Bethlehem Food Co-Op to Announce Plans for First Staff Hire at January Event

The Bethlehem Food Co-op will hold its next public meeting event on Monday, January 5 at the Charles Brown Ice House in Bethlehem at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the general public to learn more about this effort to open a community-owned grocery store and get a taste of the opportunities the Co-op will provide in addition to groceries.

Beginning in 2015, the Co-op will hold quarterly public gatherings instead of monthly meetings, as had been done in 2014. Each meeting will be its own event featuring a potluck, guest speakers and presenters, and updates from the Co-op’s board of directors on the progress of opening a store. 

 

Co-op Board President Santiago Rivera will provide a business update at the January meeting. The board will also announce plans to hire a part-time Membership and Outreach Coordinator. Position details will be shared at the meeting, and résumés will begin to be accepted that night.  

 

The January event will also include a cookbook swap. In addition to bringing an item to share for the potluck, attendees are invited to bring a cookbook along to exchange. 

 

Each attendee will have his or her name entered into a prize drawing, which will be held at the end of the event. Winners must be present to claim prizes. Local businesses have donated prizes, including a Jumbars gift certificate, a mindful goal-setting session with The Local Wheel, a shiatsu session from Elements for Healing, a bottle of pineapple ginger kombucha from Lehigh Valley Kombucha, and more.

 

Other event highlights include:

• Lynn Prior, President of Buy Fresh Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley will speak about the state of our current local food system, and the latest research from her organization.

• Stefanie Angstadt, owner of Valley Milkhouse will discuss cheese making and provide free samples of her cheeses along with cheese for sale.

• Chris West of Bethlehem Bounty and Camel’s Hump Farm will speak about being a small, local CSA farmer, as well as about the Johnston Estate Farmland Preservation Project.

 

Existing Co-op members are encouraged to invite a friend or family member who has not already joined to attend with them to learn more. New members who join during the meeting for the one-time equity fee of $300 or who sign up for a monthly $25 payment plan will receive a free Co-op t-shirt. 

 

The idea for the Co-op was hatched in 2011 by a group of community-minded individuals who recognized the need for a grocery store in downtown Bethlehem. It was legally incorporated in 2012. A membership drive was launched in 2013, with tentative plans to open the co-op in 2015 if its membership goal is reached. To-date the Co-op has 166 paid member-owners.

 

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