sno-Isle co-op, that we continue with this growth considering the increasing availability and competitiveness of the organic and health food markets.
Looking to the future, there will be numerous challenges for the co-op, and I am sure we are more prepared than ever to meet them. Those will be a topic of a future blog, so stay tuned!
Mark Thornley, Vice President
Sno-Isle Food Co-op Board of Trustees
It is with much sadness we say that we have lost our dear friend, Tim Smith. Always thoughtful, Tim creatively decorated the co-op throughout the season’s change. When music played through a speaker box at the registers, he knew how to put a spring in our steps. Tim’s green thumb spread lush beautiful foliage throughout the store, and we can only hope to keep his garden green. Generous, charismatic, and kind are only a few words that capture your light, Tim.
We will love and cherish you forever. Thank you.
Your Co-op Family & Friends
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
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 Community 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