Hot bar extends its hours, introduces new themes

Shoppers looking for lunch and dinner to go are in luck, as the co-op’s hot bar has extended its hours to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Along with the new hours, the hot bar is introducing daily culinary themes:

Mondays and Thursdays: North African

Tuesdays and Fridays: Indian

Wednesdays and Saturdays: East Asian

Sundays: Chef’s choice

“The hot bar has maintained some of our and our customers’ favorite dishes, while also bringing on some new ones,” said Andy Catalano, prepared foods manager. “We’ve done some work to solidify the culinary theme of the day and really build out the plate in a culturally specific way.”

Catalano added that all of the food is outrageously delicious and the staff focuses on quality offerings.

“Every menu is comprehensive, balanced, colorful, accommodating of varied diets and fun,” Catalano said. “People should come in to try it because it’s the best food in town.”

Other prepared food offerings include the burrito bar, salad bar, the grab and go section and the bakery. Click here for more information.

The hot foods bar is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

 

Meet our new meat manager

Ryan Dodge

Astoria Co+op is pleased to introduce shoppers to our new meat manager, Ryan Dodge.

Originally from Northern California, Dodge comes with 18 years of meat department experience, 15 of those years as a manager. He worked for the same company, Nugget Markets, for over two decades before deciding to move up to Astoria to live on the coast, be close to friends and family, and manage the co-op’s meat department.

Dodge brings a high level of expertise and knowledge to his role, and has even competed in barbecue contests.

“I’ve done everything, I’ve broken down animals, been to beef and chicken farms all over the West Coast and I’ve seen their operations,” he said. He added that Smart Chicken, where the co-op gets most of its chicken, has one of the cleanest plants he’s seen in his life.

As the meat manager, Dodge plans to re-categorize the meat section and work on growing the amount and types of meat the co-op offers.

Some items to look forward to at the beginning of September include local coho salmon from the Columbia River and dry-aged meat from the co-op’s own dry ager.

He said customers might not realize it, but the co-op cuts a lot of meat right at the store, and even has an in-house sausage making program.

“I’m excited to be here, re-energized, and I’m looking forward to growing this co-op,” Dodge said.

After work hours and on his days off, Dodge enjoys exploring the area and going fishing.

“Here we get the woods and the ocean all within 15 minutes,” he said. “It’s awesome!”

Dry-aged meat on day 1
Day one of the 28-day dry-aged meat process.

Masks Advised

Public health officials are recommending that people once again mask up. We added new signs around the store informing shoppers of Oregon Health Authorities’ latest advisement. In response to an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, OHA is recommending universal masking for public indoor settings. This includes fully vaccinated individuals.

The state mask mandate ended June 30. Since then, the co-op has encouraged mask-wearing, but left it up to shoppers and staff to decided whether to wear masks in the store.  We’ve definitely seen an uptick in mask wearing, since the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and OHA’s new recommendations came out this week.

Salad Bar open

Salad bar open

Our salad bar is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Salad and hot soups will be available daily for lunch and dinner. The hot foods bar (on the other side of the salad bar) will be open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

As you might expect, we’ve got many safety protocols in place including air scrubbers, handwashing stations, and regular cleaning of surfaces and utensils.

You’ll be able to enjoy your meals from our outdoor seating areas or take your food to go. Please note, we are not currently offering reusable dishware, but hope to bring it back in the near future.

We appreciate your support as we continue to adapt and look forward to serving you!

Hours of operation:

  • Salad bar & hot soups, daily 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Hot foods bar, daily 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Burrito bar, daily 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Outdoor seating open during store hours 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Grab n’ go foods (salads, sandwiches, desserts and more) always available

Salad Bar & Indoor Dining Re-opening

We’re looking forward to re-opening our popular salad bar and deli seating area, which was closed due to pandemic restrictions. The salad bar and hot soups will be available daily for lunch and dinner starting next week.

The hot foods bar (on the other side of the salad bar) will be open for lunch weekdays. We hope to expand availability, but staffing is a challenge, so if you know any good cooks, please encourage them to apply.

Re-opening in-store dining means closing our curbside pickup program. We are proud to have offered this free community service during the pandemic, using the seating area to process orders. Friday will be the last day to shop online.

We will keep you updated as changes unfold and appreciate your support as we continue to adapt.

Starting July 14

  • Salad bar & soups, daily 8am–7pm
  • Hot bar, Mon–Fri, 11am–3pm
  • Indoor & outdoor seating open during store hours 8am–8pm

Oregon Black Pioneers

Our July Change for Community recipient is Oregon’s only statewide African American historical society. Oregon Black Pioneers illuminates the seldom-told stories of people of African descent in Oregon through exhibitions, publications, historical markers and creative projects.

While the organization is headquartered in Salem, its only staff member currently lives and works in Astoria, giving the North Coast a unique opportunity to learn about Black history. For example, OBP has partnered with Coast Community Radio to produce and broadcast “The Register”, a weekly radio show on the state’s most notable African Americans.

Other local OBP partners and supporters include Clatsop Community College, Clatsop County Historical Society, Fort George Brewery, Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Peace First Lutheran Church and now the co-op!

As a small non-profit, OBP relies on grants and community support. Outside of generous donations during Black History Month (in February), donor support is lean. So, support through the co-op’s Change for Community program in July will help sustain the organization during slower months.

Let’s raise funds for this awesome organization! Round up your purchase total or donate your pocket change. Through our Change for Community program, we’ve raised $88,119.02 in cash donations for local non-profits. Learn more…

Masks Encouraged, Not Required

The co-op strongly encourages masks but is lifting the requirement in accordance with the governor’s executive order. We realize this will come as good news to many, and some may find it uncomfortable. There are community members who cannot receive the vaccine due to weakened immune systems, age, or other reasons. With that in mind, we encourage mask-wearing and social distancing at the co-op.

The decision to continue wearing masks is at the discretion of each co-op customer and employee. We ask that you please be respectful of the personal decision others make. ⠀

As Oregon reaches a 70% vaccination rate, the governor is ending most Covid-19 restrictions starting June 30, including the statewide mask mandate. The Centers for Disease Control states fully vaccinated people may resume activities without wearing a mask or social distancing but advises the unvaccinated to continue wearing a mask. ⠀

The health of co-op shoppers and staff have been a priority throughout the pandemic. We were a leader in installing plexiglass shields for cashiers, handwashing stations and air scrubbers. Many safety precautions will remain, and we will continue to be responsive to any future changes to guidance around masks and distancing.

After more than a year of COVID-19 measures, we acknowledge removing the mask requirement is a significant change. We thank you for supporting the co-op as we’ve responded and adapted to the pandemic. We are hopeful our community will continue to progress in a healthy way and welcome you to our store!

Juneteenth

June 19 is Juneteenth—the day on which, in 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free. We’re pleased to announce that the co-op will be doing something special for the Black community in honor of Juneteenth. We have selected Oregon Black Pioneers as our next Change for Community recipient. In July, you can help us raise funds by rounding up or donating pocket change.

Meantime, we’re sharing more information about Juneteenth as well as recipes so you can commemorate the event with your own Juneteenth picnic or cookout. Click here to learn more.