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We have exciting news! | 08.29.2016
We have just launched a full scale deli remodel that will bring you a new and expanded salad bar, a hot food bar, new sandwiches, pizza, and a new grab & go case, with new recipes alongside your many favorites. We’re getting new equipment that will help us be more efficient so that we can get you great tasting, quality food quicker than ever before. And it’s just around the corner. This is very exciting news… a real game changer for us.
And, right now as we are in the thick of this critical time in our co-op’s future, our customer traffic and our sales have reached a concerning low level. Paying our bills during this time of low cash (as a result of low sales) makes it a challenge to keep the shelves stocked with all of your favorite products. This has been a trying time for us. The staff and the Board of Directors, with the help of National Co-op Grocers, have been fighting hard to get us to this point.
Right now we need our member support more than ever!
It will help immensely if you can concentrate your purchases at the Co-op as much as possible while we make our market a better place for everyone.
We continue to have the largest selection of local foods in Billings. That’s important to all of us. And, we offer great, everyday low prices on hundreds of Co-op Basics items throughout the store. We also have screaming Hot Deals that have been a great value for our customers and are changing the hours of our Beer & Wine Happy Hour to better fit your work schedule. Now you can get 10% off all beer and wine from 3pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
And if that’s not enough to get your attention, now through the end of October you can purchase a $50 Good Earth Market Gift Card for just $40. That is a 20% savings and there is no limit on these cards, so buy more and save more. Buying a gift card now and using it for future shopping will be a great way for the co-op to generate cash. It’s a “WIN WIN” for all!
Come in and take advantage of all these great promotions and support your co-op at the same time. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Everyone is welcome. See you in the store and, of course, thank you so much for your continued support of Billings only local food co-op.
Earth Day Membership Drive | 03.18.2016
Our last membership drive was so successful, we’ve decided to do it again! From now until Earth Day, anyone who becomes a GEM member or who renews their membership before Earth Day (April 22) will have their name entered into a drawing for a $50 GEM gift card.
Membership is a great value for only $10! Benefits include a once-a-month 5% discount, member specials, and a vote and voice at GEM’s meetings, among others. Plus, your commitment supports a locally-controlled food system.
On Earth Day, April 22 at 3pm we will draw for the gift card, and you don’t even have to be present to win. To enter the drawing, your cashier will ask you to fill out a raffle ticket (name & phone) when you renew or join, and it will be entered into the drawing box on the spot.
Thank you for renewing your membership or joining the Co-op for the first time! GEM is the ONLY cooperative, locally owned, full service grocery store in Yellowstone County. GEM offers sustainably grown and organic food and products and its profits are returned to the Billings Community!
Board Notes: It’s our 10 year Anniversary! | 02.09.2016
February is a notable month for GEM – it is the month we moved into the great store we have occupied for TEN YEARS!!!!!! That’s right – TEN YEARS!!!!! On February 19 of 2006 we opened for business – it was a Sunday and it was a cold, cold day outside, but everything was warm and wonderful inside. HAPPY 10 YEARS TO ALL OF US. Looking back over the past 10 years brings to mind:
• The first farm-to-table designated restaurant in Billings. We’ve got the best deli in the region, putting out the best food with the best local ingredients.
• Billings Gazette Reader’s Choice for Best Health Food Store – 5 times!
• Membership in the National Co-operative Grocers Association – helping us save on our wholesale cost of goods.
• Senator Max Baucus working day – the Senator chose GEM for his day of service in the community.
• Senator Jon Tester’s round table meetings upstairs – promoting and supporting local producers.
• Sunday Suppers – GEM started the movement to bring people together over local food prepared by local chefs.
• Earth Day celebrations – come rain or shine, we’re the place to celebrate Earth Day.
• The Farmer’s Market booth – providing a venue for GEM and our local producers to promote each other.
• The Art Walk and the Apple Gallery – we’re so thankful for our relationship with the local arts community.
• The community of loyal co-op shoppers – we are so much more than a grocery store, we are a community of individuals who value our relationships with each other.
• Local producers – we are so fortunate to have great local producers and great local products every day.
• Newsletter advertisers – we appreciate your ongoing support of the Co-op!
written by Carol Beam, GEM’s Board President
So what’s the big deal with our store reset? | 07.16.2015
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the many exciting things happening at our Co-op. As many of you may have already noticed, we have moved things around a little… ok, well a lot. And many of your favorite products are in new locations throughout the store. Our reasons for doing that were
– One, to improve flow and item location to make our Co-op easier to shop, and
– Two, to generate over 150 linear feet of aisle space to expand variety throughout the store.
150 linear feet of retail space might come as a surprise because now our Co-op feels so much more open. How could we have created that much aisle space? We utilized space better by rearranging the bulk department to add another aisle of product and thoughtfully rearranging product on the shelves to make better use of shelf space. We also decreased the width of the endcaps to generate a more open, welcoming feel. These changes allowed us to add roughly 400 new products throughout the store!
The reset was a huge, tedious task and it took a lot of hard work and long hours from our staff, many member volunteers, our main distributor (UNFI), plus many other brokers and sales representatives. We all put our heads and experience together and decided, as a team – what are some staple products our Co-op is missing? We went through every section with a fine tooth comb, using national and regional sales data in addition to all our own individual experience and combined knowledge of the natural foods industry. The result is even better then we could have imagined. We have expanded varieties on everyday products in key categories, such as
– Nut butters
– Ethnic foods
– Packaged grains
– Hot cereal
– Dried fruit
– Baking items
– Packaged spices
– Snack items
– Cold pressed juices
– Probiotic drinks
– and so many more!
If by chance you have not been in for a while, we welcome you to come by and see the improvements we’ve made to our Co-op.
In addition to the improved variety and flow, we have been working hard on value. The department managers are buying more aggressively so we can have more aggressive prices. Make sure you check out the wall of values as you enter the store and see what great deals are available! And throughout the store we have so many Co-op Deals, Member Prices and Manager Specials to add value and variety to your shopping experience.
If by chance we have not have not met, or you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to ask for me the next time you are in and I would be happy to chat.
Your Co-op General Manager,
Our NEW Produce Cooler! | 03.27.2014
First of all, Yahoo!!!
After many months of generous donations rolling in from lovely, lovely people through our Give an Inch Campaign, the day has arrived: We have a new produce cooler and it’s up and running!
This campaign proved beyond a doubt that Good Earth Market Co-op is truly a community- exactly what a Co-op is supposed to be. How beautiful to see a group rally around it’s own and improve upon a hard earned foundation.
Our produce manager, Dan (who is sometimes affectionately called Dan the Produce Man), had goose bumps yesterday when he got to work. Gone are the days of spending more than two hours just to keep moisture on and around the produce. His time has now been reduced to 20 minutes as this slick new system will keep hydration and temperature consistent! Of course it’s more than reduced watering time he is excited about. Efficiency just went through the roof maximizing freshness and reducing costs, and this spreads out to all of us. It will allow for better separation of items and this is especially important to people who have allergies. It also looks gorgeous!
This is phase one of Project New Cooler. New shelves and all sorts of gadgets and shiny things are on their way to create an even better experience. We can’t wait!
One third of the old cooler has been donated to a group in Cody who are starting their own natural foods store! There are still two pieces left. If you have ideas on who and where they might land- please contact us. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And now, we’d like to heartily thank our gracious donors- you are Superstars in our universe! Soon we will have something to proudly display in our produce area and give a proper thank you to these good people.
We Have Organic Maca! | 03.26.2014
Good Earth Market Co-op is now carrying three types of Raw, Organic Maca from The Maca Team in our bulk section.
Not familiar? Maca is a root from the radish family and an esteemed, vitamin-rich root, boasting benefits in many categories including: energy, mood balance, sexual health, skin, men’s health, women’s health, and general health. Sourced from The Maca Team, it is grown in a remote, pristine part of the Peruvian Andes.
Cream Maca is the most abundant color of Maca and has been used for over 2000 years to boost energy, improve fertility, enhance libido and more. $19.99 per pound
Black Maca is the most effective Maca type for muscle building and endurance, male fertility and libido, and for mental focus. $24.99 per pound
Red Maca is the most effective type for hormone balance, female fertility, and bone and prostate health. It is also the highest in phytonutrients and the best tasting. $24.99 per pound
Usage: Enjoy it with water, milk, juice, or smoothies. Try taking Maca first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach for quickest results. Daily suggested dosage is 1-3 teaspoons. While there are no known side effects, it should not be taken in large amounts just like any other supplement. It’s okay to begin with a half teaspoon and work your way up to 1-3 teaspoons. Rotating a few days on and off is generally recommended.
Find Maca in our bulk section which is parked next to our produce section. See you soon!
From the Local Producer Committee | 03.10.2014
GEM’s soups tell the story of why the Good Earth Market’s Local Producer Committee exists. I just enjoyed a delicious cup of Greek Minestrone soup made of Seder Ridge turkey and Negaard Farm onions – a tasty, locally-sourced lunch on Valentines Day. That’s something that sets GEM apart from any other grocery store in Billings, and most every restaurant, too.
The GEM Local Producer Committee was launched in 2009 to expand the number of local producers who sell their food and products in the Market, and increase the amount of locally produced food and goods sold at GEM. The Committee was instrumental in creating the Local Producer Map, available at the Market and in outlets around Billings. The special features of GEM’s local producers displayed throughout the market is an outcome our work. GEM’s Spring and Fall Local Producer Fairs are promoted and assisted by this committee. Last year’s Early Season Farmers Market was our first foray into providing direct marketing options for local producers.
The Local Producer Committee is gearing up for a repeat of the Early Season Farmers Market. We’re recruiting producers to set up booths in the GEM lot and sell their food and wares from 9 am – noon every Saturday in June. The Early Season Farmers Market was begun as a way to boost public understanding of the benefits of locally produced food and goods, and introduce shoppers to the farmers who grow their food. It is timed before the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market begins in July. Get fresh greens, bedding plants and “early season” vegetables and other locally-produced items while enjoying a Saturday morning GEM coffee (or, my personal favorite, George of the Jungle smoothie).
You can help us make the Early Season Farmers Market bigger and better. Come down to shop and support the local producers, and bring along a friend. Contact one of the Local Producer Committee members below if you’d like to help with advertising, set up and support.
Serving on the Local Producer Committee are Heather Bilden, our capable committee past chairperson, new Board member Maggie Zaback, Maregurite Jodry of Wholesome Foods, Kenny Reimche of Kenny’s Double D Salsa, Andi Buckley, former GEM, Alexis Bonogofsky, who with her partner Mike Scott farm off of Tired Man Road on the Yellowstone River, and GEM President Carol Beam. Since the Local Producer Committee was first launched in 2009, we’ve been ably assisted by Marketing Manager Alicia Weber who is leaving. Thank you, Alicia, for your commitment and excellent efforts!
Early Season Farmer’s Market
9am – 12pm
Saturdays in June
Good Earth Market parking lot
By Theresa Keaveny, Board Secretary & Local Producer Committee Chairperson