I was sincerely looking forward to writing this introduction to kick off all of the celebrations we’ve been planning for the 50th year anniversary of our beloved co-op. And then circumstances in the world changed right before our eyes, and the most unbelievable things began to happen. Suddenly, turning 50 is no longer important.
In 1970 our founders started a conversation about the health of the people and the health our planet, and they believed they could accomplish that by opening up a community-owned grocery store. Today when people talk about Outpost and what they like about the co-op, that conversation doesn’t always lead with food. Yes food, delicious food, organic food, is what we sell but is it who we are? I often hear our owners or staff refer to the co-op as a community and a gathering place. We actually used to lead with the tagline that we were “big enough to meet your needs, and small enough to meet your neighbor.” A shopping trip at Outpost was never 10 or 20 minutes because it was likely you would have a conversation with a co-worker or run into an old classmate or old friend you hadn’t seen in a while. That is who we are and who we have always been – community.
Which is why in part it is a bit agonizing for me to write this column as we move through the different waves of this Pandemic. While our identity remains intact, the most important thing we can do right now is be a community by keeping our community safe. Our employees, our seniors, and those who don’t have the health or immune system necessary to put up a fight. We can’t hang out together, we can’t hug each other, we can’t shake hands when we’re happy to see each other, and we really, really can’t stand next to each other. That doesn’t make us less of a community, in fact I think it makes us more of a community because it shows that what we value most is that someone else’s health is as important or more important than our own.
There will be a time for celebration, hugs and handshakes ahead, and I can imagine I’m not the only one looking forward to that. We made the decision that we’d publish this issue of our magazine electronically because what is between the covers will help us remember why this co-op is our community.
Be well, stay safe.
In this issue:
50 YEARS of foods we've loved
SPRING CLEANING with Rebel Green
GET TO KNOW the Pioneers of Outpost
SARTORI CHEESE and the art of the wheel
and more ...