Education Program at Valley Natural Foods
About Valley Natural Foods
Valley Natural Foods is a community-owned food cooperative serving the south metro area of the Twin Cities since 1977. Valley Natural Foods has fostered relationships to support local and fair trade healthy food and the community and has created innovations such as its gluten-free Down in the Valley Bakehouse and its Down in the Valley Meat Program. Valley Natural Foods supports and works directly with small Minnesota farms. We currently have over 11,000 owners.
About Our Education Program
Valley Natural Foods’ education program is based upon the co-op’s mission of a healthy community and our FRESH values: Family, Relationships, Education, Sustainability and Health. The classes that make up this program are limited to cooking, health and wellness, learning about foods available at the co-op, local vendors, and gardening.
All classes must be entirely educational and focus only on products available or concepts promoted at Valley Natural Foods. Classes cannot be used for direct self-promotion.
Generally 4-6 classes are scheduled per month, Monday – Friday only, from 6 – 8:30pm. If you are interested in teaching a class at Valley Natural Foods please complete a Class Proposal Form. In order to properly schedule and promote classes, Class Proposals should be submitted by the following deadlines:
Proposals will be reviewed by the Food Demo and Education Coordinator. The proposal will be evaluated based on its relevancy toward Valley Natural Foods’ store mission, values and class criteria described above. Instructors will be contacted within 7-14 days after the deadline on whether the proposal was approved or not.
Benefits of Having a Class at Our Co-op
Valley Natural Foods is well established in the south metro and is known for supporting organic, local and natural foods. We have a strong ownership of over 11,000 members that grows each day.
All classes at Valley Natural Foods are promoted through in-store class flyers, e-newsletters, and the events calendar located on our website. We encourage instructors to self-promote their classes as well.
Class registration is convenient and participants can register for classes in-store at Valley Natural Foods, on our website: http://www.valleynaturalfoods.com/events/ or by calling 952-891-1212 ext. 221.
Valley Natural Foods has an on-site classroom which includes a small functional kitchen (sink, stove top, oven, refrigerator, small freezer, and portable tables to use for demonstrations). Please keep in mind that our classroom does not include a chef’s kitchen. We do have a small selection of cookware, knives, cooking utensils and cutting boards that instructors can use. We strongly recommend that you bring your own equipment for the class if we do not have what you are looking for.
For cooking classes with tables, the maximum number of attendees is 15. For informational classes that do not need the kitchen, the maximum number of attendees is 20. The classroom comes with tables and chairs that can be easily set up and moved around.
The classroom is equipped with a PC and 55” screen that can be used for PowerPoint, video or internet use and can accommodate DVD’s, CD’s and flash drives for presentations and lectures.
Classroom Rules and Procedures
Valley Natural Foods will shop for instructors as long as the Food Demo and Education Coordinator receive recipes at least one week in advance. Instructors are given a budget of $75 for groceries and we ask that you plan your recipes accordingly. Paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic silverware will be provided for classes with tastings.
Class evaluations will be provided for each attendee, and can be returned to the customer service desk at the end of class. Coupons will be provided for each person who attended the class.
Day of Class
On the day of class the Food Demo and Education Coordinator will place perishable groceries in the refrigerator and non-perishable items on the table with the instructor’s name on it. Any other groceries in the classroom refrigerator or pantry area are considered “off-limits” because they are used for our in-store demo program.
If there are leftover supplies after the class, please label them with the date and place them in the refrigerator or on the table depending on their perishability. Any leftover fresh fruits or vegetables may be taken home with the instructor.
Valley Natural Foods will set up the classroom to the instructor’s specifications and print any hand-outs in black and white that are needed for the class, not to exceed 4 pages per person (2-2 sided sheets). Any additional sheets will be charged to the instructor at 5 cents per page.
On the day of class, instructors should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of class, but no earlier than 5:00pm. We recommend that instructors plan enough time for preparation of any ingredients or supplies for the class.
Contact for the Evening
Typically the Food Demo and Education Coordinator will not be working during your scheduled class time. If you have any questions the Front End Manager/Supervisor on duty will be your contact for the evening.
The classroom at Valley Natural Foods is used on a regular basis by our staff and we ask that you leave the classroom as you found it.
We ask that you please:
- Wash, dry and put away any dishes or equipment used during the class.
- Sweep the floor in the kitchen area, if cooking
- Wipe down any surfaces or counters used
Clean towels and dish soap will be provided. Valley Natural Foods cannot allow non-staff members to remain in the store after 9:00 p.m. All clean-up must be finished in the classroom before this time. Failure to clean up after a class can result in restricted use of our classroom.
If chosen to teach a class at Valley Natural Foods, instructors are paid a flat rate of $75 for lecture classes and $150 for cooking classes. Instructors will be mailed payment after the class has been taught.
All registration and collection of fees will be the responsibility of VNF. Class fees will be determined by Valley Natural Foods with members paying $3-$5 less than non-members. Valley Natural Foods retains all of the class fees to cover the cost of class materials, groceries and instructor payment.
If there are any additional questions you may contact the Food Demo and Education Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have fun and enjoy your class! Thank you for teaching at Valley Natural Foods.