Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Makeover Updates 2/15/11

Wow! Things are happening fast and furious around here. If you haven't already noticed, we're right in the middle of our "Extreme Co-op Makeover" and are working around the clock to finish sometime in April or May of this year.

Some things to be aware of:

* The two narrow grocery aisles will be wider (same width as the current wine/juice aisle) once the remodel is completed.

* All metal shelving will be finished with wood molding, giving them a much warmer look.

* Our produce department will be in front of the store (currently where bulk is located.) The bulk bins will be located in aisles parallel to the grocery aisles.

* We will have a self-serve salad bar, hot foods bar and soup bar.

* We'll have a cheese/olive department and a food demo counter.

* We'll be repainting the building exterior and adding new signage.

* We'll still be the same exciting, fun and intimate co-op we've always been-we'll just have some new furniture and a bunch of new products and services!

Our goal was to complete a full-store remodel while remaining open for business. And we appreciate your support, praise and feedback during the process.

As always, if you don't find what you're looking for, please ask!


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wine – Demystified

Why does choosing a wine seem intimidating and how can you get over this perceptual hurdle?

Once upon a time, wines primarily came from Europe—mostly France and Italy. The creation of specific wines was based on the blending mastery of winemakers at individual vineyards. Wine connoisseurs waxed poetic about certain vintages (the year a wine was bottled) and the “terroir” (the characteristics of the soil and how it influenced the taste of the wine) of one vineyard or region over another. It all sounds like a private club that only the very wealthy or those with lots of time on their hands can afford to enter.

But today’s wine offerings are a world away from once upon a time. Wine is grown and bottled all over the world, in any climate that will support it, including South and North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as South Africa. More people than ever are drinking wine and enjoying it without having to learn the intricacies of vintage or terroir.

How is this possible?

For starters, most modern wine is meant to be consumed within 18-24 months after it is bottled. This means that vintage is less important because you really do not want to “cellar” wine to allow it to age. As a result, these “young” wines cost vintners less money to make and can be sold to the public at much lower prices.

Does this mean that only expensive wine is good? Absolutely not. Great tasting wines sell for less than $30 a bottle, with many selling for $15 or less. What wine critics consider a “good” or great wine is based upon its complexity of taste. The average drinker usually does not experience wine they way a critic does, noting nuances and different hints of this and that. But everyone knows when something tastes good and is a wine that they like to drink. It truly is all about personal preference.

Co-opportunity provides a wide range of selections from around the world. We strive to bring you great tasting wines from winemakers who are also concerned with how they grow their grapes and the environmental impact of their vineyards. How the land, the “terroir,” is treated directly affects the wine produced. Happily, a growing number of winemakers around the world are moving in this direction knowing that better environmental stewardship creates better terroir and great tasting wine. Over 60% of the wine we carry is from winemakers who have made a commitment to organic and sustainable wine making.

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you find the wine that is right for you. Whether you need us to recommend wines that we have enjoyed, point out which wines are organic or sustainable, note which winemakers create vegan wines or those without additional sulfites, we are here to help. Of course, it ultimately all comes back to you and what you want to pour in your glass. Enjoying the world of wine is as simple as coupling it with a great meal or just spending time with friends and family.

By Kirsten Lindquist
Cheese, Wine and Speciality Manager
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Co-opportunity’s Stance on GMOs

Recent events, such as the USDA’s decision to completely deregulate Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa, have prompted many of our members to contact us with their concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) In an effort to provide as much information as possible on this important subject, we would like to fully articulate Co-opportunity’s stance on GMOs in our store.

We continually strive to offer you as many non GMO products as possible. Our vast selection of certified organic products, which by definition are free of GMOs, provides a plethora of GMO-free options. When making purchasing decisions, our preference is always for the certified organic products.

However, because crops aren't grown in plastic bubbles and their pollen gets blown around by the wind, it's increasingly difficult to know if non-organic products are GMO-free. In these instances, our first choice is to carry products with clear package labeling stating that the contents are “GMO Free” or “Non GMO”. When making your purchasing decisions, we recommend steering clear of processed foods, or foods that contain soy and/or corn if your goal is to avoid GMOs.

Thanks very much for your patience as we sort out this complicated issue and deal with the ramifications of the USDA’s decision. We appreciate your support and will do everything in our power to ensure you have the safest and healthiest choices possible.
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