Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Natural Foods Co-op To Be Moving?

January 9, 2012

Our neighborhood's own Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op at 1900 Alhambra Blvd.

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op will be seeking to move to a new location, according to General Manager Paul Cultrera in the Co-op’s latest quarterly newsletter.  “[A]fter months of exploring many sites” that would meet the Co-op’s criteria, Cultrera writes, “we have found one that will meet them all.”  The Co-op cannot disclose the location, he says, until the project’s developers (Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich Real Estate) are able to begin discussions with the City of Sacramento Planning Department and the site’s neighbors; but he adds that this should happen “in the next few weeks,” and that the site will be revealed then.

The need for a new site for the Co-op has been clear to some observers.  In a Sacramento Bee article last Wednesday (Jan. 4) on the Co-op’s planned move, Bob Shallit writes that the Co-op, currently with about 12,000 members, “has been coping for years with inadequate parking and sales space for its growing operation.”  The Co-op’s attempt to address the problem by opening a second location in Elk Grove in 2005, failed 18 months later due to low sales.

In his message, Cultrera writes that (without being able to reveal the location), the new site will be within “two minute’s walking distance” from the current site; “more than double” the available parking spaces; increase the main floor area by more than 30 percent; and combine the store and all the Co-op’s offices, meeting spaces and classroom space into the same building, “while doubling the space available for those purposes.”  Cultrera adds that the increased size will mean the Co-op’s rent costs at the new site will be “significantly higher” than at the current location; but that “increased sales volume” from the new location would make the higher rent affordable.

Once the location is announced, Cultrera anticipates that the Co-op members will be asked to vote on the project by this April, with plenty of “informational meetings” prior to the vote to inform members of the “benefits and risks” of the project.  If the project is approved and all goes well, the Co-op’s new location would open by the middle of 2014.

For more information, please pick up a copy of the January-March 2012 “Co-op Reporter” at the Co-op; or visit the Co-op’s website.

Support the Community! Shop Local this Holiday Season!

December 3, 2009

Okay, so the holidays are here…and even though it’s a tough economy, a lot of us will still be out shopping for presents for our friends and loved ones.  So let me ask you:  Are you tired of the same old driving to a “big box” store, and getting the same old stuff everybody else is getting?  Would you like to do something this holiday season to help locally-owned, independent business right here in our community?  If so, why not do your holiday shopping at those local, independent businesses?

The website downtowngrid.com is a good way to find local businesses that might have what you want.  Just take a look around!  Midtown, of course, has lots of small businesses, boutiques, bookstores, and yummy restaurants (for gift certificates for that food-lover on your list!).  The 16th and Broadway area:  Music stores, a bookstore, a movie theater, and even more restaurants.  And there are lots of other cool or interesting places to shop around town, where you’re treated like a real person; you can keep going back and get to know the people you’re buying from; you’re not asked to sign up for a credit card or pay to get into a “club”; and–best of all–your money stays here in the community.

For enhancing the outdoor shopping experience, check out the lovely (temporary, of course) outdoor skating rink on 20th Street next to J Street.  It could be fun for you and your friends and family to share…and then, nearby, you can pop in for coffee or food, or browse for magazines or clothes…or take a stroll down the streets and see what’s waiting for you.  And that’s just one possibility…

And oh, yes, there are a few stores and restaurants right here in the Newton Booth neighborhood, too (or just nearby).  The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has lots of gift ideas (fresh-ground coffee from the Co-op is one of my favorite gifts, but you will undoubtedly find others).  And if you live here in the neighborhood, you may not even have to drive…save yourself the hassle of finding a parking space in some overcrowded mall parking lot, give yourself a little exercise, and walk to your shopping destination!

Think of it–without local customers like you, some of these little stores and restaurants…well, just might not make it in these tough times.  Then you’d *have* to go to a big box store…and that would be kind of a shame, wouldn’t it?  Try shopping local…because the real gift is a vibrant community.

Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op Offers Cooking Classes

September 1, 2009

So, dear reader, tell me honestly:  Are you a fan of “Hell’s Kitchen”?  Are your Saturday nights planned around “Iron Chef America”?  Are you crazy about “Top Chef”?  Or maybe, are you someone who’s seen “Ratatouille” three times–or perhaps, are you hankering to get into the kitchen after seeing all those Julia Child recipes in “Julie & Julia”?

If you’re tired of just watching other people cook, and want to try out some new dishes yourself, you may be in luck.  The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, located right here in our neighborhood at 1900 Alhambra Blvd. (Alhambra and S Street), offers cooking classes on a regular basis at its Community Learning Center (on Alhambra, right around the corner from the Co-op).  The class topics vary from low-calorie and quick-fix dishes, to dishes that use herbs out of your garden.  Take a look at this class, coming up next week:

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Wholesome 30-minute Meals.  Dishes to be learned include black-eyed pea salad with lemon vinaigrette; veggie quesadillas; nut burgers with sweet potato fries; and crispy tuna casserole.  Price is $39 for the general public, and $30 for co-op owners; in addition, at this class you can “bring a friend for free.”

However, the greatest variety of classes at the Co-op cover a number of international cuisines.  For example:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. — Tour of Africa: Morocco, Senegal and Algeria.  Dishes to learn include Algerian sauteed mushrooms in filo, Senegalese lemon soup, Moroccan carrot salad, saffron chicken with apricots, and rose water pudding.  The price is $45 for the general public; $35 for co-op owners.

Monday, Sept. 14, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Spanish Tapas.  $39 general public; $30 co-op owners.

Monday, Sept. 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — French Inspiration.  Dishes include vichyssoise with orange zest (chilled leek and potato soup); croque monsieur (French ham and cheese sandwiches with rustic bread and bechamel sauce); clams steamed in vermouth with garlic crouton; haricot vert with bearnaise sauce; and cream puffs for dessert.  $39 general public; $30 co-op owners.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Italian Al Fresco! Under the Tuscan Sun.  Dishes include melanzane ripiene (stuffed eggplant with prosciutto and provolone…and aren’t English translations helpful?); spaghetti alla viareggina (that is, in the viareggio style…guess you’ll have to take the class to find out what that means!); fagolini al sesamo e limone (green beans with sesame seeds and lemon); and caffe in forchetta (coffee on a fork…say what!?).  $39 for general public; $30 for co-op owners.

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. — Vegetarian Indian Cuisine: Indian Feast.  Dishes include chilled summer rice; spicy hot coconut chutney; shredded radish, coconut and carrot salad; chick peas and potato chaat; and ginger lemonade.  $45 for general public; $35 for co-op owners.

For more information (and to see the entire list of classes, including the ones I left out here), please visit the co-op website, or call them at (916) 455-2667.  Or just stop by the Co-op and inquire at the information desk.  And just think–at these classes, even if you make a mistake, no one’s going to yell at you and call you “donkey.”  🙂