By: Beth Hoven Rotto, Cheese and Chill Buyer
Are you new to Decorah or the Driftless Region? I’d like to welcome you. Particularly, I’d like to welcome you to Oneota Community Food Co-op. We are a community that joined together over 40 years ago to procure bulk, natural, and organic foods for folks in this corner of the state. We operate as a cooperative, which means that we are owned by our members, over 4,500 at this time, and participation is open to everyone.
I’ve been working at the Co-op for over thirty years, and currently am the buyer of products in the cheese and refrigerated departments. As with all departments at the Co-op, you are welcome to suggest products, and I will be glad to look into the possibility of getting what you want for sale in our store. If you would like information about products that we carry, please ask. I will try to answer or find the answers to your questions related to Cheese and Chill. Our membership is diverse, as is our selection, although we are limited by space and by volume as to what we can carry.
Don’t be shy about shopping in the bulk section of our store. Bring your own containers, or choose one of ours. You will want to weigh your empty container on the scale we have available so that you aren’t charged for the weight of that container – but you don’t need to do any math. Our cashiers will look up the item’s number, or you can speed your checkout by writing the PLU (price look up) number found on each bulk container. Perhaps start in the herb and spice section where you can enjoy the pleasure of smelling and packaging your own, fresh spices for significant savings over their prepackaged counterparts.
You’ve got our newsletter, The Scoop, in your hands. Find the section listing our classes and events and see what interests you. Sign up online or by giving a call or even registering for a class right in the store. You’ll find others in our community with similar interests and skills.
Come to the Water Street Cafe for hot and salad bars as well as prepared sandwiches, hot & cold drinks, and relax in the front of the store or out in the Water Street Park next to the store where you are can watch the activity downtown. You might even find a conversation to join.
Is there someone new in your neighborhood? Why not make them feel welcome with something prepared from your own kitchen or grown fresh from your garden. Or something from our Co-op, like eggs or bread from our local producers. A Co-op gift card along with a copy of the Scoop is always nice too.
Here are a couple of easy and delicious baked good recipes you might like to try.