Savor Series: Celeste Oliva Talks Olive Oil

Celeste Oliva logo with tree

Searching for just the right olive oil for your next meal? We continue our exploration of food as the olive oil experts from Celeste Oliva join us for the next Savor Series on Sunday, May 20 from 4-6pm. Owner Charla Mayotte will be with us to sample their delicious extra virgin olive oils and share tips and comparison of the Celeste Oliva products versus typical market brands.

We look forward to a fun and educational afternoon while we talk olive oil. Join us as Moderno Appliance & Furniture once again hosts MVFC for this tasty afternoon. Follow the signs and drive around to the back of the Plaza.

Community Meeting: Let’s Work Together

Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is looking forward to a good community discussion to share ideas about how the future member owned grocery store can benefit our community as a place to connect and engage with our neighbors, help our local economy with new jobs and educate the public about sustainable options and good environmental choices.

If you haven’t seen this infogrstatistics of the positive impact of co-ops from www.strongertogether.coopaphic to the right, this a quick summary of how co-ops benefit their community. Join us to learn more and talk about what you want for our city.

Join us at the May 20th Savor Series with Celeste Oliva 4-6pm or for our next Community Meeting just after the talk on Sunday, June 24 at 6pm. Be part of a positive change in Haverhill.

RSVP here to let us know that you want to be part of the conversation:


Savor Series: Under Utilized Fish Species

NH Seafood logoMVFC was inspired by our success with last October’s “Savor Haverhill” and have created the “Savor Series”. We are collaborating with local food experts and producers for a close up look at a specific food or industry in an effort to celebrate local business and stimulate interest in the creation of a locally based cooperative grocery store.

Savor Series kicks off Sunday, March 18 from 4-6pm with NH Community Seafood’s General Manager, Andrea Tomlinson presenting the topic “Under Utilized Fish” and sharing what we are all missing from these plentiful, local fish species.

Join us for an interesting discussion hosted at the retail location of Moderno Appliance & Furniture 160 Winthrop Ave, rear in Stadium Plaza Lawrence, MA 01843. Admission will be $5 per person to cover costs. That is just off Rte 495, Exit 42B and around back in the Stadium Plaza. Plenty of parking!

Please RSVP so we can plan ahead. Be part of the Savor Series March 18th with the co-op!


Savor Haverhill: Celebrate the Culture of Food

historic barn

Beautiful Fall day at the Savor Haverhill

An amazing collection of food experts were able to join us at the Savor Haverhill this year. Everyone who attended was able to meet and learn a little more about our food systems from bee keeping and composting to cheese production and apple cider.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day on Janice’s historic farm as the setting for this special event. Board members gave farm tours and guided our guests from event to event during the afternoon.

After the official Annual Meeting wrap up of the successes and lessons of the past year, Bill Hamilton started things off with a discussion of the art and science of beekeeping. He had an enthusiastic audience ready to learn about this important piece of our ecosystem.

The giant burrito that Chef Paul from Stuft created brought the crowd over to the Tasting Corner for the first food demo. It was amazing how he wrapped so many tasty flavors into a giant burrito with both chicken and vegetarian options. Yum!

Sebastian from Roots Compost helped us keep green by showing people how we could compost at our event. We used compostable plates, napkins and sporks and Sebastian brought compost bins for the event, and also shared great information about the process of making compost.

Jim Parker came over from Willow Spring Vineyard to talk about their new rhubarb wine project. Unfortunately, no drinking was involved since the wine won’t be prepared until next year. The rhubarb is growing strong just in front of the barn and we thought it would be fun to learn why there was a huge rhubarb patch on the hillside.

Time for another food demo and back into the barn we went to see how hummus is made with the new project started this Summer at L’Arche. We got to sample a delicious sweet potato and rosemary version.

Food samples were just getting started since the aromas of Bintu’s African Samosas got our mouths watering as she taught us the steps to make them while the samples fried up nice and golden.

To cap off the learning, our own Laura stepped in to talk about the selection of local cheese donated by Mill City Cheese Mongers. Such a range of flavor, style and technique was a delicious experience.

We cannot forget the delicious cider made by participants with an old-fashioned cider press under the supervision of Hal Hutchins and his wife with apples from Fay’s Orchard and Farmer Daves. That was welcome refreshment during the afternoon. We also learned some basketweaving techniques as our experts showed their skills.

MVFC wants to express our gratitude to all those who participated in the planning, demonstrating and eating! We also want to thank Haverhill Bank and the Haverhill Cultural Council for their sponsorship support. Also a big “Thank You” to Janice Anton for allowing us to celebrate in such a beautiful, historic setting.

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.

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.