Almost time for Savor Haverhill

Haverhill farm on sunny Fall day

In just a few more days, the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op will be at this historic property to celebrate the 3rd Annual Meeting and debut the “Savor Haverhill: Celebrating the Culture of Food”. On Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 1-5pm, talented people from around the food culture will demonstrate their specialties. These range from brewing the perfect cup of coffee, to selecting locally made cheese and adding local flavor to the perfect burrito.

This is the first year for this unique family friendly event and a chance for everyone to learn something new about food and the benefits of having a member-owned food co-op in our community.

Special guided tours around this 1700s Haverhill farm will take place through the afternoon where you can see the collaboration with Willow Spring Vineyards and their amazing rhubarb patch. Kids can make their own “apple stamp” prints and there will be plenty of spots for the perfect “selfie” – remember to tag us with #mvfoodcoop and much more fun!

Tickets are limited, so get yours today for the Savor Haverhill. You can see all that is happening on the official Savor Haverhill 2017 Flyer.

Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is sponsoring this event with generous help from Haverhill Bank and the Haverhill Cultural Council. We thank them for their support.

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Celebrate at Savor Haverhill

2017CoopMonth_InfoPost_KindnessOctober 2017 is “Commit to Co-ops” Month and we are ready to celebrate our start up food co-op. We will be holding our 3rd Annual Meeting as part of the Savor Haverhill “Culture of Food” event.

There are so many local people coming out to share what they do from growing rhubarb with Jim Parker  to secrets for the best burrito from Stuft, tips on making African samosas with local ingredients and brewing the best Fair Trade cup of coffee with Equal Exchange. You can even learn about local Cheese with the experts from Mill City Cheese Mongers.

Come by and learn how the co-op will make a difference in our community and the way we celebrate food. Kid friendly activities from pumpkin decorating and basket making to farm tours all afternoon.

Tickets available online. Get yours today!

Interested in helping before the 22nd? Join us for the final planning suggestions or sign up a couple of hours that day as a volunteer.

Easy sign up below:

 

Got time for the co-op?

Healthy Living Expo 2017 MVFC is creating a version of their pop-up market at this year’s Healthy Living Expo on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Come join the fun  to help spread the word at our booth. We need our co-op lovers to help keep the co-op growing. How can you help?

Grow with the Co-op

Coops Cool screen FBMVFC membership keeps growing and growing, we have now have our 52nd member who joined last week during an outreach event at River Valley Charter School.

We were pleased to be invited to speak to a large group of people at the school during an evening event. Great questions were asked by folks who know their food and care about what we do to our planet as we grow food and raise our families. Thank you, River Valley Charter School for allowing us to meet so many caring people.

Are you ready to help the effort as we get ready for our big Fall event?

Save the Date for Savor Haverhill on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Follow the progress here and on Facebook or get involved at the Planning Meetings – the next meeting is Monday, June 5 at 5pm in Haverhill. Email: Suzanne for details about the meeting and what is happening next.

Success at Haverhill Better Block

Pop up decoratedWhat a whirlwind of an event! MVFC helped with the setup and some event sign painting in the days leading up to the #HaverhillBetterBlock as well as having a terrific group of volunteers work through the day to build our pop up co-op. We had lots of visitors to our store, 43 people signed up for the newsletter and 6 joined the co-op during the event. Yes!

We were grateful for a tarp roof with the rain that poured down from time to time, but nothing dampened the excitement this event brought out in everyone. Our signs were beautifully painted by Jeffrey Morgan, our “departments” were stocked with great product, the “Tasting Corner” was a popular stop for coffee and chocolate provided by Equal Exchange and Cabot Cheese samples.

Our informal survey asking “What is most important to you in a grocery store?” showed that most of our shoppers thought that local food (46%) and low price (35%) were most important while bulk and ready to eat were selected by just 9 and 10% o four “customers” for the day.

John_Swanna_Photo_BoothSocial media was key in promotion and awareness as we added Tweets during planning and developed the #mvfoodcoop with our cool photo booth area.

The sun even made an appearance for for nice photos with our members and a visit by our friends at HC Media.

We met so many people interested in the idea of a co-op and are pleased to welcome those new members. We have a new goal to top 100 members by the Fall. Join us as we Grow the Co-op!

How 2 Hours Can Help the Co-op

MVFC_Sign_JeffreyMYour wonderful Haverhill Better Block planning committee is so excited that the big event is only one week away, Saturday, May 6th from 11am- 7pm. This is a one day chance to show our community what a co-op can bring to the local economy.

We’ve been gathering delicious samples, creating a fun photo booth to share pics #mvfoodcoop, having cool signs painted by mural artist, Jeffrey Morgan (see photo), and so much more…

Lots of hours have already gone into planning for a successful event. You know you want to be part of it! We are looking forward to showing you our co-op space for this one day, giving you some free stuff, sharing memories on FB and Instagram, and most important – finding more co-op lovers who will join our co-op.

Are you ready for just a bit more? The planners, builders, and painters are all volunteers. You can be, too! We have to build our space on Friday, May 5th and keep the co-op open all day Saturday, May 6th. It is so easy, just raise your mouse and click or thumb type your way into helping for just a couple of hours. We love our volunteers and will make sure you enjoy your time at the co-op.

 

Haverhill Better Block Plans

Better_Block_Social_01Your MVFC board and our wonderful volunteer planners have some exciting news to share. MVFC will be part of  the upcoming Haverhill Better Block event. We will have a one day pop-up version of a cooperative grocery store with displays, samples, photo booth activities and of course lots of co-op information to share. We hope many people will come out and experience this event with us.
Haverhill Better Block will take place on Merrimack St in Haverhill on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11am- 7pm. There are lots of amazing local vendors getting ready to shine, family activities including bike paths, delicious food and creative arts.

Save the Date of Saturday, May 6th to experience what Merrimack St Haverhill could feel like with lots of new stores and public places. Stop into the Food Co-op to see what could be in the near future when we grow our membership.

Share #mvfoodcoop #haverhillbetterblock #OPositivefest We will see you on May 6th.

Meeting Up at North Parish

N_Parish_April9BMVFC was invited to attend the Coffee Hour at North Andover’s North Parish Church and met many wonderful new people. It was exciting to speak with so many people who are familiar with food co-ops. We hope to continue to grow our community relationships and grow our membership with each event. A co-op is only as strong as its members and we will grow stronger with your help spreading the word about our start-up project.

Let us know if you have a community group interested in learning more about the benefits a co-op brings to a local economy. Join us today!

Cooperation 2017

NFCA 6th Annual 2017MVFC board members attended the 6th Annual meeting of NFCA (Neighboring Food Co-op Association) in March, 2017. Keynote was the memorable Cornelius Blanding from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. They are celebrating 50 years of work to ensure black land retention and community empowerment in southern farming communities.

Cooperative strength has such a powerful history. We came home inspired to continue the challenge of our start-up work and to create ways to empower our community to become active members of our planned cooperative grocery store. We learn more every time we share with other NFCA members and will strive to bring a clear, co-op message to the Haverhill area.

We are planning two major events this year to give our community the chance to see what a co-op looks like and the positive things a co-op can bring to strengthen our economy, our local food culture, and our health.

Connect with us to learn more!

 

Transition Newburyport Info Evening

nfca-member-coopsMVFC enjoyed meeting many new co-op lovers during our recent info evening hosted by Transition Newburyport at the Newburyport Public Library. We definitely want to thank Elizabeth for coordinating and all those who attended with those excellent questions.

It was a great chance for us to explain our co-ops plans and how co-ops are able to provide a sustainable resource for a community. Many people who have been members of co-ops in other locations were present to find out how the MVFC plans are moving forward.

One great question was where can people get an idea about what a co-op looks like around this area. Although there is no cooperative grocery currently in Essex County, here is a link to Neighboring Food Co-op member co-ops for anyone interested in checking out co-op shopping: Co-ops in New England area  The Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is planned for Haverhill, MA. All the green pins are start ups and yellow icons are already open for business. Happy co-op shopping.

Please get in touch to join as a member or volunteer for an event. Email MVFC