40 Years! Co-op Anniversary Series: Lifetime Member-Owners
This year marks the 40 year anniversary of our local Co-op. What once began as the Organ Mountain Cooperative, has since changed it's name and image, but not it's message. There are many reasons why this organization has stayed true to it’s bottom line values, and this blog series will touch on those individuals. Such as: the long-time Member-Owners, who have helped support and promote the cooperative ideals through involvement and outreach; Our employees have been full supporters of the cooperative model and have continued to work at other food Co-ops around the country; The group of individuals who we lovingly refer to as “Co-op Kids” whom are people, often employees, that spent some of their childhood inside the Co-op; And the original buying group that was formed in the mid-1970s, whose vision changed the way that Las Cruces shopped for health food.
I sat down with a lifetime Member-Owner this morning to discuss her love and passion for the Co-op. Anna Juarez has been a member since 1993, and has been promoting the Co-op message of sustainability and healthy lifestyle ever since. She recently encouraged her co-worker Elena Moreno-Hansen to sign up as a Member-Owner, and Elena was happy about her decision. Elena brought her son with her shopping today, to show him how our Co-op is different from other "box" grocery stores.
Anna loves that the Co-op “offers a higher quality of food”. She chooses to only purchase her juicing produce here because she believes that “not all vegetables have the same nutritional values if they aren’t organic”. For example, Anna feels that conventional vs. organic produce are not the same level of quality, and that her body will notice the difference. Anna also loves the fact that the Co-op supports local farmers and vendors, especially the Solberg family that produces our Sun Harvest Honey products. She uses the honey to treat her seasonal allergies!
Today Anna was here enjoying her post-workout juice and pH water, with her co-worker and friend Elena. She was showing her friend some of the farm-fresh eggs in our store. “You know that the eggs are fresh, because most of them the dates that they were laid, with other stores, you don’t know the freshness”.
Anna feels that “our bodies know the difference between food vitamins and artificial supplements, so important to get it from our foods sources”. And she definitely does exactly that!