This year Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF) celebrates its 20th anniversary as the non-profit sister organization of The Merc Co+op. CMEF’s direction for the future is to grow more healing food for the people who need it most, and to continue to develop youth leaders dedicated to service.
To do good, we have to do well. The Merc Co+op's annual Impact Reports are published every November. Each report is a comprehensive review on the co-op's activities throughout the preceding year. Impact Reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about our activities and performance as a business.
Our small kitchen space, allocated for food production and dishwashing, was created as part of the 2007 renovation. Since then, deli sales have more than doubled. Increasing food production means more pots, pans, sheet pans, cutting boards, bowls, containers and utensils to wash. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space to keep up with the growth! Transitioning to compostable plates and silverware was a sacrifice that we had to make in order for our supply to keep up with the demand.
The Merc Co+op’s Class Program aims to offer affordable learning experiences that promote fresh, local, sustainable and wholesome foods and food systems, as well as health and wellness.
We’ve added four class presenters this year, bringing you new cooking and lifestyle inspiration! Check out all our upcoming classes at www.themerc.coop/classes.
A lifelong resident of Douglas County and raised on a farm, Jan did not go far from her roots, 3 miles to be exact, to join her husband Chip on their dairy farm, where they milked cows for over 35 years before selling their herd. They now run a Black Angus beef cattle operation with their son, Clint, offering local raised beef to customers through their farm. Cooking with local ingredients is something Jan was raised with, and cooking and instruction have become her passion. Attending K-State University majoring in Food Science, she loves creating recipes, and trying new techniques and ingredients. Jan has over 30 years’ experience as a food presenter, and as a certified Food Judge, Jan loves judging contests in eastern Kansas. She is also a member of Master Food Volunteers.
· Saturday, September 21: Breakfast for Supper
· Monday, October 7: (Hands-On) The 411 on Pies and Tarts
· Wednesday, November 6: Make Your Own Gifts from the Kitchen
Sarah is the co-founder, owner and head fermentista of Wild Alive Ferments. She is passionate about sharing her love of fermentation with Lawrencians. She works with area farmers to preserve the seasons and utilize the immunities in our local soil. Her mission is to share her love of the deeply ancient and cultural practice of fermentation with others. To bring a new level of nutrition, passion, and magic into people’s lives. Check out Sarah’s website at www.wildaliveferments.com.
· Thursday, October 10: Autumn Feast with Kombucha Cocktail Pairings
· Monday, November 11: Make Your Own Ferments with Winter Squash
· Monday, November 18: Make Your Own Holiday Ferments
Sharon Burch, APRN, is an advanced practice holistic nurse who uses the integrative healing arts to guide clients to optimize their health and well-being. Sharon is a board-certified Public Health Nurse Specialist and a Holistic Health and Wellness Nurse-Coach who is certified by the Four Winds Society as an Energy Medicine Practitioner and a teacher of Dying Consciously. She has practiced nursing in hospitals, long term care facilities, home care, hospice, and the community-at-large since 1974. Today Sharon specializes in Holistic Pain Management, Holistic Healthcare Advocacy, Dementia Prevention and Reversal, and Caregiver Support through the Atma Clinic in Lawrence, KS.
· Monday, September 30: Sleep Well
· Saturday, October 26: Holistic Pain Relief
· Saturday, November 16: Mysteries of the Keto Diet Revealed (with Amy Bousman)
Amy Bousman is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) & Community Herbalist who works with clients out of the esteemed Atma Clinic in Lawrence. Amy is passionate about educating her community towards empowered, sustainable, self-directed health & nourishment. Amy supports her clients and class participants towards deep nutrition through her intensive training, medical research and personal experience. Amy is able to relate compassionately with her clients and students via her experience reversing her own autoimmune diseases & her love of cooking and tracking down nutrient-dense, flavor-packed recipes.
· Saturday, October 12: Soaking & Sprouting Gluten-free Grains
· Saturday, November 23: Keeping Wintertime Woes at Bay, The Natural Way
· Saturday, December 14: Traditional Methods for Making Bone Broth
The Merc Co+op’s Board of Directors represents all 8,100+ owners and shapes the vision for the co-op while evaluating the current performance of the business. The Board of Directors is comprised of nine co-op owners who are elected by the general ownership and serve three year terms. Claim one of your most powerful rights of co-op ownership and vote in our 2019 board elections!
On Thursday, your co-op and the Unified Government of WyCo/KCK hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction on the new store at 5th & Minnesota. All together, approximately 250 people were in attendance, including: Mayor David Alvey, Rep. Tom Burroughs, the KCK City Commission, seven of our nine board members, the media and our future neighbors.
Your co-op is constantly focused on improving the shopping and dining experience. To that end, we will be updating our deli and back of house production areas.
Phase One of this refresh will begin Sunday, July 7. During this week, our kitchen, bakery and meat & seafood area will receive new walls, floors, fixtures and equipment. In addition, our deli service counter and sandwich station will be updated with new countertops and equipment. In the cafe, we will install a new reverse osmosis water station.
As the co-op prepares to open a new store in Kansas City, Kansas, your board of directors recognized the immediate need to seek representation from within the KCK community. To that end, we voted at our April meeting to increase the amount of board seats from seven to nine, and to begin recruiting two new members to fill those seats. Today, we are excited to introduce you to our two new board members, Victor Aguilar and Rachel Jefferson..
The Merc Co-op has been selected as a 2019 Co+efficient Sustainability Star! This award recognizes the co-op’s positive impacts on the community and the environment. Co-ops are eligible in only two out of three years – and despite also receiving the award last year, our co-op broke the mold and truly stood out above the rest again in 2018.
While reviewing our co-op’s Articles of Incorporation in 2018, your Board of Directors made an important discovery - one that is both a cause for celebration and a call-to-action for our owners.