Ownership sits at the heart of Wheatsville Food Co-op – it’s what makes us very different from other businesses and we are over 22,000 owners strong! We are hosting an Owner Drive October 5-14 to spread the love to more Austinites!!!
Become a fully invested owner of the co-op and receive a super cool “I <3 my co-op bag” stuffed with goodies from our vendors!
There are lots of economic benefits when you join the co-op. Owners get loads of exclusive offers, along with co-op wide deals for everyone. We also have Owner Appreciation Days, where owners receive 20% off all shopping trips made during these days. New owners will be ready to take advantage of Owner Appreciation Days starting on October 18 through October 21. Just that savings alone can pay for the cost of the investment in the co-op. It pays for itself!
Along with the savings you will get when joining the co-op, you are also becoming part owner, and have a say in the co-op. You can vote for the Board of Directors or run for a seat on the board, and be a bigger part of how we help our local community. The Wheatsville Election runs from September 9th through November 9th! Cast your vote when you join! Please visit the Hospitality desk at your closest location to find out more details about how you can benefit from ownership.
Hey Wheatsville owners! It’s election time again, and I’m not talking about the contests for Congress coming up in November. No, I’m talking about something more important, at least to the future of your favorite local food co-op: the 2018 Wheatsville Board of Directors election. Voting will begin on Sunday, September 9, and end Friday, November 9.
This year, the Nominations Committee has worked diligently to bring you the following five candidates for four open seats on the co-op’s nine-member governing body. The candidates, who are seeking one of three 3-year terms and one 1-year term to begin in January 2019, include current board president Rose Marie Klee incumbent directors Brian Mikulencak and Brandon Hines, plus Wheatsville owners Melissa Sledge and Megan McDonald. Their answers to four questions posed in the board candidate application will be presented in the Candidate Forum.
Wheatsville’s Board ensures organizational performance on behalf of all Owners. Our work includes developing clearly stated expectations through written policies; delegating responsibility for, and authority over, the achievement of stated objectives; and monitoring compliance with written policies. Our purview is not the day-to-day running of the store, but rather the strategic planning, financial oversight, Ownership linkage, and community outreach that will keep Wheatsville strong and successful well into the future.
Each candidate is a fully invested Owner who has attended one of six orientation sessions the Nominations Committee held for prospective board members this summer and has agreed to abide by the Director’s Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct if elected. Prospective board members also were expected to attend at least one board meeting in order to get a sense of the board in action.
The Nominations Committee and the entire board are excited about the candidates we are presenting to Owners this year, and we encourage every Wheatsville Owner to take a few minutes to learn about the candidates and to vote. The candidate profiles printed below also will be compiled in binders at the Guadalupe and south Lamar store’s hospitality desks, and you will get a few chances to meet the candidates in person in while the election is ongoing, including at the BIG Co-op Fair and annual owner meeting on October 6 at the south Lamar store. All candidates will be invited to introduce themselves and answer questions from owners at the annual owner gathering on October 6. Check the Wheatsville website for short candidate statement videos after the election begins and watch for a board member–led “get out the vote” tabling in front of both stores on select Sundays this fall, where candidates might also be in attendance.
The current Election Issue of the Breeze includes a ballot, which Owners can use to cast their vote either by mail or at the store’s hospitality desk. Online voting is available at www.wheatsville.coop. Democratic control is a guiding principal of Wheatsville and all co-ops. Please exercise your responsibility as an owner and vote in the current board election! — Doug Addison, Board Secretary
What is your origin story? Who started the business and why?
It all started in 1988. We were a handful of Midwest family farmers fed up with the state of American agriculture. Family farms were going extinct. Our friends and neighbors were discarded by a bankrupt agricultural system, and we were told to “get big, or get out!” Industrial, chemical farming was the only existing option for survival; never mind its effects on our health, our animals, and our environment.
But we didn’t want to be industrial, chemical farmers, and we didn’t want to be at the mercy of corporate agriculture. We had to do something. So one farmer, George Siemon, put up posters calling us to band together, and we did. Family farmers filled the county courthouse (photo below) and we all agreed: there had to be a better way—a more sustainable way—to continue farming in a way that protects the land, animals, economy and people’s health. And that’s how our farmer-owned cooperative was born, with George as CEIEIO.
Before a year had passed, we started selling organic dairy, and people could tell the difference. Our local communities began choosing our premium, organic milk over other options, and we realized that we were certainly right about one thing—people wanted quality food.
Organic Prairie meats are produced by our independent cooperative of organic family farms. We are pioneers of the organic meat industry. We began producing our delicious meats—without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, or pesticides—back in 1996. We insisted on third-party organic meat certification long before federal organic standards were established. We were the first in the industry to ban animal by-products from our cattle’s diet, and we played a vital role in shaping federal organic meat certification standards—the strictest in the industry.
What makes your products unique? Why should someone buy them?
When you spend your milk money on Organic Valley, we give you fresh food you can trust. It all comes from the family farms of our cooperative. With your support, we make real changes in the world one small step—and farm—at a time.
At Organic Valley, we like to keep things honest and simple. Like dairy produced with no added hormones, antibiotics or toxic pesticides. Produce grown the organic way, with none of the toxins or synthetic fertilizers. And cheese made by farmers and artisans who care about the environment, the animals and you—our customers.
Organic Prairie farmers are committed to providing your family with the healthiest, most wholesome meat, raised humanely in accordance with organic principles and practices—respecting the dignity and interdependence of human, animal, plant, soil and global life. We know that meat produced organically is the safest, best choice for our families, and we’re proud to make it available for yours to enjoy!
Why is organic better?
Organic farmers use sustainable methods of pest-control. Non-organic farms use toxic pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals are really harmful to wildlife and human health, contaminating our food, air, and water, and accumulating in our cells. Organic farming practices, however, strictly forbids the use of these chemicals—making bees happier and food more nutritious.
Research shows that organic foods are higher in antioxidants and other nutrients, like omega-3 and CLA essential fatty acids. And organic crops have been shown to contain significantly less concentrations of cadmium—a toxic metal on par with lead and mercury. Organic food really is better for you. And it tastes better too.
Synthetic hormones and antibiotics are frequently given to non-organic farm animals to change their reproductive cycles and speed up their growth. We believe cows are healthiest and happiest when they’re allowed to live without being pumped full of chemicals—it helps them produce the highest quality milk we pride ourselves on.
When non-organic farmers feed their animals antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, they kill many of the pathogens—but not all of them. The germs that survive go on to reproduce, leading to antibiotic-resistant infections that pose a real threat to animals and people alike. Instead of relying on antibiotics, our organic farmers use natural holistic measures to promote and maintain animal health—keeping everyone healthier in the process.
Genetically engineered crops are a relatively recent invention with potentially harmful impacts on the ecosystem and on human and animal health. We still don’t know a lot about them and organic standards forbid the use of genetically engineered seeds or animals—including clones.
What else would you like us to know?
We’re The Un-Corporation Our farmers own the company. Not the other way around. (That’s why they’re on the packaging!)
We’re a cooperative of more than 2,000 small family farms. Organic Valley isn’t a giant corporation. We’re a cooperative of farmers across the country who share the same commitment to growing food the right way. We’re not driven by profits; we’re driven by principles. To make sure we stayed true to our mission, we made our company a cooperative. That means 2,000+ small family farmers own the company, not a bunch of Wall Street suits. And our board is made up entirely of our farmers. One farm, one vote.
We used to be a bunch of idealists. And we still are today. We believe in the idea that, if consumers demand high-quality organic food, grown the right way, we could all change the way we treat our land, our animals and our bodies.
We’re proudly independent. And we’ll never sell. We’re a bunch of farmers. So, of course we take the long view. We never take short cuts for short-term profits. We’ve always done things our way. And we always will.
Kids ages 12 and under are invited to become a Wheatsville Food Co+op Explorer and be eligible to receive a free piece of fruit per visit! To become a card-carrying Co+op Explorer, kids simply need to bring a parent or supervising adult to the Hospitality Desk and ask to become a Co+op Explorer. Each child will be issued their very own super official Co+op Explorers membership card, sticker and temporary tattoo.
Once kids are signed up, here’s how it works:
Kids and parents stop by the Hospitality Desk, where we keep the designated Co+op Explorers fruit basket. Each child is eligible to take one piece of fruit and enjoy eating it while shopping.
Once your kiddo has selected a piece of fruit, take a sticker and have them wear it to show off their Co+op Explorer pride!
What should you do with the peels or core? Peels can be thrown away in any of our compost bins. If you don’t see a bin, just ask a staff person.
That’s all there is to it! If you have questions, please ask a staff member.
As your schedule fills up and time becomes harder and harder to come by, let the co-op help! We’ve got loads of great options for meals on the go or low-prep meal solutions you can make at home in 30 minutes or less.
QUICK TO FIX
Who’s got time to marinate? We do! Flick on the burner and get cooking without the wait! Our butchers make all of our sausages, mixed burgers, marinades, and rubs right here in house. Packed in Fresh Seal vacuum-packs, these high quality proteins are perfect for a busy weeknight. Always humanely raised, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and sustainably caught. Just look for the GREEN Quick to Fix label in the Meat Department
HOT ROASTED Garlic Rosemary Chickens now available at both stores. Our chickens are fresh out of the oven all day long and are perfect for weeknight dinners - with leftovers! Always humanely raised and antibiotic-free. Pair with a hot side of organic brown rice and black beans for just $1.99, a green crunchy salad, or make your own mix with a rotating selection from our Hot Bar and Salad Bar.
READY to COOK VEGGIES
We’ve trimmed, chopped, dressed, and mixed a variety of fresh veggies (mostly organic) that just need a quick sauté or roasting in the oven. SO EASY! From seasoned cauliflower steaks, stir-fry mixes, or our own kale salad blend – we’ve got your veggies covered. Or, find a variety of pre-bagged one bowl wonders - salad mixes and slaws with dressing, or even snack boxes that include a choice of protein! DONE!
LUNCH TO GO Order custom sandwiches and smoothies online, pay online, and just run in and pick-up with no wait at BOTH STORES! If you’ve only got 30 minutes – we’ll make sure you’re in and out in a hurry with just what you need.
You can also skip the whole store and order groceries online with Instacart! Perfect for hectic weeks at the office or home. Do you have an office fridge that needs to get stocked out with stuff you love? Instacart is the way to do it!
$5 DINNER THURSDAY
Join us for $5 DINNER EVERY THURSDAY 5-8pm / BOTH STORES. Our weekly menu always has a vegan and omnivore option - but on occasion we also have gluten-free nights! Fill up your plate or box and enjoy a meal on our patio or take it to go! Both patios now feature mister fans to help keep you cool in the summer AND we have a great selection of games perfect for every age.