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

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.
 

Report from the Board of Directors: Strategic Plan Update

By Jeff Golden, External Relations Committee Chair

Ashland Food Co-op is striding into the future with careful intention. We’re especially focused on the three top priorities of our strategic planning process, a collaboration of our board and management team. A quick update:

Riding off into the Sunset

 

By Annie Hoy, Retiring Marketing Manager

Since I was born and raised in far West Texas, I cannot help but use some imagery from what is so familiar to me.

Staff Picks: Summer Hikes and Trail Snacks

Our staff loves to head outside and enjoy the gorgeous Oregon outdoors. Here's a few of their favorite trails and the Co-op snacks they like to take with them.

 

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Be a Zero Waste Hero in Four Easy Steps

By Stephanie Koerella, Education Coordinator

Reducing our waste has continued to be of greater concern for Rogue Valley residents, especially since January, when options for recycling became even more limited. While the Ashland Food Co-op is ramping up our efforts to reduce waste as a business, there is a lot that our community can do at home to help the cause.

Staff Picks: Earth Friendly Products

In celebration of Sustainability Month in April, we asked our Sustainability Committee to share their favorite eco-friendly product.

2018 Kids Summer Camps

We’ve teamed up with Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer three different camps this summer. Each week campers will dive into food production, preparation and exploration, with a mix of farm and kitchen experiences that delight the senses and inspire the soul. Join Rogue Valley Farm to School staff as they cultivate the ability to grow and cook delicious, healthy, seasonal meals. Monday - Wednesday at the Co-op Community Classroom, Thursday & Friday at the Farm at SOU.
 

Update on our Strategic Initiatives

By Ed Claassen, Board President

Your Board and Management Team invested a significant amount of time in 2014 developing a set of strategic initiatives that we believe are vital in shaping the future of our business and furthering our mission. We formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee consisting of 3 Board members and 3 Management Team members to guide the implementation of these initiatives.

2018 Electronic Coupon Schedule

To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.

No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.

As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.

Please note:

Co+op Basics: High Integrity, Low Price

Looking to stretch your grocery budget? So are we! We've lowered the price on over three hundred items to create a set of high integrity staples for every shopper. Welcome to Co+op Basics.

Co+op Basics includes over 300 pantry and household staples. From beef to milk to cereal, we’ve lowered the margin and price on all those items to make organic, healthy food accessible to every shopper.

Proposals Sought for the 2018 Community Grants

The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations is now open.

Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.