Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Our Own Words: Member Testimonial (Kathy T.)

I grew up on a farm in North Dakota. My parents (Mel and Vangie), 2 brothers (Russ and Rod), and I worked the farm. We raised cattle and chickens, grew crops and a big garden. I learned how to bale hay, butcher chickens, and can vegetables, amongst many other things just by growing up on my family’s farm. When I went off to college I had to buy meat for the first time. It was a quite the culture shock and confusing because I remember being in the store and thinking this meat doesn’t look at all like the meat I ate on the farm. But I had no choice and when I ate it I was not impressed because it wasn’t half as good as what I grew up eating and that had a real impact me. So when I heard of the Richmond Food Co-op the first thing that came to mind was hope. Hope that someday I could be eating the type of food I was familiar with eating as a kid.

I am a firm believer in supporting farmers. There aren’t many left and I want to help save them. By being a Co-op member I will be able to help the farmers stay in business and contribute to saving their livelihood. That was the driving force behind my decision to sign up as a member of the Richmond Food Co-op.

Who doesn’t want to know where their food is coming from? Who doesn’t want to eat food that hasn’t been sprayed with a bunch of chemicals? Joining the Co-op should be a no-brainer. Not only will you be helping save a farmer but you’ll feel good about yourself knowing that you’re contributing to something great and saving lives, yours included! We are currently almost 700 members strong but we need a 1000 to open our doors. Come on and join me...join the Richmond Food Co-op movement today! What are you waiting for?

-Kathy Tatum, Richmond Food Co-op Member/Owner

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In Our Own Words: Member Testimonial (Doug P.)

“How strange is the lot of us mortals!  Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it.  But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”        -Albert Einstein

Indeed, we are on this earth for such a short period of time.    How are we going to allow our spirits to grow?  How are we going to self-actualize?  How are we going to make a difference? 

As I approach 60, it has become clear to me over the last few years that we make the biggest impact, the biggest difference – together.  We do it through collaboration, we do it through cooperation.  Is it difficult?  Is it challenging?  Indeed, without a doubt.  But the exponential impact of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts – is so absolutely fulfilling, so absolutely thrilling…that I’ve become a huge proponent of it.  To the point, that being a facilitative leader of it is what gets me up in the morning.  

Our community is so hungry for cooperation.  There is such a poverty of it in our region’s governments, our nation’s leaders and in our everyday dealings.  What better subject and focal point to lead our community in the practice of cooperation, than FOOD?

As a pretty simple guy who is privileged to help facilitate and lead FeedMore and the newly formed RVA Food Collaborative (the Food Co-op is a proud “member”), I was thrilled to learn more about the Richmond Food Co-op.  It brings together so much of what I care about - people working together for the common good and people who understand that food was the original medicine.  These same folks know that the reason many of FeedMore’s clients living in food deserts suffer from hypertension and diabetes is because of their lack of healthy and sustainable food!

I came to believe in and joined the Richmond Food Co-op for all of the above good reasons.  But I must also fully disclose that I’ve recently lost a lot of weight - weight that came about through stress eating and limited knowledge of any good, proper nutritional consumption practices.  Having worked hard to lose it – I have NO intention of gaining it back!

Can you imagine a better group of folks or organization to help shepherd me to a new lifestyle of healthy eating and living?  I have so much to learn, but am excited to know that there are many who will help.

So, indeed I’m thrilled to be a new member and looking forward to all that the Coop will bring to our community, my life and my health.  Here’s to OUR success!

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”  -Henry Ford

-Douglas Pick, Richmond Food Co-op Member/Owner

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Know Your Board: David King

As I start my 2nd term (3rd year) on the Board of the Richmond Food Co-op, I am focused on opening the store. 

Our membership number (650+) shows us to be rounding the clubhouse turn, with 800 members being the next furlong marker in the financing of our grocery store.  As cooperative, we need a critical mass of members to ensure that our member loan campaign can succeed; reaching our member loan target in turn will allow us to secure a commercial loan.  We also need a critical mass of members to ensure that we meet our sales projections once the store is open.

This year, the Board will take very seriously our role as your representatives as we commit the Co-op to a financing plan for opening the store.  Nothing could be more important.  We are confident that, with the assistance of Michele and our outside consultants from the Food Co-op Initiative, we can and will get this right.

As we enter the season of planting after a long winter – very enjoyable to those of us who love snow – I get a strong feeling (in addition to the numbers) that the Co-op grocery store will soon be a reality!

-David King, Richmond Food Co-op Board Member