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Guadalupe Store News

Local Vendor Focus: Thunderbird Energetica/EPIC

I recently interviewed Taylor Collins and Kate Forrest, founders of Thunderbird Energetica and EPIC.As well as producing healthy, nutritious foods, they are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!—Adrienne

Tell us about how Thunderbird Energetica got started.

The first Thunderbird Energetica bar was created to help Katie heal from a serious inflammatory injury of her knee. She was training for the Kona Ironman World Championship race and unable to run or bike due to pain. We took a step back and considered what types of food we were consuming and how this might contribute to inflammation. We ended up eliminating inflammatory foods from our diets and created the Cherry Walnut Crunch bar. We loaded it with natures most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients (Turmeric, Cherries, buckwheat) just for Katie. Within a few weeks her knee was significantly better and she was 100% back to training. We were so excited about this amazing creation that we decided to start selling the bar locally.

What is your favorite flavor?

Katie’s favorite flavor is Bison Bacon Cranberry. Taylor’s  favorite flavor is Almond Cookie Pow

How did Epic Bars get started?

The EPIC bar idea came to us during an extended camping trip in West Texas. After days of eating only sugar based, high carb camp food, we were craving something savory and high in protein and fat. We were frustrated that all the “protein” bars we carried were made of heavily processed isolates and syrups. We wanted to make a high quality, portable protein snack that was made of whole foods. We decided that the best way to do this was through grass fed animal protein (just like our ancestors ate). We started experimenting with making bacon jerky for 100 mile bike rides and we really liked the way our body felt. It was clear that we needed to invent this bar that could only be described as EPIC.

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Austin Simply Fit Resolution Challenge Week 2

Dana Tomlin, Wheatsville’s Fresh Manager, will be taking the Austin Simply Fit 10 Week Resolution Challenge. Throughout the process Dana will be blogging about her progress, favorite meals and snacks and other ways she has stays committed to her fitness resolution. Participants of the challenge receive weekly private workout sessions, unlimited access to Austin Simply Fit’s small group sessions, weekly Wheatsville Food Co-op Gift Cards to use towards healthy groceries plus lots more!

UPDATE:  Week 2

  • Goal this Week: Plan dinners in advance, so that, after work, I can attend the small group Strength Training sessions.
  • Progress: Planned for success! Packed snacks the night before, found a water bottle that I can drink 2.5 of in order to drink the right amount of water – feeling good!
  • Hardest Thing to do This Week: Squats with weights were really challenging – I learned that good form was really important; I needed to squat down, push my hips back AND my knees out - all which are hard to do while holding a weighted bar.
  • Favorite Food: SNACKS! Is that cheating? Sprouted almonds, dried apples, blueberries, walnuts, banana, Krave Garlic Chili Pepper Beef Jerky, trail mix.
  • Favorite Exercise: I won’t lie, deadlifting was a BLAST! I looked at the weights, WITH chains added on & thought, “No way, me? No!” But instead “YES! ME!” Talk about feeling good about yourself – that was satisfying.
  • Craving: Getting better at lunges – when your form is good, they are really hard. Especially, when walking backwards.
  • Favorite Meal this Week: This week I made a large salad, changed proteins each day, and cooked a batch of Rainbow quinoa. The versatility and ease of this recipe was awesome.

Beet, Sweet Potato & Kale Salad with Rainbow Quinoa

1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced into strips
1 box Organic Girl I LOVE Kale salad
4 green onions, sliced
½ cup, chopped parsley
TIP: Chop up any leftover herbs you have

1 cup rainbow quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base

2 large beets, cut into quarters
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken from the Deli, chopped
Mongolian Tofu from the Deli, chopped
3-4 Shrimp, deveined and sautéed in garlic oil
top sirloin petite steak, sliced thin, pan sauté
Boiled egg
Turtle Island Sesame Garlic Tempeh

¼ cucumber, sliced
sliced red bell peppers
cherry tomatoes
nuts/seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts

Add quinoa, water, and veggie broth to medium pot or rice cooker, cook per package instructions, or add to rice cooker – this is what I use! Let cool. While cooking, get beets/sweet potatoes started.

Add prepped beets and sweet potatoes to 4 cups water, bring to boil, simmer until soft. Cool before adding to salad. TIPS: remove the skin from the beets, AFTER they are boiled – run under cold water and shuck off, like you would a boiled egg. While cooking, get salad started.

In large bowl, mix together the top 4 ingredients; this will make a large batch. Save what you are not eating tonight, should stay in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To each bowl, add a handful of the master salad mix. Top with your add-ons, ¼ cup beets/sweet potatoes, your protein of choice. Sprinkle with ¼ cup quinoa and your favorite salad dressing.

TIP: Each night you can change the protein and mix it up!


Austin Simply Fit Resolution Challenge Week 1

Dana Tomlin, Wheatsville’s Fresh Manager, will be taking the Austin Simply Fit 10 Week Resolution Challenge. Throughout the process Dana will be blogging about her progress, favorite meals and snacks and other ways she has stays committed to her fitness resolution. Participants of the challenge receive weekly private workout sessions, unlimited access to Austin Simply Fit’s small group sessions, weekly Wheatsville Food Co-op Gift Cards to use towards healthy groceries plus lots more!

UPDATE:  Week 1

  • Goal this Week: My goals this week are to 1) Eat more often throughout the day 2) Drink more water. Eating throughout the day will speed up my metabolism, helping my body to burn the right fuel. It's recommended that I drink half my body weight per day in OUNCES, PLUS 1 oz for every minute of working out!

  • Progress: This week we started the challenge! First session was an intense 30 minutes of super slow exercises designed to fully engage ALL of my muscles – no slackers allowed!

  • Hardest Thing to do This Week: Lunges with 30lb weights were actually REALLY hard. The cardio was great and I could really feel how one leg is more dominant over the other – it was hard to get it to work!

  • Favorite Food: I've been eating Pink Lady apples with Justin’s Almond Butter single-serve packs – easy to eat on the go! To save money I am going to buy our bulk nut butter and  make my own little packs.  I still need the single serve packs for on-the-go snacking! Less mess is a good thing!

  • Favorite Exercise: The hip presses are intense and I can’t wait to get better at them.

  • Craving:  Getting timely with my snacks and finding my favorites!

  • Favorite Meal this Week: I was inspired by an article on Food52 to make a large pot of simple, white beans. I like to cook on Sundays so this was right up my alley and really simple. Hands down, my favorite was the Bok Choy and White Beans.

Bok Choy and White Beans with Niman Ranch Apple Gouda Sausage

Adapted from blog

1-2 cups cooked white beans, with some of the cooking liquid
4-5 baby bok choy, sliced and rinsed
¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 Tbs for sausage
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ pack of Niman Ranch Apple Gouda Sausage, sliced
omit sausage if you would like this to be vegan/vegetarian

To cook the beans:  Yields 9 cups. Freeze the rest!
3 cups dried navy beans
1 onion, halved
2 cloves garlic
1 branch fresh thyme OR
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
really  good olive oil (I recommend Texas Olive Ranch)


For the Beans:
Can be made in advance, refrigerated will last 5 days.
Cover beans with water by 4 inches in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt. Bring the beans to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to a low simmer for 30-90 minutes until soft. Remove the thyme branch and bay leaves.
Stir in a generous pinch of salt and a good GLUG of olive oil.

For the Sausage:
Heat pan to medium high, once hot turn down to medium heat and add 1 T olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage, cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove sausage to a plate

Add ¼ cup olive oil and garlic to the hot pan – cook for about 1 minute until fragrant (don’t let it BURN!) Add the washed Bok Choy and cook briefly, turning the leaves so they wilt evenly. Add the sausage and beans, plus some of their cooking liquid, season with salt and pepper, cook until the greens are wilted BUT still vibrantly colored and the beans are warmed, about 3-5 minutes. I added Yellowbird Sauce to my bowl.


Opening Day

'Like rain after a long drought.....' is how some die-hard co-op shoppers described Wheatsville's store opening this morning at 4001 South Lamar. The morning started off with torrential downpours but warmed and cleared as our friends, neighbors and shoppers started to trickle in for the morning festivities. Our General Manager, Dan Gillotte, Store Manager, Bill Bickford  and Board President, Rose Marie Klee all welcomed the gathering crowd and reminded everyone about the reason we're in business.

We're in business, and we're expanding that business, so that we can make a difference on things that matter to us. Our BIG Direction Goals are to:

  • Create More Local, Organic, Sustainable Food
  • More Co-op Economy and
  • More Happy People

As the co-op profits, so do the the things we stand for and support. We are here to support our local economy, to build community and to support more local, organic, sustainable food.

Our second store was opened by all in attendance pulling a streamer - a community-style ribbon cutting, put together by Rosie Weaver. Everyone has a hand in what we do here - so it seemed fitting that everyone had a hand in opening the new store.

Our store is successful because YOU. Over 13,000 owners, shoppers, neighbors, friends, community groups, fellow cooperators and staff - all working together to make this cooperative a very special place in Austin.

Our rainbow has officially reached the other side of the river!

More photos of our BIG Day can be found on FaceBook.


The Ultimate Burger

Burgers are one of those backyard/park staples that makes it feel like summer. A grilled burger offers a different experience than a pan cooked burger. Flame licked charring adds that hint of crispy carbon. Wheatsville creates several ground meat options to help you build your Ultimate Burger!

Ground Round

Taken from the leanest cuts and is by far our leanest ground beef.

Ground Chuck and Sirloin

This burger grind runs less lean, but has all the great flavor of chuck and sirloin steaks. We grind briskets for our ground beef for the fullest flavor!

Premium Burger Blend

We use Niman Ranch Ribeye, Hanger, and Beef Shortloin (NY Strip and Tenderloin) for an unbeatable flavor, mixed with the leaness of Round for structure, to offer a fantastic ground beef. The best part is that we’ve LOWERED THE PRICE to $8.99lb! Yep, you save TWO BUCKS! We offer it in patties in our Full Service Quick-to-Fix case as well as in the Self-Service case. This is a special grind that is only available here at Wheatsville!

Housemade  Turkey Burgers

One of our top sellers and for good reason. It is reasonably priced and is packed with flavor. A classic pairing of poultry and sage gives it a familiar punch of flavor. Our turkey is from Norbest cooperative of turkey growers and is about 90% lean.

Housemade  Chicken Burgers

These burgers offer classic southwestern profile of chilies, lime and cilantro and the black pepper really “ties the room together.” We use Serrano chilies in this recipe, so expect some kick.  We use the Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken in our chicken patties.

Favorite Veggie Burgers

  • The Hot Dang Grain Veggie Burgers, Locally Made!
  • Good Seed Vegan Veggie Burger, Locally Made
  • Sunshine Burger Garden Herb or Southwest

Grill on this!

All-Natural Lump Hardwood Charcoal

No coal, no fillers, no chemicals ... means you`ll enjoy the true flavors of your barbeque favorites. You’ll be cookin` in no time with quick-starting, all-natural lump hardwood charcoal. Made from round oak wood, acquired from tree pruning and forest thinning, and packaged in biodegradable bags, it’s good for you and the environment.

Our Favorite Burger Toppings

Bill Bickford
Fresh jalapeños (never the pickled kind), bacon, avocado OR bacon, a fried egg, sharp cheddar, onion!

Gabriel Gallegos
Daiya Havarti! This stuff melts like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one of those products that confuse my brain…it tastes so much like real cheese. Perfect with a handful of Butler Soy Curls!

Beth Beutel
Caramelized onions & blue cheese!

Nicole Purvis
Onion rings & avocado!

Niki Nash
Fresh, meaty, juicy local tomatoes straight off the farm or EIEIO Pesto! Tasty, fresh, vegan and local!

Dana Tomlin
Pederson Applewood Smoked Bacon!

Carol Campbell
Caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a sweet bbq sauce. A fried egg is also DELICIOUS!! There’s also the whole Canadian bacon and pineapple thing which is pretty yummy!


Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

Italian Sausage has become a staple in the American kitchen. Many stores have their own flavor profile of this sausage but stick with a few basic spices and herbs to create that familiar taste. Fennel, oregano and garlic are some of the basic building blocks in most Italian Sausage. It gets called sweet, simply because there are no chili flakes in it to make it "hot". This sausage lends itself well to meatballs or meat sauces, whether they are slow simmered red sauces or something more light like a vinegarette, it always goes well with pasta and parmesan or mozzerella stuffed into manicotti.

Another excellent way to use this sausage is in the classic Southwestern dish, Stuffed Bell Peppers. Be sure to brown the sausage and put it in a halved pepper and cover with cheese. Roast them in the oven or put them on the grill until your cheese is nice and melted. You still want some structure to the red bells and a little sweet crunch adds some great texture so try not to over cook them. Blue Cheeses would would go nicely crumbled over the sausage. The Cheese department has the Maytag Blue, a spicier fancy blue cheese that would compliment the fennel and oregano notes of the sausage and the sweetness of the Red Bell Pepper. I'm just sayin' ...


Farm Visit to Flower Farmer Scott!

Lila the Wonder Pup Supervises All Flower Picking

Wandering up to visit Flower Farmer Scott in Cedar Creek, it looks like any other small country house, with half-started and half-finished projects laying around, some resource pile here and there. If it weren't for the tibetan prayer flags on the porch, I might have driven right by! But as I wandered down the hill towards the back of the property, Scott's flower field came into view.... The area under cultivation isn't large, about a half an acre, but standing amongst the hip-high larkspur and snapdragons, there is an expansive feeling that encapsulates you in the majesty of these flowers as various pollinators flutter about.

Scott Harris has been farming off an on for the last twenty-five years, and for the past three he's been Flower Farmer Scott. It's easy to see why he choose flower farming. Most of the flower trade is filled with nasty chemicals, and involves shipping flowers hundreds of miles, but on a flood plane field in Central Texas, Scott can grow these beautiful flowers that look great for weeks without using chemical inputs. In fact, his soil building process isn't even labor intensive. Several of the varieties Scott grows are perennials that go dormant in the winter. Where he grows annuals, he simply tills them under in the fall and starts a cover crop to be tilled in again after the last frost.

The Dianthus has all been picked.

Flower Farmer Scott can be found Saturday mornings at the SFC Downtown Farmer's Market and Sundays at the Mueller Farmer's Market. And of course, you can find his lovely bouquets of dianthus, larkspur, and english status at Wheatsville everyday from 7:30 am to 11pm.

Before I left, Scott showed me his secret to long-lasting bouquets: put a tablespoon of white vinegar per gallon of water in the vase! It helps prevent bacteria and mold growth.

Just for fun, here's a photo of Scott's living room after a day of picking flowers:

From all of us at Wheatsville, and our friend Flower Farmer Scott, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Welcome Rory, our new Guadalupe Store Manager!

Since Bill Bickford is changing jobs from Guadalupe store manager to 4001 South Lamar store manager, we needed to fill his role and we didn't have to look far! Rory Alexander is our new Guadalupe Store Manager and he is probably familiar to you, since he's been our Operations Manager for the past 15 months. Rory was a natural choice to step up to this role, some of you may know him from his days working as the store manager at the Whole Foods Gateway store. Rory ran that store for several years and after a short break decided to get back into the grocery business at a store that was more in line with his values. And we've been delighted to have him come over to "our" side!Rory is very quickly transitioning to his new role and you will likely see him roaming all parts of the store. As Bill and I and some of the other long time faces around here turn our attention more fully on opening the South Lamar store Rory is being charged with making absolutely sure that the experience of shopping and working at Guadalupe is as good or better than it's ever been. Rory and his team are aiming to delight all of you with an excellent shopping trip every time you come in the store and Rory wants to know if we're missing the mark, so don't be shy to let him know (but give him a few weeks to ease into the job a little, if you can!) Rory will also be glad to accept your praise when we get it right, too! Of course, you can also always tell me how thing are going! I'm still around!

All in all, I couldn't be more delighted with the team at Guadalpue and look forward to seeing great things from Rory and his crew!

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