Archive for November, 2007

Lease Clipping

Clipping from Inside Ambleside & Dundarave [local newspaper]
November/December 2007

[Editor’s Note: What “other organic food” store like Capers? So far as I know
there are NO OTHER ORGANIC FOOD stores like Capers!]

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Apples Dispatch 3

Photo: painter Rene Magritte, 1950/(full picture cropped)

[LINK to earlier “Dispatches from Co-opistan” and “Comments”]

Hi Y’all,
Some more plums from my Apple somewhere out here in Co-opistan.
Many people ask the question “Why a co-op?”

Well, that is a good question. I reference [see below] the BC Co-operative Association. I could not have phrased an answer for you more eloquently. I will quote here the advantages pointed out for co-operatives:

“Co-operatives have a long and successful tradition both in Canada and around the world and have proven amazingly flexible in meeting a wide variety of human needs. They have done so driven not by profit, but by the desire to bring fairness, equity, and justice to the marketplace. Through their tradition of self-help and mutual aid, co-ops have made a major contribution to the development and stability of B.C. communities. Co-ops help people obtain goods and services that they may not otherwise be able to afford on their own. By pooling their purchasing power through a co-operative, members can obtain products and services they can afford. Co-ops enable people from all walks of life to have access to these affordable services. Co-ops are open to everyone regardless of income or social status, and each member has an equal vote no matter how much they’ve invested in the co-op. This makes co-ops more accountable than other enterprises. Co-ops help build stronger communities. Since most co-ops are community and regionally based, investment in, and surplus revenue from, the co-op stays within the local community. Every dollar invested in a local co-op, has a multiplier effect of five dollars for the community. And co-operatives enable communities to have a degree of autonomy form outside forces. Community-based ownership makes co-ops less vulnerable to takeovers and closures by outside decision makers.”NOW, DOES THAT MAKE SENSE OR WHAT?!
I am sure that some of these points resonate with many of you who have lost a job or a business to outside decision makers…..and what about the reason you want to start a food co-operative?
Haven’t you all experienced a recent loss of something that was precious to you in that regard? I think so. In point of fact, that is the reason I am out here in Co-opistan rummaging around for information. I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labours!Bye for now friends. Yrsasalways.

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Meinhardts 1Meinhardts 2

Photos: from Meinhardt website

Here’s a “where to shop ORGANIC” recommendation from one of the florists at WV Florist: Susan Gardner. (That’s her real name! How perfect!)

To quote Susan:
“Meinhardt! If you liked Capers in West Vancouver, you’ll love Meinhardt! There’s lots of ORGANIC food, and it’s locally owned by a woman who really cares about her store. Shopping at Meinhardt feels a lot like shopping at Capers did. It’s a community store and a community owned store ”

Here’s the LINK: Meinhardt
Susan is another American who “refuses to shop” in strip malls or corporate superstores, preferring instead to “shop local ORGANIC.” As she says, “We lost more than a store when we lost Capers in West Vancouver.”

[Editor’s Note: I’ve not yet shopped at Meinhardt myself. The store is located at 3002 Granville in Vancouver. That’s near the Stanley Theatre.]

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It’s the only place they have chocolate!”

That’s what I saw printed on a t-shirt at Robson Capers recently.  That’s a
t-shirt after my heart and the hearts of card-carrying “chocoholics” everywhere! Too funny! AND the t-shirt is available!

You can buy one of these hilarious t-shirts from “Tiz” (tiz@zazubean.com). She’s the “demo-dame” for Zazubean “Choc Fulla Life” Chocolate Bars at Robson Capers. [Zazubean is all organic. The names on the bars: Luna, Ego, Zing, Nakid, Flirt, and Hottie.  Goofy names, but the bars are definitely tasty.]

I’m still laughing about the t-shirt! I might even buy one for myself at X-mas! Dark chocolate! I love dark chocolate! Saving the planet for chocolate is a cause I can get behind for sure!

AND while I’m talking chocolate: here’s another recommendation for those heading by Squamish anytime soon: Xocholatl Chocolates. [That’s the same chocolate shop previously next door to West Vancouver Capers. The Blue Teapot is in that location now.]

Xocholatl (an Aztec word meaning “chocolate”) is in downtown Squamish. ALL the chocolates are made right in the store, using the BEST Canadian Callebaut Chocolate. These chocolates are FRESH! Try one of the DARK chocolate “mice” for sure! Awesome! Truly awesome!

Posted by webrapper.

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BEST Fish Ever!

Diane in Deli

Photo: Diane, the “masterful fish maestro” pictured on the left of Jorge and Susan

“WV Capers fish was the BEST I ever tasted!” [See “BIG Box and Little Box Stores.”]

Here’s more from that interview:

” I’ve just sort of stopped eating fish for awhile, because I don’t want to compare it to Capers.

[Laughing.] Now you’ll forget what Capers fish tasted like!

That’s right, and so maybe later–after I forget–I can maybe try the fish again somewhere else.”

Hearing those comments I wondered: “WHY was WV Capers fish the BEST anywhere?”  So I asked Diane, THE MAESTRO behind the fish counter at WV Capers. Here’s what she said :

“Why? Because I paid lots of personal attention everyday. My suppliers supplied fresh fish caught that day. I cut my own fish. (That makes better shelf life for the store and better shelf life for the customer.)  I tasted the fish everyday! I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t sell to a three-year-old! That’s off the top, but I also just love fish. I love cutting fish. I love displaying fish as beautifully as possible. That’s the artist in me. Maybe cutting fish is my art.” 

Amen to that! Skill and artistry and seventeen years experience make for a tough act to follow. Kudos to Diane!

Diane with Freckles 

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Third Dispatch

Photo: Painting by Rene Magritte (cropped)

Hi y’all from CO-OPISTAN! I am out here in “Discoverystan” Province with my investigative partner Evie. We’ve been researching co-op models and uncovering all kinds of interesting facts.

Why, did you know that you can be born in a co-op,
raised in a co-op, educated in a co-op, clothed and housed in a co-op, hospitalized in a co-op, of course you can be fed in a co-op, insured in a co-op and you can even be buried by a co-op.

That would bookend your life, don’t you think?!

The BC Business Co-operatives Start-up Guide points out that “Yes! Virtually any type of business is a potential co-operative organization.”As defined in the Cooperative Association Act, a co-operative can be incorporated in British Columbia “for the purpose of carrying on any lawful industry, trade or business on a co-operative basis.”‘ There are five basic types of co-operatives which can be established as either business co-ops or not-for-profit co-ops: consumer (food, supply, goods), financial (credit unions, insurance), marketing (agricultural, crafts, trades), service (housing, health care, recreational, media), and worker (employee owned and controlled). Grande, huh!? Do you know that co-operatives account for over 62 billion dollars worth of business in Canada alone $$$$$! SO YOU WANT TO START A FOOD CO-OPERATIVE!
Well, it’s going to take a lot of people, a lot of time and a lot of commitment, money and partners. That is what we are discovering out here in Co-Opistan! A ORGANIC food co-op would automatically fall under the category of a consumer co-op. Of course I’m assuming a worker co-op is UNlikely or out of the question. [I could be wrong of course!] I will ask my research assistant, Evie, to check in later with what she’s found out herself in “Discoverystan.”. So long for now. Hey, an apple a day

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 Forwarded by Adam of “Them Apples” fame:Photographs by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio from the book Hungry Planet.

FAMILIES round the world photographed with the food they consume in an AVERAGE week:



Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25



Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11



Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide Germany
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07



United States : The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98


Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09


Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27


 Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53


Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55


 Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03


Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23


[Editor’s Note: Definitely “food for thought.” Thanks to Adam for sending these photos!]

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