Local at the Olympia Food Co-op
The Olympia Food Co-op has a well-established local buying program that we are very proud of. We carry locally and regionally-produced items in every department of our stores. Our relationships with local vendors are very important to us and we work closely with them to bring you products you will love.
Since “local” has become such a popular buzzword in the natural foods
industry, we want to make sure OFC members understand our definition of
“local.” At the Olympia Food Co-op, if we say it’s local, we mean it’s grown
or produced within Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Pierce, or Gray’s Harbor County. If we say it’s regional, we mean it’s grown or produced in Washington, Oregon, or British Columbia. Currently we buy directly from almost 125 local/regional producers and farms, and many of these direct relationships are with vendors located right in Thurston County. We also carry many more wonderful NW products which are sold
to us through larger distributors. You can identify locally and regionallyproduced
items by looking for the sticker pictured at right.
We strive to make locally and regionally-produced goods affordable to our members while also paying the farmers and producers fair prices for their crops and products. To facilitate this, we use a lower mark-up on locally and regionally-produced items that are sold to us directly than we do on items grown or produced elsewhere.
To help you get a taste of some of our amazing local and regional goods, we also host a biannual event at our stores called Local Eats where you can meet farmers and producers and sample the items we sell at the Co-op.
Thank you for supporting the people who work hard to produce food and products for our community and for helping to make the Co-op’s local program such a success! If you’re a local or regional vendor who is interested in selling to the Olympia Food Co-op, please contact our Local Farm Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will direct you to the appropriate department manager.
By Erin Majors, Staff Member
This is the Year to Celebrate Local!
The Harvest Party and Local Eats event is a festive way to take time to feast together and try delicious local food that has been grown and processed right here in our community, by your friends and neighbors. We’ll have wonderful dishes crafted by the Co-op’s own fabulous Deli, featuring local farm produce, as well booths with local businesses sharing the work and magic that goes into making some of the hundreds of local products we sell at the Co-op. This is an open community event, so bring your friends, but don’t forget we encourage participation in our potluck – bring something from your home gardens and kitchens to share!
This year, we are celebrating at the Westside store so everyone can get a good look at the remodeling and garden center that has been such a focus of our work this last year. We will be closing part of the parking lot and street to have lots of room to party! There should be plenty of street parking nearby and of course biking and walking are encouraged to minimize impact on our neighbors.
In addition to many talented local musicians generously sharing their afternoon, we will be rolling out as much zucchini contest fun as we can come up with. Kids of all ages will be able to make their own zucchini cars and race them in a derby, and we would love to have local chefs show the public all the delicious ways our local squashes can be put to good use, such as the infamous zucchini bread, baked dishes, salads, you name it. Grow a monster zuke this year? Bring it down to the party and show it off – there will be prizes for the best zuke dishes and biggest garden squashes!
So mark your calendar… Harvest Party and Local Eats Celebration September 14!