By Kathy Miller
The New Melle Food Co-op opened its storefront in April of this year at 3554 Mill Street, the lower level. The Co-op has grown each week with more and more “regulars” and over 1200 members. They have over 40 local vendors, making it possible to offer a better quality product and a wider selection. The Co-op stocks a variety of unique and everyday items. They have dairy items including cheeses, ice cream, butters, duck and chicken eggs, raw milk, and low-fat milk. Produce items are seasonal, such as corn, tomatoes, greens, mushrooms, apples, berries. A frozen meats section that features beef, pork, lamb and chicken cuts. There is a selection of staples and dry goods, fresh bread, a bulk section offering a variety of dried beans, oats, flax seed, lentils, rices, chocolate chips and cacao nibs, hand soaps and cleaners to name a few.
Throughout the store you will find plants and fresh flower displays that are for sale and a section for handmade items like soap, candles, nesting boxes, mugs, and many other items.
The Co-op’s staff is happy to search for anything you might need, so let them know what you're looking for. As a community-oriented Co-op, they want to stock items the community desires. Currently, the staff at the New Melle Food Co-op is Wyatt Gober – Managing Director, Jamie Schmitt – Office Director and Amanda Strauser – Creative Director.
You must be a member of the Co-op to make a purchase, that can be done before or at the time of purchase. It is a simple process and just requires your email address and signature. To learn more about the Co-op and how to join for free or become an owner in the Co-op, visit www.newmellefood.coop. Online ordering is now available. You can order online and have your order ready for pickup. The Co-op is offering 10% off for new online orders. Visit the site for a coupon code for your first order. Coming soon, they will be offering delivery service for the online orders.
So if you haven't been yet, take a few minutes and go see for yourself. They have worked very hard, and it shows by the quality and selection they are currently offering. If you haven't been in a while, there are many new and ever-changing items. Some items are limited when in season, so don’t wait too long. They have many other ideas and expansions coming for the future, so stay tuned.
Support many local small businesses by shopping and supporting the Co-op to keep it all local. Wyatt, Amanda and Jamie are excited about the future and would love for you to come and take a look and say hi.
The New Melle Food Co-op is also the location of The New Melle Country Market every Saturday through October 7, from 8 a.m. to noon. The goal of this community focused producer market is to help the small farmers, artists and artisans sell their products locally.
The Market currently permits producer-only vendors; meaning it only allows vendors offering handcrafted or locally produced items, no resale booths are allowed.
I spoke with a few of the vendors on a recent visit, and they were much happier with the new changes. They are selling more and seeing more visitors come through the Market. According to a regular vendor since the beginning of the market, “The worst day at this market was better than the best day at the old market.” The vendors also appreciate having the market so close, saving time and money by not having to drive further into the city. The vendors support themselves or supplement their incomes by selling what they produce and thanks to The New Melle Country Market and the New Melle Food Co-op, they can do just that. The Market may have occasional weekends that allow resale items, and they have plans for monthly cookouts and a fall festival.
To learn more about The New Melle Country Market or to become a vendor, visit www.newmellecountrymarket.com