Food Club History – One Year Reflection

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 1, 2011


Categories: Food, The Green Life

Sandwich Bread
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

December 2010

It started as an idea, a seed. A question, “Why not?”

It waited. I waited. I didn’t know the right people, but I did have one right connection: People’s Food Coop.

It continued with an email, from my one connection – Lori Burge: would you be willing to interview for this paper on how your buy club is doing?

It flourished with more connections. Lori introduced me to Joan via facebook, who introduced me to Kristina over coffee (where Levi & Bea struck up an instant friendship), and then Kristina introduced me to Kimberly, where I tried to sell them both on foodclub.

It began, then, with that meeting where Kristina, Kimberly, and I sat in Kristina’s living room on Willis Blvd. Café Mam brewed, stirred in with Noris whole milk. Scents of home-cooking, a yummy banana bread, and homemade cleaning products among organized wood toys and homespun creativity.

Suddenly we were issuing surveys, asking people what they wanted, and then meeting, figuring out visions and focus to start, knowing it could all change because we were in control. It morphed into this social concept because there was no other way to morph – we are social creatures and we love being social, especially over our passion of food.

We have grown.

We have changed.

We have learned.

We have vision.

And, now, we are at the end of our first fiscal year. We have new and old challenges ahead of us. We know, perhaps quite well, that we are all unique and offer different perspectives. We have run into some conflict, although it seems we haven’t been really challenged in truly differing viewpoints.

As we close this year, I would like everyone to think about where we have been and where we can go. I would like us to all think carefully and thoughtfully about true individual needs, club needs, wants, and desires.

We have a 12% club-wide participation rate in Steering Committee business. We have more than 20 vendors and almost 60 members. We have at least 5 regularly scheduled topics on our monthly agendas.

We know we have a volunteer-work imbalance. We have discussed ways to expand. We have 47 people waiting to get in. We have other clubs with whom to coordinate. We have transportation and other logistical questions that could benefit from answers.

We have a very powerful tool amongst us: US. We are a driven group, who care passionately about our families, friends, and surrounding environment. We have so much potential and dreams bubbling up that it’s so hard to contain them and stick within 3 minute time slots.

Let’s challenge each other to focus our energy so we can create a super food economy, where literally, we will all be better together.

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