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Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op / Fall 2015

optimist Advertising The Co-optimist is a publication of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. For advertising information, please e-mail or call (540) 904-5700. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op Grandin Village 1319 Grandin Road, SW Roanoke, VA 24015 Open 8am - 9pm, Every Day Phone: (540) 343-5652 Fax: (540) 343-5711 Market Square 1 Market Square, SE Roanoke, VA 24011 Open 9am - 7pm, Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm, Friday & Saturday 11am - 6pm, Sunday Phone: (540) 904-2733 Fax: (540) 343-5711 Staff General Manager: Bruce Phlegar Human Resources Manager: Elizabeth Wilson Finance Manager: Chris Bartlett Marketing Manager: John Bryant Store Manager, Grandin: Tim Wilson Front End Manager: Heidi Garrabrant Wellness Manager: Elizabeth Good Deli/Bakery Manager: Missy Martin Produce Manager: Alex McDonald Specialty Foods Manager: Diana McGuire Store Manager, Downtown: Jon Shup Farm Manager: Nathan Kinzie Editor John Bryant Design & Layout Joe Burge Photography Jim Crawford & Macklyn Mosley Contributors John Bryant Macklyn Mosley Bob Capper Garrett Thompson Jim Crawford Board Of Directors President: Bob Capper Vice President: Bryan Hantman Treasurer: Gayle Havens Cooley Secretary: Krista Stevenson Matt Clark Amanda Copeland Ian Fortier Ron McCorkle Kerstin Plunkett Devona Sherwood Sandy Taylor Content of this newsletter should not be used or construed as medical advice. On the Cover: Eva Jo Wu shows her daughter, Cybele, their reflections in a wok,1975. Co-op Archive. © 2015 Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op

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Welcome John Bryant Marketing Manager

I’d like to start out this Fall issue of The Co-optimist by thanking Jim Crawford for his outstanding work in the article A New Generation, which is a look back in time to the early days of our co-op. Over a six-month period, Jim tracked down four of the five founding board members of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op using just about every type of technology available, with the exception of a telegraph. Jim has a unique gift of interviewing people and capturing the real essence of the stories they have to tell. In his work to document the events of the past, Jim’s greatest technique, to my observation, is patience. When he sits down for an interview, he keeps conversation lighthearted and easy, making the person he’s interviewing feel comfortable and safe to speak from the heart. Then he starts recording. Jim poured over hours of interviews, first transcribing the audio he captured into written dialogue. Then he would listen to the interview again, noting, like an actor preparing for the lead role in a Shakespearean play, the words, inflections and, most importantly, pauses that would help bring the story of our co-op’s inception to life. A New Generation is my attempt of creating a kind of medley of Jim’s interviews with the co-op’s founding board members. We get a glimpse into the lives of the heroines & heros in this tale of our co-op. We learn from the people who actually did the work what it takes to turn a basement into a buying club, then a buying club into a store, and finally a store into a cooperative. The nature of printed material is that space is limited and, unfortunately, we were unable to publish the complete narratives of each original board member’s perspective of the co-op’s early days. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where the story doesn’t have to end when the pages run out; I invite you read Jim Crawford’s full accounts from his interviews with our founding board members online at In August, Jim left the co-op to begin work on a new documentary of an event that took place in Glouchsester, MA over 40 years ago. Knowing a bit about Jim’s personal connection to the event, I can’t wait to see how he will breathe new life into the story. Jim is a lifetime owners of the co-op, bought his shares back in 1975. One day I want to turn the tables and interview Jim, I know it’d make one heck of a story.

P6 Kickoff Tailgate Co-op owners celebrate the launch of P6

Over 325 owners attended this year’s cookout on Sunday, October 25. The theme was Principle Six (P6), a new program at the co-op you’ll read about later in this issue of The Co-optimist. All in attendance had great food from our Happy Belly Deli and smooth music from The Wildlife in the parking lot at the Grandin Co-op. Kids chased one another, enjoyed coloring, chalk writing, and becoming the next superhero as they vanquished bubbles from the bubble machine. Local farmers were in attendance to promote the co-op’s new program P6, which celebrates the producers we carry at the co-op that are small, local and cooperative. We’d like to thank Good Food-Good People, Heritage Point, Lick Run Farm, and Seven Springs Farms for sharing information about their operations at the tailgate. A special thanks to Blue Mountain Brewery and Fincastle Winery, easily the crowd favorites, for being on hand to talk about their beer and wine. It was a fantastic night to celebrate with all the owners of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. Most of all we would like to thank YOU. This event wouldn’t be possible without such committed owners like yourselves! Above, Co-op Deli’s Jess Yontz (left) with Zoe Campbell and pup, Shaggy. Right from Top to Bottom, Marketing manager John Bryant, AKA BananaMan, with friend and new co-op owner, Amy Alls; Heritage Point farm manager Nathan Kinzie (left) sharing a taste of the farm’s fresh greens with co-op owner, Everett Craft; Board treasurer Gayle Cooley and board president Bob Capper enjoying the evening; Richie Ursomarso, from The Wildlife and owner of Waterbear Mountain Organic Farm, playing well into the night. Photos by Macklyn Mosley.

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A New Generation Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op Celebrates 40 Years! by Jim Crawford & John Bryant In 1971, Frank and Eva Jo Wu moved to Roanoke from Washington DC. They soon realized the area was lacking a natural foods store. They decided to buy bulk cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, and such things as peanut butter, and sell these items at cost to a group of like-minded families out of the basement of their suburban home on Cave Spring Lane. This genesis of the co-op is enshrined in the historic narrative of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year. The story is made even more compelling by the Wu’s continued shopping at the co-op; for many staff members, young and old, their presence is an inspiration. Many co-op regulars may not know that a couple of years later the Wus held a meeting in their basement to let the group know they would be closing up shop. The story of how the co-op came to be is an interesting tale that shares undertones of classic storytelling themes. It is a love story and a story of strangers in a strange land. There is struggle and triumph, with the politics of a turbulent time playing like a soundtrack that underscores the story. To tell that story, the co-op caught up with the four of the founding members of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s inaugural Board of Directors: Eva Jo Wu, Fred Laplante, Joseph Klockner, and Steve Drotos.

The New Generation

Eva Jo and Frank Wu began dating in the early 60’s when Eva Jo was attending Radford College (now Radford University). She majored in English but found the campus ministry extraordinary. The couple married in 1962 when Eva Jo was a junior in college. The early 60’s were seminal times in their lives. On January 20, 1961, newly elected President John F. Kennedy stood on the eastern portico of the United States Capitol and declared “the torch has been passed to a new generation.” Eva Jo remembers the visceral impact she felt in hearing the famous question Kennedy asked in his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” 4 Co-optimist

Along with Kennedy’s creation of the Peace Corps, Eva Jo says, “It was like ‘Whoa!’ The whole era was about mission.” The Wus eventually moved to the DC area where they did group ministry and had their two children, Keelyn and Cybele. Later they moved to Roanoke when Frank accepted a counseling job at Virginia Western Community College. Asked what had prepared her, a self described “backward student from Virginia,” to be the person who started a natural food buying group, Eva Jo says it goes back to a care package Frank sent her at Radford. “He got concerned about me so he sent me a care package. It was vitamins, I’d never taken vitamins before in my life, and whole-wheat biscuits, I’d never eaten whole-wheat before, it was white bread. That sounds like nothing now but back then it was a big thing. It was just like this little opening,” she says. Later, in New Jersey and Washington DC she and Frank continued to explore natural foods through health food stores and friends. “By the time we left northern Virginia and came to Roanoke, we were already quite oriented towards that,” she says. It was in 1971 that they got together with a few like-minded folks and decided to buy sacks of cornmeal, flour, and other bulk natural food from Washington DC. Eva Jo and Frank were familiar with the natural food stores in Washington and also her parents still lived in northern Virginia so they could kill two birds with one stone. “You know it stayed in our basement for at least two years and every time we’d make an order it would be a bigger order and a bigger order. The basement was unfinished, so I remember just sacks of stuff all around the perimeter and then a table set up with scales for people to weigh out what they wanted. We just divided it, I don’t exactly have any depth to my thoughtfulness about it, but I always felt like it was a cool thing to see how much we could do together,” she recalls. The unnamed buying group grew quickly over two years. Interest wasn’t showing any signs of letting up and the group of more than fifty families eventually outgrew the couple’s

basement. Besides, the Wus were thinking about moving to the country. The couple held a meeting to let the families know they would be closing up shop. Fortunately, that day a transplant from New Hampshire who was serving in the Alternate Service in Roanoke attended his first meeting.

Ask What You Can Do

Top, A postcard of the Silver Gables Motel on Lee Highway from the 1940s. The motel eventually became Riverjack Crafts, “a kind of hippy enterprise zone” where the co-op opened its first storefront in 1973. Bottom, Joseph Klockner (left) and Fred Laplante (right) working in the original store at Riverjack Crafts in 1973. Photo courtesy of Joseph Klockner.

According to Eva Jo, Fred Laplante showed up at the pivotal meeting and was the one who took on the task of transforming the buying group into its next crucial incarnation: a natural foods store. Fred was born in New Hampshire in 1952 to a middle-class family. “I decided to get out of there when I was about 20 years old, because I was looking for better weather and to be away from my family,” he says. At the core of his desire to leave was his father’s belief that the Vietnam War was a “glorious thing.” Fred, a conscientious objector, was on the opposite end of that spectrum. He bought 25 acres in Dry Pond, Virginia for $3,600 and started a new life in the south. Not long after building a cabin on the property, Fred’s number came up in the 1972 “Birthday Draft”. Being a conscientious objector, he was inducted into the Alternate Service to serve two years for a qualifying nonprofit. He landed in Roanoke working for Goodwill Industries. After taking on the future of the buying group during the “Last Basement Meeting”, Fred, with the help of Joseph and Linda Klockner and their friend Steve Drotos and his wife, Beth, began to set in motion plans for what would eventually become Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op.

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40THANNIVERSARY Steve Drotos recalls the eventful times after the legendary “Last Basement Meeting”. “Potluck dinners, parties and get-togethers led to talk of opening a storefront or a warehouse so folks could shop more spontaneously rather than preordering and prepaying, which was logistically difficult given the distances, lack of phones and unreliable transportation,” Steve says. The group came to a consensus and opened the co-op’s first storefront in a rented motel room at Riverjack Crafts on Lee Highway, the former Silver Gables Tourist Court. “It was essentially a kind of hippy enterprise zone,” Fred chuckles. “There was a tattoo artist, a fabric artist, a woodworking shop and a bunch of other things.”

“That’s how the co-op started. It was on eighteen hundred bucks and a bunch of volunteer labor.” Fred Laplante Joseph Klockner says it was a “really good symbiotic partnership” reflecting on the early days in the first storefront. “Linda would watch the store during the day and Fred would come in the afternoon after he got off and I would come on the weekends or whenever I could,” Joseph recalls. There were also volunteers to help and Fred began driving to New Jersey and New York to buy food for the store. “It was hard to get people to deliver to Roanoke, there wasn’t much of a market there yet,” Joseph says. Within six months they had outgrown the single-car garage-sized space, so they found a little deli building on South Jefferson Street, near Elm Avenue. “The cheese case was still there and the space was about two or three times the size of the motel room.” Fred says. A year and a half later they outgrew the space on Jefferson Street and the co-op moved to 813 Fifth Street, SW. This is the earliest co-op storefront that still exists, the first two, on Lee Highway and Jefferson Street, have long since been demolished. The Fifth Street building now houses The Phoenix, a small music venue promising “Music, Magic and Mayhem.” At this location, on May 28, 1975, the group decidedly incorporated as the “Roanoke Cooperative Association Ltd”, authorized to do business in the state of Virginia-marking 2015 as the 40th anniversary of the co-op. The first members of the Board of Directors were Eva Jo Wu, Fred Laplante, Joseph Klockner, Steve Drotos, and Carol Waring, who could not be reached for this story. 68 Co-optimist

Today, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s inaugural Board of Directors live and work everywhere from right up the road in Roanoke, to across the country and even across the Atlantic. Frank and Eva Jo Wu opened their own business, Rolfing Associates, and still live in Roanoke. They visit the co-op regularly. Fred LaPlante and his wife moved to Seattle, WA in 2002 “ for the environment basically and also because my daughter was going to college out here,” he says. Fred is a happy plumbing contractor. Joseph and Linda Klockner live in Washington DC where he designs, builds and consults on LEED certified homes with his business, Klockner and Company. Interestingly, in 2012, Klockner and Company built a home for another co-op owner on 116 acres that was put into conservation by the owners. The land adjoins the co-op’s newly acquired Heritage Point Farm. Steve Drotos and Beth separated right around the time the co-op incorporated in 1975. A number of years passed before Steve began a period of doing construction jobs that eventually led him to the Silicon Valley. In 2012, after his third marriage ended, Steve sold his California house and moved to a cabin he built in Jamaica. He contacted Beth, his first wife, “and surprisingly she responded positively,” he says, “after 37 years, we got back together.” They spend time in Jamaica and Spain where they have a house on the Costa Blanca.

The Next Generation

Food co-ops bring people from all walks of life together for a common cause, to make wholesome food available to everyone. In that process, it is the people that get involved that truly guide the direction of the co-op. Those people that raise their hands in a meeting and say, like Fred LaPlante said to Eva Jo and Frank Wu in their basement in 1973, “This is something that needs to continue.” Our co-op, like our families and our country, is generational. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year by looking back and thanking the people who stepped up in the early years but also by looking forward to a new generation of leaders who will ask what they can do for their co-op.

“United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures.” John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961 February 9, 1975. Three months before the co-op incorporated as Roanoke Cooperative Association, Ltd, The Roanoke Times ran this story in the Tempo section of the paper. The article says “[c]ustomers, both members and non-members, ... figure out the cost from a pricelist at the cash register. There are no bag boys and no clerks ... There is a manager to keep an eye on things and to help non-members with their purchases.” Image courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke City Public Library.

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John Bryant, Marketing Manager

Shop Your Values! When you walk through the co-op’s two stores, you’ll notice new labels on many of the items we carry on the shelves. You’ll also see more pictures and information about the farmers and producers whose products are sold at the co-op. That’s P6, a new program we have been developing with our staff and board for the last several months. In October, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op launched Principle Six (P6), the cooperative trade movement, which celebrates three values that food co-ops hold in high regard: small, local, cooperative. P6, owned by and designed for grocery co-ops and cooperative food producers, exemplifies just and equitable trade relationships between farmers, producers, retailers and consumers rooted in cooperative principles and values. P What? The Principle Six (P6) Cooperative Trade Movement was founded in 2009 by Equal Exchange and an initial group of six consumer co-ops. The program gets its name from the sixth principle of seven cooperative principles established by the International Cooperative Alliance, “Cooperation Among Cooperatives”. P6 brings attention to the economics of our food system. It shows our shoppers, definitively, where their dollars are going by labeling products in our stores that adhere to our co-op’s highest values. The P6 organization is a co-op of co-ops with one full-time staff member, whose office is currently housed at Seward Community Co-op in Minneapolis. The strength and growth of the organization comes from the participation of the 10 co-ops that are members of P6. In true cooperative fashion, P6 co-ops share resources, including design and advertising materials, organizational training and peer-to-peer support, to drive P6 forward. 8 Co-optimist

The P6 Label

Products are labeled P6 if they meet at least two of the following three criteria: being farmed/produced locally, by a small farmer/producer, by a cooperative/non-profit. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op defines these criteria as:


Local products are produced or grown within 250 miles of Roanoke AND within the 5 surrounding states (MD, NC, WV, Eastern KY, Eastern TN & Washington DC). Locally produced products are defined as products where a local producer adds some value to the product beyond cutting and/or packaging.


Cooperatives and nonprofit business are defined by the structure and practices of that producer or business. Nonprofits are determined by their legal status; cooperatives are determined by their legal status and ownership structure. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op also includes employee–owned companies and collectives that are run democratically.


A small producer is defined as independently owned and operated, where the owner(s) and/or employees have complete control of the company. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op should be able to have direct communication with decision-makers and decision-making authority is vested in the local owner(s) and not subject to conditions dictated remotely. International products/main ingredient(s) must be sourced from small farmer co-ops to meet the “small” and “cooperative” criteria and receive the P6 designation. When the co-op has a product that meets at least two of these three criteria, we’ll label it on the shelf and show you how that producer got the P6 label by including Local, Small

Local | Small Producer | Cooperatively Owned and/or Cooperative in the signage. The idea is to show our shoppers very clearly who grew or produced that product on the shelf and how buying that P6 product supports those values.

Shop your Values “P6 isn’t a program that is designed to change or redirect the types of products that fit the co-op’s product standards. The P6 program is designed to identify [producers and their] products that not only meet our Standards of Quality, but also meet our values as a cooperative.” - Mike Anzalone, Store Manager, Ozark Natural Foods

Co-ops are unique in that we are small, local, & cooperative, just like P6! By labeling these products and farmers/producers in our stores, we are celebrating those values. We know that money spent locally stays in our community longer, it’s what Janelle Orsi, the executive director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center describes as pinball economics. Our dollars are the pinballs, our community is the pinball machine. When dollars are spent, we want that pinball to bounce around from store to store, customer to farmer, person to person, inside our community while we build a bigger score that’s equivalent to local wealth. All you have to do is keep that ball in play and not let it leave. P6 is pinball economics only with a slightly modified community that includes small international fair trade businesses and cooperatives in the game. P6 co-ops support the P6 trade movement because we know buying from small international producers builds wealth in their communities by providing livable wages needed to support their families and because we know buying from cooperatives of any kind provides a way for the members of that co-op to add more dollars to their local pinball economics. We will of course continue to buy from our local farmers and producers because we know those dollars bounce around in our community and grow our pinball score, our local wealth.

Look for P6

You’ll notice new signs in our stores! By labeling P6 products with a unique recognizable logo, the co-op is showing just how important these values - small, local, cooperative – are to our co-op. Conventional big-box grocery shelves are touting Local and Small in their advertising today, but when you look closely at the shelves, they lack the products, farmers and producers to back up those claims. P6 cuts through the noise; we label our products clearly, each and every product, because the co-op is proud of buying from small farmer/producers both locally and internationally. Today the co-op carries 82 P6 producers and over 400 P6 products, and those numbers are growing. One thing we want to make clear is P6 doesn’t change Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s product standards, which are “Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op will not knowingly carry products or produce products in its deli that contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or added artificial growth hormones.” Instead this new program celebrates the people behind the quality products we carry. Whereas labels like “Organic” and “GMO-free” tells us WHAT is in (or more importantly WHAT’s NOT in) a product, P6 tells us WHO is behind those products. That’s where economics enter into this trade movement! The overall goal of the P6 movement is to increase market access for small farmers, build cooperative supply chains and, ultimately, change our food system. Look for P6 demos and promotions throughout our stores and be sure to ask any co-op team member about P6 if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to growing this program and using P6 as a vehicle to celebrate the people behind our food! Left, Joel Salatin from Polyface Farm in Swoope, VA. Photo courtesy of Polyface, Inc. Middle, Staff of Red Rooster Coffee Roasters in Floyd, VA. Right, Beatrice from the Buginyanya Co-op in Uganda is a producer for Equal Exchange. Photo courtesy of Equal Exchange.

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Featured P6 Producers By working together with our P6 producers and sharing more information about our farmers, the co-op uses P6 to start a conversation about the values within the food we buy. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op is keeping its high standards for the quality of the food on its shelves, while focusing more attention on the people behind that food who share some of the most important values of the cooperative: small, local, and co-op.

Ferguson Farm

Rocky Mount, Virginia Jack Ferguson has dedicated his entire life to providing good, fresh food to the community. Ferguson’s father purchased the property, located near Rocky Mount, in 1920 from a relative. Jack, his wife and his father sold mainly chickens and eggs from 1946 until about 1980. Ferguson has since become known for his greens like spinach and kale. With help from farm manager Kris Peckman, Ferguson Farm is a regular at Downtown Roanoke’s Historic City Market. 10 Co-optimist

Full Circle Farm

Floyd, Virginia Full Circle Farm is an 8-acre “green spot in the woods” that is home to Dennis Dove and Good Food – Good People (GFGP) owner, Tenley Weaver. What began as a market farm for Tenley turned into a fullfledged production farm when Dennis took over in 1997. Full Circle grows over 50 different kinds of vegetables, supplying mainly for GFGP’s CSA. Some of Dennis’s favorites are old-time breeds of tomatoes like Brandywine and Cherokee Purple along with a steady crop of kale.

Heritage Point Urban Farm

Roanoke, Virginia Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s own urban farm, Heritage Point was founded in 2012. The farm provides fresh vegetables year round for the co-op guided by Our Promise, an eight-point pledge used for consistency and commitment in every product grown and raised at Heritage Point. Our Promise addresses growing a local food system that is Pure, Sustainable, Fair, Humane, Safe, Local, Responsible, and Honest. If you’re an owner of the co-op, you also own Heritage Point Urban Farm.

Lick Run Farm

Roanoke, Virginia Lick Run Farm is part of the Lick Run Community Development Center located in the Washington Park neighborhood. The center’s primary goal is “to provide

The P6 Vision

• Members of P6 envision a food system in which farmers, workers, and producers are valued and compensated fairly at each step of the supply chain.

fresh, healthy, and affordable produce to our neighbors and surrounding community.” In 2010, Rick Williams purchased the property that was once home to Crowell’s Nursery. Lick Run hosts several neighborhood events each year as well as classes, reinforcing the idea that Lick Run isn’t just a farm.

Polyface Farm

Swoope, Virginia Polyface is a family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, “beyond organic”, local-market farm and informational outreach in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The Salatins aim to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.

Riverstone Organic Farm

Floyd, Virginia Woody and Jackie Crenshaw started developing their dream farm in 2009 with the help of Brett Nichols. Riverstone Organic Farm is blessed with a span of fertile, flat river bottom land unusual for this area, which has been in cultivation for over a century. Kat Johnson and Clem Swift now farm Riverstone, a certified organic GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) farm, with the help of an able group of farm assistants.

Seven Springs Farm

Check, Virginia Founded in 1991, Seven Springs Farm serves over 120 families and individuals through their CSA as well as providing delicious offerings to co-op shoppers. Farmers Polly Heiser and her husband Nii Anang say their mission is to grow fresh, nutritious food to the best of their abilities, use practices that improve the soil and the land, offer food to the community, and foster connections between the consumer, the land, and the farmer.

Waterbear Mountain Organic Farm

Floyd, Virginia Established in 1993, Waterbear Mountain Organic Farm is unique in that they are certified organic and use biodynamic growing methods. Richie Ursomarso and his team follow strict standards to ensure the food they grow is clean and free of synthetic chemicals and toxic elements. Waterbear’s goal is to provide affordable certified organic food to their community and to demonstrate that mixed vegetable farming is a sustainable business model for rural communities. Opposite Page, Clockwise from Left, Riverstone Organic Farm, Full Circle Farm, Lick Run Urban Farm. Above, Heritage Point Urban Farm.

• P6 members view consumers as powerful participants in global and local economies: engaged, educated and empowered to use their purchasing dollars as a tool for social change. • P6 members believe that by creating a values-based economy, we contribute to healthy, just, and sustainable communities locally and globally.

How Does P6 Work?

The Principle Six (P6) Cooperative Trade Movement is implemented at an in-store level by participating member co-ops, like Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. Shelf-level consumer-recognized branding directs customers to purchase products meeting two of the three P6 criteria: local, small and cooperative. P6 products create a point of conversation, engaging staff and customers in a discussion of the impact of their purchases. And the more P6 products that are sourced and purchased, the more P6 farmers/producers benefit. In the end, a whole new market, driven by shared values, is created.


Bob Capper Board President Fall is upon us again and as the end of the year nears it’s a great time to look back at the accomplishments of the year. Of course we are always working to improve our organization and to find new ways to ensure that our store stays current with the cooperative principles and values that are the core of our organization. We are proud now to announce that we have joined the Principle Six (P6) program that highlights products exemplifying core values that define who we are in terms of environmental stewardship and sustainable cooperative business models.

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The P6 program assures you that the purchases you make support small farmers and producers both locally and internationally that share the values you expect as part of a cooperatively connected organization. Many thanks are due to our management and staff for bringing the great program to our store! As we look ahead to the coming year there are many exciting things that are now in the early stages of planning. While I don’t want to give too much away now, I will leave you with this teaser: Be looking for even more visible changes in the months ahead. I’m sure you’ll like what you see! In cooperation,

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building community... naturally.

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Welcome Tim Wilson New Store Manager of the Grandin Co-op Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op is happy to welcome Tim Wilson to the staff. Tim is the newly appointed store manager of our Grandin Road location, a position that is also new to the co-op. Tim has taken over management of our flagship location allowing general manager Bruce Phlegar to focus on Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s growing business, which in recent years added a second retail location in Downtown Roanoke and Heritage Point, the co-op’s own urban farm. Bruce has served as store manager of the Grandin location as well as general manager of the co-op for the last 19 years. A Lynchburg native, Tim now lives in Salem, VA with his wife of 28 years, Kathy Wilson, a teacher at Glenvar High School. Tim has over 32 years of food service experience, most recently as a food broker for Infusion in Salem where he serviced local restaurants and food chains. Before that he grew up in the Harris Teeter organization, serving as store manager of the Towers branch before the store was sold to Kroger in 1999. “I like the people,” Tim says about the best part of his long career in food service. “It’s all about keeping your staff happy and your shoppers happy.” As a food broker Tim admits at first he didn’t like being called a salesman. “I hated the word ‘salesman’, but I learned quick that if you help people get what they already wanted, it’s rewarding. The more sincere you are with people the better.” Since starting at the co-op Tim points out that a lot of the processes of selling food are the same anywhere you go, but he’s now being introduced to all kinds of new food possibilities. “It’s like a whole new world!”

“And the owners are so involved,” Tim says. “People here really do care about the co-op.” “The co-op’s going to grow to service more of Roanoke and the surrounding area,” Tim says, “and I’m looking forward to being a part of that growth and success. I also look forward to seeing our young talent grow and develop with us.”

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6 Ways to Align Your Life “Do more of what puts you in a good mood. It really is that simple. You have to at least try!” Garrett Thompson, Chiropractor

If you are reading this, you are already interested in your health. Customers and owners of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op are usually above average when it comes to nutrition and wellness. I have found over my 18 plus years in practice that there are 6 main aspects of our lives that, if we addressed even slightly, would help us cope with stress better and live healthier, more productive lives. 1. You are already focusing on Proper Nutrition. Having a well-balanced diet is paramount to better health. I recommend having one of the team members at the co-op give you a tour and learn more about the benefits of organic foods. 2. Proper Exercise is important as well. If everyone would just walk a mile a day, it would be very beneficial. Ideal is 3 days of weight bearing exercise and 3 days of cardio. It doesn’t take a lot of time either, less than an hour a day. 3. Proper Sleep/Rest. Everyone is different, some need more, some less. Target 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. You should wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day. If you have trouble with that, it may be an alignment issue or a mattress issue. I prefer a firm latex-based memory foam mattress. 4. Proper Hygiene is important. One would think that goes without saying. If you drop your hygiene, everything else will soon follow. Hygiene is not just external either. Make sure you know what you are putting in your body! 5. P.M.A. Positive Mental Attitude. I was told many years ago that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with… Is it time to re-evaluate? If you need to get away

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from it all, try a book, a hike, a hobby, or church. Do more of what puts you in a good mood. It really is that simple. You have to at least try! 6. The last thing is No Nerve Interference. That kind of wraps it all together. If you have physical issues, treating the symptoms is usually not the best idea. Sometimes it is necessary, but treating the cause is paramount for lasting health. The spine is key in your overall health. If it is out of alignment, it can cause nerve interference. Those nerves through the brain tell your organs what to do as well as the organs telling your brain what’s going on. If it is distorted, will it pass on the correct instructions? Keep it clear.

Dr. Garrett Thompson is a chiropractor in Roanoke, VA on Brandon Avenue not far from the Grandin Co-op. He has been in practice since 1997 and a Lifetime Owner of the co-op. If you have any questions on strategies to BE WELL, please do not hesitate to contact him. Garrett’s office number is (540) 776-8200 and email is


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REALFOOD Pumpkin-Cocoa Roll Cake with Chevre Filling

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, Serves 12

Pumpkin and chocolate are a delicious pairing, with the sweet, rich pumpkin providing a perfect base for the complex flavors of cocoa. The chevre cheese filling adds a tangy, sophisticated richness to the whole affair. Rolling the cake is easy, just make sure that you dust your towel with plenty of sugar, so that it doesn’t stick.

Ingredients Approximately 1/2 cup powdered sugar for the towel and topping 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup cocoa 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs 1 cup brown sugar 2/3 cup canned pumpkin 10 ounces chevre cheese, softened 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15 x 10 x 1/2-inch jelly roll pan, line it with parchment paper, then grease the paper. Reserve. Put a smooth kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over it, in the shape of the jelly roll pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar until mixed, then turn the mixer to high and beat for two minutes. The mixture will be light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, then the flour mixture, just until smooth. Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry. Take the pan out and let cool for five minutes, then place the edge of the pan on the edge of the sugar-coated towel, then quickly tip over to drop the cake on the sugar. Peel off the paper, then sprinkle with more sugar, then gently roll the cake up. Place the rolled cake on a cooling rack for an hour, until room temperature. While the cake cools, combine the chevre cheese and butter in the stand mixer or large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well mixed and creamy. Scrape down and beat until fluffy. Chill for at least half an hour. Unroll the cake, then spread the chevre mixture over the cake, leaving a couple of inches bare at the end that will form the outer seam. Roll up from the covered end, then carefully transfer to a platter. Chill for at least an hour, then dust with powdered sugar. Recipe by Robin Asbell . This recipe and others available at

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Grandin Village 1319 Grandin Road, SW Roanoke, VA 24015 (540) 343-5652 Downtown 1 Market Square, SE Roanoke, VA 24011 (540) 904-2733

Global Ends Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op exists to create a vibrant, local and sustainable cooperative community where decisions are grounded in the balance of economic, social and environmental responsibilities.

The Co-optimist, Fall 2015  

Check out the 40th Anniversary edition of The Co-optimist! Stories include a history of the early beginnings of the co-op, our new program P...