Author: Ashley Greywitt

Meet the Managers of Valley Natural Foods October is National Cooperative Month and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate all month long. We wouldn't be what we are today without our shoppers and member-owners, we wouldn't be who we are without the leadership of our managers! This month, we'll be introducing all of our store managers and give you a glimpse into who they are, why they love being a part of VNF, and what they love outside of the co-op. To kick off our month of "Meet The Managers" we're excited to introduce you to Steve - our fearless store manager! __________ How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods? 7 ½ years. I started out as the grocery manager for two years before becoming VNF's store manager.  Why do you love being a part of a co-op? We are member-owned, member-governed, and operate for the benefit of our

We've all had chocolate syrup on our ice cream, but have you ever tried maple syrup atop a few scoops of vanilla ice cream? What about swapping in maple syrup for the brown sugar in baked beans? Maple syrup can be used for so much more than just on pancakes, waffles, or French toast! Forget Vermont's maple syrup! Minnesota's own Wild Country Maple Syrup is the perfect way to change up your go-to recipes and ingredients! Michael and Carrie Baker were loyal supporters of Wild Country Maple Syrup for years before it became their livelihood. During each trip to the North Shore, they would make a point to stop at Wild Country before returning to their Twin Cities home. But it was a trip to the Wild Country in 2015 that changed their lives forever. While having coffee together one foggy, October morning, they began imaging

A Company Founded From a Problem Not all products are created equally. Sometimes corners are cut or chemicals are added to extend shelf-life or counter lower-grade ingredients or materials. Valley Natural Foods is proud to carry grocery and wellness items that do neither. The Honey Pot Company is just one of our many vendors that put its customers' health and well-being first. Image Courtesy of The Honey Pot Company's Facebook Beatrice Dixon, founder and CEO of the Honey Pot Co, was simply a woman looking for a solution before she was an entrepreneur. "The whole reason I started the Honey Pot Co was because I was suffering from bacterial vaginosis for months and couldn't get relief," she explains. "One night, an ancestor visited me in a dream and gifted me with a vision to heal myself. With her help, I created the Honey Pot Co to

In honor of National Voter Registration Day, we've compiled all the resources you need to prepare for Election Day. Now is the time to make sure you're registered, decide if you're voting in-person or by mail, know where your polling place is and, ready to cast your ballot on November 3! Register to Vote Online (or update your registration) Vote Early By Mail Vote Early in Person Find Your Polling Place "What Identification Do I Need to Bring?" Become a Poll Worker

September is sweet for so many reasons. The leaves begin to change. The air cools and becomes crisp. Pumpkins pop up in and around our homes and hop back into our lattes.  The biggest reason September is so sweet? It's National Honey Month! Initiated by the National Honey Board in 1989, National Honey Month is big for honey producers and beekeepers throughout the United States since September typically marks the end of honey collection season as the bees begin to prepare their hives for winter. A few sweet facts about honey -  There are nearly 20,000 know species of bees throughout the world - 4,000 of which are native to the U.S. (source) A single worker honeybee produces about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, meaning 27,000 bees are needed to fill a single jar!  (source) A honey bee can travel up

Family-Farmed Hoch Orchard has been in the family since the early 1950s but it wasn't until 1997 when Harry and Jackie Hoch and their family moved back to the Le Crescent, MN farm after leaving the Twin Cities that they started switching things up. Hoch Orchard is farmed entirely using organic practices and completed the transition to become certified organic in 2010. As a vertically integrated farm, Hoch Orchard only sells fruit they grow. This way the consumer knows exactly where their food came from, who produced it, and how it was produced! They even operate a cider mill and commercial kitchen to create jellies, juices, and sauces right where the fruit is grown. While growing over 30 apple varieties, Hoch Orchard is far from a one-crop farm. They also produce strawberries, blueberries, apricots, tart cherries, and multiple varieties of raspberries and plums. Waste

When you buy a local product from Valley Natural Foods, your dollars support more than just your local economy. You're supporting individuals -- individuals like Henry Kisitu. Ugandan Roots Growing up in Uganda, Henry watched his grandmother create tonics in her kitchen after sourcing local ingredients like ginger and turmeric. He was raised by his aunt from the ages of 5-17 after losing his parents to illness and war. In 2007, Henry moved to Minnesota after earning a University of Minnesota scholarship and eventually went on to receive bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of St. Thomas. When Henry's grandmother "Jajja" (which translates to 'grandparent' in Uganda) passed away in 2016, he decided the best way he could honor her legacy was to share the recipes she created in her Ugandan kitchen and keep the tradition going across the world! He founded Jajja

Sustainable, Local, Friendly- 3 words to describe Ben Penner Farms (and the man behind the products, Ben Penner, himself!) Located on three separate farms totaling over 70 acres of organic soil in Belle Plain, Henderson, and LeSueur, every Ben Penner Flour product is MOSA Certified Organic and 100% produced in Minnesota. Penner has been farming in Minnesota since the fall of 2009. He produces and sells alfalfa, hard red winter and spring wheat (both heritage and new varieties), food-grade soybeans, organic vegetable starter plants, cover crops, lentils, black beans, and pinto beans through no-till organic farming practices using a combination of rye cover crops and crop rotations. All flour is not created equal. While it can be easy to know the difference between whole grain, conventional and organic flours, one type you may be unfamiliar with is 'heritage variety' flour. So, what is

"Will it get me high? What's it even made from?" We get it. The world of recently legalized-CBD can be daunting. There's a lot of information (and misinformation) you can find online. Plus, it can be very difficult to find trustworthy brands producing CBD that you let you feel confident using. So, will CBD get you high? Nope. CBD (Cannabidiol) has been found in lay and scientific studies to not alter users' consciousness and has been deemed "non-psychoactive". However, keep in mind that CBD has been shown to have anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-craving, alerting, and mood-elevating effects in human studies. While those benefits of CBD do not alter users' mental or physical functions (even in very high doses), it does clearly impact users' psyches-- thus considered a non-psychoactive substance. What's CBD made from? CBD is the non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is

  "Certified Transitional" is one of the best ways to support farms as they transition to organic farming practices. Food for Thought: Just because a label doesn't read "Certified Organic" doesn't mean it's not produced through organic practices. What does it mean to be "Certified Transitional"? Organic has become the fourth largest food commodity in America, according to the USDA, but there aren’t enough farms growing organic food to keep up with demand. As of 2017, less than 1% of American farms (approximately 18,000) have organic certification! That's where "Certified Transitional" comes in - a new verification created to encourage more farmers to make the switch to organic farming. One of the most daunting hurdles to becoming certified organic is the 36-month transition period that any farm must go through before being granted organic certification