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News from the Co-op!

MEET THE FRONT END Part III

I was born and raised in Chico but lived in the bay area for a period of time.  The last 10 years of my life have been spent working in animal welfare which was very rewarding but often emotionally challenging too.  I am a CSU Chico grad, with a BA in music; so as you may guess I am constantly working with music in one form or another.  I play piano, guitar, and can sing, although guitar is by far my favored instrument.  I currently play with The Hambones but also aspire to play in more bands in the future.  I have always been very concerned about the environment and all beings alive on it. As a child I sponsored endangered tigers as they were my favorite animal.  Working at CNFC is a dream come true!  I am very excited to expand my learning and help create a healthy and sustainable environment for our community.
 What is your favorite part of working at the Co-op?
My favorite part of the Co-op is the staff, everyone is so positive and really work together to help accomplish our goals.  The customers are equally enjoyable, I love learning about what kind of foods everyone is into and all of the interesting things they know about healthy living.
 What is the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge of my job is not eating all the great food!  But in all seriousness, I strive to provide excellent customer service to each and every person who comes into the Co-op. It is a personal challenge that I am happy to take on.  I want everyone to feel welcome and a part of the community.
 What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is just being at the Co-op, it is a great place to work and I feel like I am around friends all day.  I would hang out there even if I wasn't working!
 What are you most excited about for the future of the Co-op?
I am super excited about the upcoming remodels planned for the Co-op, I cannot wait to see how the store gets improved.  I am excited for our owners to be part of the journey and hope it makes everyone's shopping experience more enjoyable!
 What is your favorite product in the store?
My favorite products at the Co-op are the local veggies, they are so sweet in comparison to big box store produce.  I love thinking that someone I know may have picked the veggies out of the ground, and that someone else I may know likely delivered them to our store.  It creates a real sense of community when we eat foods grown in our own back yards so to speak.
Hi, my name is Matthew “Seth” Mares.  I was born and raised in Chico, CA. My friends generally refer to me as “Squirrel” because I run everywhere I go…I think.  When I was 18 I started my first real job at Left Coast Pizza and worked as a driver, pizza-maker, oven-runner, supervisor, and front-end service worker.
My most exciting and rewarding job was working at Yosemite as a wilderness ranger and visitor-use assistant.  This job gave me a lot of experience working with people and giving wildlife and safety presentations.  As a visitor assistant I handled all financial transactions for people entering the park.  Chasing bears was cool too.  In high-school I served as a volunteer for Kids ‘N Creeks.  I worked closely with children as a mentor and helped educate them on the ecology and biology of creeks and how damaging pollution is to the system, as well as giving them tools to heal and uplift nature, specifically waterways. 
One of my most challenging jobs was being a high school track and field coach for two seasons.  The pressure and wide range of responsibilities of this job was much more than I could’ve imagined.
I graduated from Chico High in 2006 and am currently working on finishing a degree in Business Administration at Chico State.  I was hired at the Co-op as a cashier, and so far the biggest challenge has been memorizing all the PLU’s and learning all the names of fruits coming into the store.  The most rewarding part of this job has been all the welcoming customers and employees and being a part of the new initial training program.  The most exciting aspect about the future of the Co-op will be experiencing the renovations first hand while seeing how day-to-day business is operated simultaneously.  My favorite products are kombucha and Coconut Bliss!
My name is Cassidy Lawless Mclemore.  I have been working in kitchens my whole life.  I grew up in Chico, CA where I attended Chico High School.  I have gone to Butte Community College in their Sustainability program.  I have wrestled and played football for over half my life.  Football is still a big part of who I am, whether it be teaching youth or yelling at the television every Sunday.  I also am a big hiker and climber.  I have been certified as a wilderness first responder. I work summers with Lasting Adventure, a nonprofit organization that leads youth through the back country of Yosemite.  I spent five months travelling and bartending down in Latin America, and yes, I was pretty much Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
What is your favorite part of working at the Co-op?
My favorite part about working at the Co-op is that everyone comes to work with a positive attitude and ready to work.  My absolute favorite though is the customers, because no matter what their story is, it’s always interesting and inspiring.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge for me is ending conversations when we are busy.  On occasion a customer and I may share some similar stories, which we tell each other as the line starts to build.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is that I know we are selling a healthy lifestyle and helping all the local farmers and businesses.  Being a part of the community really makes it feel less like work and more like building a future.
What are you most excited about for the future of the Co-op?
I’m most excited about the remodel because we will have a new kitchen that I will get to play in!
What is your favorite product in the store?
I have to give a big shoutout to Steaz Energy Drinks.  The right amount of kick with no crash.
Hello! I’m David and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Roseville which is just outside of Sacramento. I worked at a grocery store as a courtesy clerk (aka bag boy) for 3 years before moving up to Chico a year ago for school.  Some random facts about me: I play guitar in a alt/punk band in Sacramento. I grew up skateboarding and finally picked up snowboarding last season.
What is your favorite part of working at the Co-op?
My favorite part of working at the Co-op is just about everything. There are so many nice and awesome customers. Everyone I work with is so helpful, nice, down to earth, and unique. I can’t wait to get to know everyone better!
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
This was my first time seriously cashiering. The produce codes have been difficult but aren’t too hard to learn. Mostly it has been learning all the ins and outs of the products. There are so many unique items that people ask about and I would love to know more about them.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding thing for me is getting to talk to so many different and awesome people. A lot of our customers have awesome stories to tell and are fun to joke around with. Makes my job just seem like a string of awesome conversations.
What are you most excited about for the future of the Co-op?
I have been told that the Co-op has been growing over the past year or so and is continuing to do so. I am so excited to actually be a part of it now! I see first-hand how important this store is to the community of Chico. The remodel will be awesome and bring in a lot of new people to the store.
What is your favorite product in the store?
Anything and everything Lauren bakes…I will eat all of it with no shame : )
He’s just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit, he took the midnight train goin' anywhere.  Hey, don't stop believin'! Okay, okay fine.  Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, has lots of brothers and a couple sisters, a wife and one sweet baby!  Graduating in the Spring of 2014, Matt studied Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Food Service Administration.  He likes taking the midnight train goin' anywhere.

What is your favorite part of working at the Co-op?
My favorite part of work at the Co-op is the amount of support and positive energy I receive from coworkers, customers and management.  Interacting with everyone at the Co-op is always a pleasant experience and makes me feel awesome.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
My biggest challenge in my role as a cashier at the Co-op is balancing work with school and raisin' a lil' babes.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping a customer with beer selection based on their meal pairing or preference gives me the most rewarding feelings as a cashier.
What are you most excited about for the future of the Co-op?
I am most excited about our ever increasing beer selection and our overall increasing trend in sales.
What is your favorite product in the store?
My favorite product in the store is Firestone Walker's Velvet Merkin, because of it's hilariously inappropriate title and superbly delicious flavors.

Salutations,
Matthew Charles Slem
I moved to Chico in the end of June to attend CSU Chico.  I am majoring in International Relations. I enjoy crocheting, jazz, documentaries, and road trips.  I love to travel internationally and hope to work with oppressed people groups and political refugees.
What is your favorite part of working at the Co-op? 
I really enjoy that the Co-op plays a dynamic role in the community. I love to see friends have surprise meetings at the Co-op.
 What is the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge in my job is having unique interactions with each individual.  After a while, it’s a struggle to not have scripted conversations.
 What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is building relationships with our customers.
 What are you most excited about for the future of the Co-op?
I’m excited for the renovation of the Co-op which will hopefully draw more people into our community.
 What is your favorite product in the store?
Any food that comes from the Co-op Kitchen is my favorite!

THANK YOU SCOTT!

We have said our goodbyes to Scott Richman, our beloved Co-op staff member for over 20 years, who has decided to retire. His contributions to the store are too many to list here, but suffice to say that the ramifications of the relationship have been overwhelmingly in our favor.  Thank you Scott!

Happy New Year from the Board of Directors!

2013 was a fantastic year at the Co-op.  A year long visioning process between the board, owners, and management resulted in a vision statement and strategic plan that is authentic to the values of our Co-op.  The board learned all about and approved the upcoming remodel plan.  We cannot wait for the new floor plan that will optimize our special downtown location, highlight the cool architecture of the building, and make for a much improved shopping experience for our entire community, offering more of what we love and value about this grocery store.  YES!

This month we will welcome and train a new team of directors:
Craig Almaguer (new)
Dan Levine (returning)
Julia Murphy (returning)
Olivia Peters-Lazaro (returning)
Jake Preston (new)
Sherri Quammen (returning)
Ana Varona (returning)
There is a pretty steep learning curve for a new board (what is our job? how do we make decisions?  what the heck does that acronym stand for?), and I am confident that this board will get to work and be a thriving asset to our owners.  It is our goal to have a strong cooperative team that practices transparency, proactive leadership, and mutual support.
 
A HUGE thank you to all out-going Board members:
Peter Ratner
Jessica Rios
Phil Weintraub
All of these folks continue to be an asset to our CNFC community.
 
After training the new board, the next essential task for us will be setting our goals for 2014.  Have something on your mind?  You are always welcome to attend a board meeting.  These are held the last Wednesday of each month at 5:30, at the Chico Peace and Justice Center.  We also always welcome emails: bod@chiconatural.com
 
Thank you for being an Owner of CNFC!
Here’s to a healthy, vibrant, joyous new year!
 
Olivia Peters-Lazaro
Board of Directors

WELL-NECESSITIES

Wild Rose Cleanse

Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox

What better way to start the new year than with a cleanse? Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox is the #1 selling detox in Canada and is fairly new to the U.S. Check out their website for more information:  http://wildroseproducts.com/en-CA/kit/d-tox-program
Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox is on sale here at the Co-op for only $24.99 (reguar 34.99) until January 14th.

PRODUCE

Satsuma Mandarins came to the United States in the 1870s from southern Japan.  Mandarins require a warm early fall and a fairly cold winter to thrive.  They have been known to survive frosts as low as 15°F.  Cooler weather during ripening enhances the sweetness and the flavor.  Thus California's Central Valley and Southern Alabama have ideal climates for growing Satsuma Mandarins.  We are fortunate to have Capay Organic Satsumas grown locally (20 miles from Chico in Orland, Ca) and delivered fresh.
Mandarins are high in vitamin C and have a signifigant amount of vitamin A.  The peel comes off easily and the fruit separates nicely into 10 or 12 delicious little slices.  This popular fruit moves off the shelf quicker than any other kind of citrus in the store.  Weather permitting, we will have them available through January and possibly February.

COOL CO-OPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

2014 will be a year of incredible growth and rebirth for Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. We will embark on our most ambitious and far-reaching remodel since the Co-op first opened a storefront. Fortunately, we are not alone in our endeavors. Co-ops around the country are growing and changing to better serve their owners.  We will be highlighting a different thriving Co-op in each of our newsletters this year. Our monthly Co-op focus will kick off with Arizona’s Food Conspiracy.
The Food Conspiracy Co-op was founded in Tucson, Arizona, in 1971 (only two years earlier than our own Chico Co-op). Like the Chico Co-op, Food Conspiracy started out as a buying club, and eventually opened up a store front.  Their fortunes waxed and waned with the natural foods market. In the early nineties, Food Conspiracy faced major financial problems, and had to undergo bankruptcy proceedings.
Since those dark times, the Food Conspiracy Co-op has witnessed amazing growth and renewal, and it once again stands as an inspiring example for co-ops around the country.  In 2012, Food Conspiracy renovated their 42-year old year old store for the very first time (by contrast, our current location was built 74 years ago, as a Safeway). The Conspiracy’s remodel allowed them to greatly expand their kitchen, adding new soup options, a salad bar, and a hot-food bar—all additions that we are planning on introducing with our remodel.

"The Food Conspiracy makes Whole Foods look like 7-11"

Food Conspiracy’s renewed dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed. The San Francisco Chronicle declared that “The Food Conspiracy makes Whole Foods look like 7-11”. Their business is not just stable, it’s growing.  The Food Conspiracy’s 2,600 owners look forward to many more years of good food and great times with their store.
Don't forget, additional parking space is available across the street!
Additional Parking
818 Main Street | Chico, CA 95928 US
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