Coop News ~ May 2017
May 2017 Newsletter for the Arena Market and Cafe
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May 2017
Our Co-op on the Coast

Arena Market and Cafe / Coastal Organics Cooperative

A Message from Your General Manager


I just wanna say “Welcome!” to this long awaited fresh dose of sunshine! Apparently It’s already been sunny enough in other places, so we have access to loads of delicious melons, and apricots. Stonefruit season is beginning! Soon we’ll have peaches and plums! Local farms are starting to call us offering the freshest greens, and we’re happy to be able to offer them to you. Check out our produce section for local kale, lettuce, arugula, spinach, braising mix & more from Oz farm, Nature’s Tune Farm, and a number of other small coastal farms! We brought in loads of new stuff in May, and expect even more in June! 

Is there anything you’re leaving town to pick up, that we could keep in stock for you? Drop a note in our suggestion box in the store, near the restroom. If you’d rather request something through the interwebs, send us a facebook message (Arena Market & Cafe), or an email: We check all of these a couple days a week or more, and are happy to help make your experience at your co-op better and better!

See you at the co-op!
Mike Sakellaridis
General Manager

From the President 

A look at finances


In the spirit of educating our co-op members about how we run the co-op, please consider these insights about where we get cash and how we manage our cash flow.

Obviously, the main source of cash comes from sales at the register. The co-op has seen $1.2 million in sales receipts each of the past few years. That’s wonderful.

Yet, because sales fluctuate from lower amounts in the winter and higher amounts around Thanksgiving, the co-op occasionally stresses about how much cash we have to pay vendors, employees and keep the lights on.


The co-op gives you a lot of ways to pay for your groceries. Cash is king. Almost half of our sales are cash. Debit cards or EBT cards are cash equivalent, since we get the cash without paying a handling fee. About a quarter of sales are debit/EBT cards. Credit cards are convenient but come with some fees for the merchant. About a quarter of sales are credit cards. 

Credit card payment services impose a handling fee of 2.5 to 4% depending on the card (Visa and MasterCard are lowest). That’s worth it for the convenience of making the sale. However, the merchant also pays a little-known expense for your benefits. If your credit card provides reward points or air miles or some other loyalty benefit, it’s the co-op that pays for them. 

If half of our credit card sales switched to cash or debit cards, we would reduce our expense by about $3,000 each year. If you have the choice of which card to use, we hope you will think of us!


Our registers provide another way to help the co-op with cash flow. Any co-op member may prepay for their groceries in their own personal house account. Then at the register, you can give your member number and say “House charge” to have that day’s purchase deducted from your house account balance. When it goes to zero, you can either pay with cash or cards, or prepay to increase your account balance.

The main benefit to our cash flow from these house charge accounts is the ability to raise cash when sales are lower. Getting several prepaid store credits has enabled us to also raise the cash for extraordinary repairs, such as to our refrigeration units last year.

Ever noticed the tiny amounts of interest you get on your bank accounts? I get about $0.20 each month. If I move some of that money to the co-op to prepay for my groceries, I help the co-op with cash flow and have a really simple way to pay when I say “House charge!”


Helping the co-op with its cash flow helps ensure that your co-op remains financially viable. We employ an average of 20 people at the co-op. We buy from local suppliers who are your neighbors. We provide healthy and convenient food. How you pay at the register can make a difference: house charge, cash, debit card, credit card.

President, Coastal Organics Cooperative, Inc.


Employee Spotlight 

Appreciating Van Sickle by Ginny Wyatt

Hello  members and happy spring, nearly summer! It is still drizzling but hopefully it's gonna stop some day. But then again, it is Point Arena summer!

This month it is my pleasure to introduce co-op employee Van Sickle. Van is a young man who hails from York, Pennsylvania. He has lived in Point Arena for two years, and has worked at the co-op as a checker, stocker, and merchandiser. Van shared with me that he enjoys how unique Point Arena is compared to the many other larger cities he has traveled through. He enjoys the sense of community he has found in Point Arena. Mike offered Van a job about two weeks after he arrived in town.
What Van likes best about the co-op is the opportunity to contribute and interact with customers. He proudly shared that the co-op is now selling kale from his garden. Van likes being able to socialize while working and chooses more physical jobs, stocking and checking in new merchandise. He says he doesn't have the temperament to be a barista. Van believes everyone should experience a year working in customer service in order to appreciate those who work behind the counter. Van’s advice, remember to tip kindly and it’s important to respect all.

Van also reminds members to buy local! In his free time Van is interested in creating, fixing, and learning about how things are made. Van enjoys working with leather, fabric, and metal. He likes learning about humble crafts and forgotten skills. And he even crafts his own clothing, “It’s my thing, kind of like a pirate’s outfit!”  Van shared many funny stories about the co-op, about entertaining customers with unique personalities, funny conversations, and the good banter among the employees.  It was wonderful to spend some time with Van and learn about him, make sure to say hi and perhaps discuss some pirate themed clothing with Van next time you see him at the co-op!

"Strawberry Milk" Pancakes

Here's a recipe that uses drinkable Strawberry Cashewgurt Milk…


  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (plus more for greasing)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large Steuve eggs
  • 2 cups strawberry cashewgurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)1
  • maple syrup for serving


  • Melt the 6 Tablespoons of coconut oil first. Microwave or stovetop - either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You don't want it piping hot.
  • In a large bowl, toss the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, strawberry cashewgurt, and vanilla extract together until combined. Whisk in the melted coconut butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk by hand gently to combine the ingredients. The batter is thick and a few lumps may remain. Very gently, fold in the strawberries.
  • Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with coconut butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with coconut butter for each pancake or batch of pancakes.
  • Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven until all pancakes are cooked.
  • Serve pancakes immediately with honey coconut butter and maple syrup. 
  • Make ahead tip: Pancakes taste best right after they are made. Pancakes freeze well, up to 2 months. Reheat as desired. 


Suggestion Box

answered by Kathryn McCabe

Please keep in stock the Eden unsweetened soy milk as it is the only milk I can use.
The co-op stocks this milk on a regular basis. We are monitoring it's use and will order more if necessary.
WE really enjoyed the "New" pasteurized hot dogs  and would like to see those stocked on a regularly. They are especially yummy.
Good news!!! I have spoken with Mike and the co-op will have these available on a regular basis, perfect for those summer BBQs.
Update on the salad bar
The salad bar is still  located by the kitchen and dairy case.  We stock it daily with the freshest ingredients for a great salad experience. We will be relocating it as soon as electrical issues allow.
Suggestion:  Take a nice hot bath and enjoy a soothing beverage.
Great suggestion for all.  I'd like to add possibly sip one of our sparkling waters with a fresh squeeze of lime or try one of our delicious wines.  Personal recommendation the New BUCK SHACK  red wine smooth and delicious.

Thank-you all for your suggestions and comments please keep them coming so we can be of a greater service to you. We will be answering all concerns monthly in this column. If you didn't see your question this time, keep looking as it will appear soon.

New Product Spotlight

As always, new products are arriving every month. Mike says these are especially worth highlighting:

La Panzanella Minis.

Late July Chips, assorted flavors 6 Oz

Pennyroyal Farm Pinot Noir

Auricchio Pecorino Romano with Truffle

Nicasio Foggy Morning

Forager Drinkable Strawberry Cashewgurt

Stueve Organic Pastured Eggs


Board of Directors

Rick Beach
Ginny Wyatt
Jacquiline Strock
Phil Clark
Margaret Grace
Mike Sakellaridis

183 Main Street
Point Arena

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