Author: Bre McGee

What's your favorite part about winter?  Is it the excitement of the upcoming holidays? What about getting outside and enjoying a day of skiing or sledding? If your most enjoyed parts of our coldest season include cozying up under a heavy blanket and sipping a warm beverage, Winter Goddess has you covered.  Recently featured in our Fall/Holiday dual issue of Living Naturally, Winter Goddess Foods has created a company that envelops the more delicious things in life - chai, caramel, and sweet & savory nuts, among an assortment of other delights.  Read our full feature on Winter Goddess (and snag co-founder Terry's recipe for Chai Snickerdoodles) HERE . . . scroll to page 8! Another Addition After months of anticipation, a brand new Winter Goddess indulgence has finally arrived! "Oh My Goddess! Butter Crunch Toffee" is exactly what your cozy moments ordered. Paired with a toasty

November in Minnesota marks the unofficial beginning of a grey, cold, what some might call "dreary" winter season. What combats the grey sky, snowy ground, and 4:30 sunset? Hot sauce! Warm your body and taste buds from the inside with fermented, vegan, raw pepper hot sauce created from local ingredients! One of Valley Natural Foods' newest hot sauce producers, Lost Capital Foods, is quickly becoming a new favorite among our team members. Based in Falcon Heights, the small but mighty team behind Lost Capital creates their line of hot sauce using as much local produce as possible specifically because they know it's better for their consumers and the local economy. There isn't just one thing that makes Lost Capital stand out from the rest.  Their Name! Lost Capital might sound more like an indie band's newest album as they stick it to "the man" but when it comes

CBD: The newest legal trend to come out of cannabis. For those who haven't tried CBD but are interested in dipping a toe into the pond of potential benefits associated with CBD, the time has never been better! CBD (cannabidiol) is found in the cannabis plant, naturally extracted, and is then manufactured into a variety of forms - though you won't get 'high' from it. THC is the compound also found in cannabis that is responsible for the psychoactive 'high' produced in cannabis-use. CBD sold legally in the United States contains less than 0.03% THC and is non-psychoactive.  Benefits Upon Benefits Among the of host of benefits, CBD is used to treat many conditions, including chronic and acute diseases. Some of the most common ailments treated with CBD include mental disorders, such as: Anxiety Generalized Social Depression Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. CBD is

Ever wonder what happens to the plastic that's placed in VNF recycling containers? What about the plastic used in the transportation of products that end up on our shelves? Valley Natural Foods is proud to partner with Merrick, Inc., a Twin Cities-based business solution company that does more than just the services like plastic recycling and document shredding. Since 1964, Merrick has been empowering adults with disabilities by providing life-enriching activities and meaningful work to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the northeastern Twin Cities. Second-life for Single-Use Plastic On top of that, Merrick partners with Trex, an outdoor furniture and decking company that turns Merrick's recycled plastic into composite decking. Every 2 - 3 weeks, Merrick ships an average of 40,000 pounds of plastic to the recycling facility that turns it into composite decking. In fact, every 500-square Trex deck contains

National Cooperative Month is in full-swing and we're thrilled to feature one of our favorite local co-ops today. Peace Coffee is a staple here at Valley Natural Foods. You'll find bags of ground and whole bean varieties on our shelves but also freshly brewed in our Coffee & Juice Bar and inside our handcrafted espresso drinks. Cooperative Coffees Founded in 1996, it wasn't long before Peace Coffee joined the group Cooperative Coffees - a partnership of 20 different coffee-growing co-opers throughout Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Rwanda. This cooperative is comprised of 23 community-based roasters in the US and Canada who are committed to building and supporting only fair and sustainable trade relationships to benefit farmers and their exporting co-ops, families, and communities throughout the world. Though Peace Coffee isn't a formal co-op itself (it's actually a B Corporation), it works directly

October is National Co-op Month, but it's also National Fair Trade Month! Throughout the month, we'll be sharing many of the co-op producers and fair-trade products we stock and love. Small Start The remote La Rioja region of Argentina is home to the Famatina Valley, as well as over 500 growers that contribute to Argentina's largest co-operatives and third-largest wine exporter by volume. What started as a small bodega, buying grapes to produce wine, founded by Italian immigrants in 1940, slowly grew as families made La Rioja province their home and began planting their own grapevines. After hundreds of families followed in their footsteps and began building what eventually became La Riojana Co-operative. After becoming the first Argentine winery to become Fairtrade certified in 2006, La Riojana has grown to become the largest Fairtrade wine producer in the world. Since 2006, La Riojana has

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. Please meet Paul-- our Front-End Manager! __________ How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods? I started at Valley Natural Foods in June 2018 as a Front End Shift Lead.  In 2019 I was promoted to Front End Supervisor, and in 2020 I was promoted to Front End Manager. Why do you love being a part of a co-op? I love being part of a co-op that is

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. Please meet Kasidy-- our Wellness Manager! __________ How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods?  I’ve been at VNF since January 2020. Before being promoted to the Wellness Manager position, I was the Grocery Shift Lead. Why do you love being a part of a co-op? I absolutely love the vibe at thecCo-op and the missions! What’s your favorite product from the Wellness Department? My favorite product is the

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. Please meet Renee-- manager of Valley's Own Bakehouse! __________ How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods/Valley's Own Bakehouse? I have been at Valley’s Own Bakehouse for a little over 6 years.  For the first 3 ½ years I was the Sales Account Coordinator and then I took over the General Manager position after that. Why do you love being a part of a co-op? I

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. Please meet Jim-- our Grocery Manager! __________ How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods? I've been the Grocery Manager at Valley Natural Foods for 8 months. Why do you love being a part of a co-op? I love that co-ops focus on their communities and are committed to doing good. What’s your favorite product from the Grocery Department? I love and require good coffee. We have lots of