Education Program

Education Program at Valley Natural Foods

Our education program is based upon the co-op’s values and mission statement:

Valley Natural Foods Co-op works in partnership with the South Metro community to support health and well-being through education and expertise in local, sustainable food and wellness services.

The classes that make up our education program should be educational and focus on concepts or products available at Valley Natural Foods (e.g., cooking, health and wellness, learning about foods available at the co-op, local vendors, youth education, gardening, etc.). Classes are not meant to promote or sell specific products or services.

Generally, four to six classes are scheduled per month, weekdays between 5 and 8:30 p.m. If you are interested in teaching a class at Valley Natural Foods, please complete a Class Proposal Form. In order for us to properly schedule and promote classes, proposals should be submitted at least three months prior to the preferred class date.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Food Demo and Education Coordinator and evaluated based on their relevancy to Valley Natural Foods’ mission, values and class criteria described above. We will contact all instructors after we review their proposals.

Susan McGaughey Education Room

Valley Natural Foods has an on-site education room that includes a kitchen with a range, refrigerator, sink and a small selection of cookware, knives, cooking utensils and cutting boards that instructors can use. If we do not have the equipment you require, you will have to supply your own for the class. We do not currently have an oven in the education room, but there is an oven available for use in our deli.

Valley Natural Foods Will Provide:

  • Classroom space and some equipment
  • Place settings
  • Class promotion through in-store flyers, e-newsletters, quarterly print newsletter and events calendar on our website
  • Participant registration and collection of applicable class fees
  • Class evaluations for each attendee that can be turned into the customer service desk at the end of class
  • Coupons for each attendee

Expectations for Instructors

  • Instructors will need to provide a bio, class title and description (Valley Natural Foods reserves the right to edit for publication).
  • Bring any ingredients or supplies required for the class. Any food or wellness products used for a class must be available for purchase at Valley Natural Foods.
  • Instructors are encouraged to bring recipes or handouts for class participants.

Day of Class

Any groceries in the classroom refrigerator or pantry area are not for class use, as they are reserved for our in-store demo program.

On the day of class, instructors should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of class (but no earlier than 4:30 p.m.). We recommend that instructors plan enough time for preparation of any ingredients or supplies for their class.

Contact for the Evening

Typically, the Food Demo and Education Coordinator will not be on site during scheduled class times. If you have any questions or needs, the Front End Manager or Manager-on-Duty will be your contact for the evening.

Education Room Clean-Up

The Valley Natural Foods Education Room is used on a regular basis by our staff, and we ask that you leave the room as you found it.

Clean-up includes:

  • Washing, drying and putting away any dishes or equipment used during the class
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Wiping down any surfaces or counters used
  • Cleaning any spills that occur in the refrigerator or on the stovetop

Clean towels and dish soap will be provided. Non-Valley Natural Foods staff are not allowed to in the store after 9 p.m. All clean-up must be finished before this time. If clean-up conditions are not met, it may result in restricted use of our education room.

Instructor Payment

Instructors are paid a flat rate of $200 per class. Payment will be mailed after the class has been taught.

Class Fees

All registration and collection of fees is the responsibility of Valley Natural Foods. Class fees will be determined by Valley Natural Foods (VNF member-owners are charged a reduced rate of $3–$5 less than non-member-owners). Valley Natural Foods retains 100% of the class fees to cover the cost of class materials, groceries and instructor payment.

Please contact the Food Demo and Education Coordinator at with any additional questions.