February 2024 Newsletter

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The Mushroom Messenger

KCG Monthly Newsletter: February 2024

Bringing you the monthly news of Kennett Community Grocer, a growing Food Co-op committed to local food, community, and culture.

Hello to our Member-Owners and Friends!
In this edition:  

Volunteer Appreciation 2023 - Chocolate and wine tasting
On January 20th, KCG’s Board of Directors met for a “Retreat” with consultants Carol Ritter and Laurel Blair. (The weather moved us to Zoom but didn’t hamper our enthusiasm!) We had a lively 90-minute discussion, elected a new Executive Committee, and laid the foundation for the work that all Committees will be doing this year.
Our biggest takeaway was that we need to grow membership
and we need YOU, our current Member-Owners, to help be the catalyst.

The financial contribution you made by becoming a member helps prove to potential donors that the store has enthusiastic membership and is worth their giving. Simply put, the more members we have, the closer this dream gets to becoming a reality, since membership money can also be used to obtain needed loans and other mechanisms of funding. Please talk about KCG with your friends, family, and community to help get the word out.

The work our Board and Committees will be doing in the coming months includes spreading awareness of KCG throughout the community via social media, organizing events, and enhancing the membership experience (such as launching our Member Benefit Program later this month), and searching for a building to lease for the store. There
s a lot to do!

If you are interested in helping with any of these areas, or have ideas on a site for the store, please contact us at [email protected].


We are currently at a Member-Owner count of 344 and will hit 500 by the close of 2024. This is a key metric for securing financing over and above donations – for all the reasons stated above. The Fundraising and Store & Property teams are moving ahead to carry the store from ideas to bricks and mortar.

KCG Volunteers - Victory Brewing Happy Hour, Jan. 2024

On January 11th, we had a successful Happy Hour at Victory Brewing Company, with 4 new members joining on the spot! We are planning more events so members can gather together, bring prospective members, and hear how our volunteers are working hard every day toward opening the Co-op. 

Regular Happy Hour events will continue, and we will be working with additional venues with a goal of holding at least 2 events per month for the remainder of the year. Watch your email and KCG social media for details!

Member-Owners mingling at Victory and raffle winners.

Board President Edie Burkey calling us all to action!
Why the Heck Are We Doing This?!
Note: Over the coming months, the Mushroom Messenger will be sharing stories that help communicate the inspiration and urgency behind building a member-owned cooperative grocery store. Do you have a story to share about what the Co-op means to you? Please get in touch at [email protected]
Board President Edie Burkey has an admission to make:

Nutritional research makes it pretty clear that the best diet for human health is predominantly plant-based, where plants are grown in soil free of artificial chemicals and where meat, eaten in modest amounts, comes from grass-fed animals. And though I rationally know this and am a decent cook, I struggle to shop for and create a veggie-forward meal. 

Instead, I grab a bag of frozen fries, a bunch of lettuce with bottled dressing and head out to the grill with a strip steak. Easy-peasy, there is supper! And that is after I have eaten a ham and cheese sandwich with a side of potato chips for lunch.  Voila, here is why I have coronary artery disease (give or take a few inherited genes for the same).

What would help me change my ways? How can I change what I grab at mealtime? I need a place to buy good produce where the veggie and fruit displays are fresh and attractive and call out to me.  My grab will be even greater when I know the growers and suppliers of those plants and know how and where they are grown.

I’ll be even more likely to fill my cart if I have someone to tell me how to use them. All too often, I have left Daikon radishes, carrots, kale, and chard to rot in my refrigerator despite reading recipes and despite knowing I was wasting money, simply because I had no inspiration to make a veggie dish. I need cooks to demonstrate how to make things I would want to eat. And what if I ran into my friends, neighbors, doctors, and fellow gym-goers in the produce department grabbing their own inspiration for this sort of cooking? Life could be more fun, and eating Daikon radishes for supper would be normalized.


When Im asked, Why the heck are you doing this?! by anyone curious about KCG, the story I share is that we will be healthier together if we are inspired to eat things grown from soils that are not polluted with chemical fertilizer and bacteria from confined animal waste. We will have a great place to shop for a better diet, at a store fiercely devoted to selling those products in an economical way and providing education on how to prepare those healthy foods.

KCG has a tough mission because we are surrounded by corporate grocery stores that don’t really care about the health of the American diet. But our mission is possible if we join together, own that store, and work hard to make our community not just the
Mushroom Capitol of the World, but the Healthiest Eating Capitol as well. That is what a Food Co-op can be. It is up to us!
Featured Recipe: Company Carrots
Our thanks to Niki Barnes

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