Coop News ~ April 2017
April 2017 Newsletter for the Arena Market and Cafe
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April 2017
Our Co-op on the Coast

Arena Market and Cafe / Coastal Organics Cooperative

A Message from Your General Manager

It seems safe to say Spring is really, truly, finally here! It's been a bit warmer, and clearer skies mean we get to see more of all of you. When we get a long & wet winter, I'm reminded of how great it is to be community owned.

Thank you all so very much for your ongoing support! Thank you for shopping local and supporting the employment of the 20ish members of your community that work here at your co-op. Thank you for making it nearly impossible to make enough soup to keep up on the blustery days. Thank you for prepaying into member accounts, to ease the challenge of the slow season. We’re here for you 364 days a year, and it's heartening that so many of you have made us your first choice for organic produce, lunch, or cafe goodies! Thanks for being here for your co-op.

How can we better serve you? Do you have any suggestions for our Deli case? What are you picking up out of town that we could possibly provide? Even one more item purchased locally makes a world of difference, and we'd love to stock exactly what you want.

Remember, your co-op isn't a specialty store…
We're the regular store, for specialty people!

See you at the co-op!
Mike Sakellaridis
General Manager

From the President 

Appreciating Co-op Employees
Any member who comes into the Arena Market & Cafe interacts with our wonderful employees. We employee about 20 people on average with slight dips during winter and increases during summer. They serve you coffee, prepare bagels, ring up your purchases, stock the shelves, freshen the produce cooler, cook deli items, order stuff from our vendors, unload the trucks, enter data in our our point-of-sale system, and strive to provide extraordinary customer service.
Since 2009, we’ve employed over 100 people from the Point Area area. Our lenders from the economic development groups in Mendocino and Arcata areas were totally stoked to see how many employees that the co-op had given jobs, several of whom got their first real job at the co-op. Their loan funds rarely generate so many jobs, so they were very pleased to be supporting us.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea that our employees come and go frequently! We have five employees who have worked at the co-op for more than 5 years. Our 20 employees total 59 years of service at the co-op. The average tenure is 2-3/4 years. And only five employees have worked for us for less than a year.
Your co-op employs your neighbors, friends, and children. We train them for the jobs we need; in fact, we cross-train them for several jobs so an employee can help out in another area when the workload gets heavy.
We welcome interest from people who want to work at the co-op. Talk with Mike, our General Manager. Know that we strive for high standards of work ethics, diligence and productivity.
Thanks to our employees, we have a successful and growing business in Point Area.
President, Coastal Organics Cooperative, Inc.


Employee Spotlight 

Appreciating Natalie Cortesse by Ginny Wyatt

Each month I would like to use this space to spotlight one of our employees! This month we’ll be hearing from one of our longest serving employees--Natalie Cortesse, the employee responsible for invoicing, banking, and choosing vegan products at the store.

Natalie has a long history with the co-op, dating back to before its inception, since she was also employed at the Record (for those new to the area, the Record was the natural foods market whose closure inspired the community to come together to create the Arena Market Cooperative). She was around when the first coat of paint went on the walls of the cafe. This is a natural fit, because Natalie has been a vegan most of her life and has always depended heavily on health food stores to meet her needs.

Natalie says, “I believe in what we do at the co-op. Without them I would be lost, unable to find my meat and pesticide free grub. Grocery stores years ago didn't have 'specialty food isles' and it was slim pickings for vegans and food conscious shoppers."

When asked what she liked about our store and working here, she shares, “I like the sense of community I feel when I am here.” As for what advice she might give our customers/members, she says, “Don't hesitate to let us know what you would like from us. We are not Whole Foods, our resources are limited so we rely heavily on customers feedback/support to help keep the co-op great.”

When asked what she would like customers to know about her, she mentions her soon to be product line “Vegan Girl.”  She says these healthy vegan products will be low sugar, gluten free baked goods. We hope to have them in the co-op soon.

When asked for a funny "staff" story, she confides that Van Sickle assigns a different animal noise for each employee. Hmmm, perhaps he has one for each member too?  

Some of Natalie’s favorite foods include Wildwood sprouted tofu (sprouting makes it easier to digest), Yves deli ham (excellent for sandwiches, and meat lovers like it as well), Silk almond milk dark chocolate coconut yogurt (yum!), and Kevita tangerine pro-biotic drink.

I have known Natalie for a few years now and what I enjoy and most impresses me about her is her honesty and dedication to what she believes in. The Arena Market is fortunate to have her working here to help meet the needs of our community. Thanks Natalie.

Tune in next month to see which employee I will spotlight.

Natalie's Tofu Chocolate Pudding

Here's a favorite recipe from Natalie…
Wildwood silken tofu
½ c oil ( light flavor)
1 c sweetener
½ c cocoa powder
½ t salt
3 t vanilla
Blend until smooth, refrigerate overnight ( it will thicken and becomes yummier as it sets) This is the original recipe, but you can change the fats and sweetener and it always seems to come out delicious.


New Products

Lactaid Lactose Free Milks

Forager Project Dairy-Free Cashewgurt

Kettle Brand Hawaiian Barbeque Chips w/ Avocado Oil

Blue Lotus Golden Masala Chai, featuring turmeric and maca


April Deals at your Co-Op!

All Zevia Zero Calorie Sodas- only $.99

Select Bulk Section items are 20% off!

Dr. Kracker
3 Seed Flatbread Crackers Was $5.04 Now $4.29


Suggestion Box

answered by Kathryn McCabe

Why are the lines so long when the Cashier is making espressos and/or sandwiches?
The cashier calls another employee to the other register which is ready to operate at a moments notice. We are very lucky to have such efficient people working with us as the problem is usually solved by the time the back-up cashier can stop what they are doing and get to the front. Unfortunately due to budget constraints we are unable to offer two full-time cashiers. Everyone on the floor must keep busy so we can continue to keep the co-op operating at it's full potential.
Where will the new salad bar be located?
The salad bar will be relocating to the soup sandwich area soon. There are some electrical considerations which need to be addressed first.  
Will the Stornetta posters be back?
Great news they have already been ordered and are being redesigned. We are hoping they will be available sometime in the spring  Look for the new rendering to appear in the front south window.
Thank-you all for your suggestions and comments please keep them coming. We will be answering all concerns monthly in this column. If you didn't see your question this time, keep looking as it will appear soon.

Guide Dog for the Coastally Curious

If you haven't seen local author/cartoonist Steve Oliff's latest offering, come by and check it out.  You will definitely want one! It is a wonderfully creative, informative guide to the southern Mendocino coast. History, humor, fabulous illustrations and more. Thank you once again Steve Oliff!

Ginny's Scoop at the Co-Op 

Each month I will bring you the news on projects and changes at Arena Market in an effort to highlight changes and that are occurring. Ideas and suggestions are always welcome. You can email me,or place ideas in the suggestion box at the store.

The bathroom painting project is almost done finishing touches should be completed before you get this letter.The project was done with the help of Mike, Natalie and her family, Bill Golly and myself. Natalie donated the paint. Our bathroom gets a lot of use,we hope to keep it looking nice and functioning well. Please let the staff know when it needs attention.

Mike is working with a few members on creating a new look in the cafe. Updating, cleaning and adding to the flow of the market. Please let us know if you would like to donate time or money to help with improvements.

See you at the Co-op
Ginny Wyatt

Board of Directors

Rick Beach
Ginny Wyatt
Jacquiline Strock
Phil Clark
Margaret Grace
Mike Sakellaridis

183 Main Street
Point Arena

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