PT Food Co-op

Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Open Every Day 8am-9pm
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Meet the Candidates: Owen Rowe

April 28th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

The Food Co-op Board of Directors election is coming up May 2-15, 2016. You can read more about the election, and all of the candidates, on the Board Elections page.

You are also invited to join the candidates for cake, coffee, tea and conversation at our Meet the Candidates event on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm in The Food Co-op dining room.

In the mean time, we will be introducing the candidates one by one here on the blog. Four candidates are running for four available seats. This blog features Owen Rowe. The other candidates are Marty Canaday, David Wayne Johnson, and Monica le Roux.

Owen Rowe webOwen Rowe

1. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy.

I have always identified strongly with collaborative and cooperative ways of working. As a Port Townsend resident off and on since 1997, I see the Food Coop as one of the centers of our unique culture. Helping steward this resource so that it can grow and thrive for future generations is one of the most meaningful ways I can think of to give back to PT.

2. Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors?

Having served by appointment since November 2015, I find that the issues, the process, and the people are perhaps the most engaging show in town. There are some huge decisions coming up about facilities and market position, and I want to see them through. I am not tied to any specific plan of action, but I am tied to completing the process in an open, collaborative, and above all imaginative way.

3. Describe your interests, experience, and expertise that may contribute to the Board’s activities.

I am a writer and translator, an arts and education organizer, and a systems thinker from my years in the software business. For many years I have served as a board member, volunteer, or staff in arts, culture, and community organizations. I currently serve on the PT Arts Commission and the Friends of the PT Library board, and work at Jefferson Community School.

4. What experiences have you had contributing to successful group efforts?

Whether on a work team or as part of a community organization, I feel most of service in two contexts: when digging into the details of a chosen project, and when debating the most (seemingly) abstract and philosophical issues of mission and strategy. I work to see that our end result is both in alignment with our highest callings, and accurate to the pixel. Either the whole forest with all its interconnections, or the intricate mechanisms of a single tree: not much in between.

5. The Strategic Plan’s first long range goal is Market Position, and it includes the following strategy: Develop and implement our long term facilities plan. What do you think should be considered in developing such a plan?

The sustainability of our community and our Coop in the long term–20, 50, or 100 years. As a community-owned business, we have an obligation to think inclusively about issues of food security and access, cultural and agricultural sustainability, and resiliency in the face of climate change and corporate capitalism. The Coop is physically and culturally one of the centers of PT, and both aspects must be maintained; a thriving Coop can and should be one of the key indicators of a thriving PT.

6. How would you encourage greater member-owner involvement in elections, member-owner forums and meetings?

Considered broadly, this is what attracted me to join the board in the first place. I think the Coop could do a better job creating value (not just monetary) around participatory, cooperative ownership, and demonstrating the benefits of belonging in building community and relationships. I think membership itself should be one of our core products. The attraction of elections, forums, and meetings should be the opportunity to collaborate with friends and neighbors, not some motivating issue or advantage to claim.

LOCAL ORGANIC ARUGULA from Dharma Ridge Farm

April 25th, 2016 by Mindy

Arugula in bowl

Arugula in bowl10 Ways to Love Local Arugula!

1. Salad
Arugula has such great peppery flavor, it is best all on its own, eaten fresh with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

2. Pizza
Sprinkle arugula on top of pizza with or without a light dressing, the Italians have always loved this.

3. Soup
Toss fresh arugula into soup just before serving to add a little green.

 4. Eggs
 Serve eggs on a bed of arugula or toss in a pan with olive oil and garlic for just a minute, add eggs and scramble.

5. Sandwiches
Best on hot Panini sandwiches or as a fresh alternative to lettuce.

6. Grains
Add arugula just before serving to any hearty grain or small pasta to add a splash of fresh.

7. Roasted Vegetables
All roasted veggies will welcome the addition of arugula, toss into warm veggies just before serving.

8. Pesto
Move over basil. Arugula makes a surprising fresh alternative. Experiment with nuts for added flavor.

9. Pasta
Need some greens? Add a little pasta to your big arugula salad or just toss a small handful of fresh peppery green into your pasta dish and stir.

10. Lasagna
Arugula is a good substitute for spinach in any dish. The peppery flavor will spice up lasagna, or alternate layers with spinach.

 

Meet the Candidates: Monica le Roux

April 19th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

The Food Co-op Board of Directors election is coming up May 2-15, 2016. You can read more about the election, and all of the candidates, on the Board Elections page.

You are also invited to join the candidates for cake, coffee, tea and conversation at our Meet the Candidates event on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm in The Food Co-op dining room.

In the mean time, we will be introducing the candidates one by one here on the blog. Four candidates are running for four available seats. This blog features Monica Le Roux. The other candidates are Marty Canaday, David Wayne Johnson, and Owen Rowe.

le Roux PhotoMonica le Roux

1. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy.

My family moved to Port Townsend in 1988, in time for me to attend 6th grade here.  In 1995 I graduated from Port Townsend High School, and moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington.  Having spent 7 years in Seattle, and 3 on the East Coast, I returned to Port Townsend in 2006, and settled happily in to work at William James Bookseller, and eventually the Rose Theatre as well.  I ran for the Co-op Board in spring of 2013, and was elected in May of that year.  I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a home in January of 2014, which has enabled me to feel like my roots finally have an anchor.  I look forward to seeing what might come next!

2. Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors?

I feel like my work on the Board of Directors this last three years has been both productive, and immensely satisfying. It’s been a huge learning curve as well—it’s only in the last year and a half that I could truly say I’ve found my footing.  These next three years are going to be crucial to the evolution of our organization, and I would like to continue to contribute my time and experience to our upcoming discussions and decisions.

3. Describe your interests, experience, and expertise that may contribute to the Board’s activities.

I am deeply interested in the health of our local food system, in food security during challenging times, and in financial stability in an economic climate that I believe may become increasingly difficult. My time on the Board and the education pieces we’ve participated in—workshops and conferences—have given me what I believe to be a good grounding in Co-op governance.  I am also two-thirds of the way through completing a certificate in Bookkeeping, which has been very useful in providing a greater depth of knowledge in financial matters.

4. What experiences have you had contributing to successful group efforts?

I believe that I have learned a great deal about teamwork and collaboration in my last three years on the Board. This has only reinforced what I’ve learned in various other situations in my life: in the past, as a member of the crew of the sailing ship Adventuress and others, and now, participating in the management of the Rose with a wonderful group of people.

5. The Strategic Plan’s first long range goal is Market Position, and it includes the following strategy: Develop and implement our long term facilities plan. What do you think should be considered in developing such a plan?

I think that whatever option we choose, we need to commit to it whole-heartedly for success to be assured. If we are to pledge serious time and resources to a project, it should one that serves our current and future member-owners’ needs well, that links us more thoroughly to the greater community, and that can be sustainable for the longer term—preferably the next 15 to 20 years.

6. How would you encourage greater member-owner involvement in elections, member-owner forums and meetings?

The best way I’ve seen to make involvement rise is to give member-owners issues to care about and a clear way to participate—well advertised, accessible locations for physical meetings, and on-line options for those who have difficulty making it to a meeting in person. Clarity in the process is crucial as well—for more complex issues, who will be making the decisions, which types of decision will be made, and on what time-line?

Meet the Candidates: David Wayne Johnson

April 12th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

The Food Co-op Board of Directors election is coming up May 2-15, 2016. You can read more about the election, and all of the candidates, on the Board Elections page.

You are also invited to join the candidates for cake, coffee, tea and conversation at our Meet the Candidates event on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm in The Food Co-op dining room.

In the mean time, we will be introducing the candidates one by one here on the blog. Four candidates are running for four available seats. This blog features David Wayne Johnson. The other candidates are Marty Canaday, Monica le Roux, and Owen Rowe.

David Wayne Johnson cropDavid Wayne Johnson

1. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy.

 

I have been a resident of Port Townsend since August 1998, have worked as a Planner for Jefferson County since 2003, and been a Co-op member since 2005. Like many of you, I moved to Port Townsend because it had everything I wanted in a community, and I wanted to settle in a place that I could serve and contribute to, while enjoying all it had to offer.

2. Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors?

 

I have been serving on the Board as the Treasurer since May 2013 and would like to continue that work, since it seems like I have just gotten a good grasp of the work, the people and the organization. There is much more to be done.

3. Describe your interests, experience, and expertise that may contribute to the Board’s activities.

 

I’m interested in health through organic foods and supporting the local food system economy by chairing the Co-op Board’s Food System Development Committee and drafting the committee’s report: “The State of Our Local Food System.”

4. What experience have you had contributing to successful group efforts?

 

With few exceptions, my work on the current Board and as a Planner for the County require that I function, make decisions and implement work as a team member instead of as an individual. Working together for successful Annual Member’s Meetings is always rewarding.

5. The Strategic Plan’s first long range goal is Market Position, and it includes the following strategy: Develop and implement our long term facilities plan. What do you think should be considered in developing such a plan?

 

We are currently working on this, and several sites are and scenarios under consideration. As the Treasurer my function would be to advise the Board on how to finance any expansion of our facilities in the short and long term.  Obviously, cost-effectiveness will have to be balanced with the overall needs of the members.

6. How would you encourage greater member-owner involvement in elections, member-owner forums and meetings?

 

We need a campaign to more fully develop the “Co-op Culture,” not just for our organization, but for promoting a cooperative economy on a local, state, national and global level. This would require being very clear and definitive about the benefits of a Co-op over the Corporate business model, and incentives for participation, especially among our youngest members.

Meet the Candidates: Marty Canaday

April 8th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

The Food Co-op Board of Directors election is coming up May 2-15, 2016. You can read more about the election, and all of the candidates, on the Board Elections page.

You are also invited to join the candidates for cake, coffee, tea and conversation at our Meet the Candidates event on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm in The Food Co-op dining room.

In the mean time, we will be introducing the candidates one by one here on the blog. Four candidates are running for four available seats. This blog features Marty Cananday. The other candidates are David Wayne Johnson, Monica le Roux, and Owen Rowe.

Canaday photo squareMarcia “Marty” Canaday

1. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy.

I was raised on one of the earliest certified organic farms in Kansas. My seven siblings and I planted, weeded, and worked together for success. I guess you might say we were a mini cooperative; all for one and one for all. Having been with true member owned food co-ops since age 19, I value the democratic control of our Co-op, and how The Port Townsend Co-op thrives and innovates while encouraging membership and empowering its members.

2. Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors?

I wish to positively uplift my community through the medium of our Co-op, while serving my fellow members. Organic produce is part of the fabric of my life, and I work to forward GMO labeling and fair trade. Having tied myself to the Co-op through employment, I know that this investment of my time will keep our Co-op vibrant into my children’s future as well. I want the opportunity to help keep our Co-op financially healthy, as well as continuing to foster the important relationship between the Co-op and our member owners.

3. Describe your interests, experience, and expertise that may contribute to the Board’s activities.

My experience as a school volunteer, business owner, and president of Bethany College activities council have sharpened useful skills to bring to our Co-ops board. I have real world experience in the concerns of local farmers, GMO laws, and organic labeling. I still garden and raise small livestock to better empower my own family. My local interests are my own garden on our land, boating, home schooling my children, and sea glass.

4. What experiences have you had contributing to successful group efforts?

As a previous business owner, I understand the value of planning for the future while allowing Co-op leadership the freedom to do their best work on our Co-ops behalf. In addition to having owned a cake shop in Kansas for 12 years, I volunteered significant hours over a decade as a volunteer and various chairs for Sacred Heart Catholic School in Emporia, Kansas. I worked in groups to make our fundraiser successful and eventually chaired the event. This giant event has given me vast experience in group planning, working together for success, and how long range planning unfolds. (I was chair its 40th year.) I managed over 400 volunteers.

5. The Strategic Plan’s first long range goal is Market Position, and it includes the following strategy: Develop and implement our long term facilities plan. What do you think should be considered in developing such a plan?

Our long term facilities plan should consider if a bigger place with more parking will actually increase sales sufficiently to warrant the expenditure. Also, insufficient parking for customers and none for employees of the store is a negative for member owners and employee owners alike. Our grocery department night-time stock storage issue is also problematic. It would be convenient to have The Co-op all under one roof or within the same block.

6. How would you encourage greater member-owner involvement in elections, member-owner forums and meetings?

Have “Involvement Opportunities” be worth Involvement Points. Attendance at elections, forums, and meetings are worth points. The points may potentially be used for a price discount at register or a higher dividend percentage. Another option is to place monitors visible to those still awaiting checkout to notify of our next member-owner “Involvement Opportunity.”

Partnering for Food Access in Port Townsend

April 8th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

by Owen Rowe

At the February Food Co-op Board meeting, we had an engaging and lively discussion of Food Access as the board’s Study & Engagement topic for the month, hosted by Board members Patricia Smith and Catherine Durkin.

What is Food Access?

First, we had a roundtable discussion of the meaning of the phrase “food access,” and the consensus was that it’s not just a trendy buzzword, but a useful way to focus work on removing barriers—physical, financial, informational—between people and the nutritional resources they need. There is a growing international awareness, reaching to the UN itself, that food access is a basic human right. “Food security” is a related concept, but extended to cover communities and the resiliency and sustainability of their local food sources, particularly in times of political or natural disruption.

Food Access at The Food Co-opFood Access

The Food Co-op plays a central role in ensuring food access to Port Townsend and the surrounding area. General Manager Kenna Eaton presented how the Co-op is addressing food access, from accepting SNAP and WIC payments, to the Centsibles and Co+op Basics programs, to donating food and classes to the Food Bank, Head Start, Dove House, and the YMCA.

Featured Partner: Port Townsend School District

One of our food access partners, the Port Townsend School District, wrapped up the session’s presentations. The Food Co-op recently donated funds to the district for a new stove, and Stacey Larsen, the district’s Food Service Director, came to tell us about the transformations in the way students and employees think and learn about food.

Goodbye, “Cheese Zombies”

In the past five years, the Farm to School initiative has replaced “cheese zombies” (don’t ask!) and branded sodas with fresh, healthy, local food. PT has a fairly high proportion of students who qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch, but all students and staff can choose to buy lunch for less than $4. If you saw Michael Moore’s latest movie, Where to Invade Next—our PT school lunches now look a lot like the delicious and nutritious offerings in France, not the factory-processed “food” served in the typical American school.

Hello, farm-fresh veggies!

The schools work with Red Dog and Dharma Ridge farms for fresh ingredients, and right now the high school is ripping out a parking lot to convert into a garden of their own. Students will learn about healthy and nutritious food from the time the seed goes into the ground.

There is still a lot of work to do, including incorporating healthy eating and nutrition learning into the curriculum from K-12. Stacey emphasized the community nature of the effort, and noted that she is looking for ways to let community and family members join the kids at lunch. We’ll be first in line!

Improve your own access to healthy food

For more tips on accessing healthy food for yourself, the Food Co-op provides the brochure How to Shop on a Budget, available in the information corner at the front of the store. We also highly recommend Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, a cookbook by Leanne Brown—available for free on the web!

Untangling the Seafood Industry

April 5th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

Tuna-Albacore-cropby Kenna Eaton, General Manager

Seafood industry increasingly hard to untangle

Do you know where your seafood comes from? All seafood—fresh, frozen, and canned—is part of a massive global fishing industry, and the mechanics of fishing as well as the demand for inexpensive seafood have created conditions that make it cheaper to process the seafood in Thailand than in the various places where seafood is caught. All of which makes it increasingly difficult to identify who caught your fish where and under what conditions.

Some Thai tuna linked to human rights abuses

Recent media stories about human rights abuses in Thailand related to the fishing industry have caught the attention of some of our members, so The Food Co-op invited Andréa Linton of Crown Prince Producers to come discuss both the larger industry and what her company does differently from typical producers. It turns out that most of the cases of forced labor—that is, modern-day slavery—are found on the massive vessels that go out to sea for months at a time, fishing in open waters for the larger tuna. Those ships freeze the tuna they catch before coming back to Thailand to process the fish into “fresh” or canned tuna. Some producers, concerned about social justice, have opted to follow a different path, using smaller vessels that go out on short trips and return to process their catch, usually daily.

Crown Prince pursues fair work practices

Having worked in the seafood industry for 17 years, Andréa has seen many changes, and she described how Crown Prince has often been at the forefront of positive change. Crown Prince chooses to work with small producers with whom they have built personal relationships. They can trace the fish from the boat to the packer; they know which batches of fish come from which vessel. In addition, they regularly inspect the operations of their suppliers. In Thailand, Crown Prince makes lengthy visits (several days at a time) to their packer—and cannery—with whom they’ve worked for 30 years. This packer is also audited every year for compliance with the USDA on a range of questions, including working conditions.

Our shopping choices matter  

Seafood is a commonly held resource but no one is managing it, which means it is everyone’s responsibility to ask questions about where our seafood comes from. And if we want ethically produced seafood, we’ll have to pay the true cost. As always, if something is too cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it. In the meantime, The Food Co-op will continue to research the complicated issues around sustainability and fair labor, and in the next few months, we’ll post information in our store helping you to make informed choices.

 

The Sustainability of Seafood

March 22nd, 2016 by Mindy

Tuna Albacore-thunnus_alalunga_sw

Tuna Albacore-thunnus_alalunga_swThe Food Co-op received a letter written by a concerned member. In response, Deb Shortess and the Product Research Committee [PRC] have been working to gain a better understanding of the issues at stake, in particular canned tuna. The Food Co-op needs to determine how products sold in the store can best support the ongoing issues of sustainability of seafood species, the environment and social justice concerns.

Andrea Linton from Crown Prince seafood producers will speak from noon to 1pm on Wednesday, March 30 at THE FOOD CO-OP ANNEX, 2110 Lawrence Street. Q & A will follow.

Come and learn about the seafood industry & its impact on human rights & the environment, how the demand for inexpensive product drives the market, how Crown Prince educates consumers & about opportunities to increase the demand for ethically produced products.

Free event

 

Good Food Needs Great Leadership

March 1st, 2016 by Rachel Williams

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 Rachel Williams

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 boardassistant@foodcoop.coop.

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.

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