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Member Specials on Now!

DeeKayTee FarmNaturally-raised Meat from the Comox Valley at "farm-gate prices"! The Co-op is pleased to be offering chicken, beef, and pork from a new supplier, DeeKayTee Ranch. Dan and Maggie Thran have more than 30 years experience raising grass-fed beef on their 3rd generation family farm. 

NO hormones, feed additives, animal by-products, or processed feed are used in the production of their meat. Their cattle are pastured throughout the spring, summer, and fall, and chickens are raised seasonally to allow for natural foraging. The pork is raised in a loose barn with an outside yard for exercise, fresh air, sunshine and to do the things pigs enjoy. They are fed an all vegetable, barley-based feed and occassionally apples.

Click here to learn more about why naturally-raised meat is so much better for your health.

For the month of March, we will have farm-gate prices on meat from DeeKayTee Ranch and Victorian Acres right here at the Co-op! This is an introductory special to help promote the quality of these products.

Check out the back freezer for current selection, and let us know what you think! This promo will last while supplies last! Learn more >>> 

Eden Sauce
Eden Glass Jars of Crushed Tomatoes, Garlic & Onions - Now $4.75 (Reg. $5.70) This delicious organic tomato sauce, made with fresh, ripe, unpeeled Roma tomatoes is flavoured with the two delicious flavours of organic roasted onions and organic roasted garlic! It's stored in amber glass jars that prevent the sauce from photo-oxidation of nutrients and flavours (and not in cans with BPA). It's gluten-free and kosher. Learn more >>>

Kettle Baked Chips

Kettle Baked Chips Now $2.75tx (Reg. $3.30tx) Real potatoes, sliced and seasoned with fresh, all-natural ingredients. Then baked to crunchy perfection - without any trans fats, GMO ingredients or oils, or any other artificial whatchamacallits. The Co-op has salt & vinegar, cheddar, salted and BBQ! Learn more >>> 

Sugar and Spice & All Things Nice

Over the next few weeks, watch our bakery corner just inside the main door. More and more products will be seen, baked yummies will be more and more plentiful! Care of our new Co-op bakers, Lisa-Jo and Amy, these items will be appearing soon: Coming Soon!

• breads  virtuous muffin
• cookies 
• scones
• muffins
• croissants (chocolate, anyone?)
• bars and more
• fresh brewed coffees

Available every day, made fresh for  you!

The Co-op's bakery will meet several 'kneads':

• to increase the selection of fresh, wholesome,                delicious baked goods available at the Co-op;
• to replace baked goods which we were buying from        off-island;
• and, to create a sustainable, year-round, community      bakery that can build job skills and create long-term      jobs for the island.

New Bi-Monthly Member Draw!

Congratulations to Bruce Harrison and Claudia Raaen!! They were winners of our bi-monthly draws for a $25 gift certificate & free movie. You could win too!

Place your name & phone number on your receipt and into the beautiful and colourful (AND larger) box with happy faces all over it. Your receipts of over $25 make it even happier. We draw names every two weeks. Thanks Cortes!

Note from the Board

The Board wants our members to know how much extra unpaid hard work has been donated by our staff over the past months. It has made a huge difference to where we are today. The most important news is that with all these efforts, the Co-op has turned the corner!

We still have a long way to go financially, but we are on track to getting the Co-op back to profitability! With spring near, our sales volume is expected to increase whereas January sales were down 15% from last year. In spite of that, the sacrifices of our staff and the volunteers from our recent work bee has been inspiring and encouraging. It has made such a difference! Thank you so much!

Your Board of Directors

Our Goals for 2012 

• hire and train an assistant store manager (done) 
• hire and train a store manager (hired, details to finalize)
• implement clear staff policies (work-in-progress)
• improve working conditions for staff
• increase hours for all workers who want full time work before new    hires
• re-organize the Co-op's operating structure (work-in-progress)

• implementation of double-entry bookkeeping, maintained by a paid    bookkeeper (done)
• fund and install POSIM (point of sale system) by May 1st 
• fund and open in-store bakery by March 1st, open coffee bar inside seating      May (on track)
• conclude the land purchase with the best outcome for the Co-op
• install a septic field

• build a culture based on teamwork, customer service, accountability and    responsibility
Soccer• gravel the parking lot to reduce summer dust
• re-organize and increase dried fruit and nut section (work-in-progress)
• simplify ordering and receiving procedures
• build a better relationship with farmers and help increase local food supply

• improve store lighting and signage
• improve exterior maintenance of property
• improve store merchandising
• reduce in store theft and shrinkage
• improve freshness, selection and quality of produce department (we have    started and will improve in April when we get 2 deliveries per week)

• increase selection of animal proteins and products from Vancouver Island and local    growers (work-in-progress)
• restore profitability of the Co-op
• institute more member benefits and select pricing for members on "specials"

New Products!

Divine ChocolateDivine Organic Chocolate - At the heart of Divine’s heavenly tasting chocolate there is a unique story. Not only do the Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ receive a Fairtrade price for their cocoa, but they also own 45% of the company and, therefore, have a direct influence over how the company is run and share in the profits from the chocolate. Learn more >>>

Cuisine Soleil

Cuisine Soleil Chickpea Flour - Cuisine Soleil has a whole line of organic, gluten-free flours. Chickpea flour is a vegetable protein, with vitamins, minerals and fibers and is a good source of iron. Cuisine Soleil is a Québec-based, family business, founded by Marc Paquin and Blandine Arseneault. Learn more >>>

Udi's Gluten-free Whole Grain Loaf - This bread has been in high demand; many Islanders like to pre-order it. You might be happy to know it is NOW in the back freezer! Learn more >>>

Have you noticed...

... we've sped up? High Speed

Yes, you've been spending less time in the Co-op line lately. Our Moneris terminal, which allows you to pay with a debit or credit card, has gone high speed! And — you can now use plastic on both tills! 

Even better news? During power outages, you can still use your card — the slow way — Moneris on the dial-up connection. 

Local Profile: Island Bison

BisonMany islanders are celebrating this family-run farm! Island Bison has brought grass-fed, local meat to us West Coasters. Their bison are raised in a clean, natural environment without chemicals, hormones or steroids.

The Island Bison farming family bought their land in Black Creek from Timberwest Forest Products, and their farm came into existence in 2002.

Name Your Cuts!

We now regularly carry Island Bison's products.

Email us to let us know your specific requests for cuts of meat that you would like to have in the store.

When you drive by their farm on Hamm Road, those massive creatures can be seen out to pasture. Even from a long way off, you can see the distinctive shape of buffalo — their bulky shoulders towering above their heads!

With bison, you can expect the same cuts as with beef: roasts, steaks, ground bision, short ribs, stew, breakfast sausage and sandwich meat. They have absolutely delicious smoked products: bacon, summer sausage, Italian sausage, pepperoni (different sizes and spicy!), smokies, coils and weiners. Organ meats are also available.

For more information about their farm and products, visit their website.

Nature's Meat Is Such a Treat

Announcing real meat the way nature intended: grass-fed, naturally-raised and pastured animals!

Now you can find nature's meat in your Co-op:

• bison
• beef
• pork
• turkey
• chicken
• line-caught, wild Pacific salmon

Did you know that commercial meat is loaded not only with harmful toxins, antibiotics and unhealthy residues? And that feeding grain to livestock changes the composition of healthy fats to a toxic overload of harmful Omega-6s?

Grass-fed beef contains a perfect balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3s, in the ratio of 2:1. The 3s are the ones we all need more of — that's why fish oils have become so popular.

Grain-fed, commercial beef has a super toxic ratio of 20:1 or sometimes as high as 50:1. Yikes! Add in the Meat Freezerbio-concentrated toxins and antibiotics found in prison animals and no wonder red meat has gotten a bum rap in many quarters as being harmful to you!

Commercial meat is not healthy if it is not the way nature intended it, which is free-grazing animals munching on their perfect food — grass. They convert that chlorophyll-rich nutrient into a wonderfully healthy form where the fat is beneficial to us and not something to be avoided.

You can find all of our meat in the freezer at the back of the store. Most is from Vancouver Island or right from Cortes when available.

Staff Profile: Bianca

How long have you been working at the Co-op?  biancasprofile.jpg
Three years.

What are your roles at the Co-op? 
I'm the new "Customer Service Manager." My duties include working the till, communicating with local vendors, supporting co-workers, organizing meetings and staff development days, and a variety of administrative tasks. I welcome questions and suggestions from members by email.

What do you like most about working at the Co-op?
I love helping to increase food security on the island. I enjoy working with farmers and supporting the fabulous Co-op staff. It's great to work at a business committed to reinvesting profits in the community, and I like being part of islander's daily lives.

What are your other interests or hobbies or work?
When I'm not at the Co-op, I'm usually spending time with my husband and our four-year old son at our homestead in Whaletown. We raise chickens and pigs. I like to garden, sing, and read.

What does your ideal Co-op look like?
My ideal Co-op would be sparkling clean, full of fresh local produce, lively music, and laughter. It would have a wonderful deli and fresh-baked goods. There would be clear signage of where products are from and whether they're organic or not. It would have a gardening section, seeds, and plant starts. And I wouldn't have to wear long johns and a toque to work.

Please welcome Bianca, our new Assistant Store Manager!

Bianca has a strong background in customer service, organizational management and an attention to detail that we have been so in need of.

She used to work for CIDA and at UBC. She is the first step in our goal of creating a proper management structure for the Co-op, and we are thrilled to have her advance into this new position.

We have also hired a new general manager who we hope will be starting in April after we finalize some details. More in the next newsletter.

Your not bored Board!

RAW Recipes: Zucchini Spaghetti & Corn Salsa

By Tanya Krahn

Make noodles with one medium zucchini. Marinate with:

• 1 clove of garlic,              crushed
• 1/2 juiced lemon
• 2 tbls olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt

(Add sliced shitakes if desired.)

• 1c fresh or frozen corn
• 1 chopped tomato
• 1/2 chopped red onion
• 1/2 chopped red pepper
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• splash of Bragg's

Roll together and garnish with sliced almonds and dried olives.

DVDs at the Co-op

Please return your movies on time; your fellow Co-op members are waiting for them, especially the new releases. You owe $1.00 per day per DVD for every late day. If you are not sure, ask the staff to check whether it's overdue.

Irene is busily checking out lists of the best films of 2011 and ordering them as they come available on DVD.

Ides of March
: Fictional US presidential race directed by George Clooney starring himself as well as Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood and Philip Seymour Hoffman. meek.jpg

Meeks Cutoff: Western/survival story set in 1845 - a wagon train on the Oregon Trail gets lost in the Cascade Mountains.

Certified Copy

Certified Copy: Playful and provocative romantic drama set in Tuscanny starring Juliette Binoche.


Lady Chatterley: French version of this famous and erotic story.

Up the Yangtze

Up the Yangtze: Documentary about changes in China from the perspective of one teenaged girl whose family home will be flooded by the Three Gorges Dam, and she sets off to work on a luxury cruise ship on the river.

Life in a Day: YouTube-generated film captures life around the world on a specific day, presented by National Geographic and getting raves from the critics.

Buck: Acclaimed documentary about the real life "horse whisperer."

The Interrupters: From the director of Hoop Dreams, this documentary about a group called CeaseFire, which employs streetwise ex-cons as 'Violence Interrupters' on the tough streets of inner city Chicago. Favourite of many critics.

 Family Films


Dolphin Tale: Everyone will enjoy this one starring a rescued dolphin with a damaged tail and the boy who found him.

Puss in Boots: Character from Shrek gets his own story.

Lady and the Tramp

Some of the 2012 Academy Award Nominated films are not yet released on DVD, but several of the nominees and winners are already available at the Co-op. Winners in blue, nominees in black. Great to see that Beginners got one Oscar; it is an excellent film. The Artist won Best Picture/Best Director and more; it will be available at the Co-op by the end of April.

Midnight in Paris: Best Original Screenplay (winner) Best Picture, Best Director, Art Direction (nominated)
Beginners: Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer (winner)
The Help: Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer (winner) and Jessica Chastain (nominated); Best Actress Viola Davis (nominated)
Rango: Best Animated Film (winner)
Ides of March: Adapted Screenplay (nominated)
If a Tree Falls: a Story of the Earth Liberation Front: Best Documentary (nominated)
A Better Life: Best Actor Demian Bichir (nominated)
The Tree of Life: Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography (nominated)
Margin Call: Original Screenplay (nominated)
Puss in Boots: Best Animated Film (nominated)
Jane Eyre: Costume Design (nominated)

Articles and Links of Interest

300,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto in Federal Court
Jane Ayers, Reader Supported News
Willie Nelson calls for "Occupy the Food System" and over 300,000 organic farmers, organic seed growers, and organic seed businesses are represented by 83 plaintiffs in a court case that addresses Monsanto's long-time harrassment of organic farmers for "patent infringement." Learn more >>>
To Make A Farm
To Make a Farm
Canadian Film, Orangeville Road Pictures
Selected as one of the top 10 most popular films at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Learn more >>>

Urban Roots
Tree Media Group, YouTube
Inspirational! The cycle of life and of pioneering communities when the fleeting world of money and industry dry up. Learn more >>>

Powerful Testimony at Enbridge Pipeline Hearings
Sierra Club BC
Powerful testimony at the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review panel this week went viral on the Internet, as Lee Brain, the son of an oil man, spoke out against the proposed China-backed, Enbridge pipeline. Learn more >>>