Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring Down to the Main Street May 16 for Our Spring into Healthy Living® Fair!

Letter from our General Manager, Paula Harris

There’s just something special about spring! And after this year’s long, snow-filled winter, we’re all ready to stretch our legs and enjoy the warm sun. We’re getting ready to celebrate spring Co-op-style with our eight annual Spring into Healthy Living® Fair on Saturday, May 16, 10 am - 2 pm in Concord. We hope you’ll join us for the family-friendly party!

http://concordfoodcoop.coop/sihl/

This fair is our biggest event of the year, drawing more than 5,000 people each year to enjoy free food samples from local farmers and vendors, children’s events, live music, and more! This event is SO big, we have to close down a portion of Main Street to accommodate our block party!

We’ve brought back all your favorites that have made this event so special. Of course, the highlight of the event is the free food and drink! Approximately 100 vendors will be on hand to let you try the products we sell and answer your questions.

Here’s just a sampling of this year’s offerings:

  • Highland Cow rides with Miles Smith Farm
  • Traveling Barnyard petting zoo
  • P&R Reptiles
  • The Club Soda Band
  • The Creation Station
  • The Vegetable Ranch seeding pots for kids
  • Jake’s Old Fashioned ice cream
  • Celery Stick Cafe cooking demonstrations
  • Co-op Bakery desserts
Enjoy food and drink samples from a wide range of local and regional vendors including Champlain Orchards apple products and hard cider, Micro Mama’s kimchi, Michele’s Gourmet Popcorn, and much, much more! See our website for more details.

Whether you’re a carnivore or vegan, gluten-free or localvore, health nut or gourmand, you’ll find plenty of delicious treats at the event.

If you try and like it, you’ll want to drop into the store to buy it! You’ll get 10% off groceries in the store during the fair (usual exceptions).

This event will be held Rain or Shine. No matter what, we’ll be cozy under the big top tent. Can’t wait to see you there!

Click here for up-to-date details on the event!

Friday, April 24, 2015

YMCA 11th Annual Spring Social in Good Spirits

By Jaimie Jusczyk, Marketing Specialist

Executive Chef Rob Cone from the Co-op's Celery Stick Café put up quite the culinary fight for last Wednesday's YMCA Spring Social Top Chef competition. Four chefs from four local restaurants went head-to-head to feed the hungry guests who placed their votes for the best appetizer of the evening. All proceeds were to benefit the YMCA's Annual Campaign, making quality childcare and wellness programs accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of their economic status.
Imagine biting into pepper crusted beef carpacio on a grilled crostini with spring pea, pea tendril salad and sun-dried tomato oil balsamic reduction and shaved Parmesan reggiano, all presented on a beautiful plate with swirls of dressing and a bright pink edible orchid! Chef Rob's spring inspired dish was so popular, with the help of Chef Lori, they could barely keep up with the made to order appetizer as guests came back for third and fourth servings but they served all the guests with enough left over to share with the other chefs.
Though he did not win the glory of Top Chef this year, (Congratulations go to the Barley House) Chef Rob certainly made a mark on the taste buds of all that evening. If you are looking for an elite catering service for your next event, large or small, Executive Chef Rob from the Co-op is your chef, call the Co-op kitchen at 603-225-6840.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Supporting The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness

Last September, our members voted to support the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness in our annual elections. Over the years, our Community Partner program has shifted, and this year we’re pleased to support our Community Partners with free tickets to an exclusive high-end dinner to treat their biggest donors. We’re also supporting our six 2015 nonprofit Community Partners on a one-on-one level for various events.

On March 28, the Co-op’s award-winning Celery Stick Café provided our handmade soups for CCEH’s SouperFest! The event was a huge success and included activities for all ages, live music, celebrity chefs, and, of course, lots of soup!

“CCEH is honored to have been chosen by the Concord Food Co-op as a community partner. It will take the entire community of Concord, working together, to create permanent solutions for our neighbors struggling with homelessness, and we appreciate the Co-op partnering with us in these efforts!” said CCEH’s Director Ellen Groh.

The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness works to eliminate the causes of homelessness for the citizens and residents of Concord through a coordinated, committed, and active effort of our many stakeholders. The organization envisions a Concord community where everyone has a safe, decent, stable and affordable place to live.

The nonprofit group began in 2008, born from a collaboration of service providers and faith-based organizations who wanted to help end homelessness in Concord. CCEH runs the Concord Homeless Resource Center at 6B South State Street. The organization has also coordinated financial support for dental care for homeless people, sponsored the Project Homeless Connect, and coordinated cold-weather shelter for families with children.

More recently, CCEH has led community efforts to oppose an ordinance that would’ve banned panhandling and helped lift the voices of homeless men and women who were being thrown out of their campsites on public land and who had no other place to go.

We urge you to learn more about CCEH and support the organization at concordhomeless.org. You can help in many different ways, including donating goods, volunteering, giving money, and lending your voice to advocacy efforts.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Be Mine, Valentine Dinner

Last Saturday night the Co-op hosted a romantic Valentines Dinner at The Shaker Table Restaurant in Canterbury, NH. The Co-op's Celery Stick Café and Bakery Box chefs took over the kitchen with their special five course dinner menu.
Table for two.
With a winter storm warning on the forecast we lucked out and opened to a full house of hungry guests who were willing to brave the elements. As our couples arrived we welcomed them with imported and local domestic gourmet cheese displays with assorted flatbread and crackers. As they were seated they were served with a bottle of award-winning Chloe Wine to enjoy with their meal.
Everyone had selected their courses before arriving, choosing an appetizer, soup or salad and entrée. The selections included oysters Rockefeller, tuna tartare, olive gratin, Hungarian mushroom soup, seared halibut, filet mignon, chicken Marbella, and a savory cocoa noodle lasagna.
After the meal dessert was presented, a trio of chocolate obsession. This included a plate to share with chocolate pot de crème tart with ganache stuffed raspberry, a mini flourless chocolate bête noir with white chocolate sauce and raspberry coulis, and a napoleon vanilla bean puff pastry layered with chocolate cream and candied hazelnuts topped with Frangelico crème anglaise.
Dessert for two.
Co-op staff proudly donned black bistro aprons to serve the diners their meals, running a tight ship to make sure everyone was accommodated to in a timely fashion. The Celery Stick Café chefs and prep cooks worked hard behind the scenes, showing off their 5-star skills for this unique experience.
Tickets sold out only a few days after we announced the event. If you missed out this time, sign up for our email list on the bottom of our website http://concordfoodcoop.coop and be the first to know when we do this again.
A round of applause for the pastry chefs!

Co-op Valentines Sample Evening, 2015

by Jaimie Jusczyk, Marketing Specialist

Love is in the air at the Co-op and we don't need cupid around to make the magic happen. At our free Co-op Valentines Sample Evening on Friday, February 13 there was no need to be superstitious as our Co-op staff presented sweet baked treats, a chocolate fondue dipping station, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, wine, beer and much more.
Our very talented pastry chefs set up a chocolate fondue dipping station with their ever so light angel food cake and buttery shortbread hearts. Doris and Kristin also handed out fresh strawberries and dried fruits to try in the fondue which was a huge hit with our guests.

If you are looking for romantic beverages, the Co-op should be your only stop! With a huge selection including wine, beer and mead you will surely find what your date desires. Justin was pouring Chocolate Sombrero and Tramp Stamp beers from Clown Shoes Beer.

Chuck was pouring a Shiraz and Chardonnay from Wild Oats that paired lovely with the creamy goats cheese and organic blackberries that the Co-op's cheese buyer Suzy had put out. Steve was pouring a selection of wines including the very romantic Rosa Regal, a sparkling red from Banfi.
Other romantic suggestions we sampled included fresh rolled sushi from the Co-op's sushi counter, Café Indigo chocolate cake with Almond Dream non-dairy dessert, raspberry rose hibiscus tea from Republic of Tea, and lots of goodies from our health and beauty department.
We hope you found some romantic inspiration to woo your Valentine. You can stop by the Co-op to find all kinds of yummy romantic suggestions whenever the occasion arises.
Stay tuned for more fun events at the Co-op, visit www.ConcordFoodCoop.coop/events
 
For more images from the evening check out our facebook page...
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Snowflake Social at the Co-op, 2014

by Jaimie Jusczyk, Marketing Specialist

In case you missed the Co-op's last sampling event at our Concord store, you can catch up on all the excitement here on our blog at the Snowflake Social held on Thursday, December 11. We lucked out and in between icy pellets had a few snowflakes fall to create the perfect cozy atmosphere here in the store, perfect for sipping hot chocolate, enjoying the holiday menu off the hot bar and a prime rib carving station and samples throughout all departments.
Kris and Kim serving up hot chocolate
We welcomed all our regular shoppers and their guests to try our very own hot chocolate bar where you could choose from a whole milk and half'n'half blend or a non-dairy almond milk option, both made with Navitas Naturals cocoa powder, maca powder, sweetened with raw sugar and given a pinch of cinnamon for an extra special spicy treat. Then to top it all off there was whipped cream, crushed candy canes, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, and sprinkles, all-natural of course!
Sap House Meadery in the holiday spirit!
If you were looking for something a little more adult, Sap House Meadery were pouring samples of five of their best selling meads that you can find at the Co-op. Moat Mountain Brewery happily shared samples of their ales until we sold out! And Derek returned to sample the Co-op wines of the month from Charles Smith Wines and a couple bottles of Gruet Brut to get the party started!
Executive Chef Scott Jones hand carving prime rib for hungry shoppers.
In case you were hungry, Executive Chef Scott prepared with his team a holiday hot bar menu featuring roast duck sliders, creamy seafood alfredo, broccoli au gratin and roasted fingerling potatoes to name just a few things. During the event Chef Scott also hand carved prime rib to order with the hot bar selections.
Pastry Chef Lori handing out snowflake cupcakes to the kids.
The highlight of the night for most was the Bakery Box dessert tables. With their spreads of raspberry whoopie pies, holiday cookies, cream puffs, festive cupcakes and more, everyone found something to enjoy as determined by the very few left overs.
As well as our own creative staff presenting holiday treats, Miles Smith Farm was present sampling their pork/beef mix, Émoi Dips were being scooped up, Angie's Holidrizzle popcorn was crunched away, and cheese and cracker platters devoured.

My guess is that everyone had a great time, there was plenty of holiday cheer and happy full bellies leaving at the end of the night. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and came out to shop at the Co-op! If you are looking for the full album of photos from the evening click here.
Stay tuned for more fun Co-op events as we prepare our 2015 calendar at the Co-op, click here!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thanksgiving at the Co-op, 2014

by Jaimie Jusczyk, Marketing Specialist

It's Turkey Time and the Co-op has all your holiday goodies at both our locations, Concord and New London. Yesterday the Concord store opened it's doors to customers with the scent of home-cooked turkey with all the fixings as the hot bar menu featured a Thanksgiving meal menu. Executive Chef Scott Jones and his team in the Celery Stick Café gave us a preview of what's to come when you place your Thanksgiving meal to-go. There was oven roasted turkey, savory gravy, mashed potatoes, sausage apple stuffing, whipped butternut squash, orange cranberry sauce and more like green bean casserole and maple dill glazed carrots. For only $8.99/lb the Co-op hot bar is definitely the biggest bang for your buck in town. To place your orders for a Thanksgiving meal to-go available for pick up Wednesday, November 26 call the Celery Stick Café chefs at (603) 225-6840 and click here to view the order form and menu.

To complete the hot bar meal the Bakery Box and Co-op Bakehouse supplied us with lots of free samples of their Thanksgiving pies and desserts. We were treated to bite sized pieces of apple pie with vegan and gluten-free options (I could barely tell them apart, both were delicious), honey wheat and parker bread rolls with dollops of fresh Amish butter, and pumpkin pie. Café Indigo vegan treats for sample included truffles with different toppings, the coconut was amazing. You can order your Thanksgiving desserts by calling our bakers at (603) 225-6840 and click here to view the order form and menu.

To wash it all down our grocery department was busy handing out samples of eggnog, hot pumpkin harvest tea and hot apple cider with mulling spices. Mmmm, so once we were fully in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we were asked to try Marich candies, apple chips from Terra Chips and lots more! There were over 15 stations throughout the store with all kinds of seasonal goodies to try. I hope you found something new for your next holiday party to share with family and friends.

We also had some of our favorite farmers in to sample their products including Miles Smith Farm and Huckins Dairy. It is always great to be able to stop in and chat with the farmers who supply the Co-op with the products you love. Plus our farmers are a lot of fun :)
Stay tuned for details on our next big sampling event as we prepare for end of year celebrations! The Co-op's Snowflake Social will take place on Thursday, December 11 from 4 pm - 6 pm in the Concord store again. Chef Scott has a holiday hot bar menu and prime rib carving station planned, the Co-op bakers will be bringing in more yummy desserts, there will be wine and mead samples, cheese platters and a hot chocolate bar with all different kind of flavors and toppings to create yourself the perfect and extravagant chocolately delight. There will be the option to purchase a fun Co-op moose print mug to create a full sized treat in, supplies are limited to don't be late! Save the date, you won't want to miss this holiday event! For more details about the Co-op's Snowflake Social sign up to our email list on the bottom of our website or click here.