Monday, February 18, 2008

Steering Committee Meeting rescheduled

All of us Steering Committee members are busy! This doesn't stop us from meeting regularly to discuss the progress of Grassroots, though. We'll be meeting next Tuesday (instead of this Tuesday), in our regular place of Herrick Library's cafe in the basement at 7pm. Last week, we had Anna from Groundswell Community Farm and Chuck Johnson from CJ Veggies join us to talk about carrying their products and lots of other interesting things (like how to get through those rutabegas!). Their local organic farms are in Zeeland and their insight was very helpful; they'll both be offering Community Supported Agriculture shares and selling at the farmer's market this year.
Since our article ran in the Holland Sentinel, we received at least 5 responses from people . We are very excited about this and look forward to being involved with more community members interested in pursuing a healthy, environmentally friendly and local lifestyle.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sentinel article

Check out our article in the Holland Sentinel opinion page! Let's get the word out there.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our logo

Our logo is here and it feels so good to have an identity after so many meetings and discussions. It seems to make this vision all the more tangible. Amy and John at Williams Group did a wonderful job and having the work donated by such a professional organization is a real gift! We are getting some response from the community and look forward to progressing Grassroots further each week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snowy days

Even during these snow filled days, Grassroots continues to meet to figure out a space. funding, etc. for our storefront co-op. A member of our steering committee is currently taking a 6 week course (through Co-op 500) on starting a co-op and other members are encouraged to listen to these webinars, as well. We are taking advantage of this opportunity and seeking out advice from other co-ops and small business owners. We also have a logo, which is very exciting news for us! Williams Group in Grand Rapids, MI was kind enough to donate their time and resources and it feels good to have an identity! We are finalizing the details and will post it as soon as we can!
Enjoy the fluffy snowfall!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Progress Report

Hardly a week goes by without someone stopping to ask me how the co-op is going. My answer is sometimes complicated, sometimes simple, depending upon how much of the big picture I decide to share. Yet, as I have been thinking about the bigger picture, what needs to happen before our doors are open, I realized that I needed a visual way to see where we're at. Using the table of contents from the How to Start a Food Co-op manual, I'll illustrate where we are and where we need to go. Below you'll see the nine steps to starting a food co-op (with links to the relevant chapters in the manual, if you're curious).
II. From Talk to Food: Nine steps to starting a food co-op
1. Gather background
2. Organize
3. Research feasibility
4. Review findings and vote to incorporate
5. Recruit members
6. Planning and financing
7. Secure financing
8. Begin operations
9. Open the doors!

Currently, we're working on Step 3: Research Feasibility. To be honest, we've been working on step three since June when we began working on the community survey. Since then we have administered the survey (collecting data from over 315 participants!) and have been working on gathering data for our feasibility study. This work is time consuming and, in my opinion, not nearly as much fun as brainstorming what the co-op will look like and what it will carry once the doors are open. Yet it is necessary work. Without it, we cannot show you, the community and future co-op members, that the co-op will succeed when the doors are open.
We, the Steering Committee, set an ambitious goal of opening the co-op in 2008. To reach that goal we are going to need some help. Our Steering Committee is looking for a few additional members, three or four of you, to join us in envisioning what the Grassroots Community Co-op will look like and how it will function. We meet every other week for an hour to dialog and discuss what needs to get done. If you have a little space in your schedule and would like to share your time in this worthy pursuit, we'd love to hear from you.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Community Survey

We're very excited to announce that a group of individuals in the greater Holland area is opening the Grassroots Community Co-op in 2008. Cooperatives (co-ops) are member-owned and member-run non-profit organizations that are committed to serving their members as well as the general public. We are committed to bringing you local, natural, and organic foods at affordable prices while running a business that values the environment, local producers, and our community.

Please help us by spending a few minutes answering this brief questionnaire. It is important for us to have your input as we plan for the future. When you are finished, please forward this link along to your friends and family that live in the area. As our name implies, we can only accomplish the goal of creating a co-op through a grassroots effort.

Thank you for your time!

Monday, July 23, 2007


"In a world where we have lost complete touch with where our food comes from, it's good to get that connection back, that understanding of what it takes to grow and produce food responsibly. For some reason, food just tastes better when you appreciate it." (From the website)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Becoming a Locavore

Well, I'm doing my best to become a "locavore"; that is, I'm making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of where I live. That means eating seasonally or canning for off-season, not indulging in some foods that Michigan/Indiana/Illinois soil does not provide (such as peanuts, olives and more), but mostly, it means enjoying every bit of food that goes in my mouth. Why is it so much more enjoyable? Here's the short list:
  • Good for the Earth: my food is not "made of fossil fuels", as in, they do not travel far to get to my plate. Also, because it does not have to travel as far, the farmers I get food from are using natural and/or organic processes: veggies from the CSA I joined are harvested the day I pick them up (or I harvest them myself) and the meat I eat is either picked up fresh the day it is processed, or frozen fresh for later.
  • Good for Me: I have had seasonal allergies for a long time. Eating food grown in our local foodshed means I'm essentially "self-immunizing" by putting some of the local pollens and allergens directly into my body - honey is especially good (perhaps Heather can shed more light on this aspect!).

    Also, I was one of those kids raised on processed foods, then college cafeteria food (yuck!). My mother thought corn and potatoes were vegetables and that meatloaf was a staple. Organic...what?!? We did grow our own tomatoes in the summer and boy were they good! I could eat them like apples. Anyway, I digress. What I mean to say is this is also an attempt at becoming healthier and retrain my body to LOVE food that will nourish it and keep it in balance.
  • Good for You: By supporting local farmers and growers, my [limited] funds are supporting the local economy, keeping jobs in MI and thereby making our community stronger (we don't want more people leaving Michigan because "the economy is bad" - how many times do you hear that a day!)

So, I want to say "if I can do it, anybody can" because I was certainly not geared for this my whole life, but am excited by the challenge that it presents in my daily life. Looking through recipe books is now more fun than ever! So, I challenge you all to join me in becoming a locavore. Peace, Mandy Creighton