Market photos courtesy of Lisa Kates @afoodgypsy on twitter
Farmers' Market News
Bring your knives! Carefully wrapped of course. And while you're at it, bring your scissors & snips and have Denzil from Exact Edge get them ready for pruning.
Returning to the market this week on our first official day in the field are:
My Little Dumplings
South Etobicoke Produce
Ontario Sweet Potato
and our regular cast of farmers and food producers!
3:15-4:15 Mutamba on Mbira
4:30-5:15 Adam Ruzzo on guitar
5:30-6:15 Kelneck, singer/songwriter
BRING US YOUR CLOTHES! Gently used and clean for our annual $2 clothes sale in June.
Support your local food producers and enjoy yourself while you explore the market! Every Monday from 3-7pm.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Th season of CSA is finally here! See herefor a list of all our farmers'/producers' CSA offers.
Calling All Volunteers!! WEFC will be helping our friends/partners at Greenest City to build a series of raised beds for their Milky Way Garden and we need your help! Are you handy with drills, hammers and nails? Are you willing to learn? Join us from June 4th to June 6th for a Building Workbee to transform their garden. Participants with all levels of experience are welcome, but builders are greatly appreciated!
Tuesday June 4th: 10am-4pm
Wednesday June 5th: 10am-4pm
Thursday June 6th: 10am-4pm
We would like to announce some changes coming next week in our kitchen:
We are moving to prepare ourselves for the upcoming growing season and refocus our kitchen on production of great food using fresh local ingredients that're in season. We will be retiring our espresso machine for now, and will not be serving soups, bagels, and such.
There will be great drip Fairtrade and Direct Trade coffee available, with organic milk and non-dairy options. We will be introducing seasonal salads, soups, dips, spreads, and other delicious things to grab from the fridge to take out or to eat at the co-op table. Lots of great take home options will be introduced and we will also feature these at our Co-op Kitchen table at the farmers' market on Mondays.
We will soon be ramping up our canning and other preserving as things come into season.
We now have some great shopping carts in the store! If you're driving to the co-op, you can park behind the health centre on Saturday after 1pm and all day Sunday.
See you at the co-op and at the co-op kitchen at the market!
Asparagus Pickling Workshop: Tuesday May 21st, 6-9pm
Our expert canner James will be leading a workshop and sharing a tested recipe for how to pickle and preserve fresh local asparagus. He will also lead a discussion about food security and preserving methods. Participants will leave with some jars of already-fermenting sauerkraut! See the event page for details and to register.
"Symphony of the Soil" Documentary: Wednesday May 29th
7pm at the Royal Theatre (608 College Street, Toronto)
The Toronto Farmers' Market Network is presenting a special screening of this recently released documentary with you! If you care about the earth we live on, this is the documentary film to see! See here to view the official flyer. Watch the trailer here.
Community Supported Orchard 2013
Enjoy a bountiful harvest all year with the WEFC's summer Community Supported Orchard! Get together and preserve fresh local fruit and vegetables with us while supporting farmer/members of the WEFC. This means you get a variety of local fruit all year long as well as the opportunity to practice your preserving with a skilled, supportive group of committed canners. For details and to register, see here.
Contact Info & Getting Involved with the Co-op
If you would like to volunteer to help out in the co-op store, please contact email@example.com.
There are many opportunities for volunteers at the WEFC -- make your first move, become a member! For $5 you get a lifetime membership that allows you to shop at our Food Hub, gives you discounts at events & workshops in our Cannery, gives you a voice in the co-op and the ability to vote at our Annual General Mettings. You can also sign up to join the volunteer pool, and tell us what you'd like to do. To support your co-op financially you can donate online now.
We LOVE our members!
THIS WEEK AT THE MARKET
Alli's Baked Goods
Breads, loaves, pastries, & other treats
The West End Food Co-op is a multi-stakeholder co-operative that includes eaters, producers, workers, and community partners. We aim to provide viable food security initiatives that are specific to the needs of our west end communities. Examples of these kinds of initiatives include the Sorauren Farmers’ Market, our Community Cannery, Food Mapping Project, and our Food Hub in the Parkdale Community Health Centre to provide the local community with a full-service grocery store that focuses on selling products that are ecologically sustainable, local and healthy.
West End Food Co-op connects local farmers to local eaters, and produces self-sustaining initiatives that work for the community. Our co-op is working to increase markets for local, sustainable farmers and artisan producers; a fair, democratic, and meaningful workplace for our workers; an inspiring, community-driven, and welcoming place to shop, learn and connect for eaters; and a resource and valuable partner to work with community groups in Parkdale and across Toronto to improve food security and access to good, healthy, real food in our neighbourhood and beyond.
The West End Food Co-op is seeking an interim Store Manager for a 3-month contract (with the possibility for extension). This position represents a temporary management structure change for the co-op, which may or may not reflect the model with which the co-op moves forward, according to the outcome of the Management Structure Committee during this period. The Store Manager will manage all aspects of the Food Hub including retail and kitchen operations. The position will require working with eaters, local producers, volunteers, vendors, distributors, community partners, all of the workers, and the Board of Directors.
1. Financial Management and Accountability
responsible for liaising with the Finance Committee
bring finances in order, with knowledge
Oversee preparation and analysis of quarterly financial statements for presentation to the Board of Directors
Ensure budgeted financial targets are met; provide rationale /explanation for deviations
Ensure the financial viability of the Co-op.
2. Staff Communication
Facilitate weekly staff meetings with the objective of greatest staff participation
Responsible for guiding staff towards achieving the goals of the co-op through consensus building
develop protocols for staff meeting decision making (both in person and online)
Follow established protocols for gathering staff input
Responsible for decision making within the store
3. Cooperative Organizational Management - Supervision and Leadership of Store
Responsible for supervision of all workers
Effectively and efficiently manage all aspects of store operations based on goals, objectives and standards established by the Board of Director
Promote team building and motivate staff
Ensure professional and friendly service from all staff
Treat workers with consistency and fairness, in a style appropriate to a cooperative work environment.
Ensure that communications are clear, direct, and respectful.
Responsible for all store purchasing and inventory management - ensure inventory is timely and accurate
monitor store to meet co-op objectives and budgetary goals, ensuring alignment with co-op’s mission and vision
Help direct and maintain inventory, product mix, and merchandising standards to meet the co-op’s values and targets
Ensure compliance with all applicable laws: business licenses, permits, health regulations,
organic standards, fire code, labor laws, etc.
Ensure appropriate staff coverage to meet demands of customer flow
Process paperwork in a timely and accurate manner
Understand and implement required health and safety programs, and manage and monitor compliance with applicable federal, provincial and municipal health and safety laws
Determine product and pricing strategies
Liaise with the workers to ensure efficient operational systems; identify and solve
Ensure assets are utilized productively and safeguarded from loss.
5. Human Relations
Evaluate and identify customer service needs and develop and implement training to ensure the co-op provides outstanding service to its customers and communicates clearly and effectively
Monitor key indicators to ensure overall customer and member satisfaction
Responsible for all personnel management in collaboration with HR Committee, including hiring, compensation, termination, management of staff hours and changes as they arise
Foster employee job satisfaction and commitment to the Co-op.
Ensure development and maintenance of job descriptions, evaluation programs, and employee compensation
6. Board Relations
Prepare for and attend monthly meetings of the Board of Directors
Prepare and present timely and effective reports to the Board supported with appropriate analysis
Maintain effective communication and working relationships with Board Directors and Board Chair
Work with Board to establish and achieve annual goals and objectives that are in line with set fiduciary and strategic parameters
Work with Board in transition from Operational to Governance oversight model in conjunction with the board and HR Committee, work toward short term role review of worker job descriptions
Participate in Board committees, development and planning activities as appropriate
Excellent communication, relationship and personnel management skills, including active listening and conflict resolution
balanced leadership skills, with demonstrated ability to develop a creative, effective team with individual empowerment, but also to make strong decisions when needed
post-secondary education in areas of business, finance, community development or related field or equivalent experience
grocery retail management experience (preferably in a start-up food co-operative)
Experience setting and achieving business financial goals
experience in opening a new store or involvement in expansion or development of new departments in an existing grocery store
Financial management experience, including planning and implementation of budgets, maximizing operational efficiency, and ensuring adequate cash flow and capital
proficiency with co-op inventory and point of sale system (IS4C) as well as QuickBooks, Google Drive, Microsoft Office Suite, CiviCRM
Previous experience working in a co-operative is an asset, as is a strong understanding of food system challenges and opportunities
Incredible organizational and time management skills
Hours: 40 hours/week
Start Date: As Soon as Possible
Resumes and cover letters will be received by the HR Committee via Gwen Yorsten at Gwen@westendfood.coop with “Store Manager” in the subject line.
Application Deadline: April 15th 2013
We thank all applicants in advance for their applications. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Please have the names and contact information of three references available.
Member, Worker, Producer & Community Partner Consultation
Our co-op is cutting edge in many ways, but not yet with respect to our by-laws. Please help us change this by giving us feedback on our new by-laws draft document. You can send us your comments, add them below as comments on this article, or you can write them directly into the document via the Google Docs links below.
We will have staff and Board Members on hand at The Food Hub from Jan 19 to Jan 28th, 2013 with copies of the new by-laws and posters highlighting the more important bits. We will be ready to discuss the by-laws and receive your input on how the West End Food Co-op should run. We hope to approve the resulting by-laws at the upcoming WEFC Annual General Meeting (to be held by the end of April of this year).
We know by-laws are not the most exciting documents, but they are the root of how the Co-op runs and so are worth a minute or two, or a half-hour, or an hour or three... Thank you for any effort you put into this.
Submitted by Susanna Redekop on 7 October 2012 - 1:06am
Opening day was a smash hit! We had so many folks coming through our doors, congratulating us, and welcoming us to the neighbourhood with open arms. We even had a couple of guys from Alberta Co-op and People's Co-op in Portland, Oregon make the drive up from their conference in Buffalo to come and check us out! It's been amazing to feel this much support from the community. Leading up to the opening, we had a whole lot of very dedicated volunteers and board members working around the clock with our workers to get the Food Hub in tip top shape for the big day. A very heartfelt thank-you goes out to all of you!
And a special thank-you goes out to our wonderful members and shoppers who have shown so much enthusiam as well as patience as we work through our first-day kinks together.
As for the Co-op, we're open now! You'll find us at 1229 Queen St. W.
Our regular hours are:
We are closed for the following statutory holidays. All other statutory holidays fall on Mondays this year, when are normally closed anyways.
December 25 2013 - Wednesday - closed for Christmas
December 26 2013 - Thursday - closed for Boxing Day
The West End Food Co-op Community Cannery is a project to build preserving expertise in the Parkdale neighbourhood, developing people's skills and enthusiasm about various kinds of food preservation from drying and fermenting to hot water bath and pressure canning. The first stage of the programme, The Parkdale Community Cannery, was a pilot project in partnership with the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre which ran from May to December of 2010. This phase of the project, funded by Co-operative Development Foundation Robert Owen-Henri Lasserre Fund, involved job training for PARC members, preserving workshops for the Parkdale community, and a higher volume season-long “Community Supported Orchard” project working with WEFC producer-members.