The Co-operator | August 2023

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Expansion, Expansion, Expansion. Your EEFC Board and GM are currently eating, drinking, and breathing that imperative on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Answering the question of where to move the store has been our primary concern for the last 2+ years. It has kept us up late at many a board meeting. For the long-term financial and cultural health of the organization, we must relocate. Soon.

Our current lease ends in January of 2026. The Board and Management are focused on executing our relocation to fit cleanly within that timeframe. While we did engage in a lengthy negotiation over the last year and a half to expand upstairs within the existing building, that deal did not come to fruition. In the late Fall of 2022, the Board and Management decided that EEFC would have to begin the search anew.

The pursuit of a new home began again in earnest in early 2023 and continues to date. As of this writing, in mid-July, two sites are being evaluated by the Board and Management, aided by our National Cooperative Grocer (NCG) relocation consultant.

One important question that arises when a consumer co-op like ours makes a move such as this is, “What is the role of the Membership in the process?” The easy part of the answer to that question is that the Membership will have a key role in funding the move. We will be looking to raise $1.5 - $2 million as part of an overall funding package of somewhere between $6 - $8 million, depending on the site.

A more challenging question for our community is, “What level of Member involvement in choosing a new site is workable?”

In many forums over the past 20 years, EEFC members and staff have debated and discussed our wishlists for the new location. The Board and Management feel that much of that information remains relevant to the present search and that we have a good sense of what we are looking for.

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In an effort to stay connected with the Membership, EEFC recently held two forums, one live and one virtual, to present information and gather feedback. The meetings were well-attended, and we received many comments online from those who were unable to attend. We will be sending out an email and making FAQs available on the EEFC website to share some of what was discussed. As we move forward, we will continue to solicit Member views, including at monthly Board meetings.

The East End Food Co-op exists to enhance physical and social health in our community. To those ends, we will create:

A sustainable member-owned business open to everyone;

An ethical and resilient infrastructure;

A vibrant, dynamic community of happy, healthy people; A creative vision to transform the future.

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Submitted by EEFC staff member: Beth Gridley

1. asleep on a sunbeamBelle and Sebastian

2. I saw you - flasher

3. try to be - blue hawaii

4. kick your game - tlc

5. peace on the penna - i4a

6. alright - supergrass

7. black horse and the cherry tree - kt tunstall

8. fever - the black keys

9. antenna - bonobo

10. good days - sza

11. summertime - orville peck

12. hang on to your love - sade

13. go boy - odie

14. the trip - still corners

15. cloud generator - tycho

16. heartbeats - the knife

17. sing along - sturgill simpson

18. mr. farmer - the seeds

19. vampire empire - big thief

20. sister owls - monster rally

21. saints - the breeders

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A color and cut & paste activity

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The garden get down is an annual celebration that uplifts fresh food and gardening, while raising money to support Grow Pittsburgh's programming across our community.

Celebrate the many ways that growing and sharing fresh local food is helping neighborhoods.

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To encompass Mana is to move through the world with love, respect, and discernment. To put forth the best of who we are, even through adversity.

I am Chetia Hurtt, more lovingly known as Chef Tia, private chef, caterer and owner of Mana Meals Catering LLC. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and always had a creative side that needed an outlet, and food became just that. Inadvertently, cooking fell into my lap. I was working as (of all things) a debt collector in the early 90s, and suddenly I was told I was being laid off. At that time, I didn’t even know what being laid off meant, but I knew my career path at 23 would be different than I planned. College didn’t offer a course on what to do if you’re laid off and fresh out of school It got my wheels turning to figure out something I loved to do and could see myself doing for a long time. The opportunity to go to culinary school arose, and I jumped at the thought.

For 20 years, I have worked in every aspect of commercial kitchens, banquet halls, and the like, from managing a local fish fry restaurant to owning a lucrative catering business in North Carolina. I picked up every trick of the trade and learned the small nuances that create a fantastic dining experience. Fortunately, the universe called me back to my hometown to continue the marathon. This time, I wanted to provide a more intimate and client-focused dining experience, creating dishes made with love, honor, and respect for fresh ingredients and inclusive menus for all palates. So I introduce Mana Meals Catering, food that feeds the soul.


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Deborah Lieberman is a Pittsburgh artist and arts educator. This body of work honors and celebrates the power and diversity of women — all women, including trans women, femme/ feminine – identifying, genderqueer, non-binary — recognizing our ability to pull from our own inner strength; women supporting and elevating one another as individuals.

I also have artwork representing my daily reflections, thoughts, and observations through miniature collages. As an artist, my body of work focuses on women’s rights, empowerment, injustice, and the human struggle. While working, I am thinking about the environment, industrialism, women’s rights, human rights, and where I fit into all of this. In my collages, I use a variety of materials, textures, and colors to represent the complexities of life. I like to connect my vision and voice with the things that are going on in the world. Symbolism is threaded throughout my work to bring attention to a deeper universal message. I do consider myself to be a surrealist artist. I feel that Surrealism has the capacity to capture deep feelings and universal stories.

My creative process is also influenced by my children. I try to capture how they are impacted by their surroundings and social interactions. As an arts educator, I bridge the gap between artist and teacher. The energy from my own process is shared with my students. Originally, I bought lots of art supplies, some of which were very expensive. Now, I try to buy as little as possible and try to minimize my impact on the environment. I believe in sustainability and enjoy using whatever is around me to express myself. I feel that creating art should be self-empowering and accessible to all.

I have a piece at Ice House Studios (Associated Artists). I am also getting ready to have a small show at Silver Apple Gallery and one at Spinning Plates in August.



Facebook: /collagemomma


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Get personal with us as we ask the hard-hitting questions you want to know! This time with Leona’s Ice Cream!

After Katie and Christa received an ice cream maker for their wedding, Katie started making her own lactose-free ice cream. It was delicious, and she knew other people would like it, too. That was the spark, the motivation to start Leona’s. With the tools and resources in hand, the couple started making ice cream sandwiches and, within a few years, acquired the proper equipment to make pints, as well, right here in Pittsburgh!

EEFC: What makes your business a special place to work?

Katie: I think the most interesting/quirky thing about working at Leona’s is our equipment. Our staff works on a mix of vintage bakery equipment — think mixers and an oven from the 60s — and a pint filler and dough dispenser that are only a few years old. Our space operated as Smith’s Bakery for decades, and we are proud to work in the historic building as it was intended to be used.

EEFC: What is your dream for your business if there are no obstacles in the way?

Katie: Big question! If there were no obstacles, we would have a soft serve window at the front of our building on Penn Ave, a scoop shop somewhere in Pittsburgh, and a fully automated wrapping machine that would increase our production without increasing our labor.

EEFC: In your “Ice Cream Garden,” what is your most special plant?

Katie: Our most used plant is mint. We grow all of our own mint for our mint ice cream. But our most special plant would have to be our black currant bush. It’s big and beautiful and was a gift from a former employee.

EEFC: What is a main staple in your fridge at home?

Katie: We always have refried beans, some cheese, and tortillas. Christa grew up in Texas, and bean and cheese burritos are her comfort food (and have become mine too). They are easy, filling, and hit the spot when you’re tired and hungry after a long day of work.

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Editor: Elly Helgen

Design & layout: Debi Johnson & Candace Davis Printed locally by Kreider Printing

by: East End Food Co-op
7516 Meade Street Pittsburgh PA, 15208 Phone: (412)-242-3598
Web: © East End Food Cooperative 2023

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