The Great River Co-op Blog


Join us for the Great River Co-op Thanksgiving Market!

The Great River Co-op will be hosting this year's Thanksgiving Farmers' Market on the Common in Walpole to ensure safe social distancing. Join us on November 21st from 10am to 2pm. 

 

We hope you'll come out and peruse the seasonal goodies available from your favorite local farms and producers while catching up with good friends and getting ready for the Thanksgiving Feast!

 

We will be taking extra safety precautions as we did with this past summer's farmers market. We ask that vendors wear masks, especially while in close proximity to customers. We will also encourage customers to wear masks and will have disposable ones available for those who need them. We will also provide hand sanitizer and make sure that booths will be socially distanced as well.

 

For information about becoming a vendor, contact Karen West at karenwest916@gmail.com. The cost for a space will be $20 - please reserve by October 31st! 

 

Please share, and invite friends and neighbors to attend!

 

We hope to see you there! 

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It's Co-op Month!

This October, Great River Co-op is joining co-operatives and credit unions across the United States in celebrating Co-op Month, observed nationally since 1964. This year’s theme, “Co-ops Commit: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” was chosen by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) to promote how co-ops and their members are working together to build more inclusive businesses and more resilient communities.

 

Over the summer, the Great River Co-op co-hosted the NH Greater Falls Farmers Market, and is beginning to plan for the holiday market in November - please reach out to info@greatriverfoodcoop.com if you'd like to be a vendor.  

 

 

 

And, if you haven't joined the co-op yet, now is the time. Through October, when you join as a voting member - or upgrade your current membership by buying more shares to become a voting member, you'll get a Great River Tote Bag.

 

To learn more and join visit www.greatriverfoodcoop.com.

Get a Tote when you Sign up to Vote

This month, we are reaching for our next milestone in member/owners - 900! And to make it extra enticing, we are rewarding everyone who signs up as a voting member ($100/4 shares) with a Great River Co-op tote! 

 

~ Get a tote when you sign up to vote ~

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Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood?

The Great River Co-op is a cooperative grocery store in the development stages that will be coming to Walpole, New Hampshire.

 

As we excitedly sign people up for the Great River Co-Op memberships, we love seeing where all of the support and our future shoppers live and are coming from.

 

We are blown away by how many are committed to shopping local and supporting small business in our community here.

 

Let's start with some local love! 

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NH Greater Falls Farmers Market - Every Wednesday through September

The Great River Co-op is co-hosting a summer Farmers Market in Walpole, now through September 30th. The market will be held in the future location of the Co-op store, between The Hungry Diner and Pinnacleview on Route 12. Stop by and support local vendors on Wednesdays from 4-7pm. (Closing at 6:30pm in September.) 

 

The joint project, with Sustainable Valley Group, is organizing the Wednesday Walpole market plus the one in Bellows Falls on Fridays, 4-7, at the Waypoint Center near the train station.

 

Safety measures include signs posted at the entrance, limited capacity, one way traffic, 6 foot distancing, mask recommendations for customers and requirements for vendors, hand sanitizing stations at each vendor and at entrance and exits, and volunteers stationed to help with maintaining safety. 

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Black Lives Matter

The Great River Co-op strives to uphold the Seven Cooperative Principles. Principle #7 is Concern for Community. We see that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face threats to their dignity, health, safety, and lives due to unjust systems and structures, and we are concerned for our broader community.

The Board of Directors stands with those protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many before them. We protest these injustices in our society and assert that Black Lives Matter. We commit to solidarity in the fight for racial justice both in the form of educating ourselves and others, and taking action in our community. We aim to do our part to address systemic racism.

We know that there are complicated issues at the intersection of racism and the food system, and we have a responsibility to further educate ourselves on how these issues manifest and how we, as a physical store in the future, and as an organization with a platform now, can work to address them. As we learn, we will highlight BIPOC voices and concerns.

We wholeheartedly welcome input from fellow owners and community members on how the Co-op can incorporate anti-racist practices.

Here is how we can push for change as a food co-op:

-Educate ourselves and our community on systemic racism
-Take local action to support BIPOC financially and work to fight racism and injustice
-Support people and farmers of color in the Northeast, and learn about their experiences
-Promote BIPOC food and land sovereignty
-Acknowledge and support the BIPOC throughout the food system

An uncomfortable truth is that our food system was built on Indigenous land and with forced labor by people of color, and that systemic forces continue to make land sovereignty for BIPOC difficult, among many other obstacles they face.

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Volunteer Opportunities for 2020

Are you looking for a specific way to get involved with the Great River Co-op? We have a number of new initiatives to support this project AND our community this Spring/Summer.

Watch Gretchen's video update version on Facebook.

First, we have a volunteer working hard doing the legwork to pull together a Farmers' Market for this summer.  Once that gets up and running, we'll need more volunteers to make sure we can pull it off in a safe and organized way.

Next, if you are a first-time gardener, or trying to branch out to more than just basil, you can try getting paired with a gardening mentor - we already have a seasoned gardener who can offer her expertise to someone who's not sure how to start. By the way - getting veggie starts from a nearby farm is one way to support local agriculture, check out our list of local farms here

And lastly, are you interested in learning more about the big picture of our food systems and the co-op model? There are members interested in having a virtual book discussion (we could read Grocery Story, the Foodie's Guide to Capitalism, or Food Fix, among others...). Maybe you're the right person to offer a little organization to pull it together!

To sign up or see other concrete ways to help the co-op and our local food system, check out:
https://www.signupgenius.com/…/70a0c48a5a922a5f58-grcspring…

Have more suggestions for us? Let us know at info@greatriverfoodcoop.com!

Virtual Annual Meeting a Success!

Our board of directors lead our Annual Meeting virtually, on Tuesday, April 28th.

 

Great River Co-op President, Gretchen Markiewicz, shared updates on our member growth - we're at 852: Can you help us get to 1000? , financial updates, and how you can get involved.

 

The recording is now available, and we'd love to hear your questions or thoughts on the project. Please watch, and then let us know your thoughts!

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