Tuesday, November 17
7:00pm - 8:30pm
45 Forest Ave - N. Spring Garden and Forest, parking behind building
The Ambler Food Co-op Board of Directors has called a membership meeting in order to facilitate a vote by the Co-op's member-owners. If you're interested in participating but haven't yet become a member, you may join at the door. Member participation is one of the core principles of the Co-op and we are eager to welcome community members into the decision-making process of opening a great, community-owned grocery store in Ambler.
After our great membership meeting on Oct 8 with over 60 participants, it is a great time to highlight the 2nd core cooperative principle: Democratic Member Control.
(Photo courtesy of artist Mel Marmar and Weavers Way Co-op)
A Co-op is defined as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspiration through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. The International Cooperative Alliance defines seven core principles that co-ops strive to meet in an effort to best serve their communities. Fundamentally, Co-ops give members an opportunity to own and operate a business that serves their needs. Membership participation is therefore an essential part of cooperatives.
Thursday, October 8, 7pm
First Presbyterian Church, Corner of Ridge and Butler Ave, Ambler
Parking available from Cavalier Dr
Members and curious non-members can find out the latest developments in our project of opening a full-service grocery store in Ambler. We will have refreshments and tasty treats available. RSVPs welcome but not necessary: email us at email@example.com.
Anybody who is interested in getting general information about becoming a member may come early - Co-op volunteers will be available prior to the meeting at 6:30pm.
For fabulous photos of our community at the AFC Cookbook Swap this weekend, taken by Jennifer Aydemir, click this pic and scroll down:Read more
Cookbook Swap and Fall Fling - Free and Open to All
Sunday, September 13, 11am - 2pm
217 E Butler Ave. (former Bottom Dollar parking lot)
Have a cookbook you don't use and want to swap for another cookbook? Of course you do! Come by our cookbook swap, exchange cookbooks, meet other member-owners, have a coffee, and--oh my--learn the tricks of hula hooping from a pro! Bring your family, friends & neighbors!
- Lots of cookbooks - a 1:1 swap open to everyone
- Hula hooping demonstrations and lessons
- Kids yoga (we will have mats, but feel free to bring your own)
- Fresh locally roasted coffee by Parry Coffee Roasters of Ambler
- Free Baked goods from Alice Bakery
- Sales of locally printed aprons, tea towels and other gifts from Ambler Apparel
- Co-op volunteers taking questions and signing up new members!
Schedule of kid's activities:
Kids Yoga - 11:30 and 1:00 (we will have mats)
Hula Hooping - 12:30 and 1:30 (we will have hula hoops, but feel free to bring your own)
We hope you can make it. Any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How Can We Help Bring a Cooperative Grocery Store to Ambler?
An Open Forum Discussion at the Ambler Library, 209 Race St
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, 7:00-8:00 P.M.
Light refreshments at 6:30 P.M.
This forum will provide participants with basic information about how co-ops work as well as provide an overview of the Ambler Food Co-op. Think of it as "Co-op 101!" Sign up is necessary as space it limited by giving your name at the library or calling 215-646-1072.
Food co-ops are often known for partnering with local farmers and food suppliers to bring fresh, in-season produce to the community. This recipe takes advantage of all the bounty of spring with green onions and Swiss chard.
8 ounces of spaghetti
1 bunch swiss chard
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of milk
2-4 ounces of parmesan cheese
4-5 green onions
2-3 cloves of minced garlicRead more
Meeting for Ambler Food Co-op Members
Thursday, June 25, 7pm
Saint Anthony's Church, Downstairs
Forest & Hendricks, Ambler
Questions or RSVP: email@example.com
Why a Food Co-op is Better than a Chain Store
by Meredith MacVittie
At the end of 2014 it was announced that Bottom Dollar Food was selling all of their local stores to Aldi, another discount grocer. This meant that the Bottom Dollar Food store in Ambler, which had only been open for about a year, would close, and Aldi would evaluate if it wanted to put its own store in its place. In March 2015 Aldi announced that, unfortunately, Ambler would not be a community where it would be opening a location.
But was that announcement really that unfortunate?
In reality, this decision presents an opportunity for Ambler Borough and the surrounding communities to take control of the grocery store business in this area.
Sure, Ambler has a large variety of places to shop for food nearby. Giant, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Wegmans are all within a 5 to 10 minute drive (which actually makes it highly likely that none would expand into the Borough). Virtually all Ambler residents already drive to those places for their grocery shopping. But the key word here is “drive.” In a dense, walkable community like Ambler, who wants to drive a few miles just to pick up milk? Of course, any grocery store in Ambler would need to have parking, but what about those who can no longer drive or choose to live in Ambler because they don’t own a car and can walk to transit and other amenities? Now that it's summer, it is especially nice to stretch your legs, take a stroll down Butler Avenue, and wave to your neighbors while on a mission for ice cream or a cold beer. Shouldn’t a grocery store provide the opportunity to interact with the community as well?
Of course, any grocery store in Ambler Borough would have the benefit of convenience. What makes a food co-op a better choice?
In our quest for grant monies to open the Ambler Food Co-op the Board of Directors asked for letters of support from State, County and Borough agencies as well as a few local businesses. One letter really touched our hearts and we thought we should share it on our website:
My name is Benjamin Bergman and my company, Greener Pastures, manager of the Ambler Farmers’ Market. This weekly market is now in its third year of operation and we couldn’t be happier with the positive response from the local Ambler community to the influx of local, sustainable agriculture that the farmers’ market brings. As the Director of a company whose main focus is to
bring local food to deserving communities, I have identified Ambler as a perfect area for my stable of producers to increase their output and the potential Ambler Co-op as the ideal outlet for this increased agricultural bounty!
As an organizer of farmers’ markets, I have the ear of many Pennsylvania producers. When presented with the idea of an Ambler Co-op and the idea of increased production, their response was what I expected - whether it be produce farmer or cheese monger or pastured meat raiser, all were excited about the opportunity to bring more of their goods to a brick and mortar establishment in Ambler. When considering the Co-op’s first year projected sales of locally sourced ingredients, there could be as much as $250,000 dollars available for my stable of producers and a few of them were very specific about what that potential market could do for their respective firms.
Donna Rineer of Claybrick Farms (Pequa, PA), a weekly contributor to the market, is adamant in her desire to increase the capacity of her farm but currently doesn’t have the outlets for increased production. She relayed to me: “We would love to supply meats to them [the Ambler Co-op]. We can easily raise way more meats than we currently do. We currently raise just enough for the farmers’ markets that we sell in. A consistent weekly order would help us feel secure enough to stock more feeder calves on the grass!”
Judy Wicks is an impressive force in the Philadelphia community: she is the founder of the Sustainable Business Network and the non-profit organization Fair Food, the former owner of the White Dog Café, and the author of the memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business. She spoke with Ambler Food Co-op members and the general public about the positive impact local businesses have on communities at the second event in the Food for Thought Education Series, sponsored by Ambler Food Co-op this past Wednesday, May 6.
During her presentation Ms. Wicks told stories of her life and businesses that consistently came down to her guiding principles, which include fostering community involvement, encouraging sustainable business, and supporting the local food supply. For her, money is simply a tool of business, not necessarily the goal: businesses are about relationships with the people you buy from, the people you sell too, and even nature.