November Newsletter


Report From The Fall General Membership Meeting

Twice a year, the South Philly Food Co-op gathers its members together to celebrate the successful  past accomplishments and plan for the future. This past October’s meeting was no different in focus, yet it featured some important reviews.

Co-op Volunteer of the Year: Leigh Goldenberg

Leigh at Soup Swap IIOne of the most important aspects of this Co-op is that it is driven by volunteers. Currently there are no paid staff members.  40 active volunteers  help to chair and participate in the various committee work necessary to build the Co-op. In addition to the great work from all of our volunteers, Leigh Goldenberg, who is the chair of the Events Committee, was chosen as volunteer of the year. (Pictured right, "drafting" a soup at Soup Swap II.)

As chair of the Events Committee, Leigh helped organize and plan the Co-op’s most successful fundraising campaign, The Garden Tour. Beyond raising over $9500 and including tours of 16 gardens throughout South Philly, this tour helps realize the community of the Co-op. It encourages people to get out and meet their neighbors and to become part of the Co-op.

Food Co-op Initiative Grant

In addition to the success of this year’s Garden Tour, the Co-op has also been awarded two separate grants, including one from the Food Co-op Initiative for $10,000, a prestigious accomplishment for the Co-op as we were one of 10 winners from a pool of 40 applicants.

Consider Running for the Board in the Spring!

The chair of the Co-op's Leadership Committee, Aubrey Jones, reminded the assembled crowd that elections for our Board of Directors would be happening at the Spring General Membership Meeting. We encourage all members who meet the very basic criteria for being eligible to serve on the Board to consider running. The health of any organization can be measured in the degree to which elections for its governing body are contested. We'll be sending out more information about how you can be nominated to appear on the ballot in the spring. Eligibility requirements can be found in our Bylaws (Article 5. Paragraph 3). Get involved now with one of our committees and you will have already taken care of one requirement! 

While there are many great accomplishments to review, the committees are continuing to do more work on future events. These include organizing  more house parties  to increase our membership to our next goal of 600. If you missed this Fall’s General Membership meeting, consider attending the meeting in the Spring. It’s an excellent way to stay aware and involved with the many opportunities to help the Co-op grow.


Upcoming Events

We have two exciting events in November. These events are open to the public. They provide opportunities for not-yet members to meet people who have become member-owners and learn more about the Co-op (while having a lot of fun!)

Holiday Shopping Kick-Off at Occasionette, with Farm to City
Thursday, November 21, 5-8pm
1825 East Passyunk

Visit Occasionette to get a jump on your holiday shopping! Co-op members will receive 10% off all purchases and will receive a free tote bag. This lovely housewares shop also plays host to Farm to City's Winter Harvest buying club, so you can learn more about this program (or pick up your pre-order that night). We'll have refreshments, good cheer, and fellow Co-op members on hand!

Green Street Coffee Roasters and Kermit's Bake Shoppe Special Tour and Tasting
Saturday, December 14, 10am
1919 Alter Street 

Join the Co-op for a very unique west of Broad Street tasting experience. Meet at Green Street Coffee's roasting facility for a tour, explanation of the roasting process and a tasting of their finest selections of coffees. What else could you want on a cold weekend morning in December? 

How about pastries? Yes there will also be a selection of freshly baked goodies from Kermit's Bake Shoppe, baked on premises just two blocks away. Both local suppliers will be ready and eager to sell you their wares to make as fine holiday gifts and party treats. This is a great way to meet your neighbors and enjoy some off the beaten path insider knowledge to local fare.


Shop South Philly Shout Out

ssp_logo.pngOne of the exciting, new benefits of the South Philly Food Co-op is the Shop South Philly Program. Although many South Philly businesses are now participating by offering discounts to our members, we are also featuring like-minded businesses across the city.

One of our latest additions is Mariposa Food Co-op (4824 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143), who is offering a 5% discount for members who show their membership card. Check out the entire list of businesses on our website.



Member Count as of November 5th

 Latest count of member-ownersThank you to everyone who became a Co-op member in October. Since our last newsletter, we've welcomed 15 new members who joined at one of our events, at a Civic Association meeting where one of our Speakers Bureau members was talking about the Co-op, at our Fall General Membership Meeting, by mailing in an application or just finding someone they know on a committee and handing over an application.

We're getting closer to our next big goal of 600. Check our our Timeline to Opening to see what reaching that goal means for our progression. 



Wine & Cheese Class with Madame Fromage

On Sunday, November 3, the Co-op welcomes diva of dairy Madame Fromage, aka Tenaya Darlington, to South Philadelphia for an exploration of the perfect holiday wine and cheese pairings. You’ll walk away an expert on how to craft your own winter cheese plate – and how to select the perfect wines to match! Here, Tenaya tells you more about this party idea here on her blog.

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Find Out What ALL the Co-op Committees Are Up To!

Each month, our 10 standing and ad hoc committees and working groups submit to our Board of Directors a short report of what they've been working, things they've accomplished and challenges they've encountered over the month. In our continuing effort to give the Co-op's member-owners (and anyone interested in becoming a member-owner) access to as much information as possible about what's happening "behind the scenes" we are sharing these reports with you. Below you'll find reports submitted to the board and shared in print with the members who attended the Fall General Membership Meeting on October 17. If you have any questions about anything you see here or would like to be part of one of these committees (and take that first step toward running for the board this spring!) please email

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Fellow co-op'ers in Kensington engage in a fall member-owner campaign

Our friends at the Kensington Community Food Co-op are using this fall to conduct a member-owner campaign. Their goal: 60 new member-owners in 60 days ending on December 1. As part of the effort, they've organized a number of activities in and around their neighborhood to continue spreading the word about their effort to open a food co-op in Kensington.

Below is the text of a press release they sent around. We encourage all of our members and followers to check out what they've got going on and to spread the word to any of your friends and family who live in Kensington, Fishtown, Northern Liberties and the surrounding neighborhoods so they might consider joining up.

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UPDATE: Five Great Reasons (and One Amazing Reason) to Attend the Fall 2013 General Membership Meeting


UPDATE: Be sure to arrive early at 6 p.m. for the "amazing reason" to attend the Fall General Membership Meeting (see below).

ORIGINAL: If you're a member of the South Philly Food Co-op (or an observer pondering membership, and if so, why not join now?), you know that the co-op is about getting together.

We have little get-togethers to swap soup, swap beer and even brew beer; and we have bigger get-togethers to marvel at the amazing gardens of South Philly and play food quizzo.  

But twice a year we ALL get together for our big general membership meetings. 

There are five great reasons (and one really amazing reason) to attend the Fall General Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 17th, at 6:30 p.m., at the Pep Community Room at 1200 South Broad Street. 

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The Soup Thickens



Fall is in the air… or perhaps Indian summer.  But whatever the season, there’s great produce to turn into delicious soup.  Rich butternut squash, savory spinach and hearty tomatoes are just a few of the flavors that we’re hoping to see at our upcoming Soup Swap on Thursday, October 24 at 6:30 pm. 



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World Food Day 2013: Global Perspectives on Food Justice - 10/16


Word of this event came to us from Co-op member-owner Maria who wanted to pass it along and invite other member-owners and Co-op supporters to attend. See below the fold for the list and bios of the speakers. Feel free to email if you have any food-related events you think the rest of the membership would be interested in.

Wed Oct 16th 4:30-6:30
Rutgers Camden Campus
Student Center South
ABC Conference Room

The World Food Day theme for 2013 is “sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.” Speakers will shed light on perspectives and strategies for food justice outside of the US. This event is part of the Rutgers Global Health Biennial Theme Year and Global Philly 2013.

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We All Scream for an Ice Cream Social on SUNDAY at 7pm

Come to the home of Co-op member Martin Brown, co-owner and ice cream maker for Little Baby's Ice Cream.

Only $5 for Co-Op members, $10 for non members, collected at the door.

Enjoy all you can eat ice cream and a special off-the-menu item: WATER ICE! Probably the most authentic you've ever had. Local, organic blueberries, sour cherries and strawberries (water, sugar, fruit - that's it). Taste what small batch water ice from the juice from $200 worth of hand pitted cherries actually tastes like.

Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: 1145 Mercy Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148

An end of summer experience not to be missed!
(BYO whatever you want - beer, wine, snacks)

No need to RSVP but let everyone know you're coming at our Facebook Event Page.


Garden Tour Recap: Numbers Don't Lie

IMG_9225 Photo by Michael Holmes

Ladies and gentlemen, the Third Annual South Philly Garden Tour numbers have been crunched, and we've got a whole lot of exciting news to share. We'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

    • $9,605 raised 
    • 171 tickets sold
    • 26 sponsors
    • 16 gardens
    • 8 new member-households (welcome, Jon; Abbe and Steve; Greg and Tami; Paul and Kathy; Francesca, Stephen and Josie; Kimiko; Maggie and David; and Lindsay and Seth!)
    • and, last but not least, 1 incredible day in the sunshine with our neighbors, friends and community members, moving swiftly toward our goal of opening our member-owned grocery store in South Philly!

The money we raised on Saturday will go toward ongoing costs, site analysis and keeping our equity costs in reserve for the store itself. To see for yourself how much fun we had, check out our Garden Tour photo album on Flickr, courtesy of marketing/communications committee volunteer Michael Holmes.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this year's Garden Tour such an incredible success


Garden Tour Countdown: The (press) hits just keep on comin'!

As we prepare for the 3rd Annual South Philly Garden Tour on Saturday, September 7 from 1pm to 5pm, we’re spending this time on our blog introducing a number of the cool features that tour-goers will experience at the event. If you’ve missed any of the Countdown you can see all of them here. Information about buying tickets for the tour can be found here.

newspaper_extra_copyAw, shucks. We'd like to give a special shout-out to the Philadelphia media outlets that've taken notice of our Garden Tour! Do us a favor and give these folks some clicks:

  • KYW-Newsradio: Lauren Lipton interviewed our own Programs & Events Committee mastermind Leigh Goldenberg about why folks looking for garden inspiration should attend the tour for her segment "Positively Philadelphia." Leigh says: “[Participants will] go behind people’s backyards and see a little concrete space that might look a lot like their concrete space, but somebody has been creative and really turned it into something beautiful.”

  • Passyunk Post: Our go-to neighborhood news outlet is one of this year's Garden Tour sponsors. In exchange for spending a few minutes answering a survey, the Post will enter your name in a free-ticket drawing. Sweet!

  • Hidden City Philadelphia: We like this take on the tour as voyeurism-without-the-creepy-factor: "Now in its third year, the garden tour offers a legit excuse for you to snoop around people’s front and back yards, silently critiquing their garden skills, but more importantly, breathing in a little fresh air in the mini soft green spaces in the big hard gray section of town."

  • Uwishunu: Ever thoughtful and comprehensive, Uwishunu focuses on the perks of attending as well as where the money's going.

  • Daily Candy Philadelphia: We're blushing! So exciting to be part of Daily Candy's keenly curated Weekend Guide.

  • Grid Philly: Another one of our excellent sponsors, Grid gave us a shout on its sustainability-minded blog.

  • Plus great coverage from PlanPhillyPropertyGenerocity, Curbed Philly, the South Philly Review's event listings, the Inquirer's Garden Scoop and more!

Don't forget — you've got till midnight to buy your tickets for a cool $20; they'll be $25 at the door. See you tomorrow!