January 2021 Newsletter for the Arena Market and Cafe
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January 2021
News from Your Co-op on the Coast

Arena Market and Cafe / Coastal Organics Cooperative

Manager's Report

Dear Community,

Well, here we are on the other side of 2020. I hope your winter holidays have been full of rest and safely connecting with loved ones. I am so grateful to all of you for supporting our co-op this year.

Here are a few things I am grateful for in regards to the co-op from this year: 

  • We have been able to keep our store COVID-19 safe with the help of all of our staff and community members. We haven't had any employees test positive this year and it is my deep wish that we will be able to say the same about 2021. 
  • We were able to bring on so many awesome new local vendors: Richardson Ranch, Wavelength Farm, Boonville Farm Collective, Peace and Plenty, Gualala Roast, Double D Farm, Pazzo Marco, and more! 
  • With a lot of input from staff, the community survey, meetings with local organizations, and extensive conversations with the Board, we were able to build a three-year strategic plan for the co-op. This will help us to prioritize our time and money over the next few years. 
  • We were able to purchase much-needed new equipment for the co-op that will be installed in January.
  • The Odd Fellows will be able to do some renovations on the building in 2021. They are now accepting donations to help support their waterproofing of the building. If you would like to make a donation, please send a check payable to "Garcia Lodge 240, Inc." to PO Box 538, Point Arena, CA 95469. 

Please see Rick's note below to hear more about what this year was like for the co-op financially!

For those of you who would like to shop at the co-op when there are the fewest number of people around (i.e., you are the least likely to have to wait outside!), our slowest hours are 7-10 am and 6-7 pm. Our busiest hours are usually from 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4-5:30 pm.

Lee Farmer, General Manager



Co-op Finances Improved During the Pandemic

Amazingly, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant improvements to the co-op finances. Thanks to our management team of Lee Farmer and Natalie Cortese, we addressed many challenges and kept making things better. As an essential business under various shelter-in-place orders, we remained open and fully staffed to serve the community. We installed protective shields, closed our cafe seating area, and adjusted our deli offerings. We offered phone orders with either curbside pickup or delivery options. We expanded our paid sick leave policy, although no staff person got COVID-19. 

Yet, our sales increased! By 18%! 

Our members demonstrated their commitment to “Shop Local” by increasing their purchases at the co-op by 16%. Visitors with fewer dining-out options bought more groceries. Purchases using house-charge payments increased to 4% of sales, while EBT/SNAP payments increased almost tenfold. Member equity payments rose 50% due to the propane buyers club and members seeking discounts on co-op shopping. We now have almost 800 members and over $300,000 in member equity.

In April, the co-op received a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, which helped keep all of our staff on the payroll with hazard pay for the extra stress and duties during the pandemic. We followed all of the rules, so that loan was forgiven, thanks to our work with Redwood Credit Union.  In May, we received a substantial federal disaster relief loan at terms similar to a mortgage over 30 years. With some appropriate accounting and strong sales, that gave us working capital to pay down our higher-interest debt, eliminate our vendor debt so we are now current, install the stand-by generator, purchase replacement deli and produce cases coming in January, and build up reserves for our winter doldrums when sales typically dip.

These improvements have led to other changes. We increased staff wages and plan expanded health benefits in the new year. We now carry more items from local suppliers. And we have reserved funds to refurbish our cafe area soon.

As we end the year, our financial plans for next year have become more clear and stable. We expect to report a positive net income for 2020 and we have learned a lot to plan for 2021. The co-op is a community effort and we are pleased to report this good news.

Rick Beach

New Items


Navita's Matcha Powder 3 OZ. $24.95


Miss J's Chocolate Frosting 11.29 OZ. $    9.19


Tera's Whey Protein Vanilla or Chocolate 24 OZ. $39.29


Organic Valley String Cheese 6 OZ. $6.69


Spicely Organic Cinnamon Sticks 6 OZ. $19.99                                


Gerard & Dom European Smoked Salmon Lox 3 OZ. $9.79


Natural Decadence Gluten-Free Dutch Apple Pie 9 OZ. $8.89


Teeccino French Roast Herbal Tea 10 Bags $5.99                                                           


Sale Items

Barbara's Jalapeno Cheese Puffs 7 OZ. $3.09 ($1.10 off)


Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos 8 OZ. $6.89 ($1.00 off)


Garden of Eatin' Red Hot Blues 8.1 OZ. $3.39 ($1.40 off)


Mary's Super Seed Everything Crackers 5.5 OZ. $5.09 ($1.60)


Upcoming Events

1/1  ~ Member Appreciation Day!
Members save even more when they shop on the first Friday of the month!

1/20 ~ Monthly Board Meeting
5PM Wednesday, Monthly Board Meeting via Zoom. Email info@arenamarketandcafe.com for a link.

1/21 ~ Virtual Third Thursday Poetry
7PM Thursday via Zoom. Featuring Maxima Kahn. Email blake@snakelyone.com to sign up to read or receive a link.

2/5 ~ Member Appreciation Day!
Members save even more when they shop on the first Friday of the month!



Feel Good Red Lentil Soup

This Red Lentil Soup leaves you nourished on a whole new level. Full of protein & fiber, this soup is naturally anti-inflammatory, vegan & gluten-free. 

Serves: 4  


  • 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (Optional; or sub water)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3–5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 (280 g) cups dry red lentils
  • 4 cups (945 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (470 ml) filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, coconut yogurt, olive oil, etc.

  • Bring a large pot to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil or 1/4 cup of water. Once the oil is warm, add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
  • Add the diced carrots, garlic, and ginger to the pot and sauté for 1 minute, then add the turmeric, optional cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more.
  • Place the red lentils in a fine mesh strainer and give them a quick rinse, then add them to the pot along with the vegetable broth and water. Turn the heat to high and bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your liking, or transfer around half of the soup to a blender with a vent and puree until smooth; return to the pot and mix well. Stir in the lemon juice, then add any additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve warm; leftovers will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Link: https://frommybowl.com/feel-good-red-lentil-soup/#tasty-recipes-8043



Volunteer at Your Co-op

Contribute to our newsletter:  Send your stories, recipes, anecdotes to us and become part of this monthly publication.  And don't forget, there are many other things you can do for your co-op, so please become a volunteer.  To get involved, please email info@arenaorganics.org


New Members

Welcome to all our new members! If you know someone who’s not a member invite them in. Thanks for being a part of our co-op!


5% off purchases for co-op members every day, plus an additional 5% off for all members on the First Friday of every month!

Board of Directors

Molly Morgan, President
Rick Beach, CFO & Treasurer
Rhonda Rumrey, Secretary
Dan Lewis
James Gallager
Lee Farmer, General Manager

185 Main Street
Point Arena

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