Astoria has a rich history of cooperatives, including a plywood mill, a cannery and of course, our Astoria Co+op grocery store. Watch the video about it on our YouTube channel.
Today is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, and the co-op has wine for you to join in the festivities!
This holiday lands on the third Thursday in November when the wine is released at 12:01 a.m., in accordance with French law. In France, wine enthusiasts are celebrating the first wine of the season with parties, festivals, music and fireworks.
The wine was first produced about 100 years ago as a way to celebrate the end of the harvest season, only a few weeks after the grapes were picked. A controlled designation of origin was established for the Beaujolais in 1937 and after World War II the wine was sold beyond that area. Beaujolais Nouveau day became a national holiday in France by the 1970s.
“It’s a fun and tasty wine, goes great with turkey dinners (a must in my opinion,) and is relatively affordable,” said Meagan Young, the co-op’s operations manager and wine and beer manager.
The co-op carries an Old World style with Georges Dubeouf from Beaujolais and a New World style with Division Winemakers from Oregon. Pick up a bottle and celebrate today!
Pearl Hodges, head of the cheese department and a baker at Astoria Co+op, is excited about the fun cheeses in stock during the holiday season, including baked brie, cheese-making kits and marzipan.
“The holidays are fun, it’s a chance to put out tasty treats for yourself and your loved ones,” Hodges said. “We have a nice selection for a cheese board, which is wonderful for a party.”
“Or just spoil yourself and eat an entire block of cheese, it’s fine,” she added.
Hodges majored in theater arts in San Diego. Her now-husband was living in the Astoria area, so she came up to visit him and ended up moving here and getting married.
Hodges worked at Home Depot for a while before she decided she wanted a change. A previous manager at the co-op suggested she give the deli a try.
“I really love it here,” Hodges said.
After working at the co-op deli for about two years, Hodges began feeling sick. Eventually, she was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to leave work for eight months of chemotherapy and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The co-op was really supportive during that time and I really appreciate it,” Hodges said.
She continues to have more mild treatments over the next two years and has a good prognosis. She was able to return to the co-op last spring.
“I’m back! Alive!” Hodges said. “It’s been nice to be a person again. I missed being here.”
She feels she came back at a good time, when the co-op’s salad, burrito and hot bar reopened after months of COVID-related restrictions.
The pandemic has caused supply issues across many industries, including cheese, but some of her favorites are becoming more available now.
Some of her local favorites come from Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery, Little Island Creamery, Briar Rose Creamery and Cascadia Creamery.
“We are able to supply very local products that you’re not going to get out of a bigger market,” Hodges said. “And we’re able to meet the needs of allergy restrictions. We’re able to be transparent with everything we have.”
She added it’s nice to work in the kitchen, as she enjoys cooking and baking, and has a good relationship with her local suppliers.
“You know who produced it, transported it and stocked it,” Hodges said.
In her free time, Hodges enjoys drawing and painting surreal and abstract art, writing fantasy, hiking and exploring the beaches in the area. She and her husband are currently working on a novel together.
“Being sick definitely makes you want to get things done,” Hodges said.
When the pandemic hit last year the co-op quickly began offering curbside pickup as a community service to keep our most vulnerable shoppers safe. We sunsetted the Mercato platform in June of this year as we aimed to reopen the deli seating area that was being used for packaging and staging curbside orders. We also did not see long term financial sustainability of running the program as a community service in-house. Since then, we’ve continued to here requests for an e-commerce option from our community. We also know that the pandemic has changed consumer expectations around grocery shopping – namely, an e-commerce option is now considered standard in the highly competitive grocery industry. In response, we’ve launched Instacart delivery for the Co-op.
To learn more about how Instacart works you can visit the How Instacart Works page or if you are familiar with the fee-for-delivery service you can jump right in and place an order here. Instacart shoppers are independent contractors and we encourage you to tip your shopper generously!
Let the co-op cook for you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving! Orders are open until Nov. 19 at astoriacoop.square.site so make your order today!
Our deli and bakery are preparing delicious dishes and desserts for you. The traditional menu, which serves four to six people, includes organic roasted turkey breast and leg, homestyle gravy, classic mashed potatoes, traditional herb stuffing, sweet potato casserole with hazelnuts and housemade marshmallows, green bean casserole and cranberry-orange relish.
We’re also offering a vegan, gluten free menu that serves two to three people and includes a roasted mushroom ballotine, vegan gravy, vegan mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole with hazelnuts and housemade marshmallows, green bean casserole and cranberry-orange relish.
On the list of bakery items are pumpkin brioche rolls, classic apple pie, maple walnut brown butter tart, pumpkin pie, vegan dinner rolls and apple cake (V, GF).
Of course you can add extra sides and extra gravy too!
“A lot of brain power and culinary experience went into creating this menu,” Deli Manager Andy Catalano said of his team, adding they’ll offer traditional holiday items as well as new dishes for customers to explore.
Order now until Nov. 19 and then come pick up your Thanksgiving meal at the deli counter on Nov. 23 or 24.
Becky Graham is creating a pollinator sanctuary in the land surrounding the Astoria Co+op.
As the greenskeeper for the co-op and other properties on the North Coast through her business, Harvest Moon Design, Graham said she feels honored to take care of this piece of earth.
“Everything is grown organically and naturally because healthy soil makes for healthy plants,” Graham said. “I’m trying to create a healthy microbial life. There’s so much going on under our feet.”
She’s been taking care of the co-op’s plants since 2014.
When she first took on the grounds of the new co-op location, Graham brought in high quality soil and soil amendments like cow manure and mulch. She brought in new plants from a nursery in Hillsboro and was very strategic in where she planted each item. The plants next to the outdoor dining area will grow specifically to create a screen for the traffic noise as well as an aesthetically pleasing display.
“This is a very young garden,” Graham said. The co-op has been in its new location since December 2019, and Graham has planted a variety of new plants since then. “They say the first year a plant sleeps, the second year it creeps and the third year it leaps.”
She planned the garden to encourage beneficial visitors like bees, butterflies, insects and birds. The nectar and pollen nourishes the pollinators, who in turn keep the garden healthy. The variety of plants and plant shapes are intentional, as hummingbirds can access some flowers that insects can’t, and vice versa, and some plants have higher amounts of pollen and nectar.
“I’ve put food here for them and they show up and are feasting and that makes me very happy,” Graham said. “I have something blooming 12 months of the year. Even in winter I’ll have beautiful fragrant plants that will bloom.”
In addition to garden visitors, she’s hoping to see garden residents make the place home with nests to lay eggs, or for insects to go through the larva stage.
At the end of the summer, Graham collected seeds from wildflowers she had already planted on the grounds so she could use them to plant more.
“I always look to see what a weed is before I pull it because a lot are native wildflowers that want to come back, like lupin and purple clover,” she said. “One is called phacelia, or ‘bee’s friend,’ which is not native but the bees love it.”
Many of the perennials at the co-op garden, like the pollinator-magnet Agastache, bloom nonstop from June until the first frost.
“I always make sure what I’m doing is a tamed wild look that’s aesthetically pleasing, beautiful and kept-up,” Graham said. “It’s function first and beauty second.”
She said a well-organized organic garden with a diversity of plants creates its own balanced ecosystem that takes care of itself and is less prone to disease and other issues that non-organic gardens deal with.
“I’m hoping the co-op is a place where other businesses can look to as an example of what I’m able to do that’s beautiful, easy to maintain and makes a difference for birds, bees and butterflies,” Graham said.
She added she’s open to talking with co-op customers who have questions about the plants.
“It feels like a gift for me to share my love of nature, plants and design here,” Graham said. “I have so many people take the time to tell me the garden makes them happy and they love it.”
Graham is hoping to get Astoria on the map as a Bee City USA, a designation that would require City of Astoria staff and community members to work together to make the area a better place for pollinators. Graham is currently looking for volunteers who would be interested in talking with the city, maintaining spaces with native plants and reducing the use of pesticides.
To get in touch with Graham, call her at 503-791-7664 or email her at email@example.com.
The live, online meeting will be on Sunday, November 7 at 3-4:30pm via Zoom. Anyone who is a co-op owner can attend. Click on this link to register no later than November 5. You will receive details on joining the meeting once we approve your registration.
The meeting will include an annual report, Board election, video about the history of co-ops in the area and more. Please contact General Manager Matt Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We look forward to connecting and hope you can attend this virtual co-op event! If you cannot attend, the meeting will be recorded for later viewing.
From Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 14-17, the co-op is offering a 20% discount on supplements and body care items. Take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on everything you need to stay healthy this fall and winter. Boost your immunity and pamper yourself!
Check out the video to learn what our Wellness Manager Katie is planning to stock up on.