Co-op E-News & Updates // Everyone is Welcome // February 2017 Neighboring Food Co-ops:


Locally Owned by More Than


100,000 People Like You!

Everyone is Welcome!

Statement on Diversity, Inclusion & Democracy

For over 170 years, the Co-operative Movement has stood for ideals of democracy, empowerment and inclusion – ideals that are at the heart of America’s journey as a nation, and that we continue to strive toward today.  From our beginnings, co-ops have celebrated human diversity and worked to bring people together to meet our needs and achieve our aspirations.  In short, we believe that we are better when we are welcoming, when we lift one another up, and when we work together to make life better for everyone.

In keeping with the Principles of the International Co-operative Alliance, our food co-ops work to ensure that our doors are open to all persons, “without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.”   As community-owned enterprises, we value respectful dialog, debate, and participation as expressions of economic democracy.  As organizations of people who depend on a healthy planet to survive and thrive, we are committed to the development of policies and strategies that will sustain our communities over time.

Today, we are witnessing levels of political, social, and economic division that we believe do not reflect our ideals as a nation.  While we honor differences of opinion, we are concerned that actions made by the current administration are fundamentally at odds with American Principles of democracy, diversity and inclusion, as well as the Co-operative Values of equality, solidarity, and caring for others.  Specifically, we are seeing initiatives that we believe undermine human rights, immigration policies that exclude people based on their origins and religious beliefs, and initiatives that undercut efforts to slow climate change.

In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to being not just welcoming businesses, but empowering community enterprises.  We seek to be positive resources and influences, presenting opportunities for constructive dialogs and collective actions for change.  And we will explore ways that we can reach beyond our walls, advocating for policies that will contribute to democracy and equality, advance human rights, and support environmental sustainability.

As a federation of community-owned food co-ops, we seek to empower people to enjoy healthier lives, build stronger local communities, and provide good jobs.  We advocate for a deeper sense of corporate social responsibility that includes democratic ownership, the full expression of human diversity and the needs of future generations.  In taking this stand, we acknowledge that we can always do better and must challenge ourselves to live up to our Values and Principles.  By working together, we believe that we can help build stronger communities, a more inclusive nation, and a better world for everyone.

The Board of Directors & Staff of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association

February 2017

*For a PDF version of this statement to share, visit:


Willimantic Food Co-op Celebrates 37 Years

Happy 37th Birthday to The Willimantic Food Co-op!

Birthday CakeCongratulations to the Willimantic Food Co-op on their 37th birthday!

The Hartford Current reported on the celebration, which featured 37 cakes, music, food samples, and discounts: “It was a celebration worthy of a grocery store that offers nothing but the best for the community by providing healthy foods, organic and conventional, and locally grown when possible. The Co-op is active in promoting local farms, city gardens and community affairs.”

Sallie D’Attilio, program coordinator for the Creative Living Community in Manchester, was one of the organizations offering partygoers complementary food.  “‘The co-op is just an amazing place. They are accepting, the food is fresh and local, and they help the community. They are a good bunch of people who have been very kind to our organization,’ she said.”

Read the full article here:


What’s So Cool About This Edamame?

Edamame is an easy, healthy snack. But what makes our Edamame so cool? (Beside the fact that it’s frozen.)

Edamame – or soybeans that have been harvested fresh, before the beans harden – makes a great snack. Edamame is also a good source of iron, calcium, and protein, especially for vegetarians. 

There are a lot more good things to say about edamame – but one thing that makes our Northeast Grown frozen, organic edamame is that it is grown, harvested and processed right here in our neighborhood, and is available only at your Neighboring Food Co-ops. And when you choose organic, you are keeping chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms out of our food system and environment.

This recipe is designed to be quick and easy, designed around one 10 oz package of frozen Broccoli and ready to eat in 30 minutes.


Our frozen edamame makes a simple, healthy snack for you and your family:

  1. Sprinkle a pinch of salt in 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Pour one 10 oz bag of edamame in the water.
  3. Boil until tender (about 5 minutes).
  4. Drain in a colander and place in a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  6. Enjoy by squeezing edamame out of pods with your teeth.

Want to make it more interesting? Try spicing it up!

While your water is boiling, try this recipe for SPICY EDAMAME:

  1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil or sesame oil in a small skillet.
  2. Stir in one large, chopped garlic clove.
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and/or some fresh ground black pepper
  4. Stir over medium heat for 1 minute or so.
  5. Transfer cooked edamame to a large bowl.
  6. Pour oil, garlic and spices over edamame and stir to cover completely.
  7. Squeeze lime wedge over edamame.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  9. Now, enjoy by squeezing edamame out of pods with your teeth

Got an awesome recipe for our Northeast Grown Organic Edamame? Tell us about it! E-mail us at

To learn more about the NFCA’s Frozen Products, visit:


“Ascutney Mountain” February’s Cave to Co-op Local Artisan Cheese

Look for the “Cave to Co-op” signs in the cheese section of your participating Neighboring Food Co-op

Have you noticed the “Cave to Co-op” signs in the cheese section of your local food co-op?

February”s “Cave to Co-op” special artisan cheese is “Ascutney Mountain” from Cobb Hill Farm, Hartland Four Corners, VT.  This cheese is named after a neighboring peak, and it is a sweet and nutty natural rind tomme, modeled after Gruyère.  This Alpine-style cheese is firm and creamy with a clear flavor of milk and the pasture.

Try one of these seasonal recipes to warm your cold February days:

For more information on the program, visit:


Co-op Calendar: Upcoming Events


For More Co-op & Food System Related Events, Visit:


Feb 28, 2017 (8 week online course)

Food Co-op Development Professional Certificate, University of Vermont

Launching Your New Food Co-op 


Mar 1-3, 2017

Saint Mary’s University Co-operative Education Program

Intensive Executive Education Program, Guelph, ON

Click Here For More Information and to Register


Mar 10, 2017

“Up & Coming, Up & Running” Conference

Conference for start-ups and food co-ops in the first years of operation. 

Mar 14 – April 26, 2017

Rural Vermont Presents Groundswell

Community Conversations about Land Use, Livelihood, Food, and the Future of Vermont

March 18, 2017

Neighboring Food Co-op Association 6th Annual Meeting

For Member Food Co-ops & Start-Ups


May 6, 2017

NFCA Start-Up Food Co-op Gathering

A day of networking and workshops for food co-op start-ups 


May 11-13, 2017

2nd International Symposium on Co-operative Accounting and Reporting

Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Jun 1-2, 2017

Slow Living Summit, Brattleboro, VT


Jun 5-13

Tour of the Co-operative Movement of Emilia Romagna, Italy


Jun 8-11, 2017

CCMA – The National Food Co-op Conference, Minneapolis, MN 

Jul 1, 2017

International Day of Co-ops


Jul 18-22

Tour of the Co-operative Movement of Croatia 

Aug 11-13, 2017

Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference, Hampshire College, MA 


Aug 17-19, 2017

Federation of Southern Co-operatives 50th Annual Meeting, Birmingham & Epes, AL 

Sept 30, 2017

Co-op Cafe, Keene, NH (Co-Hosted by the NFCA) 


Sept 30 – Oct 1, 2017

Co-op Festival, National Mall, Washington, DC 



Oct 18-27

Tour of the Co-operative Movement of Mondragón, Spain 


The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is a co-operative federation of 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives across New England, working together toward a shared vision of a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just, and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of  co-operative enterprise.