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Featured articles, updates and news from your Silver City Food Co-op.

Thank you for 40 years of your support!

Our Co-op was one of many begun in the 1970’s that gave birth to and nurtured the market for natural foods. SCFC traces its roots to 1974 when a small group of pioneering locals (many of whom still inhabit the area) joined together as a members-only buying club to purchase affordable whole foods. Whole wheat flour, a variety of grains, and tubs of honey were among the first foods delivered in bulk quantities by a mix of trucking collectives out of Tucson. The buying club operated out of Beth Menczer’s checkbook and orders were split up at the “store,” which was actually the back porch of Susan and David Berry’s residence, an elegant structure built by one-time chairman of the Grant County commission, Isaac Cohen, in 1882. During open hours, the co-op was manned, or womanned, by two volunteers, and the entire operation was run by committee. There were open-the-store, pick-up-the-money, ordering, inventory, and physical plant committees. There was even, at one point, a mouse committee which was comprised of David Berry and his cat!
In 1976 the first paid coordinator was hired at $2.36 per hour for 16 hours a week. Although trucking problems developed, various enterprising and energetic folk, like Jerry Matthews (still a frequent shopper at SCFC) made the Tucson run in their own vehicles. In that same year, the co-op started Silver City’s first recycling center on the Texas side of the store. Recyclables were taken to Tucson when the food order was picked up. All these years later, Susan Berry says that she and David still find remnants of glass from the center.
By 1977 the co-op had moved to a storefront at 108 East Broadway, open to members and non-members alike. Jim Goodkind was manager at that time and deliveries were coming from Tucson every four weeks. The bulk bin system, designed by Jack Brennan and Tom Mershon, featured five-gallon metal buckets with self-closing lids.
Business was thriving, the Tucson truck was now delivering every two weeks and, in 1979, local attorney David Lane processed the paperwork necessary to allow us to function as a non-profit organization. After years of dedication, Jim Goodkind resigned as manager and the co-op went through a series of co-managers during the next year and a half. The early ‘80s were a turbulent time for the co-op. Some workers were dedicated to the cause but there was far more work than people to do it. There were cash flow problems, too many empty shelves, and ongoing financial challenges. Ed Anthes (manager for five years) and Pamela Patrick, who managed with energy and devotion for a total of 15 years, helped bring the co-op through and out of this difficult time.
In 1985, while business revitalized and sales continued to rise, the co-op moved to our current location at 520 N. Bullard Street and four years later the Silver City Food Co-op purchased the building. In the early ‘90’s, many necessary repairs and upgrades were completed on the structure. The kitchen was completed by the end of 1992 and soon a big push was on to get more produce into the store, resulting in the wonderful array of fruits and veggies that we are able to offer our customers today. Pamela hired Kathleen Wigley as assistant manager in 1994 forming what turned out to be an extraordinarily effective leadership team for the store. Kathleen took over as manager in 1997 (necessity had called Pamela away to attend to family matters) and served the co-op and community in that capacity until 2008. Doug Zilm took over as head of the store for three years after Kathleen’s departure and Joe Zwiebach is now leading SCFC into the future. Over the years, our co-op has continued to thrive and adapt to changing conditions thanks to the support of our member/owners, the community at large, and our fabulous staff!
This short article just touches on some of the highlights of our Co-op’s history but, throughout our 40th anniversary year, there will be more articles and celebrations to look forward to. Please stay tuned!
(Many thanks to Betty Mishuk and Pamela Patrick whose previous writings on the early Co-op years provided most of the information contained in this article)

Roasted Leeks

This is a simple recipe highlighting the leek, a hardy, rich vegetable of late summer.  The recipe can be dressed up or kept modest.  When preparing the leek, I cut off the bottom just before the leaves begin to separate.  This section is generally clean inside and only requires a quick rinse.  Then, I decide how much of the top portion looks good enough to eat and cut off the top few inches.  The middle section of the leek is fine to eat, in my opinion, but needs to be washed.  Fill a bowl with water, pull the leaves apart, and swish them around, cleaning any dirt from the leaves.  Chop both the bottom shaft and the cleaned middle section into approximately 1/4 inch bits.  Put them into an oven safe dish.  I use a small ceramic casserole with a lid.  If you do not have this available, you can easily use any oven safe dish and cover it with foil.  Add a dab of butter, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of sage.  Bake at 375* for an hour, stirring halfway through.

Variations:

Use a splash of cream instead of the butter

Add bit of milk in addition to the butter

Add any herbs that you think sound good and that go with your accompanying dishes

Add a pinch or more of crushed red chile

After baking sprinkle Parmesan over the top of the leeks or grate a little Merlot BellaVitano (my new favorite cheese) over the top

Enjoy this humble allium as a meal on its own, put it on rice, bruschetta, baked potatoes, or use it as a bed for steak, chicken or pork chops.

–Meggie

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

A delicious way to use up some of the zucchini that is pouring out of the garden… I love this cake because it uses a good amount of zucchini, is moist and fudgy, but not too sweet.  I sometimes even use a little less sugar than this because the whole chocolate chips sweeten it up (you can increase the amount of chocolate chips).  If you do use less sugar, decrease the amount of baking soda and baking powder just a bit because those flavors can be stronger without the sweetness in the mix.  You can frost it with a light white frosting or with a chocolate ganache or not at all.  Enjoy.

-Meggie

 Cake

1 1/2 c. oil- I like to use a blend of oils: coconut oil and  butter- but use any oil you are comfortable with

1 1/2 c. organic turbinado sugar

4 eggs

3/4 c. cocoa powder

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. chopped walnuts

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

3 + c. grated zucchini

 

Blend the oil, sugar, and eggs until smooth.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Fold the oil blend into the flour.

Add the walnuts, chocolate chips and zucchini, mix until well distributed.

Bake in a greased and  floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan, or in a bundt pan.  350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the center is set.

Ganache

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate

preparation

1. In a heavy saucepan, boil heavy cream. Turn off the heat. Add chopped chocolate pieces and let it rest until melted. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until all the pieces are melted.

2. Let cool partially and pour over cake…