PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Archive for the ‘Community Involvement’ Category

NEW process for our Beans for Bags program

July 12th, 2018 by Andrea Stafford

Developing Our Local Food System

January 15th, 2018 by Andrea Stafford

Picture of Dharma Ridge Farm –

by Laura Llewellyn, Produce Manager

A lot of the work I do is focused on developing our local food system, which comes in a complex array of shapes and sizes. It’s not just about the farmers or our local producers of value-added products. It’s also about the schools, the restaurants, the farmer’s markets, all the grocery stores and various institutions. It’s about the gleaners and the food bank, the policy workers and the leaders of our community, the home gardeners and CSA members. It’s about each and every one of you. Naturally, eating is the one thing we all share in common.

Currently, I am The Food Co-op’s representative on the Jefferson County Local Food System Council (JCLFSC). Our mission: Working together to create, expand, and strengthen a local food system that is accessible, healthy, sustainable, and economically vibrant.
The JCLFSC was founded in 2015 and is comprised of about 20 volunteers who meet once a month. Each member represents a different sector of our food system. Much of the last three years has been spent on dialoging, networking and mapping. The result of this work is just starting to ripple out into the community.

The Food Council has two main committees in addition to the Executive Committee. The Policy Committee has spent considerable time drafting input to the Comprehensive Plan for both Port Townsend and Jefferson County. The Education and Outreach Committee is currently working with the Eat Local Campaign on two main fronts (more on this campaign to come). First is a farmer meetup on January 5 to plan how to increase local food use by restaurants.

The goal of this meeting is to strengthen relationships and thus purchasing power between farmers and chefs county-wide. Second is an initiative to start a number of Menu for the Future discussion courses. In the winter, groups will be meeting for six weeks all over the county to discuss food-related topics. Anyone can participate in this grassroots educational opportunity. For more information on the JCLFSC or if interested in signing up for a Menu for the Future group, email Judy Alexander at

Through the workings of The Food Co-op and the Food Council, an Eat Local First campaign has been born. More accurately, the campaign is still in its inception stage. After three meetings, a group has surfaced that shares the common goal of turning up the dial on local food consumption. We are taking inspiration from the work Sustainable Connections is doing in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. The steering committee is working to identify our vision and mission, create structure for the campaign and find funding. If you are interested in learning more as the details unfold, joining our efforts or contributing any resources to the campaign, you can email me at

I have found that many of the conversations I have personally and professionally about eating local comes back to the topic of education. It might be information about certain products or vendors, actually getting people to taste the food, info about general nutrition, the economics of local businesses, or simply a story that paints a picture in one’s mind. Bottom line, our food system is comprised of the choices we make three or more times per day. These decisions are made for many reasons, ranging from budget, to diet, to access, or to what we simply crave. All I ask is, next time you have a choice to make, think about eating local. Every dollar spent in our community multiplies within our community. Since we are what we eat, it serves every one of us to learn more about where our food comes from.

What we did in 2017:

❀ Held a thank you dinner/workshop with local farmers

❀ Bought from 122 different local farmers and makers

❀ Purchased over $1.2 million in goods from local producers

❀Added the amount of local dollars you spent at the Co-op to your register receipt

❀ Gave microloans totaling $10,000 to 2 local farms.

2016 Annual Meeting June 5

May 13th, 2016 by Sharon Dauenhauer

Hello Fellow Cooperators!

The Food Co-op Board of Directors would like to invite you to our Annual Meeting June 5, 3:00-7:00pm at the Palindrome.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Co-ops in our Community” and we are fortunate to have cooperative expert—and Cooperative Hall of Fame inductee—David Thompson as our guest speaker. Representatives from many local cooperatives will also be attending, so you can find out all about what they do, not to mention play Co-op Bingo for a chance to win a Food Co-op gift card.

First you’ll learn how The Food Co-op prospered in 2015. Next board member David Wayne Johnson will give us an overview of our local co-ops and then introduce David Thompson, who will speak about the history of cooperatives and our exciting future. After his talk, we’ll have food, Co-op Bingo, and music! The Paella House will serve veggie paella and salad (with arugula, spinach, Manchego cheese, etc.); Eaglemount wine and cider will be available for purchase; and local musicians will play old-time music.

RSVP before May 30, and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 Food Co-op gift card! (You must be present at the annual meeting to win). Click here to RSVP.

Please carpool, if possible. You can look for a ride or offer a ride at the ride share board at the front of the store. In addition, the Co-op has contracted with the PTeRider, the new electric shuttle service in town, to carry 14 member-owners from the Co-op to the Palindrome and back. For a chance to be one of the 14, please submit the form under Board’s board in the store by May 23.

See you at the Palindrome,We are stronger together

Janet Welch, Board President
Monica le Roux, Vice President
Lisa Barclay, Secretary
David Wayne Johnson, Treasurer
Peter Bonyun, Board Member
Catherine Durkin, Board Member
Patricia Smith, Board Member

The Food Co-op Annual Meeting

June 5th, 3-7pm
The Palindrome, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road, Port Townsend, WA

3:00 -3:45            General Meeting and Member Questions
3:45-4:00             David Wayne Johnson talks Co-ops in Our Community
4:00-5:00             David Thompson Talks Cooperative History and Future
5:00-7:00             Co-op Bingo, Mingling, Paella, and Old-Time Music

The Eaglemount Tasting Room will be open during the meeting.

Meet Our Guest Speaker David J. Thompson

David Thompson lives and breathes co-ops. He grew up near Rochdale, England, the home of the Society of Equitable Pioneers, usually considered the birthplace of the consumer co-op. After emigrating to the U.S. in the 1960s, he became immersed in the civil rights and anti-war movements. Seeing the immense numbers of people gathered in marches and rallies, David realized that if they worked together in cooperatives, they could change the world. Since then, he’s been involved in many kinds of cooperatives in many countries—from helping found a cooperative bank in the U.S. to working to get blacks into cooperatives in apartheid South Africa to helping cooperatives behind the Iron Curtain to building cooperative housing. Maybe he could give Port Townsend some tips on cooperative housing!

Today David is president of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, which collects and distributes grants to cooperatives all over the United States. One of its most interesting campaigns—Give Where You Live—creates individual co-op funds, enabling co-op members and shoppers to make donations to an endowment that in turn donates to local nonprofits.

David is also a prolific writer on co-ops, including Weavers of Dreams about the founding of the modern cooperative movement as well as innumerable articles. And he even makes time to write short fiction. At the annual meeting, he will tell us about the history of cooperatives as well as the wealth of opportunities for cooperatives in the future.

Good Food Needs Great Leadership

March 1st, 2016 by Sharon Dauenhauer

Board RecruitIt’s board election season at The Food Co-op again! Is serving on the Board a job for you? We are looking for people who believe in good food, community, and cooperation.

Food because as a co-op begun in the 70s, good food is our heritage. Community because we’re a member-owned business, closely tied to the welfare of our neighborhood. And cooperation because—besides the fact that co-ops are an alternative to corporations—active cooperation and collaboration are the way the board works.

So we need people who can listen and learn from six other board members, a general manager, and six thousand members! As we like to say, the best board members are those who play well with others.

Board members also need to be able to play the long game. Being on the board is not about getting things done fast or running the store; it’s about envisioning and planning our future. Plus, of course, there are meetings, so you need to have patience. But our meetings are well organized and the business part is straight forward and quick, so we have time to talk about the important issues. And we’re a jolly group—those meetings speed by before we know it, and then we’re off to celebrate and talk some more at a nearby beverage establishment.

So stop by to check out a board meeting, and pick up a candidate package at the Member Services Desk or download one here: 2016 Candidate Packet Final.
Candidate applications are due March 15, and voting takes place May 2-15.

Board meetings:
First Tuesday of each Month
The Food Co-op Annex
2110 Lawrence St.
5:30 to 8:30

We hope to see you soon!

Board Leadership Can Work for You

February 25th, 2016 by Sharon Dauenhauer

BOD Tractor PhotoAnd it can even be fun!

You are invited to join the Food Co-op Board for a discussion on how to make board work sustainable and fun. Meet your board members, learn about their experiences, and join in the conversation!

This discussion will start off our next Board meeting Tuesday March 1, 5:30pm at the Food Co-op Annex (2110 Lawrence St.)

For more information about this event, please contact Rachel at 379-5798 or

The Food Co-op is currently accepting applications from members who wish to run for the Board. Application packets are available at the Member Services Desk in the store and can be downloaded here.

Welcome New Board Members!

December 17th, 2015 by Sharon Dauenhauer

Please welcome our new board members, Catherine Durkin and Owen Rowe.

Catherine Durkin webFor the past four years, Catherine has worked at Midori Farm, and if you shop the Wednesday Farmers Market, you’ve probably already met her. We are excited to get a farmer’s perspective on the board. She is passionate about food access and about the availability of local, organic food, plus she has a keen interest in health and nutrition education. In addition, she was part of an eating cooperative at college and is a member of the Jefferson County Local Food System Council, so she understands collaboration and working cooperatively within a group. You can see she will be a perfect fit for the Coop!

Owen Rowe webOwen may be familiar to you, as he volunteers in many places around the community, including the film festival. He is current the Program Manager for  Jefferson Community School and is a member of the Port Townsend Arts Commission. He is a man of many talents and interests, from software development to literature, from program management to psychology. And while he excels in analysis and detail, Owen also enjoys collaborative visioning and project planning, which will be invaluable in the months ahead.  We look forward to his input as we chart our future.

Why New Board Members Now?

Current Board Member Henry Werch is moving to Portland and so will be retiring from the board in January 2016. In order to fill the gap that he leaves, as well as encourage new board recruits, we decided to temporarily expand the board to nine members, which is the maximum number allowed in our bylaws. With a unanimous vote, the board can add new members, who then serve until the next board election. So we posted the openings on the board’s bulletin board at the front of the store and on our website. Owen and Catherine attended board and committee meetings, and we are delighted they decided to apply. At our November 2015 meeting, the board voted unanimously in both cases to invite them to join the board. If they like the work, they can run for a full three-year term in May 2016.

We are thrilled to have them join us!

Co-op Wins EPA Emissions Award

October 13th, 2015 by

Scott and Rene Food Co-op Roof 2015

Food Co-op staff Scott Marble (left) and René Tanner sit atop the co-op’s roof next to the low-temperature compressor with an iced-over visible accumulator. Marble and Tanner’s attention to the co-op’s refrigeration systems earned them an award for best emissions rate from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership.

The Port Townsend Food Co-op has earned the GreenChill 2014 Achievement Award for Best Emissions Rate from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership. This award goes to the partner with the lowest corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate of all the 11,000 partners which includes well-known retailers such as Target, Whole Foods Market, Hanover Co-op stores and many others.

Refrigerants used by supermarkets are harmful to the environment when emitted into the atmosphere; some harm the ozone layer, and most are very potent greenhouse gases. Refrigerants that are commonly used in supermarket refrigeration systems are anywhere from 1,800 to 4,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.

“For comparison, our emissions rate for 2014 was 2.6 percent or 12 pounds of refrigerant, said René Tanner, Facilities and Maintenance Manager for The Food Co-op. “A typical supermarket leaks 1,000 pounds into the atmosphere annually. That is because we do in-house preventative maintenance on our refrigeration equipment and catch things early before they become a large problem. We also work with a responsive refrigeration contractor, Mayda Mechanical LLC.”

The EPA’s GreenChill Partnership works with supermarkets to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The Partnership helps supermarkets transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants; reduce harmful refrigerant emissions; and adopt greener refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices.

For more information on the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, please visit Anyone may use the EPA’s climate change calculator for references to put the climate impact of refrigerants into context. It calculates equivalency results for passenger vehicles, gallons of gasoline, forests, etc. Find it at

To learn more about The Food Co-op’s environmental efforts, please read the store’s recently published 2014 Sustainability Report.

DARK Act – The Next Step

July 27th, 2015 by

Dark ActThank you to all who called your U.S. House representative regarding the DARK Act, aka HB 1599. If you called Rep. Derek Kilmer, it was effective. He voted “no.” However, this legislation did indeed pass the House, and that was expected. Of the 10 Representatives from Washington State, 6 voted “no” and 4 voted “yes.” Here is how the vote went down in the entire House:

The next step for the bill is the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, it is calculated that a vote going along Republican party lines would need 5 or 6 Democrat Senators to pass. As the Senate vote draws closer, we will ask you to call U.S. Senators Murray and Cantwell. Thank you!


Stop the DARK Act!

July 21st, 2015 by

gmo hb 1599On Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on an anti-labeling act for GMOs. Known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 by its advocates and the DARK Act by its opponents, it is more generically known as HB 1599. We oppose this law as does the National Co-op Grocers, the food co-op cooperative of which we are a member.

This law would block mandatory GMO labeling at the state and national levels. You can learn more about the bill by reading “DARK Act is moving through Congress quickly.”

If you are also opposed to HB 1599, we urge you to contact your House representative. If you live on the Olympic Peninsula, your congressman is Rep. Derek Kilmer. He can be reached through the above link or by calling 202-225-5916 (District of Columbia) or 360-797-3623 (Port Angeles). 

Annual Meeting May 31: Meet Our Guest Speakers

April 28th, 2015 by Sharon Dauenhauer

The Food Co-op Annual Meeting will take place Sunday, May 31, 3-6pm at the Northwest Maritime Center. Please join us!

Meet Our Guest Speakers:

Beth Robinette & Joel Williamson

“When I think about ‘local food system rock-stars,’ I think of Beth.” says Rachel Williams, the Food Co-op’s board assistant, who attended Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) with both Robinette and Williamson.

“Beth is one of the most passionate, intelligent, hard working and inspiring people I know working on building healthy local food systems from the ground up. I’m very excited about what she and Joel are doing with Local Inland Northwest Cooperative (LINC) Foods, and I can’t wait to have them share their successes and vision with our co-op community here in Port Townsend.”

Beth Robinette and Joel Williamson are the co-founder of LINC Foods, a co-op that distributes food from member farmers in the Spokane area to restaurants, school districts, and university food service.

Since launching in the summer of 2014, membership has grown from 13 to 28 farmers and producers. They have provided local food to all of the area school districts, and Gonzaga University Food Service is an enthusiastic customer.

Joel & Beth of LINC Foods

Beth is a fourth-generation rancher managing Lazy R Ranch where her family uses holistic management practices to raise grass-fed beef. Joel is also an area native with roots in agriculture. They met while earning master’s degrees from Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot and decided to work together to launch LINC Foods. They recently won a $25,000 award through a business accelerator program at the University of Washington called the Jones Foster Business Accelerator for their great work with LINC.

Annual Meeting Agenda:

3-4 pm: Review of The Food Co-op in 2014 by Board President Janet Welch and General Manager Kenna Eaton, plus questions and member discussion.

4-5 pm: Keynote by guest speakers Beth Robinette and Joel Williamson, founders of LINC Foods, a new cooperative food hub in Spokane, WA, followed by an overview of our local food system by Food Co-op board member David Wayne Johnson, summarizing The State of Our Local Food System Report, prepared by The Food Co-op’s Food System Development Committee. (View PDFs here: Report Draft 5.31.15, Appendices 5.31.15).

5-6 pm: Mingle while snacking on bites of local foods, explore an online interactive map our local food system, and play “People Bingo” (perhaps win a prize!)