PT Food Co-op

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

Local Food, Democracy, and You!

January 24th, 2017 by Rachel Williams

Part of Our BunchThe Food Co-op is recruiting members to run for the Board of Directors in 2017

We asked Board Treasurer David Wayne Johnson—who enjoys being on the board so much he ran for a second term in May!—to write a few words about why he chose to be on the board:

“When I was asked to run for a position on the Co-op’s Board of Directors in 2013, I had to ask myself some questions. Would I have the time for it? Would I benefit from it? Would I be making a difference in the community? I felt good enough to answer those questions “yes,” and I’m glad I did, because I’ve had a tremendously positive experience serving on the board these past 3 ½ years, for the following reasons: The time commitment is manageable, due in large part to the great support staff who keep us organized and using our time as productively as possible. The work is fun, engaging, challenging, and rewarding, both personally and collectively. We do get some compensation through a stipend, but the real benefit is knowing that we are making a positive difference in our Co-op and community while developing our skills at collaborative governance. Election season will soon be upon us, so pick up a candidate packet at the Member Services Desk after February 10 and come to a board meeting to see what we do!”

Want to learn more about what it means to serve on the Board?

Attend a board meeting, held at The Food Co-op Annex, 2110 Lawrence Street:

Tuesday February 7th 5:30pm – Study Topic: Strategic Plan Revision
Tuesday March 7th, 5:30pm – Study Topic: Meaning of Ownership

Talk to board members in the Alcove:

Tuesday January 17th 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday February 21st 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Contact Rachel at 379-5798 or  with questions, or to schedule a coffee date with a current board member!

Application deadline for the 2017 Board Election is March 10, 2017. Watch for application packets on our website or at the Member Services Desk after February 10th.


Thank You to Janet Welch

November 3rd, 2016 by Rachel Williams

One Person Can Make A Difference

From Kenna S. Eaton, GM

This October marked a milestone for The Food Co-op: Janet Welch, board member extraordinaire for over 12 years, tendered her resignation.*

Janet and her husband Willi were the first people I met six years ago when I applied for this position. They went out of their way to make me and my husband feel welcome—and when they turned out to be our island neighbors on Marrowstone, we really felt like we had come home at last.

Janet served on the Food Co-op board for longer than any member ever has and she sure worked hard, too. She gave generously of her passion, her knowledge, and her skills. She weathered many interesting times, from potentially divisive boycotts right through strategic planning and researching our facilities options, always striving to remain true to her values and keeping her sense of humor.

Most recently Janet served as board president for three years, making sure that we stayed on course, that we did our homework, and that we could answer those tough questions she posited for us. Our “hats off” to Janet for making a difference!

*For a copy of Janet’s resignation letter, please read the board packet for the November 2016 board meeting.


From Monica le Roux, Board President

Janet was an integral part of the Food Co-op Board for over 12 years, working incredibly hard to make sure that as each wave of new board members was elected, the history of our organization and its mission and principles remained in the forefront of our minds as we took up our new tasks.  She will be missed for her vivid energy, her excellent writing, and the sense of humor she brought when it was most needed.  We know we continue to benefit from her example, and she leaves with our resounding thanks for everything she shared with us.

Recipe for Injera from Sidonie Wilson

September 19th, 2016 by myrya


Recipe by Sidonie Wilson
Makes a little more than a quart of injera or
about 12-14 flat breads using ⅓ cup batter each

Special Equipment:
crepe spreader, crepe pan
These are nice to have if you make injera often but you can also use a cast iron griddle and the back of a big spoon.

Day Before Ingredients
1 cup teff flour
½ cup barley flakes
⅔ cup sorghum flour
⅓ cup potato starch
2 tablespoons flaxseed measured and then ground
½ cup firm levain (sourdough starter)
2 cups filtered water

Next Day Ingredients
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
Extra water and ¼ teaspoon increments of baking soda if you make injera in more than one session.

In The Evening
In a food processor:
Grind barley flakes into a fine meal
Add other flours and ground flaxseed
Spin until combined
Crumble ½ cup firm levain into Food Processor with flours  (Or ½ cup regular sourdough starter)
Spin for 1 minute
Pour into a mixing bowl
Add water and stir
Cover and set in at room temperature until fermented about 12 hours.

Next Day
The batter should taste pleasantly sour and look puffed
Mix salt and baking soda with 1 cup water and mix into batter
The batter should be the consistency of thick cream.
You can always add  more water a little at a time as needed until right pourability is attained.

Heat cast iron crepe pan on low for 10 minutes
Move up to medium heat
Set oven to warm and a dish to hold injeras
Every time you cook an injera you will lightly butter the griddle
I use Nit’r Qibe Ethiopian Spiced butter
Measure out ⅓ cup of batter
Pour the batter into the center of the buttered crepe pan
Holding the crepe spreader upright turn in a circle spreading the injera thinner with each turn. You can also make batter thinner and turn the pan itself.
Cover the crepe pan with a large lid and set timer for 1 minute.
After one minute the injera will have lots of bubbly holes, and be spongy on top
Put it in the oven, no need to turn it over.
Repeat for next bread
You only need to make as many as you will eat in a meal because the batter will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
If you use more batter later, and like lots of bubbly holes, add ¼ teaspoon baking soda in water to the batter and stir. After the batter has sat a while,
it might need a little more water to retain the thick cream consistency.

Your Opportunity to “Taste” Board Membership

July 19th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

From Your Food Co-op BoardSilly Board June 2016

Sometimes owner-members approach us about serving on the Co-op Board but express reservations about making a 3-year commitment or running in a competitive election. Here’s an opportunity for one or more of you!

Our by-laws allow for the direct appointment of one or more members to serve until the following election (subject to a board vote). Last year, we appointed two interim board members because one of our members was leaving the board early. This worked so well—we obtained two hard working board members for seven months and one of them chose to run in the board election this spring—that we decided to do it again. So, if you wish to get a “taste” of what it’s like to be shaping the exciting future of the Co-op, this is a chance for you to do that without making a long-term commitment up front!

If you are interested:

• Come to our August 2 and/or September 6 Board meetings at the Co-op Annex at 2110 Lawrence Street.

• Pick up an application and information packet from the Member Services Desk (MSD) or download one here: 2016 interim candidate application. Fill out the application form and either submit it to Rachel at or drop it off at the Member Services Desk by September 13. And please note, you need to attend at least one Board meeting as part of the application process.

If you have any questions, contact Rachel Williams at or Lisa Barclay at

A Hot Time At The Palindrome – 2016 Annual Meeting Recap

July 19th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

On June 5, the newly reopened Palindrome hosted The Food Co-op’s 2016 annual meeting. The day was unseasonably hot, the audience attentive, and the food scrumptious!

Of Electric Cars and Ceramic Plates

In an effort to lessen our carbon footprint and to provide transportation for members without cars, we contracted with PTeRider, the new electric bus service, to deliver members who had entered our contest to win a ride to the Palindrome. In addition, we were able to use real plates and forks—although not glass cups due to the complications of county rules—thanks to the PT School District and the district’s food service director, Stacey Larsen, who lent us some of the plates that were collected last year in their plate and silverware drive.

Paella House Feeds the Member Masses

Paella servingThe day culminated in members enjoying Paella House veggie paella and manchego salad while young local musicians played old-time music. Square dancing was involved! Find the Paella House at the Saturday Farmers Market and check out their website,

Co-op Had Great Year in 2015!

Board President Janet Welch began with meeting by welcoming member-owners and noting that two members had set up a display on the deck of the Palindrome to inform fellow members of the pervasiveness of plastic packaging. Next, General Manager Kenna Eaton talked about how cooperatives support economic democracy, a prerequisite for political democracy. Then Kenna unveiled the 2015 Annual Report, which details the Co-op’s successful year, with financial statements and fun facts as about our work to fulfill our principles (the annual report is available online and at the Member Services Desk). Then she announced our first member dividend distribution! (You should have received either an email or a mailer about your dividend. If you haven’t, contact Dan Goldstein at

The Importance of the Cooperative Economy

To open the second portion of the meeting, Board Treasurer David Wayne Johnson explained how the cooperative economic model combines the best of capitalism and socialism, because co-ops compete in the open market yet are democratically governed—plus co-ops are owned by their customers and/or workers, not outside investors. Co-ops also have a higher multiplier effect than other businesses in terms of money put back into the community. Further, the seven principles of cooperatives— voluntary membership, democratic member control, economic participation, autonomy and independence, co-operation among co-ops, education, and concern for the community—mean that co-ops don’t just have a positive economic impact, they have a positive social and quality-of-life impact. David noted that we often don’t realize all the co-ops around us in the community, and he introduced the local cooperatives in attendance at the annual meeting.

Cooperatives Bring Jobs and Stability to Italy

David T holds Commons 2Next on the program, co-op expert David Thompson described the impact of cooperatives around the world. As an example of co-op power, he recounted the story of the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, where cooperatives are a major part of the economy, and employment, living-wage jobs, and disposable income are all higher than in other areas of Italy.

Summary of David Thompson’s Talk on Emilia Romagna

There are a billion members of co-ops world wide, providing employment for 100 million people, more jobs than with all corporations together. With co-ops, capital is a servant rather than a master. The region of Emilia Romagna in Italy shows what the future might look like if we work together.

An Economy Built on Co-ops

For the most part, Emilia Romagna is an agriculture state, with some little villages and towns. What they have done with co-ops in amazing. Cooperatives are a way to stay small while accomplishing great things. In Emilia Romagna, parmesan cheese is made by a cooperative of 10,000 village dairies. Averaging 12 cows each, they provide a third of Italy’s milk as well as supply milk to cheese co-ops. Farmers make a decent living, so they dont leave looking for better work. And the cooperative economy is strongly interconnected—for instance, the warehouses for storing cheese in each villages (worth millions of dollars) are financed by co-operative banks.

In Italy, A Co-op is the Largest Retail Business

In Italy, consumer co-ops have much more market share than capitalistic chains. Co-op Italia, for instance, has 53,000 employees and $15 billion in sales, making Italy the only country where a co-op is the largest retailer. Co-ops build solidarity, promoting each others’ products and sharing retail developments, etc. Members also support their co-ops; as an example, Co-op Italia needs to borrow very little money from banks because members lend money through a mechanism at the cash register.

In addition, Italy collects 3% of the profit from every co-op in the country into a cooperative development fund. As of 2010, the fund had 404 million euros, and a group elected by the members chooses what to do with that money. This fund was the inspiration for the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (David Thompson is the president of this foundation, which supports the development of all kinds of cooperatives in the US).

Cooperative Emilia Romagna Has Higher Standard of Living

How does this affect the economy of Emilia Romagna? About 30% of the total economy is from the co-ops. Emilia Romagna has the highest percentage of family firms, the highest disposable income, and the highest employment rate of women in Italy. Reciprocity is a critical part of the co-operative economy, helping create livable wages that enable people to buy homes, live well, and save money.

The story of Emilia Romagna is important because sometimes we dont know what the future might look like because we havent seen it. Emilia Romagna shows what happens when people come together even in small villages. In Port Townsend, we have the opportunity to build an economy that houses us, feeds us, farms for us, and provides living wage jobs. We have a responsibility to continue to build on what has been bequeathed to us.

Download David Thompson’s slides here: I ER Co-ops in Emilia Romagna 2014 stats

Note: David Thompson also participated in two other events—a mixer with representatives from local cooperatives at Finnriver on Saturday night and a Sunday morning coffee meeting at the Co-op dining room to discuss cooperative housing possibilities in PT. The coffee meeting drew about six member-owners, plus three board members, Kenna, and David. Participants were concerned about affordable housing and David provided good information on the way cooperative housing can be part of the solution, although it is still hard to reduce costs. He told the group ways to seek information and support, including government grants. The attendees decided to continue the discussion at a later date and have since met again, although they’ve morphed more into an affordable housing group than one about cooperative housing. If anyone is interested in joining these efforts, please contact Mark Cooper at

Farm Fresh Recipes from Our Local Farmers

July 12th, 2016 by Ian

Save this special pull-out section from THE CO-OP COMMONS 2016 Summer Issue! Meet local farmers and learn what they love they cook.


Marinade Made Simple

June 28th, 2016 by Ian

grilled_vegetablesGET YOUR GRILL ON

Treat your veggies like meat and toss them on the grill!

Asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, even cabbage are great! Small vegetables (cherry tomatoes) work better as kabobs.

Vegetables are less likely to stick if they’re marinated. Try sprinkling grilled vegetables with fresh herbs.

Marinade Made Simple: Remember this rule of four to make your own marinade.

  1. Sweet – honey, fruit, sugar
  2. Heat – hot sauce, red pepper flakes, chili
  3. Flavor – add flavor to meats with dry rub seasoning, veggies can use a bit of oil – experiment with different flavors
  4. Tangy – Citrus, vinegars

2016 Annual Meeting June 5

May 13th, 2016 by Rachel Williams

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.

THE CO-OP COMMONS Spring Issue 2016

May 6th, 2016 by Ian

THE-COOP-COMMONS-Spring-Issue-2016--1Read about our local co-ops and co-op history, bees, meet Jeanette, a local culinary instructor, and learn about our new program – Co-op Cooks!

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.