Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bike! Graduate! Grill! Drink! Be Merry in May!

Wheatsville Food Co-op

Hi Wheatsville friends and fans!

Scroll down for:

Bike to Work Day

Co-op quilt

Produce news

Eggcellent news

Grocery aisle action

Full Sail Beer Sale

Meaty Specials

A visit to Cheese Island


Bike to Work Day!

This Friday May 21st is Bike to Work Day. Bike on by to Wheatsville's breakfast station from 7-9am for some coffee, juice and treats!

We got a lot of support this year from our vendor friends including:

Fontana coffee, Organic valley, Cascade fresh, Borden, Nuun electrolyte water, and Mmmpanadas!!!

Thanks to our vendors and we salute all of you bicycling commuters!

Co-op Quilt on Tour!

You may notice an awesome addition to our store d├ęcor! A beautiful quilt made from t-shirts of our sister co-ops all over the country. The quily tours from food co-op to food co-op, and we have it for just a few short weeks before it goes on to its next stop. So, come check it out! (Scroll to the end to read the story of the famous Food Co-op Quilt.)

Congratulations Class of 2010 from the produce department!

Congrats to all you graduates out there! If you have a graduate in your life and feel like giving them a littles something special, pick up some beautiful flowers from your produce department! We also have cut fruit and other convenient delicious items like mandarins and Wholly Guacamole pre-made guacamoles in three flavors that'll help put a little pomp into any circumstance.

What's Local in Produce

It's the beginning of our best local season, and we're already starting to feel the excitement. Currently we have blackberries from Oak Hills Farms in Poteet and blueberries from Vidor, both of which have been pretty tasty. We have organic zucchini and yellow squash from Martinez Farms in Pleasanton, and bibb lettuce from Amamdor farms. Soon we'll start to see some tomatoes and peaches coming in and that's when the fun begins.

Delicious Mangos

Both the Tommy Atkins (larger reddish ones) and the Atalufo (small yellow kidney shaped ones) mangos have been delicious the past few weeks. If you haven't picked some of these up, do it while they are this delicious!

Summer is Almost Here

Summertime really is one of our favorite times of year in the produce department. We've got plenty of berries right now, including organic strawberries, organic raspberries, organic blueberries and Texas blueberries, Texas blackberries and our in house mixed berry cups.

Melons are starting to come in, currently we have personal organic watermelons (complete with seeds fer spittin'), organic cantaloupes, and our mix melon cups.

We've got bi-colored organic corn for 89¢ and ear, and it is delicious raw, roasted, or boiled.

Stonefruit will be coming soon, so if you are missing nectarines or Texas peaches, they'll be here soon. CANNOT WAIT!

Deli = delicious!

Along with the weather warming up, the month of May has brought a whole new slew of cool Owner Specials and monthly treats for you to enjoy! Our new Salsa of the Month is the beautiful, veggie-laden Tomatillo Fire, boasting a trio of roasted peppers blended with tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and cumin! Smoothie season is most certainly underway and our Smoothie of the Month is Blueberry Banana Dream, and is also an owner special at just $4.49, reg. $4.99. With an array of fruits plus tons of add-ins and extras from spirulina to cacao nibs, there is a smoothie for everyone – try a Banana Dream with peanut butter and chocolate syrup, or a Strawberry smoothie with rice milk and almond butter!

Want more of a pick me up while trying to stay cool? Try our amazing Iced Coffee Toddy, a 24 hour cold brewed burst of caffeineated deliciousness! Or maybe you prefer our Thai Iced Coffee, a perfect blend of dark coffee and milky sweetness? Not a coffee fan? We've got organic Iced Black Tea plus an abundance of herbal teas including Iced Hibiscus Mint! Also, our herby Iced Yerba Mate and spicy Iced Chai Tea are old school staff favorites!

Two of our owner specials this month are for some of your Deli's most popular items: the infamously delicious Popcorn Tofu Po'Boy at $5.99, reg. $6.49, and our classic self-serveChicken Salad made with local Buddy's all-natural white meat chicken at $8.99/lb, reg. $9.99!

Also on sale at the Deli Counter are tasty cold cuts: Boar's Head Turkey Pastrami at $9.49/lb, reg. $9.99 and Muenster Cheese, $4.99/lb, reg. $5.99!

Come on in and sample something new!

Refrigerated Fun

It is Springtime and that means we have lots of Farm Fresh good things in the Dairy Cooler.  Perhaps the most egg-citing is the return of Alexander Family Farm and H&J Ranch eggs!  They are both now graded and in compliance with local laws and we have lots and lots of them!  A dozen of Alexander Family Farm Grade A Large eggs is $4.19.  H&J Ranch has Grade A Large eggs for $4.19/dozen and Grade A Medium eggs for $3.79 (these will be here this Friday).

We now carry Way Back When Dairy's Butter. This all-natural butter is unsalted and costs $4.39 for an 8 oz tub. This high quality butter is excellent for baking.

The Goat Milk shortage is over! Since it is springtime, there were eleven kids born last week over at Water Oak Farm, supplier of our local goat milk and ice cream.  New kids means lots of milk for everyone!  Goat's milk is naturally homogenized and may be easy on those with an intolerance for the protein found in cow's milk.  A half gallon of milk is $7.19, a quart is just $3.99.

And did you know that Brown Cow low-fat and whole milk yogurt cups (6oz) are on sale this month for just 69 cents?


In The Grocery Aisle

Go Max Go Candy Bars

Sometimes it's all about getting that sugar fix. Go Max Go candy bars are the all vegan way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Made with rice milk chocolate and beet sugar, they're a more natural alternative to the common candy bar. You can find Go Max Go in four flavors at Wheatsville, including the Twilight bar with nougat and caramel covered in rice milk chocolate. Read more at These things are AMAZING! Seriously.

And, while on the subject of delicious vegan treats, don't forget about the Liz Lovely Cookies.


Set sail with Full Sail Beer

Full Sail Beer Sale! With UT graduations here and Memorial day on the way it is a great time to save on beers from the wonderful Full Sail Brewery from Oregon . For a limited time we will be offering a great deal on Full Sail Pale Ale, Full Sail I.P.A. and Full Sail Amber now only $6.49 regularly $7.49!

Full Sail Pale Ale has a fresh, hoppy aroma that comes from two Northwest hop varieties, while two-row Pale and Crystal malt give it a mild sweetness that finishes clean and crisp. Full Sail I.P.A. has a full, malty body and a subtle hint of fresh citrus to it. Full Sail Amber is a sweet, malty, medium-bodied ale with a spicy, floral hop finish. It's brewed with 2-row Pale, Crystal and Chocolate malts and Mt. Hoods and Cascades hops.Yum!


News from Bryan the butcher

Hey folk great specials in May.

Don't miss out one these deals:

Niman Ranch Beef Ribeye $16.99 lb regularly $18.99 lb.

Niman Ranch Beef Strip Steak $16.99 lb regularly $18.99 lb.

Organic Prairie Sliced Turkey $4.99 6 oz package

To you folks graduating... congratulations! This could be your last chance to get a great Niman Ribeye, or your favorite sustainable product, before moving away. Maybe you have a party planed for your graduation? We have lots of great party food for and easy way to have a guilt-free party.

Applegate Great Organic Beef hotdogs (made with grass-fed beef & certified humane) only $6.99 16 oz package.

Niman ranch Salamis are sinfully good and is easy food for party.

Look for plain italian salami $6.99, and herbed for $7.29.

Everyone loves when dinners are easy. Why dont you let wheatsville make dinners simpler. Pick up some new item in our "quick-to-fix" case next to the seafood. Check out our new items:

Seasoned Fajita meat $8.99 lb. Made with Niman beef skirt steaks, or when available local Windy Bar skirt steaks. Flavored with a blend of 6 peppers and spices. Guaranteed to impress.

Marinated Chicken Kabobs made with Buddy's natural chicken breast and fresh veggies $7.99 lb. Marinated in Wheatsville's own cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Bacon cheddar burgers made with local ingredients from Windy Bar ranch local beef and Veldhuizen "redneck" cheddar (made with beer). Also includes Niman ranch bacon. Easy to make on on the grill without having to buy every all the separate ingredients. One patty is all it takes, and you'll get hooked.

Float on over to Cheese Island

This weekend Is UT graduation and we have cheese trays for your graduation party.  Prices range from $9.99 for a small domestic cheese tray, $40 for the large domestic fruit and cheese tray, $60 for the gourmet fruit and cheese tray. We still have our Manchego on sale for $13.69/lb, regularly $16.29/lb. Also for a limited time we will be putting our Fleur de France 8 oz.  bries on sale for $5.29 ea. Also the Cabot Private Stock Cheddar is at a new low price of $5.99 each. It was $7.29 each. We now are stocking plain Havarti. It is $8.99/lb.

I hope you have a great week and weekend and best of luck and congratulations to all the graduating UT students!

Dan Gillotte

Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy

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Co-op Quilt:  Our Movement's Living History

by Patricia Cumbie


Ann Hoyt never envisioned that the stash of co-op t-shirts languishing in her dresser drawer had the potential to raise thousands of dollars, or be a catalyst for cooperation around the country.  As a director of the Urban Cooperative Initiative in Madison, WI she'd acquired quite a few of them on her travels around the country.


In the spring of 1997 Hoyt was searching for something to auction as a co-op education fundraiser.  The Howard Bowers Fund had been in existence for 5 years and her fundraising methods were getting "tired" Hoyt explained.  Someone suggested she make a quilt out of all the co-op t-shirts she'd gathered over the years, and auction that at the annual Consumer Co-op Managers Conference (CCMA).


"I didn't have time to sew, and I lack design sense," said Hoyt.  Undaunted, she enlisted the help of a few women she knew.  Anne Hopkins, a quilter who is manager of Good Food Co-op in Lexington, KY flew in to Madison, where Hoyt lives, to sew the quilt.  The quilt's designer is Anya Firszt, general manager of Willy St. Co-op in Madison.  The three of them spent four days sewing and putting it together.


"It was a wonderful experience.  We laughed, told co-op stories.  My husband fed us and a few friends stopped by to help," said Hoyt.  However, they did not totally complete the quilt those four days.  Keiko Sakuma-Neubauer from Kokua Country Foods Co-op in Honolulu hemmed the binding, finishing the quilt the night before the first auction in 1999.


Naturally, this quilt bearing the t-shirt logos of 54 co-ops caused a sensation the night it was unveiled.  From the reaction of the crowd, the quilt's creators knew they had a piece of living history that had to be shared.  "We knew this would be a nice thing to share, not kept in some stale lobby somewhere," said Anya Firszt. Auctioning the quilt for the privilege of displaying it, has given rise to the quilt traveling the country, shown at a number of food co-ops along the way.


"When I watch people look at the quilt, they look carefully to see what is in it, what they remember about co-ops.  I have stories for each of those t-shirts," Hoyt said.  One particular square on that quilt came about as a suggestion from Hoyt.  She had visited the Brattleboro Food Co-op in Vermont and saw a huge mobile of origami Peace Cranes they had erected one year.  "I was astounded, it was beautiful, marvelous," Hoyt said.  She suggested they make a t-shirt to commemorate the art.  They did, and it's on the quilt in the lower right-hand corner.


The quilt also has its own ironic legend.  "I've had so many people ask me, 'Anya, how could you work on the quilt and not even have your own store in it?" said Firszt.  Willy St. Co-op was not left out for long though, as two more "co-op quilts" were added to the auction and co-op circuit when Davis Food Co-op made one and then Hyde Park Co-op made a quilt in honor of the 70th Anniversary of their beginning in 1932.


In four years, the quilts have raised a total of nearly $38,000 for the Howard Bowers Fund, a co-op education endowment. They have also become an object of pride within the new-wave cooperative movement.

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