Wishing You a Healthy New Year!
off Broad St. @ Caudill St.
 Monday - Saturday
8:30am - 7:30pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
San Luis Obispo's Neighborhood Market & Member Owned Co-Op
January 7, 2016
In This Newsletter:
General Manager Update: Reflections on 2015
Hello Friends,

This, the second full year in our new location, has been another year of growth for SLO Natural Foods Co-op.
We've grown into our new space and have made many improvements. We added an extra aisle in the Grocery department which has allowed us to bring in more new products and we've also added new aisle signs to help customers find them more easily. After many years of service (and more than a few repairs!) our old nut grinders have moved on, and were replaced with two new grinders in the Bulk department. In September a new entrance was cut into the wall between the Wellness and the Bulk Herbs departments, allowing for better traffic flow, visibility, and increased sales for the Wellness department. On October 15th our new Point of Sale (POS) system went online, allowing inventory tracking, ordering, and membership records to be combined, instead of existing as separate databases and spreadsheets. This will allow us to keep more accurate records and increase our efficiency.

Sales growth this year has been tremendous: 2014 was a banner year for the Co-op and sales increased by 21.6% in 2015! The Co-op also reached the $2 million annual sales mark that is required for full membership in the National Co+op Grocers (NCG). NCG is a business cooperative for food co-ops, which we hope to join as it will allow us to offer better prices to our customers, among other benefits. We hope to join NCG this year, after meeting several other criteria (submitting various financial records, etc.).

Our family of member-owners has grown as well; we exceeded our goal of 1,000 active members and had 1,155 active members at year's end.

We couldn't have done all this without our member-owners and customers, our fabulous team members, and our Board of Directors. Thank you all! With your support in 2016 we will have another amazing year, continuing to grow and to improve your Co-op.

Our Best Wishes for a Happy 2016!

Gwen Schmidt, General Manager
SLO Natural Foods Co-op

Product Updates at SLO Natural Foods
With more than 300 medicinal and culinary herbs in our bulk herb department, you might wish to create your own tea blends. Teresa recommends some healing teas in this article from Ta-Ya Lee, DNP, a practitioner of Chinese medicine at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Baltimore.

In Grocery, Raymond has brought in some herbs from Back to the Roots, the company that sells the oyster Mushroom Farms. We now have their Garden-in-a-Can herbs: sage, cilantro, dill, and basil. These are USDA organic, non-GMO, and are grown in biochar, which is light but moisture-retentive, so the herbs are not susceptible to overwatering. We've had great feedback from customers; both adults and kids love them and they make great gifts for gardeners. They are fun school projects, too! And don't forget about their Grow One, Give One program; share a photo and Back to the Roots will donate a product to the classroom of your choice.
In Wellness, Jessica has just received some copies of Jordan Rubin's soon-to-be-released book, Planet, Heal Thyself. You'll receive a complimentary copy of this book (retail value $16.99) with any purchase of Rubin's Get Real Nutrition supplements, while supplies last.

Thank You to Slow Money SLO!

SLO Natural Foods Co-op received the very first loan from the Slow Money SLO Chapter in 2013. Six local people invested $5,000 each for a total of $30,000 to help us move to our new location here on Victoria Avenue. Our final payment to them was made on December 1, 2015.
Thank you to Elizabeth Johnson, Timothy La Salle, Kathy Longacre, Eric Michielssen, John Swift, and Jeff Wade of Slow Money SLO. We are very grateful and honored to be your first investment.
Pictured (L to R):

John Swift, Slow Money SLO
Elizabeth Johnson, Slow Money SLO
Eric Michielssen, Slow Money SLO and Board President, SLO Natural Foods Co-op
Kathy Longacre, Slow Money SLO
Jeff Wade, Slow Money SLO
Gwen Schmidt, General Manager, SLO Natural Foods Co-op
Pavlo Rudakevych, Board Member, SLO Natural Foods Co-op
Not pictured: Timothy La Salle, Slow Money SLO
Please Join Us!  Board Meetings Are Open to Owners of the Co-op

Did you know that the monthly Board of Directors meeting is open to owners of SLO Natural Foods Co-op?  If you are an owner or member (we sometimes use these words interchangeably), you are welcome to attend.  Every meeting opens with a public comment period.
* * * We currently have an open seat on the Board so if you're interested in serving, please call or come by the Co-op and request a Board packet. * * *
The Board generally meets on the second Wednesday of the month but will not meet in January. The next Board meeting will be February 10th at 5:30 PM. Please call the Co-op at 544.7928 for the meeting location.
2015 SLO Holiday Parade Wrap Up

Our first Holiday Parade entry was a great success! We had a lot of fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Thank you all for the cheers and the support, and look for us next year, bigger and better!

Co-op member Artemisia Shine, 2015 Holiday Parade.

Photo credit: Laura Dickinson
ldickinson@thetribunenews. com

Upcoming Events

SLO County Restaurant Month, Mon, Jan 4 – Fri, Jan 29
Special prix-fixe menus at participating restaurants.
Annual Pruning Meeting. Bring your pruners for hands-on learning
at the CRFG Demo Orchard, Cal Poly SLO.
Free clinics with Dan Lassanske at Farm Supply.
Bring your tools and Dan's staff will sharpen for you.
SLO store on Jan 9, Paso store on Jan 16.
HopeDance Events, January 1-31
Films, discussions, gatherings
Board of Directors Meeting, Wed, Feb 10
No meeting in January!
Please call the Co-op at 544.7928 for location.
Meet your Board Members! Volunteer for a committee!
Health and Beauty Fair, Sat, Feb 20
Vendor fair, free samples, special discounts
Blood Drive with United Blood Services

Thanks for reading, being a Co-Op Member and supporting Local, Sustainable Community Health. Your support of the store supports local, sustainably grown food and farmers and non-GMO standards.
If you've any questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact us at newsletter@slonaturalfoods.com
SLO Natural Foods, 2494 Victoria Ave. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
www.SLONaturalFoods.coop       805-544-7928