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January 2016 Newsletter: Congrats to the neighborhood of the year!

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Happy New Year! Now that January is in full swing, we're ready to look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Already, we're getting indications of a positive year ahead. (Speaking of good omens, scroll down to see which South Philly neighborhood was crowned with the 2015 Curbed Cup!) 
We warmly welcome our two newest committee members, Nadine and Ashley, who will be supporting our Marketing and Communications Committee.  We also welcome our new bookkeeper, Stas, whose 15 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant will no doubt be an invaluable resource as the Co-op continues to grow.
Additionally, the Board and Operations Committee continue to make progress on alternative financial models and other substantive items from our October Board Retreat, all with the end goal of opening our store. We'll have more details on these developments soon, so stay tuned.
If you're interested in getting more involved in our efforts to open a cooperatively owned grocery store in South Philly, simply reply to this email, and I'll help direct you. You can help make 2016 our best year yet!

Have a happy, healthy new year,
Anna Shipp, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Membership News: New-Member Orientation, Broth Giveaway and More

wild_is.jpgIn mid-December, we hosted a dozen Co-op members and prospective members for conversation and cocoa at one of our New Member Orientation sessions. It was great to get to know each other, walk through the member handbook, answer questions about the Co-op's history and development, and discuss the values behind cooperative enterprise. One prospective member talked about his experience with worker co-ops on the West Coast (where he moved from), while a current member explained his passion for a variety of consumer co-ops as a means to shift economic power. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Also, on Sunday, January 3, East Passyunk's Occasionette hosted a Wild Is! veggie stock giveaway for our members (see photo above). Don't forget, you can use your membership card for discounts at the Occasionette, as well as 40+ other Shop South Philly partner businesses! And be sure to tag your Wild Is! soups and stews on Instagram using @spfoodcoop.

Lastly, we'd like to thank everyone who donated to the South Philly Food Co-op as part of our annual fundraising campaign! For those of you who missed it, we'll leave you with this great quote from Co-op guru David Woo, who was featured in a recent fundraising email: "This isn't just about local food, this is about the economic power we can push down to the consumer and worker to make big business less relevant and less powerful in our lives. More economic democracy can mean a stronger political democracy for all of us." Hear, hear!

Curbed Philly's Neighborhood of the Year: Pennsport!

The readers have spoken: Pennsport has won the 2015 Curbed Cup! 

Curbed Philly's annual people's choice award is set up bracket-style, with Philadelphia neighborhoods pitted against each other until an ultimate victor is declared by popular vote. This year, our southeasterly friends -- home of Mummers headquarters galore, revitalized pier projects, Two Street and a burgeoning restaurant scene -- beat out Kensington for the win!

With this win, South Philly neighborhoods are three for four in the Curbed Cup: According to Curbed, "Passyunk Square took the inaugural title in 2012, followed by East Passyunk Crossing in 2013." (Fishtown won in 2014.) Newbold, Point Breeze and Lower Moyamensing, we've got our eye on you for 2016!

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Take our Product Preferences Survey!

survey.pngDon't forget: There's still time to take our Member Product Preferences Survey, to let us know the details of your grocery shopping habits.

We want to know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why.

We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.

Co-ops in the News: Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative

Here's an inspiring story from Down East: The Maine Farm & Sea Cooperativeaccording to the Bangor Daily News, aims to take on big corporations like Sodexho and Aramark to transform nearby university dining services options, providing institutional sourcers with fresher, farm-to-institution options.

“We have the operations experience and skills and ability and production in the state. We are saying you don’t need outside companies,” board member Jonah Fertig said. “This is a Maine food campaign that is also about sustainability.”

Keep on fighting the good fight!

Signing off,

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