Celebrate Fair Trade: Alaffia

AlaffiaThe Co-op prides itself on sourcing items which utilize fair trade practices whenever possible. This means that we can ensure workers are paid a fair wage, that they work in clean and safe conditions and that the environment is treated with care. Founded in 2003, Alaffia is a US-based company that focuses on women’s empowerment, community development and the cooperative model. They utilize traditional methods for harvesting shea nuts and turning them into shea butter which is used in a variety of skincare products. To learn more about Alaffia, their practices and empowerment projects visit www.alaffia.com.

In store now: Melons

MelonsThere’s not a cloud in the sky (for the minute) and we think melons help soak in those Springy, warm feelings just fine. Available in the produce department now, here’s a fine looking group for your tasting pleasure:

  1. Personal watermelon (with seeds)- $1.19/pound
  2. Trace Me seedless personal watermelon- $1.19/pound
  3. Galia melon- $2.19/pound (a hybrid melon that looks like a cantaloupe on the outside and a honeydew on the inside, very sweet)
  4. Crenshaw melon- $3.49/pound- (another hybrid melon with a sweet orange flesh)
  5. Honeydew melon- $1.99/pound
  6. Charentais melon- $1.99/pound (French cantaloupe)

Meet the Makers: Orchard Farm Soap

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Kate Jaeckel really likes hanging out with her kids. So much so that she started Orchard Farm Soap in 2002 as a way to both fulfill her love of being around her family and her belief in herbal medicine and natural skincare. Her background in massage therapy has given way to a beautiful product line that is free of synthetics and fragrance oils.

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She began selling her soap at the Moscow Farmers Market in 2003 after realizing she needed a product that had a longer shelf-life than the homegrown produce she was already selling. She still sells at the Saturday market in Moscow and says, “The market has always been a cornerstone for my business. It’s our connection to the community.” She had a studio built in 2009 so that she’d have more room to fulfill all the orders she was receiving.
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Since then, her business has picked up and she has several more outlets for selling her line. Other than buying Orchard Farm products at the Co-op, you can also find Kate on Etsy and at Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. At the Co-op we’re proud to carry Kate’s products because of her dedication and commitment to her product standards. She’s extremely aware of issues with palm oil and deforestation and sources a more sustainable product that is in line with her mission.

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The other aspect of Orchard Farm’s products that we love is that Kate grows many of the botanicals in her soaps, lotions and candles. That’s right she grows her own calendula, rose hips, St. John’s Wort, lavender and more on her farm… and we think that’s pretty cool. For more information on Orchard Farm soap visit www.orchardfarmsoap.com and be sure to stop by the Saturday Farmers Market and say hello to Kate.