If this email doesn't look beautiful, please click here.

Holiday Hours

December 24: 9am-4pm
December 25: Closed
December 26: 12pm-6pm
December 31: 9am-7pm
January 1: Closed

MEETING of MEMBERS
Thursday January 12, 7pm at Manson's Hall

Please join us at this meeting where we can:

1. update you with current information and finances
2. answer all your questions
3. itemize the operational challenges and what we are doing to address them
4. ask members to join the Board and take on projects
5. ask for volunteers to take on some projects:

- Finance Committee
- Marketing Committee
- Clean-up Committee
- Café Committee
- Membership Committee: upgrade and maintain contact list, collect fees
- Bakery Committee: help with our business plan and product lines
- Procurement Committee: finders of used equipment the Co-op needs
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Inventory Takers: at our year-end in February!
- Construction: shelving projects; bread racks; door installation; porches
- Organizing "shop at the Co-op drives" 

Member Specials on NOW!

Green & Black's Cherry Dark Chocolate Bars - Now $3.50 (reg. $4.15) Organic, premium chocolate that is ethically sourced. Dazzle your holiday guests with this unique blend of cherry wrapped in bittersweet dark chocolate. Visit their website.

Honey Candles Tapers - Now $2.70 (reg. $3.20) 100% Pure Beeswax candles with zinc and lead-free wicks, made in Kaslo, BC. They're perfect for dinner parties, special occasions and as hostess gifts. Bring the warm glow of beeswax to your Christmas! Visit their website.

Dr. Kracker Organic Crackers - Now $4.25 (reg. $5.05) These intensely-flavoured, traditionally prepared flatbread crackers with "uber crunch" are bold additions to snacks and meals. Two stupendous flavours on sale now: Pumpkin Cheddar and Seeded Spelt. Visit their website.



New & Local Products!

Island Bison Ranch - We now carry bison from Black Creek on Vancouver Island in the freezer at the back left, along with our salmon, pork and beef from Linnaea Farm. Island Bison Ranch is committed to providing the best quality buffalo meat products. Their bison are raised in a clean and natural environment without the use of chemicals, hormones or steroids. Visit their website.

We are also selling free-range, naturally-raised chicken from Vancouver Island.  

So come check out these very high quality local items! We will source more and more meat items in the weeks to come.

Lisa Jo's Bagels and Bread - If you have smelled the irresistable fragrance of fresh-baked bread when you come into the co-op, thank Lisa Jo! She is keeping the in-store coffee bar well-stocked with several varieties of baked goods: Artisan, Everyman’s, Hippy Wonderbread and other TREATS. 

Turkeys! - At long last we are going to have high-quality, real free-run turkeys for the Christmas season from a small farm in Comox Valley. They will arrive fresh or frozen (your choice) before Christmas. You have to pre-order them at the counter or by phone. (935.8577)

We applaud and appreciate the open-mindedness and accommodation of our non-carnivorous staff and members. “Chacun son gout.”


New Bi-Monthly Member Draw!

Congratulations Garnette Blackie! She was the month-end winner of our bi-monthly draws for a $25 gift certificate & free movie. You could win too! Every time you make a purchase over $25, place your name & phone number on the receipt and into the box. We'll draw a name every two weeks. Thanks Cortes!

Café News

We have more information to bring you up to date...

Further information was requested about why the café was closed. The main financial reasons for closing the café are simple. The Co-op just doesn't have the funds.

Last month the Co-op (store and café combined) generated less than $14,000 in Gross Profit (i.e. the difference between product it sold and product it bought). This does not include any operating costs such as payroll, hydro, etc.

The payroll alone for last month outstripped Gross Profit considerably at more than $17,000. Approximately $7,000 of that payroll came from the café. The café losses for this period (which include food input costs, hydro, propane, etc.) have not yet been calculated.

As you can see, the Co-op can barely afford to pay its store workers. As much as we all (board, staff and membership) want the café, sadly there is no money available to carry it. At risk of losing both, we opted to focus on the Co-op.

That said, operating costs, staff wages and hours were all reduced. All staff members are doing a lot of extras for free to help us along.

Due to lack of septic system, washrooms, resources to administrate and oversee it, and liability issues, the café won’t be rented out for events. Temporary access to the kitchen will continue as long as requirements are met.

We are initiating our planning process to open the café some time in February/March as a simple bakery to start, adding more products as success warrants expansion.

The whole operation needs to be fine-tuned so that the Co-op can return to a balanced state as quickly as possible. We have a sense of confidence about this new stage. With improved fiscal management, it is now possible to see how we are doing at any given moment and to make the changes necessary to become stronger.

A Helping Hand from the CCCU 

The Coastal Community Credit Union has recently gone out of their way to extend a $15,000 line of credit to us. They want to support the CNFC as they recognize it as an important local institution and have confidence in the new Board and its Finance Committee.

Thank you so much Coastal Community Credit Union for this vote of confidence! 


The Land Purchase

We have received an offer from the School Board to buy the land!

Due to our present financial state and in order to take advantage of the offer, we need bridge financing from a local investor who would carry a mortgage for us for 2 years. The land is necessary for tenure security and being able to invest in a septic system. Experience with the provincial and municipal stakeholders to date tells us that the window for this opportunity will close. Time is of the essence!

If you want to help the Coop have long-term security, or know someone who can, then please contact us. Click on anyone below to send an email.

Richard Andrews
Ron Bazar

The Board

Are you the next CNFC Manager?

We are looking for a manager for the Co-op for 2012 and beyond.

Salary: nothing to start, rising as we can afford.

Please apply to: board2011@cortescoop.ca

(We're not joking!)

Calling All Angels!

We are finding ourselves in a position to ask for help from you, our dear membership. Our Christmas Wish List starts with:

- Some nice track lighting. We would like to improve our poor lighting. If anyone has any that they can bring our way, please do drop them off for us. It would be greatly appreciated. 

 - Clean, large plastic tote boxes would be helpful for us for washing our produce before putting it out. Have you noticed that the produce is slowly getting better? We are making efforts every week. You will find discounted produce on the far left side of the cooler now.


Local Profile: Melissa's Fabulous Hats!

Melissa's Fabulous Hats are a culmination of a lifetime of passion for beautiful fabrics, sewing and design. Inspired by many eras and cultures, Melissa creates hats of diverse styles, from the traditional newsboy, to more urban looks, and hooded creations embellished with textiles and beads from other lands. “My goal is to create gorgeous hats that will be loved and well-used, and that are both beautiful and practical.”

Many of the fabrics she uses are ‘upcycled’ or ‘repurposed,’ giving new life to clothing that is no longer being worn. She also makes use of small pieces that are leftover from the manufacturing processes of others. “Often there is only a small piece of exquisite fabric leftover from what others make, and it’s just enough. A one-of-a-kind hat is born!”

This winter’s hats are constantly appearing and a sample can be seen at the Cortes Natural Food Co-op. There is always something new flying off the machine, ready to find its home. "Seeing a person’s face completely light up as they try on the right hat is a real joy for me.”

Melissa welcomes inquiries, commissions and custom orders. You can visit her in her studio, by appointment, to arrange for a custom-made hat. She looks forward to expanding her displays to Quadra Island, Campbell River, Whistler, and internationally via the Internet. She can be reached at 935-0199.

RAW Recipe: Nog'n'Truffles

By Tanya Krahn

Manuka Honey Truffles

1/2 cup coconut butter softened
1/2 cup manuka honey
1/3 cup ground frozen goji berries (grinds easier)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
4 tbls ground bee pollen
3 tsp maca powder

Process smooth and roll into small balls, then coat with: 
4 tbls coconut oil
3 tbls maple syrup
2 tsp chlorella
5 tbls cacao powder

You can roll some in coconut, some with ground hemp seeds and some with ground cacao beans.

After a few of these, you could probably pull Santa's sleigh all night...

Raw Nog

2 cups almond hemp milk
1/2 cup cashews
5 soaked dates
cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt to taste
a dash of tumeric for color

Happy Holidays and Blessings for Peace on Earth!

NEW DVDs at the Co-op!

Some of the DVDs are here; some will arrive just in time for you to enjoy a few flicks over the holidays. Check back in a week or two. 

The Big Bang Theory Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4: Do you need a good laugh? Try this TV comedy about nerdy genius physicists. Each season (over 6 hours!) counts as one rental.

Thrive: What on Earth Will it Take?: This is a well-done documentary about how to solve the problems of our planet. Check out their website.

Play Again: This moving and humorous documentary unplugs 6 teenagers who spend 5 to 15 hours a day behind screens, and takes them on their first wilderness adventure.

Desert Flower: Based on the true story of Waris Dirie's incredible journey - from African nomad to international fashion model to UN human rights activist against genital mutilation.

Beginners: Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer star in this moving father/son drama. An elderly widow confesses that he is gay to his adult son.

Jack Goes Boating: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Ryan are two awkward NY single people who find the courage to pursue a budding relationship.

The Future: Quirky new drama from Miranda July who debuted with You, Me and Everyone We Know.

Water for Elephants: A veterinarian and circus performer meet during the Depression at a circus.

Private Lives of Pippa Lee: Robin Wright Penn acts out her mid-life crisis.

Submarine: Sardonic humor distinguishes this original coming-of-age story.

Patrik Age 1.5: A Swedish gay couple want to adopt a baby, but end up with a troubled teenager instead.

A Better Life: Touching, multi-generational drama about a Mexican immigrant father and his son in LA.

Articles of Interest

The Food Rush
Hazel Healy, New Internationalist Magazine
Learn how investment and speculation in the world food markets affects food prices, food and wealth distribution Read More>>>

Friend of a Farmer: Why Small-scale Ag Needs Community
Steph Larsen, Grist
Nourishing the farmers in our community with community. Social fertilization.
Read More>>>

Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields
Anthony Gucciardi, Natural Society
Hungary has taken a bold stand against Monsanto and banned all GM seeds within its boundaries. Upon discovering 1000 acres of GM maize, the entire crop was confiscated. Read More>>>

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wishing all members and friends a very merry holiday season and an incredible New Year. We thank you for your support and kind feedback. It sure is appreciated!

From the Staff, Board and Volunteers