Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Springtime Things We Love

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Sun, Mar 19, 2017 @ 12:34 PM

In case you have been missing our staff picks around the store while you shop, we’ve got a new basket-worth of products for you to try. Each department has been positively raving about these items and we know that if you give them a chance, you will agree! 
As springtime approaches, we get to enjoy local asparagus. Asparagus (started from seed) can take 3-4 years before it produces the delicious stalks you see in our store. Our local farmers are careful to harvest sustainably, maintaining the health of their plants for future seasons. Depending on weather, asparagus has a local season of only 3-6 weeks!

So rejoice in these upcoming seasonal and ongoing delicacies. Even if they are “just pasta” or “just olive oil,” we can’t wait for you to try these healthy, whole foods so their flavors can speak for themselves!

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Tags: Cheese, Fair Trade, Organic, Beer/Wine, Asparagus, gluten-free

Equal Exchange: A P6 Cooperative Trade Co-founder

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Sat, Aug 02, 2014 @ 09:25 AM

Greetings from Equal Exchange and Happy P6 Month to all P6 Store members and staff!  We’re so proud of everyone’s commitment to honoring the 6th Cooperative Principle:  Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives… and what better way to celebrate than by designating August, P6 Month!

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Tags: P6 Producers, P6, Fair Trade

Saving the world one drink at a time

Posted by Waleed Mahmoud on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 02:35 PM

It had been a hard winter for Chief Woksis and his tribe of Iroquois.  Spring came upon them with the smell of new life in the air and a fresh energy.  Chief Woksis threw his tomahawk at the closest tree with a hoot, he couldn’t believe the luck his hunting parties had this morning.  They had more meat than they had seen in months, there would be a feast!  As he pulled his tomahawk from the tree and walked away, his wife touched the thin sap that came out of the tree’s wound.  It was sweet! She quickly gathered enough of the liquid to boil her meat in that night, creating a maple aroma that permeated the camp.    When it came time to eat the sap had become thick syrup!  All of the water had boiled off during the day.  The Iroquois knew they had stumbled on to something monumental this day.
The Arabs had banned the sale of fertile coffee beans for over a hundred years before this day, but the Dutch trader Pieter van der Broecke had a plan.  It was 1616 and he was not going to deal with these Arab traders anymore, he had gotten his hands on some of the closely guarded coffee bushes from Mocha in Yemen.   He would get them to Amsterdam where they would thrive in the Botanical gardens there.  Within forty years the beans from these plants would start a thriving industry that spread to Sri Lanka, Java, and Suriname….and eventually these beans would make their way to Viroqua.
The sun was just beginning to rise when Steve finished milking the last of the 50 cows in his herd.  He was ready for the truck to come pick up the new batch of organic milk this morning; he was the first stop on this route.  He started back towards the house to get some breakfast before starting another day on the farm, his work was never done.
When you buy a Cold Press Maple Latte from the VFC Deli, or encourage some else to buy it, you aren’t just getting one of the most delicious drinks you’ve had in your life.  You are keeping your friends and neighbors in business.  You are telling the world you can make it happen in your own backyard.  You are keeping history alive.  This isn’t just a drink, this is a statement - loud and proud - shouted to the whole world.   When you buy this you are making Local, Fair Trade, and Organic a reality.
Don’t let the spirit of Chief Woksis down.
Waleed Mahmoud, Viroqua Food Co-op Deli Manager

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Tags: Local, Fair Trade, Organic, Deli/Bakery

The Del Cabo Cooperative

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:59 PM

Nestled in the pristine valleys between the Sea of Cortez and the rugged mountains of the Baja Peninsula, over 400 farming families of the Del Cabo Cooperative nurture their crops to bring you excellent organic produce.

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Tags: Cooperative, Fair Trade, Food, Farm, Produce, Organic, Sustainability

Chocolate, Chocolate and Yes More Chocolate!

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 @ 10:19 AM

Sally Colacino, 
Purchasing Manager

Who wouldn’t enjoy receiving the gift of Chocolate? Velvety dark chocolate truffles or Chocolate covered salted caramels, sweet dark hot cocoa mix or minty chocolate stocking stuffers. It’s not called Food of the Gods for nothing.
Here at the Co-op we are passionate about chocolate and always have a good supply on hand. As the weather turns chilly and the holidays approach, we start filling our shelves with even more delectable treats. Chocolate is always a welcome gift and it can certainly help chase away the winter blues.

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Tags: Fair Trade, Organic, Bulk, Grocery

Viroqua Food Co-op: Coffee on the Rise

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 04:45 PM

Everybody seems to have the same questions: What’s up with coffee prices? How high are they going to go? Will they stay high? We here at Kickapoo Coffee have been asking the same questions, to ourselves, our fellow roasters, our importing cooperative and, finally, our growers. The answers we’ve found were uncertain and unsettling–at first. With time, they have become less unsettling but still remain somewhat uncertain.

When the coffee market began its rise one year ago, we didn’t think much of it, mainly because the commodity market for coffee had long been below the fair trade minimum price we’ve always guaranteed the farmers we buy from. We also don’t like to think of our coffee as a commodity: we offer a unique product produced by real people we know.

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Tags: Local, Cooperative, Fair Trade, Organic, Bulk

The Natural Ties between Co-ops & Fair Trade

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 @ 01:59 PM

Did you know that October is both National Fair Trade Month and National Co-op Month? It’s just a coincidence, but like peanut butter and chocolate Fair Trade and co-operatives are two great things that go great together. No — wait. I take that back. That’s a lame metaphor. Plus it’s borrowed from a corporate jingle. We can do better.

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Tags: Cooperative, Fair Trade, Food, Farm