Sweet & Local Summertime, Summertime!

When cold winters linger for more than half the year, we Midwesterners savor the sweetness that summer brings us. From food festivals to music events, staycations and vacations, summertime is a great time to celebrate livin’!

It’s also a great time to explore and support our local, community businesses - and wow, we have lots of those! That’s right, McHenry County’s fun-filled days are made exceptional with a variety of sweet businesses . . . like Ethereal Confections on the Woodstock Square, with their made-from-scratch food & drinks and responsibly sourced products, chocolate-making classes, and unique events. You can make your summer mornings even sweeter with a spread of delicious locally sourced preserves over your breakfast toast, made possible by owner Lisa Faber’s Sunshine Preserves. And after all those summertime activities, clean up with Silver Prairie Farms variety of soaps or Brady Love’s Dirt Tribe organic soaps.

What about summertime gifts?

Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays: Celebrate these events with local products and services - a thoughtful and unique way to make someone’s day super special!

So many ideas - so many local businesses you can support with your summertime purchases! Looking for more of the Food Shed’s owners and supporters locally owned businesses? Look no further! Just visit the “Shop Local” page on our site. Want to be added to our list? We’d love to have you! Contact our Community Relations & Marketing Manager, Barbara, for more information.

Speaking of McHenry County’s fun-filled days and star-filled nights, McHenry County Living is a great site to see what’s new and happening in our region this summer and year-round. Now, let’s check out what fun events the Food Shed has planned for the month of July:

Upcoming Events!

Summer in the Park’s “Picnic in the Park”

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 7pm-9pm | Woodstock Square

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to see the Food Shed Co-op’s “Picnic in the Park” setting. The City of Woodstock asked us to be part of their contest for the best themed picnic setting. Our theme will be “The Locally-Sourced Picnic.” So, of course, we will present the perfect picnic featuring local businesses’ snack foods and drinks!

Additional activities include carnival games and an old-fashioned ice cream social. So join us, and listen to the tunes of the Woodstock City Band while partaking in picnic settings, all over the Woodstock Square.

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Welcome Our New Community Relations & Marketing Manager!

Introducing Our New Community Relations & Marketing Manager!

We’re excited to announce that Barbara Lanigan is stepping up to be our new Community Relations & Marketing Manager. Many of you will recognize Barb as a Food Shed owner, active volunteer, and former board member. Barb grew up in Indiana and moved to McHenry County with her family in 2013. She brings a diverse range of experience with a degree in communications and journalism, and work experience in sales, marketing, event planning & outreach, catering, and food service. We’re excited about the passion and enthusiasm she will contribute to her new role.

This, of course, means we’ll be saying goodbye to current Community Coordinator, Laura Ehrman, who is transitioning into a new job as a nonprofit project management consultant. She’ll continue to be active as an owner and looks forward to volunteering alongside you as we continue to grow our co-op.


Check Out Our Upcoming Events!

Pressure Cooking 101

Are you intimidated by your recently purchased Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker? Curious about using an “old school” stovetop version? Have no fear - Andrea’s here! Food Shed owner, Andrea Pracht, takes the mystery out of this space age-looking device and shows you how it can become your go-to kitchen companion for delicious, simple meals.

Join us next Wednesday, June 13, at 6:00pm, for this fun and informative class and see just how convenient it is to put this tool to good use. We’ll prepare a three-course meal and enjoy eating together. Take the heat off yourself while keeping your kitchen cool this summer by putting your pressure cooker to work!

Tickets are limited to the first 12 reservations, are $30 per person and can be purchased on our website events page.

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A Letter From Our Board President

Reflections on Our Long, Strange (yet Educational) Trip

After celebrating our fourth birthday on Earth Day, we’ve been reflecting on our journey to open the doors of our community-owned grocery store. It’s certainly been a long, strange trip, but we’ve learned a lot along the way. Throughout this process, our dedicated co-op leaders have been educating themselves by attending national conferences and by regularly communicating with co-op leadership groups and consultants to make sure we’re following best practices in grocery retail management, human resources, finance, technology, marketing, real estate, and more. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We’re learning from the successes (and failures) of many the food co-ops who have come before us.

Why is it Taking So Long to Open the Store?

Many of you have asked us why it’s taking so long to find a location. The short answer is that there are simply not that many existing sites that meet our criteria in terms of size and affordability. We want to open a store that is built to last. So, for those of you who are frustrated that the Food Shed Co-op is not yet open, know that we share your frustration. I can tell you that positive things are happening, and we are continuing to make progress. We are following a plan that has worked for others who have successfully gone before us. This takes a large investment of time, but it will ensure our success.

Help Us Keep Moving

To keep us moving toward our goal, we need your help. The easiest way you can help is to spread the word and get your friends, family, and neighbors to become owners. No matter where we are in our journey, we need more owners! Though we haven’t opened our store yet, we are an active business in our community, hosting engaging events and participating in awesome community gatherings. If you know of events where we should have a presence, let us know. Last but not least, we’re always in need of your skills and talents to help us keep moving forward. Come to one of our Volunteer Trainings this month (details below) or check our volunteer “wish list” for ways you can get involved.

The journey may be long, but I know the wait will be worthwhile. And with a strong community supporting our cooperative, we’ll have a lot more fun along the way.

Cooperatively Yours,

Scott Brix