The Café at the Medford Food Coop to Open in November
The Medford Food Coop opened on August 8, 2011—just over 6 years ago—and in early November they will be the opening of The Café, a locally sourced and community-minded eatery located onsite at their current location, 975 S. Riverside. We recently had the chance to ask MFC’s Marketing Manager Halle Riddlebarger a few questions.
In what ways has the MFC grown/changed over the years?
As the co-op has grown over the last six years, we’ve been able to support more local growers and producers (we currently purchase from just over 100 local vendors), as well as provide more employment opportunities. We’ve also expanded our overall selection and been able to offer competitive pricing on organic items through our Co+op Basics, Co+op Deals, and Fresh Deals programs.
How many members are there currently?
We currently have 3,428 owner households in the community.
What is the mission of the MFC?
Medford Food Co-op exists to sustain a vibrant, healthy, and thriving community. We are a sustainable and growing business that provides economic, environmental, and social benefits for the Rogue Valley. We strive for a community that understands and supports: the health and economic benefits of choosing local, organic food; providing all residents access to healthy food; the cooperative business model; and a thriving local organic food economy.
What inspired the opening of The Café?
Since we first opened in 2011, our shoppers have consistently asked for more fresh, healthy prepared food options. The Café opening will mark an accomplishment that the Board of Directors and staff have been working towards for several years.
Describe the offerings of The Café?
Fresh, delicious, wholesome meals for busy schedules. From housemade hot soups to custom sandwiches, creative salads, and enticing entrees. The Café will serve as a space for our community to mingle and share good food together. We can build community by using food to connect to one another. Our hope is to nurture and provide for a growing food system in Medford and the Rogue Valley.
Did the building undergo a remodel to accommodate The Café?
Yes, but not the building that most people think of as the co-op! The Café will be in the building adjacent to our parking lot that was unfinished and previously used for storage. It has taken many months to transform that space into a beautiful café and commercial kitchen space.
Also, we completed a renovation of the back parking lot in preparation for the café opening. Additional parking is available behind the store, and customers are also able to exit from the back lot.
Any future changes on the horizon?
We do expect to extend our business hours (beyond our current 8 am to 8pm) sometime in 2018, but have not yet determined what those hours will be or exactly when the change will be made.
Anything special happening for the Holiday Season at MFC?
For the Thanksgiving season we’ll be giving away a children’s REI Co-op bike (suitable for a small child under five)! To enter the drawing, just stop by the co-op the week prior to Thanksgiving (November 16 – November 22). One entry per person. No purchase necessary.
We’ll also be offering Wine, Pie & Cheese Tastings in November. Find the perfect accompaniments for your holiday meals and indulge in some delicious treats during your weekend shopping trip! Join us on the two weekends prior to Thanksgiving from 1:00-3:00pm for cheese, pie, and local wines.