Change is in the Air at the Yelm Food Co-op!

Change is in the Air at the Yelm Food Co-op!

signChange is in the air!

Some changes are coming down the pike and we wanted to let you know what’s going on and how it affects you as a Co-op member and supporter.

What’s Happening:

Earlier this year we got a notification from the IRS that we need to separate the Yelm Food Co-op from the Yelm Cooperative, which serves as the umbrella organization for both the store and the Farmers Market (yes, we know the names are very similar). While the larger organization is a federally recognized non-profit, the store clearly does not fall under that category.

What this means for you:

The separation of the non-profit and the store means that the store will once again become a true food cooperative, with paying members as owners. This structure will be familiar to anyone who was around when the store was founded. Once members have paid $100, they will become owners.

How it works:

Original members of the old YFC who paid a one-time membership fee will be grandfathered in to the new co-op as lifetime members with no additional fees.

All other members can pay $100 or pay $25 a year over four years. At that point, they will become owners and lifetime members. Your current membership will be honored until the renewal date.

Membership funds will be used to keep the Co-op growing in order to continue improving our service to you and the Yelm community.

Leadership Structure:

Early in 2017 the new YFC will also select its new Board of Directors.  Current board members may choose to become part of the new Co-op board or remain as part of the non-profit board. The new board will be the ones who will support the General Manager to guide the store into the future.

How You Can Help:

The “new” Co-op will need people to make it as great as we know it can be. Besides Working Members and paid staff, there will be other opportunities to contribute to the growth of the store. They’ll need committee members for membership, fundraising, outreach, marketing, finance and others, and there will be opportunities to join the Board of Directors as well. To get involved, contact the YFC at

This is your store and you have a voice. Make it heard and make a difference. Make the Yelm Food Co-op the store you want it to be!

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Gift of Gobble 2016 Nominations and Donations Now Being Accepted

Gift of Gobble 2016 Nominations and Donations Now Being Accepted

linda and carolIt’s that time again! For the seventh straight year, the Yelm Co-op’s Gift of Gobble program will offer entire Thanksgiving meals with all of the trimmings to families in need this holiday.

To nominate a family for a meal, stop by the Yelm Food Cooperative and fill out a nomination form. Be sure to include contact information for the family so that we can reach them in time. Nominations will be closed as of Wednesday, November 16th.

Want to help? Here are two options:

  1. Donate. Just $60.00 will feed a family of six. Drop by the store and contribute today!
  2. Volunteer to raise funds. Our goal is to raise $6,500 by closing time on Friday, November 18th. Help us achieve that goal by joining our business outreach team. Contact Heidi Smith at to learn more.

Thank you for making the holiday season bright for our community!

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“SEED: The Untold Story” Comes to Yelm Cinemas

“SEED: The Untold Story” Comes to Yelm Cinemas

Q & seed-picA with Directors and Seed Savers Follows One Weekend Only Showing

When filmmakers Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel began shooting “SEED: the Untold Story,” they faced a challenge. How could they take a subject that many people don’t know much about and make it important and inspiring enough that viewers would leave wanting to plant seeds of their own?

“Our focus is to get people to take the plunge,” says Betz. “We have a campaign going with the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance to create a million new seed savers.” The directors also hope the film will inspire people to get involved both locally and globally in creating accountability within the agriculture industry. “Seed” provides a historic overview of mankind’s connection with seeds, sounds an alarm about the loss of diversity in the past century, and highlights the efforts of those working to preserve what remains.

The stories featured in “SEED” span the globe, from activists marching against GMOs in Hawaii and native people of the Hopi nation working to protect ancestral corn to the challenges facing villagers in rural India. “We wanted to look at the cultures and the people who brought us ancestral seeds, to map the history yet tell the current story about the loss of diversity and the forces at play,” says Betz. “Once you start peeling back the onion, the story gets complex.”

The film comes to Yelm Cinemas this weekend for a two-night screening  and a Sunday matinee, followed by panel discussions. On Friday, October 28th Betz and co-director Taggart Siegel will be joined by a. Researcher Laurie McKenzie of the Organic Seed Alliance for a question and answer session after the movie. On Saturday night, Evergreen State College Professor David Muehleisen, Dave Mitman from the South Sound Seed Coalition, and Yelm’s own longtime organic farmer and entrepreneur Susie Kyle will be on hand.

Betz and Siegel had already made “Queen of the Sun”, a documentary about colony collapse among bees, when they came across a startling infographic: 94% of commercial seed varieties had been lost in less than a century. “We were no strangers to stories about eco-crises,” says Betz. “We thought, if we don’t know about this, that’s an impetus to make this film. We want to get the word out.”

The filmmakers were consistently amazed by the people they met in the course of the project. “These people are part of the fabric of our food,” says Betz. “They’re a really important part of a secure food future. We found that they took so much joy in the act of seed saving, and it was infectious. This is not some obscure, arcane thing. It’s pragmatic and fun.”

Aside from the seed savers they met activists and professionals working to counteract the influence of agricorp giants like Monsanto. “These are reluctant heroes who are fighting for our rights,” says Betz. “Small farmers and lawyers are on the front lines fighting for the people in Hawaii, in India, and in Mexico. This really is a global issue.”

Other countries have much stricter standards than the United States when it comes to monitoring GMOs and pesticides. “They sense the dangers of large chemical companies owning the majority of the world’s seeds,” says Betz. “People in the U.S. are waking up but it seems to be a slower process. The level of disconnect with our food in this country is very extreme.”

They hope to change that, especially for people who have never grown anything from seeds in their lives. “We’ll send you emails on how to grow your first bean and get the seeds from it,” says Betz. “You can do it with children. Just dive into an understanding of what makes nature and our food so amazing.”

Currently the filmmakers are one year into a two-year outreach and community engagement  campaign connected with the film. For more information or to find out how you can get involved, go to .

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Natural Cosmetics + Wine Tasting = Extra Happy Hour

503_wine_bottlesAs a general rule, Florence Vincent hates cosmetics. In fact, she hasn’t worn them in years. But recently she discovered a Seattle-based company that creates organic, vegan, and gluten-free products. “I researched Gabriel Cosmetics and their products before bringing them into the store,” says Florence. “Their ingredients are very clean. After seeing how fabulous everyone else looked I felt I needed to give it a try. I’m wearing makeup for the first time in a long time.”

On October 28th, representatives from the company will be giving product demonstrations in the store. At the same time, the Wine Cellar of Yelm’s Anne Marsh will be hosting Chris Smeaton of Holloran Vineyards for a special Pinot Noir tasting. “People can enjoy the makeup and come taste the wine,” says Marsh (to be clear, the makeup would come first, followed by the wine).

Gabriel Cosmetics was founded by aesthetician Gabriel DeSantino who was first introduced to the natural approach by a grandmother who used botanical seaweed from the ocean for skin care. “Growing up with someone who was passionate about makeup and skin care was a big influence on him,” says Janaea Riddle, co-owner of P3 Connections which represents the company. “When he started in the business 24 years ago, there wasn’t anything natural on the market. He was one of the pioneers.”

She often hears from people who are allergic to most brands of cosmetics. “They find our makeup and realize that they can use it,” she says. “One of the greatest rewards is to know that we’re not only fashion forward but changing lives by giving people opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

In a similar vein, the Pinot Noir that Smeaton will be introducing on Friday was created ‘without intervention.’ “That means the grapes go in and the wine comes out on in its own time,” says Marsh. “There are no additives and no filtration, which means no animal products, sawdust or junk. This is pure wine, made by nature and the love of a very great winemaker.”  The Happy Hour will run from 4:00 – 7:00.  

Like Florence, Anne has also become a convert to Gabriel Cosmetics. “I prefer a very natural look,” she says. “This makeup is so good for the skin and even makes your skin look healthier. It doesn’t accentuate lines, and for the first time in my life I have mascara that stays on my lashes and doesn’t get smeared under my eyes, yet washes away easily with soap and water.”  
On the 28th, Janaea and one of her colleagues will be on hand from 3:30 to 5:30 to provide makeup tips, color matches and advice on holiday lipstick as well as answer any questions. “We think makeup should include elements of fun and education, and we like to offer both,” she says.

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