45 Years Strong

On Valentine’s Day, the Ashland Food Co-op turns 45 years old.

It’s hard to imagine we’ve been providing healthy, organic food to the Rogue Valley for almost half a century. From our humble beginnings as the Ashland Community Food Store to now a thriving Co-op with over 10,000 owners, it has been an honor to serve this community.

Let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane and see how far we’ve come in 45 years.

 

1971 A small group of Ashland families joined together to form a food buying club.

1972 Membership grew rapidly and within a year’s time, a store front opened on North Main to accommodate the demand.

Mid 70s Business grew and soon a larger store was needed and operations moved to a larger location on 3rd and Lithia Way, currently the Ashland Outdoor Store.

Mid 80s The volunteer labor that helped shape the Co-op was phased out and replaced by paid staff to meet the growing needs of the store.

1987 The first General Manager was hired.

1988 The store was extensively remodeled by expanding retail, office and warehouse space. A community room was also added which was available at low or no cost for community sponsored events and classes.

1990s The store was thriving! But the staff of 50+ people and the space could barely keep up with the demands.

1993 In April, we broke ground on our current location and in November we opened the doors.

2002 The 4500 square feet addition was completed that now houses our Deli, Produce and Meat departments.

2003 After many years of debate, research and surveys, we made the full transition from the Ashland Community Food Store to the Ashland Food Co-op. On January 1st, 2003, we re-incorporated as a cooperative enterprise and began taking memberships in our newly formed co-op.

Today 10,000 owners strong and growing!

 

In celebration of our 45 year milestone, we invite you to join us for free birthday cake on February 14th from 1pm - 4pm at the Tasting Kiosk. Additionally, we’ll be offering special, “45”-centric birthday sales on some of your favorite foods and products all month long.

Throughout this anniversary year we will be refreshing our brand and launching a new, beautiful logo to take us into the next decade. We look forward to celebrating our history and contributions to the Ashland, and greater Rogue Valley, community throughout the whole year.

Stay tuned for more birthday and new brand celebrations!

 

More Co-op News

Meet Cooking Class Instructor Tiazza Rose

From bread baking to Moroccan cooking, many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. We'd like you to meet a few of them. Tiazza Rose has been teaching the Ashland community the art of Moroccan cooking for years. If you haven't taken a class from Tiazza yet, you should. Here's why.

 

Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

Give the Gift of Wellness

 

Finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one is an art. This winter, we carefully selected these assortments for those who love some good self-care, are working in partnership with their gut health, or for those making efforts to reduce their pain. Help us help you make your loved ones feel extra special and extra healthful.

 

Give the Gift of Good Food

During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley. We’ve teamed up once again with Smart Chicken® for the Smart Giving Holiday Challenge.

Here’s how it works.

  • For every 10 pounds of Smart Chicken® you purchase from the Meat Department or the Deli, Smart Chicken® will donate one pound of chicken to a local non profit

We're All Turtles

By Dean Williamson, Board of Director

My grandmother loved to talk. Oh, could she talk! And she had one expression that I’ve always really liked. “If you come across a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.”

The Power of Principle Seven

By Emile Amarotico, General Manager

As we approach the holidays, I’d like to invoke the spirit of the Seventh Cooperative Principle: Concern for Community. The International Cooperative Alliance defines Principle Seven as when “[c]ooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.”

So how does that work? How does Ashland Food Co-op demonstrate concern for community?

Love Local with the Local Guy

Throughout September, we will be celebrating all things local. And no one loves local or is more local than our Temporary Demo Coordinator, Brighton Litjens. He was basically raised at the Co-op, has a strong passion for local farmers and producers and loves delighting shoppers with delicious samples and great deals. Who better to tell us about loving local than the "Local Guy" himself?

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Trine Ostergaard

Trine Ostergaard is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. She brings a world, literally, of experience to the table and has a sincere passion and love for the Co-op. We are thrilled to have her aboard and asked her to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. He brings to the table a plethora of co-op experience and a love of chocolate chip cookies. We are thrilled to have him aboard and asked him to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Staff Picks: Favorite Local Products

September is Love Local Month!  All month long we’re celebrating our local farmers and vendors with demos, events and more. Here are some of our staff's favorite local products.

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Meet Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

By Lauren Taber, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative started in 2001 with a few simple questions in mind: what would it look like to take Fair Trade a step further? How can coffee farmers be in direct relationship with end consumers in the United States?

We found that the answer was even simpler: cooperative ownership. Pachamama Coffee has been 100% farmer-owned since day one, and is currently owned by 140,000 small scale family farmers across the coffee producing regions of the world.

Community Cider Backyard Fruit Drive

How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.

2018 Board Election Results

The AFC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Board Election. There were three excellent candidates running for two Board positions. In total, 905 votes were cast.

Congratulations to the following candidates who will serve three-year terms on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors.

Thank you for voting!

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Beat the Heat

When the heat of summer takes over, it can be hard on our bodies and moods. Don’t let the scorching temps get you down, cool off with one of these refreshing Staff recommendations.