Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

Chilaquiles

Recipe by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich’s Mom

Chicken Fajitas

Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez

Beef Chile Colorado

Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez

Sopa de Fideo

Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez

Tomatillo Salsa

Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez

More >>

Hispanic Heritage

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

The Davis Food Co-op would like to use Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to show our appreciation of Hispanic/Latinx culture and its contributions to our store and community. This page is meant to be a constantly growing set of information and resources.

Terminology

As you will notice throughout this page, both Hispanic and Latino/Latinx are terms that are used. While they are often used interchangeably in popular culture but they actually mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latinx refers specifically to people who are from (or directly descended from) people from Latin America (most commonly known as the regions of Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rica, and the rest of South or Central America). Latinx is a non-gendered form of the word Latino and is typically more appropriate for the demographic we are referring to. However, the term Hispanic is still tied to much of how we discuss these populations (as it is in Hispanic Heritage Month) and thus is why it will continue to be used on this page.

In an effort to build a more equitable and inclusive Co-op, our buyers actively seek out diverse brands to share with our community. We’ve compiled a list of those brands owned and operated by groups such as the Latinx community. These brands are identified by shelf talkers in our store and can be found on our website here.

 

Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes Chilaquiles Recipe by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich’s Mom Chicken Fajitas Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez Beef Chile Colorado Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez Sopa de Fideo Recipe by IT Manager...

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month as the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (1810), which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence. It was this moment that eventually led to independence for the Spanish colonies that are now recognized as the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Today we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

 

For a great list of resources related to Hispanic Heritage Month, we encourage you to visit this page here from the National Museum of the American Latino.

 

More >>

Plastic Free July at the Co-op

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. The movement has inspired 100+ million participants in 190 countries and our involvement in Plastic Free July is to help provide resources and ideas to help you reduce single-use plastic waste everyday in any way that you can. You making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our communities and planet. You can start by choosing to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond!) when and where you can. Best of all, being part of Plastic Free July will help you to find great alternatives that can become new habits forever.

It is not lost on us that promoting Plastic Free July at the Co-op while we still carry so many plastic products could seem contradictory. Cutting out plastic entirely in today’s day and age is difficult for anyone, especially a grocery store. However, we believe in the change that can be made from people banding together. After all, we are a cooperatively owned business and that is the whole point of our foundation. The products that we carry are dependent on what our Owners and community shoppers choose to purchase and that is how we will always guide our decision making. With a focus on sustainability in our Ends, we will also always look for plastic free alternatives first in our purchases for the store. So while we may not be able to go fully plastic free, we vow to do all that we can this month to do so, and that is our pledge.

Learn more about Plastic Free July and ways that you can participate by clicking the PFJ button on this page!

More >>

Imagining the Future of the Co-op

Co-ops Shape the Future. And the Future is Coming Soon.

Co-ops are progressive by nature in practically every sense of the word. In particular, “New Wave” grocery co-ops that started popping up in the 60s and 70s (such as the Davis Food Co-op) brought about an immense amount of change to the grocery landscape. It was the desire for change, whether it be economic, social, environmental, or all of the above, that fueled the causes of these small organizations as they looked to coexist with the grocery giants that they saw in their towns. As we are in our 50th year and have already examined some of the changes the Co-op has seen over that span, we are also looking forward to the changes that are still yet to come. We are currently wrapping up some customer Focus Groups to help facilitate this process as we lay down some concrete plans to continue bringing positive changes to our co-op and community…

…But while we undertake that process, we (and when I say we, I really mean ‘I’, the author of this blog) thought it would be appropriate to balance out the serious, common sense improvements we will be making with the ludicrous, off-the-wall ideas that float around out there too. In this blog we invite you to take a journey into the future as we think about some completely ridiculous ideas regarding what the future of the Co-op holds. 

 

Disclaimer #1: Do not take this blog seriously (except for the parts where you should take it seriously). This is a Marketing Manager’s best attempt at creative comedy (or whatever you might call it after reading it).

Disclaimer #2: I have not consulted with anybody else on this blog. All of your questions, comments or completely rational concerns can be directly addressed to me (Hi, I’m Vince).

Disclaimer #3: If you want to make the argument that Twins is our former governor’s best film, I will not argue against that. See #2 on this list for more context.

Now, for a Moment, Let’s Imagine the Future of our Co-op…

1) Curbside Pickup Turns into Curbless Pickup because there are no curbs in the sky

A lot of television shows and movies have promised us flying cars by now. However, The Jetsons have me still holding out hope since we are 40 years away from reaching their time period. Once we inevitably decide that our natural resource consuming hunks of metal are too good to even touch the ground, the Co-op will adapt to be the best sky service you’ve ever seen. At your designated time and sky zone, all you will have to do is hover with your trunk open and we, from the ground, will perfectly cannon shoot your groceries into your trunk. We will not be responsible for any potentially broken eggs.

2) Robot Staff – They may be our Overlords, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends!

Nostalgic media is probably going to influence this entire blog so here I am with reference number two: The Terminator. I, for one, think that our rapid foray into the world of artificial intelligence and robotics (à la Skynet in our former governor’s best film) is destined for success with absolutely no hiccups or unintended consequences. We, of course, will jump on the bandwagon and let robots take over staffing at the Co-op because in all honesty, they probably will not leave us with much of a choice. Oh, and they will also take over Ownership of the store, naturally.

Edit: After further consideration, Kindergarten Cop is probably our former governor’s best film.

3) “Sorry sir, your cash is no longer accepted here. We only take Crypto, bro.”

I have no idea how cryptocurrency works. This is one thing that me and most people that claim that they do know how cryptocurrency works have in common. But I do know that real people have put real money into it and some people have gotten real rich because of it. And other people tried to emulate that success only to watch their “investment” plummet into the void. But I suppose if our money is not actually going to be backed by anything physical anymore, it makes sense to instead generate enough electricity to power thousands of computers stacked on top of each other in a Costco-sized warehouse to create the 0.00222703 Bitcoin you will need to pay for your groceries.

4) Now Selling 100% Real Meat!**

**Real Meat, but legally we have to tell you that it was grown in a lab

All jokes aside, this is already happening and closer to being consumer-ready than you might think. What is “this” I speak of? Meat. The animal kind. You know the kind, right? Beef, pork, poultry, all that jazz. But you won’t have to slaughter an animal to get this meat. It will be made with muscle cells in a state of the art lab through a process that I would probably understand better if I didn’t choose to disappoint my mother by electing to study Marketing in college. And technically it will be local since that lab is more than likely in Silicon Valley. Now for the question of the safety, morality, cost, etc of it all and whether the Co-op would actually carry this as a product… That’s a good question!! And I don’t currently have an answer!!!

Don’t believe lab grown meat is on the horizon? You can learn a little bit more about the subject here.

5) A true innovation of the Future – a line with a register where customers can scan and pay for groceries themselves. (It’s still in its conceptual phase and we don’t know what to call it yet)

Ok I did some reading just now and apparently this already exists at other grocery stores. This one may be too real to include as it is probably the most feasible thing amongst the rest of this nonsense (except for maybe the meat too?). Let’s stir the pot just a bit though. Some would say we are already behind the times and doing our introvertive customers a disservice by not having a self check-out line while others would threaten to boycott the Co-op if we actually ever introduced them. So who knows what the future holds, that’s the fun of this blog!

6) We become a CEO-op

The year is (insert future year here). The amount of mega-corporations that own everything on our planet can be counted on one hand. One independent grocery store (us) remains. Will they (we) continue to stay true to their (our) cooperative roots knowing that it will ultimately lead to their demise? Or will they cave in and sell out to one of these Godzilla-corps? OR (plot twist, there is a third option) will they take matters into their own hands and join the fray in their own search for global dominance? TIME TO GO CORPORATE BABY… YOU CAN’T SPELL COOPERATE WITHOUT THE SAME LETTERS THAT YOU FIND IN CORPORATE.

More >>

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

One of the largest impacts of the Pandemic over the last two years was towards food security, a topic you may have become more familiar with as demand for food bank services reached an all time high. As a co-op and part of the community, many of us inherently understand the importance of creating a food system that can nourish everyone. To take it one step further, in order to truly care about this topic and its impact on our local communities, it is important to also realize the land in which these communities occupy. In order to do this, we must understand the importance of the concept of Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5% of the world’s population, they account for 15% of the world’s poor, according to a study published by the United Nations. Indigenous Food Sovereignty is an approach to help address that issue, among others, that face Indigenous communities. The Indigenous Food Systems Network describes the multi-faceted concept of Indigenous Food Sovereignty like this: 

“The food sovereignty movement is building around the world and while there is no universal definition, it can be described as the newest and most innovative approach to achieving the end goal of long term food security. Indigenous food sovereignty is a specific policy approach to addressing the underlying issues impacting Indigenous peoples and our ability to respond to our own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods. Community mobilization and the maintenance of multi-millennial cultural harvesting strategies and practices provide a basis for forming and influencing policy driven by practice.”

As a relatively new undertaking in the world of policy, these concepts are all about returning to information, methods and practices that span thousands of years on this land. Many organizations have taken it upon themselves to push Indigenous Food Sovereignty forward, and this blog will highlight just a few of them. These widespread local efforts aim to transform and reclaim local food systems in a way that benefits the Indigenous communities of the regions they exist in. This spans actions from combating hunger, increasing access to healthy and traditional foods, enhancing community health, and creating food policies, to targeting food as a mechanism for entrepreneurship and economic development amongst Indigenous communities.

As part of the First Nations Development Institute’s mission to “Strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities”, a three year collaborative film process took place. The goal of the film was to show the work of First Nations’ grantees and partners as they supported Indigenous communities to build sustainable foodways to improve health, strengthen food security and increase control over Native agriculture and food systems. The film, titled GATHER can be found streaming on Netflix.

Outside of education on the topic, you may be thinking to yourself, how can I support this movement? Luckily, there has already been a list compiled of 28 Global Organizations promoting Indigenous Food Sovereignty that has some great organizations that are always in need of monetary donations to continue their mission.

 

Other Resources:

USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative

 

Indigenous Seed Keepers Network

 

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI)

More >>

50 Changes over 50 Years at the Co-op

As the new year begins, it is a time to think about resolutions and change. Entering 2022 means that we are entering our 50th Anniversary here at the Co-op which makes for the perfect opportunity to think about some of the changes that have been made here over those 50 years. This is by no means a complete list as the nature of the Co-op, like with most things, is in a constant state of change and evolution. This is, however, a chance to reflect on some of the ways we have stayed true to the Co-op’s values even as we have grown from a buying club of 10 households to a full service grocery store with 10,000 Owners.

Interested to read more about the Co-op’s foundation? Check out “Looking Back: A Davis Food Co-op History (1972-1984)” by Chris Laning.  

1) The People’s Food Conspiracy Begins (1972)

1972: The year that it all began. A buying club was organized by UC Davis students that were interested in buying their food straight from the supplier. This small group of households started by collectively purchasing cheese, produce and bulk dry goods together. These products would then be distributed amongst the members in the living rooms and garages of the members’ households. This early group was not only interested in sourcing natural foods at bulk prices, they were interested in structures that existed outside of the traditional capitalistic model. Because of this, the early name chosen by the founding members was “The People’s Food Conspiracy”.

2) The move to the Co-op’s First Storefront (1976)

Perhaps the most influential change in the early years of the Co-op to get us to where we are now came in 1976 with the move into a storefront on L Street. This 600 square foot former bulk dog-food store helped to further formalize an organization that started off as a buying club that had multiple storage points around town.

3) Vote to Begin Incorporation and First Bylaws Introduced (1977)

During a Policy Meeting in 1977, Owners approved a vote to begin proceedings to officially incorporate as a cooperative corporation. The advantages of incorporating included increased credibility, the possibility of reducing taxes through patronage refunds to members, and limited liability protection of members’ personal assets if the co-op were ever to be sued. The first proposed bylaws were also drafted during this time and went through many revisions.

4) Move to second storefront (1978)

In another important milestone, and only two years after the first move, a bigger storefront on 5th Street became the home of the Davis Food Co-op. Just a couple blocks away, this 2,160 square foot space relied on member loans to finance the move and was done quickly, just in time to beat out another potential tenant who wanted the space as well!

5) The Co-op’s first Paid Staff (1978)

Originally operated by Member-Owners that were asked to volunteer their time as a condition of Ownership, it eventually became a topic of conversation to consider introducing paid staff. Needing help most urgently with bookkeeping, it was a part-time bookkeeping position that became the first paid staff position at the Co-op.

6) Introduction of the Carrot & Fist Logo (1978)

Several logos had been used in the early years of the Co-op. Before this one, the most prominent was the two pine trees in a circle which is a well-known symbol for co-ops around the world and is still used today. The carrot & fist logo in the late 70s came about as the winner of a design contest voted on by Owners and was adopted as the Co-op’s trademark at the time. The symbolic logo with its proud proclamation of “Food For People, Not For Profit” is the perfect representation of the values that drove the inception of the DFC and still fuel our purpose as a co-op today.

7) Introduction of the First Product with White Sugar as an Ingredient (1978)

While this may seem uneventful by today’s standards, the idea of the Co-op carrying anything with white sugar was extremely taboo in the first decade of its existence. The founding Ownership of the Co-op focused on bringing mainly healthy foods from small or local businesses as opposed to junk food from large corporations. However, the Mystic Mint cookies, made with real cocoa, peppermint oil, and yes, white sugar, broke the typical product mold and served as a representative item for how product selection would happen at the Co-op. At the end of the day, the Co-op is member-owned and must make decisions that reflect the Ownership’s desires. That is why today you will still see some conventional products among our selection of organic and local selections. 

 

8) Officially incorporated as Davis Food Coop Inc (1981)

A process to officially incorporate that started in 1978 was completed two and a half years later in 1981. The reason for the lengthy process had a lot to do with the Ownership finalizing some important pieces of the bylaws as well as cleaning up some of the files that could prove Ownership at the time.

9) The Final Store Relocation (1984)

The site of the former Safeway on G Street had been a topic of conversation for many years among Co-op Owners at the time and had actually gone to a failed vote a couple of years prior. However, without the ability to further expand at 5th Street and with no other buildings available that made sense for a grocery store, the G Street location re-emerged as the most logical move. The decision was taken to a vote in which the measure passed with 76% voting in favor in what was the biggest voter turnout in the Co-op’s history at the time.

10) The First Annual Holiday Meal (1985)

An LGBTQ couple, who were both employees of the Co-op, had no plans for the Holidays because neither of their families would take them in. The couple, recognizing that there were others facing the same dilemma, organized a meal for any and all to attend. The event continued the following year, and every year since, evolving into a community wide effort on Christmas Eve to provide a free and warm meal for as many as 700 people. While the COVID-19 pandemic the past two years has changed the format of this event from a sit down meal to a take out meal, we have still been able to feed hundreds of people and will continue to do so each Christmas Eve.

11) Introduction of the new Sky & Fields Logo (1988)

As the Co-op evolved, so did the logo that represented it. The late 80s saw a switch to the Sky & Fields logo which paid homage to the agricultural bounty and beauty in the region in that the Co-op sources from and represents.

 

12) First Major Interior Remodel of the G Street Store (1992)

In a proper grocery store location and with 20 years under its belt, the Co-op began some extensive renovations to the interior of the store. While these changes to expand and improve would be far from the last changes made to the store, these significant strides would help pave the way for the store as we know it today.

13) Vote on a Proposal for a Second Store Fails (1993)

The idea of opening a second store in another part of town had long been discussed and debated. In 1993, the Ownership base voted to make a final decision on a particular proposal. The proposal was put forth for the Co-op to have a second store in West Davis in the Farm Town Shopping Center on Lake Blvd (now known as Westlake Plaza). However, the vote was tallied and the proposal failed amongst the Owners at the time.

14) Installation of Davis Cooperative Centennial Clock (1997)

The installation of this clock is best described by the inscription on the plaque that accompanies it: 

“The Davisville Almond Growers Association was formed on January 31, 1897. Thus began the first century of cooperative enterprise in Davis. That group of Davis growers became leaders in the creation of Blue Diamond Growers; now, one of the largest cooperatives in California. Later, the co-op leaders played a key role in bringing the University Farm to Davis. The almond co-op formed on G Street was the first in the development of the “City of Cooperatives.” From artists to artesanos, childcare to co-housing, students to seniors, domes to homes, today over thirty cooperative enterprises meet many kinds of needs. This plaque marks the place where the Cooperative Centenary Clock was commemorated. Celebrate with us the hopes and aspirations for a new millennium for cooperatives.”

15) Exterior Remodel to the Patio (1997)

Working with local architect Maria Ogrydziak, the Co-op began to make some exterior remodels that made the store feel more communal and iconic. From Maria’s website: “The Davis Food Co-op wanted to convert an existing, “big-box” grocery store in an undistinguished strip mall into a visible destination that would be the ‘green’ heart of a vibrant, participatory community. Besides selling locally sourced produce and goods, the Co-op should be a place to meet and socialize with other members. The membership-funded project represented an important moment in the history of the Davis Food Co-op – as it sought a larger presence in the growing farm-to-fork movement in the heart of the agricultural California Central Valley.”

16) Introduction of the Co-op Sign (1997)

Likely the most notable and recognizable feature of the Co-op as you approach the store is the giant Co-op sign that greets you. This iconic addition to the store created an instant identity and brand while simultaneously reminding shoppers about that one major thing that makes this store different than the other grocery stores in town. It is a proud declaration and a personality; it is everything that the Co-op represents.

17) Received Environmental Recognition Award from the City of Davis (1997)

The City of Davis makes an annual recognition of the environmental contributions of an individual or group, a business, and a non-profit organization that have gone above and beyond to improve the environmental quality of life in and around Davis. First introduced in 1995, honorees of the award are said to “set an example of how to conduct business, set up a home or school environment, and/or live daily in a manner that encourages sustainability and harmony with nature”. The Davis Food Co-op first won this award in 1997 and won again in 2001.

18) Purchase of Teaching Kitchen Building (2000)

In staying true to the fifth cooperative principle, the Co-op is always looking for ways to be an educational pillar for the community. In purchasing the building at 537 G Street across from the store, the Co-op opened up new opportunities to introduce Teaching Kitchen classes that cover a wide variety of offerings.

19) Installation of Tomato Sculpture (2000)

Another iconic fixture of the Co-op’s entrance is the “Portrait of a Plump Tomato” sculpture by local artist Gerald Heffernon. Made of epoxy and automotive paint, this Davis landmark has become the mascot of the Co-op and another nod to the agriculture that has helped build not only the store, but the region in which it resides.

20) Installation of Solar Panels (2000)

In continuing with the strides to be a business that was committed to sustainability and the environment, the Co-op made the decision to install solar panels atop its roof to help power the store with renewable energy. This would help the Co-op win its second Environmental Recognition Award from the City of Davis in 2001.

21) First Patronage Refund Issued to Shareholders (2004)

One of the perks of Ownership and principles of cooperatives is Member Economic Participation. In profitable years, the Board can make the decision to allocate money to go back to Owners in the form of a Patronage Refund. This refund is based on an Owner’s shopping over that fiscal year and every Owner, no matter how long they have been one, is eligible. 2004 was the first year that this was possible.

22) Mermaid Sushi Opens at the Co-op (2006)

It is hard to imagine a Co-op today without Mermaid Sushi behind the counter. However, it was not until 2006 that this business, with other locations across the West Coast, began renting space next to the Co-op’s Deli Department. They have been there ever since serving up the highest quality fresh and sustainable sushi.

23) The First “Carrots in the Classroom” Teaching Kitchen Class for Kids (2006)

What good is education for the community if the kiddos aren’t involved? Starting in 2006, kids classes began in the Teaching Kitchen to get them interested how fun and tasty nutritious foods can be. This education has continued and today you can find an entire page dedicated to kids on our website here.

24) Complete Rebrand and Introduction of Current Logo (2009)

The Co-op’s branding as we know it today came largely from big changes that took place in 2009. Focusing on the iconic tomato and sign that define the Co-op, the new logo sought to highlight these symbols as the face of the Co-op.

25) Installation of New Cash Register System (2010)

A new decade at the Co-op was welcomed with an improved cash register system. This system would allow for a greater ease of transaction and linking to Ownership accounts.

26) Installation of “The Four Growing Seasons” Mosaic (2010)

One of the most beautiful pieces of art in the city of Davis is on the Co-op’s patio and it is titled “The Four Growing Seasons” by the late Mark Rivera. This extraordinary piece depicts local agriculture throughout the four seasons with our planet as the centerpiece. This piece will be a continuous reminder of the reason that the Co-op came to be and still exists today as well as a way to always honor a beloved local artist.

27) Installation of “Care-Rooted” Carrot Statue (2012)

The Co-op’s 40th Anniversary was commemorated with another Mark Rivera piece at the Co-op. Another ode to agriculture and the Co-op’s roots greets everyone as they enter the parking lot at the Co-op.

28) Updated Energy Efficient Beer Coolers (2014)

The only thing better than cold beer is cold beer that came from an energy efficient cooler. This is one of the many changes and upgrades that the Co-op has made over the years to ensure that it is operating as sustainably as possible.

29) Upgraded to Energy Efficient Meat Case (2014)

Following the installation of the energy efficient beer cooler came the energy efficient meat case. This made it so that all of the coolers along the back wall of the Co-op were energy efficient.

30) “In the Key of Davis” community piano comes to the Co-op (2015)

What is now a great annual tradition of hearing piano sounds around town made its introduction at the Co-op in 2015. This was a seasonal program from In the Key of Davis to put community pianos out at landmarks in the city of Davis. Today, however, the piano at the Co-op has become one that will live in that spot on the patio year-round.

31) Introduction of Co+op Basics Program (2016)

Along with the rest of the stores who are also members of the National Cooperative Grocers, the Co-op introduced a program called the Co+op Basics Program. The Co+op Basics program is a selection of staple foods and household goods—including natural and organic products—that are priced below the suggested retail. The Co-op is able to offer this program not by paying less to employees or farmers, but instead, by working with a network of other cooperatively owned food stores across the country to negotiate lower prices on healthy, organic, and natural products.

32) Switch to Sustainable Landscaping (2017)

With California’s drought continuing to worsen, it became more and more evident that water wise solutions be found both for homes and businesses. The Co-op responded by switching to drought tolerant native landscaping around both the store and Teaching Kitchen.

33) Extensive Store Remodel (2018)

The biggest store remodel to date started in 2018. This remodel included a focus on sustainability and enhancing the shopping experience. Some key highlights emphasized were removal of the old stone wall, the Bulk department moving to front and center of the store, new signage, upgraded lighting throughout the store, and installation of even more energy efficient equipment. The new layout also made the store much easier to navigate. With wider aisles and lower shelves, products became easier to access for everyone.

34) Started Prepacking Meat (2019)

While it may seem counterintuitive, beginning to prepackage meat actually helped to save plastic. It was found that the vacuum sealed method for the prepacked meats was actually less resource intensive than having your meat wrapped at the counter. For food safety, Meat clerks must change gloves and plastic film often when handling various meats for each customer, which adds up quickly. So although the prepacked meat comes in plastics instead of butcher paper, much less plastic is used in the overall process.

35) Switch to 100% Renewable Energy (2019)

In another huge step towards sustainability, the Co-op opted in to Valley Clean Energy’s UltraGreen Program. This program is available to everyone in Yolo County and ensures that both the store and Teaching Kitchen are powered by 100% renewable energy.

36) Addition of Customer Service and Wellness Counters (2019)

Another result of the large remodel was the introduction of the Customer Service and Wellness counters. These two desks are perfect customer service areas for shoppers to get all of their questions answered and special orders placed.

37) Launch of Curbside Pickup Program (2020)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Co-op became the first grocery store in Davis to launch its own Curbside Pickup program. This allowed for contactless pickup of all of one’s grocery needs and is a service that is planned to be kept moving forward.

38) Opening of The Freedge (2020)

Joining other pickup locations around town, the Co-op became a location for “The Freedge”, a free community refrigerator that encourages people to take what they need and donate what they don’t need or are able to give. This is one part of the Co-op’s food rescue efforts.

39) Launch of “The Heirloom” Digital Newsletter (2020)

After a newsletter hiatus (previously titled “The Vine”), the Co-op reintroduced a digital weekly newsletter titled “The Heirloom”. This weekly newsletter focuses on store updates, events, new products, weekly deals, educational information and community news. Not yet signed up for this newsletter? You can do so at the bottom of this page!

40) First Virtual Teaching Kitchen Class (2020)

With the pandemic impacting the Co-op’s ability to hold Teaching Kitchen classes, the shift turned to digital offerings in 2020. Cooking classes both free and paid were offered on a regular basis through Zoom so that we could all still cook together. This also allowed for people outside of the Davis community to join in!

41) Opening of The Green Patch (2020)

With restrictions limiting the ability to have customers dining at the Co-op, the patio space became empty. Seeing an opportunity to liven up the space and provide something new for the community, The Green Patch was born! This space provides seasonally appropriate plants and tools to liven up your garden or yard.

42) First Online Election (2020)

Following the first year of a hybrid model that saw both paper and online ballots available, the Board decided to implement fully online voting in 2020. This allowed for more convenience in the voting process and a move towards the Digital Age for the Co-op!

43) Added Pronouns to Nametags (2021)

In an effort to make a more inclusive Co-op, the staff name tags were updated to include staff members’ pronouns should they choose to express them. This change offered the space and acceptance for people of all gender identities while also giving the option for folks to opt out. 

44) Launch of the Owner Rewards Program (2021)

The Co-op would not exist without its Owners and the Owner Rewards Program is a small way to give back to the people whose support keeps the store thriving. While this is separate from the Patronage Refund, it still gives Owners the opportunity to be rewarded for their everyday purchases at the Co-op.

45) New Kids Corner (2021)

In continuing with the mission of engaging kids in our community, the Kids Corner was revamped with a new design that included educational material, new furniture, toys and coloring pages. This space became an ideal place for kiddos to enjoy the Co-op experience too when they are in store.

46) Upgraded Produce Department Displays (2021)

The Produce Department is full of so much vibrant, fresh and beautiful local produce and the Co-op felt it was necessary to better highlight that. These new fixtures allowed for more floor space while simultaneously increasing the capacity for how much produce could be held in the store.

47) Switch to Fully Organic Produce in Deli (2021)

Organic produce is always the preference of the Co-op and its shoppers. While the Deli always made a concerted effort to carry organic produce in the department, it was not until 2021 that the permanent switch was made and committed to. Not only is all of the produce organic, but every effort is made to source locally first as well.

48) First Vote for Change in Elections (2021)

The Co-op’s Round Up at the Register program has long been a way for customers to donate to some deserving local charities chosen by the Co-op. In the 2021 elections, however, power was given to the Owners of the Co-op to vote for four local charities that they wanted represented in the upcoming year as part of the program. 

49) New TV Menus Installed in Deli (2022)

In another move that brought the Co-op further into the Digital Age, the Deli had its old paper menus replaced by new TV screens. These screens make it possible to rotate the menu offerings throughout the year and highlight current specials. It also cuts back on the Co-op’s paper use.

50) 50th Anniversary Mural (2022)

Last but not least (on this list at least) is the introduction of the new 50th Anniversary mural. This mural, designed and painted by Co-op Graphic Designer Angelo, commemorates the 50 years that the Co-op has been making community happen. And this mural will live proudly on the wall as a reminder of all of the great memories that the Co-op has brought to the city of Davis! 

More >>

Give Thanks and Give Back

The Holidays are a great time to reflect on what we have and help where we can. This month, the Davis Food Co-op will be donating $500 to each of the following local organizations and encourages you to give too if you are able.

 

 

FIRE Foundation

Founded in 2015 by a group of community members in Woodland, First In, Relief for Evacuees (FIRE Foundation) provides relief for people and families evacuated from their homes due to devastating disasters. COVID-19 presented a new challenge. FIRE stepped up to collect and distribute PPE and other medical equipment to businesses and health care organizations throughout Yolo County.

Learn more about what FIRE Foundation does here

Donate to FIRE Foundation here

 

Family Hui

Lead 4 Tomorrow’s Family Hui program supports parents as they face the joys and challenges of raising children. In light of shelter-at-home, Family Hui moved quickly to adapt its group-based delivery model, sharingCOVID-19 information along with vital social services resources with families in English, Farsi and Spanish using virtual platforms, phone calls and texts. Through these connections, Family Hui continues to show parents that they are connected, valued, and cared for.

Learn more about what Family Hui does here

Donate to Family Hui here

 

 

California Indian Legal Services

California Indian Legal Services is one of the oldest non-profit law firms devoted exclusively to the cause of Native American rights. Governed by a Board of Trustees selected by California tribes and tribal organizations, CILS provides free and low-cost legal services to California tribes, tribal organizations and Native American individuals throughout the state.

Learn more about what California Indian Legal Services does here

Donate to California Indian Legal Services here

 

Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network

YIIN is a group of people serving and advocating for immigrants in Yolo County. YIIN is guided by requested needs of the immigrant communities based on what they deem essential necessities. YIIN also advocates and supports those who cannot speak for themselves including migrant workers, immigrant youth previously detained and those displaced by major fires. They also offer financial and legal support for those seeking citizenship.

Learn more about what YIIN does here

Donate to YIIN here

 

 

 

 

More >>

Honoring Veterans Day

Veterans Day should be more than just a day to honor and recognize those who have served in our military, it should be an opportunity for us as a society to collectively consider the ways in which we can improve the lives of these brave individuals. As a co-op, Concern for Community is a guiding principle in all that we do and veterans play a special role in our communities and our country at large. 

While we are a nation that routinely shows appreciation for our troops and veterans, the unfortunate truth is that many veterans face hardships upon returning home such as dealing with mental health issues, encountering problems paying bills, issues adjusting back to civilian life, and more. Oftentimes, they are not provided with the necessary resources to face these challenges. 

On a day that honors more than 19 million US Veterans, we wanted to take the time to recognize a couple of organizations that are honoring veterans every day of the year.

Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC)

After reading a 2006 report that found that among U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, those who are from rural America were dying at a higher rate than soldiers who are from cities and suburbs, Michael O’Gorman (a Davis resident) gathered a group of farmers to discuss how they could best support these veterans that were returning to their hometowns in mostly rural areas. Realizing that there were no groups in the country with the mission of helping veterans in agriculture, the FVC was born.

Today, the FVC helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture by developing viable employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. Farming offers veterans a new mission, life purpose, and physical and psychological benefits. Simultaneously they cultivate the next generation of food and farm leaders.

As you may or may not know, Farmer Veteran Coalition is our Round Up at the Register recipient for the month of November. You can support this organization’s mission by donating on your next shopping trip at the Co-op.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

A fellow co-op, the NRECA represents the interests of over 900 electric cooperatives in the United States. Founded in 1942, NRECA unites the country’s generation, transmission, and distribution cooperatives found in 47 states, serving over 40 million people.

The NRECA also abides by the seven cooperative principles and in their mission to power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives, they see a lot of similarities between their values and the values of our veterans. NRECA strongly believes that hiring and caring for veterans and military spouses strengthens their cooperatives and communities. That’s why they created the Vets Power Us Initiative, helping veterans to:

  • Learn more about America’s electric cooperatives.
  • Understand the synergy between military values and electric cooperative principles.
  • Explore a variety of meaningful career opportunities within the rural electric cooperative network.

While these are only two organizations close to our heart as a nonprofit we support and a fellow co-op, there are countless others across the country that help veterans in a variety of ways. We encourage everyone to use this day as an opportunity to do some research to find others whose message resonates with you and to think about the ways that you can honor our veterans not only today, but every day.

 

Further Reading

Honoring Those Who Served: 11 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day

Honoring Veterans

Sources

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/11/07/key-findings-about-americas-military-veterans/

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/05/the-changing-face-of-americas-veteran-population/

https://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/16/

More >>