June 2016

Grapes have always been the perfect summertime treat. Sweet and juicy with a pleasant pop, no party fruit tray would be complete without them, and their size makes for convenient eating on-the-go or straight out of the fridge. But let’s face it – while tasty, the basic options of Red vs. Green (and sometimes Black) haven’t made for much excitement over the years. Growers such as Divine Flavors have begun to change the grape landscape with new and exciting varieties that are unexpected in shape, color and flavor. And the best part is - they are certified organic!  Cotton Candy Grapes Cotton candy: an image that spins up memories of county fairs, parades, circuses and baseball games – not to mention sticky fingers. Let’s face it, as fondly as we remember the sweet taste of cotton candy, the confection consists of sugar and

It's that time of year when those beautiful, beloved and tasty heirloom tomatoes start showing up on supermarket shelves. In our northern region, enjoying heirloom tomatoes in early summer may mean they might be trucked in from warmer southern states.  However, with access to local providers like Wisconsin Growers Cooperative, locally grown and fully ripe heirloom tomatoes are available right now! You may be wondering how that is even possible, coming from a neighbor state that shares the same northern climate as Minnesota with short-growing seasons? Wisconsin Growers Cooperative is a unique farming community involving 35-40 small-scale Amish farmers located in Western Wisconsin, where farming practices favor horse-drawn plows and hand tools over fossil-fueled machinery to grow their produce. They use labor-intensive methods which allow them to harvest both early and late season vegetables. It’s what sets this farming cooperative apart, making them truly unique in our northern region. According to Al Weinrich, sales manager for Wisconsin Growers Cooperative, two

If you’ve spent an afternoon on our outdoor patio recently, sipping on a freshly-squeezed juice or enjoying the selections from our salad bar, you may have noticed a small construction project going up in our teaching garden on the south side of our building. Long-time owner Tom Kackman has donated the labor and materials to build an arbor that will be the centerpiece of our teaching gardens for years to come. When completed, it will include a screen for growing vine plants, a bench for seating and a birdhouse. Kackman, who has owned Rebuild and Restore in Lakeville for 34 years, finds joy in his passion for teaching people about organic foods, and his hobby for building arbors. He manages the Woodhill Community Garden in Burnsville and has built two arbors for their space. The idea of adding an arbor to our

Join Our Award-Winning Team! At Valley Natural Foods, we pride ourselves on creating a workplace where our employees can feel appreciated and are happy to serve the needs of the local community.  We exist to make a difference in the lives of those we serve, so we partner with our staff to create the best employee and customer experience possible.  Staff have ample opportunity to learn, participate in training programs, and grow with the co-op.  33% of our open positions are filled each year by internal promotions!  These, and other metrics, demonstrate the level of commitment that Valley Natural Foods has to its staff. Want to be a part of our award-winning team?  Visit the employment page on our website to see our current openings.

Round-up Your Purchase at the Registers! Thank you for your contributions by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. Currently you are helping to provide healthy snacks for Echo Park Elementary School. Over $2,500 was raised for the school in April and May and the money is used to purchase healthy snacks for students. Join us in June when your round-up will benefit The Open Door Pantry. Thank you for helping to make a difference!