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Local co-op hopes to establish by 2020

Board president says they gathered around 60 to 70 owners, must still find suitable site

Destiny+Sternod%2C+president+of+the+board+of+directors+for+the+Good+Food+Co-op+and+co-owner+of+Main+Street+Squeeze%2C+discusses+starting+a+new+business+in+Pullman+following+the+gain+of+a+%2410%2C000+grant+at+the+juice+business+on+Tuesday.
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Local co-op hopes to establish by 2020

Destiny Sternod, president of the board of directors for the Good Food Co-op and co-owner of Main Street Squeeze, discusses starting a new business in Pullman following the gain of a $10,000 grant at the juice business on Tuesday.

Destiny Sternod, president of the board of directors for the Good Food Co-op and co-owner of Main Street Squeeze, discusses starting a new business in Pullman following the gain of a $10,000 grant at the juice business on Tuesday.

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Destiny Sternod, president of the board of directors for the Good Food Co-op and co-owner of Main Street Squeeze, discusses starting a new business in Pullman following the gain of a $10,000 grant at the juice business on Tuesday.

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Destiny Sternod, president of the board of directors for the Good Food Co-op and co-owner of Main Street Squeeze, discusses starting a new business in Pullman following the gain of a $10,000 grant at the juice business on Tuesday.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

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The Pullman Good Food Co-op board has started the process of establishing a cooperative in Pullman and they hope to settle by 2020.

Co-op board of directors president Destiny Sternod said they sold memberships at the Co-optastic Carnival event in September 2018 and gathered around 60 to 70 owners. Owners of the co-op are able to vote on board elections and policies.

“We have met and connected with so many amazing people in the area that, honestly, we would not be where we are at right now without them,” Sternod said.

She said most co-ops take five to seven years to start.

“We do realize that Pullman is sort of a transient town and things do have to happen kind of quickly for people to be super supportive of them,” Sternod said. “We are doing our best in working with our team to be able to open as soon as possible.”

She said the most important part of the process is finding a site. They have had communication with Port of Whitman about some land they have available that could suit what is desired.

“Things…we have heard that the community wants are things like classrooms and workshop areas for people to be able to do either cooking workshops or demos,” Sternod said. “Having some of the agriculture in the area literally outside of the door is a huge benefit that could come of this space.”

She said the mission of the co-op is to provide equitable access to healthy and affordable food. They also want to reach a wider population, specifically a lower income demographic.

A lot of cooperatives focus on being organic, she said, but the Good Food Co-op is going in another direction.

“Local is what we prefer to focus on,” Sternod said. “Really supporting local farmers, local producers to boost the local economy.”

Sternod said a lot of customers visit her and tell her they wished there was a food co-op in Pullman.

“Being able to tell them ‘We’re actually working on it and this is what we’re doing and this is where we’re at’ and just seeing their face light up has been the most rewarding thing,” Sternod said.

About the Writer
CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Cody is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism from Tacoma, Washington. He hopes to work as a sports journalist after graduation.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Local co-op hopes to establish by 2020”

  1. Cassie Geraghty on February 7th, 2019 11:39 am

    This is kind of frustrating to read because the Moscow Food Coop already focuses on buying from local farmers and producers, making healthy food affordable (they’ve expanded their flower program), and offering educational classes and events. It seems like she’s speaking as if the Moscow Food Coop doesn’t exist, which isn’t a very cooperative mindset to have…cooperatives are intended to work together; not as competitors. I’m supportive of Pullman having a food coop, but not if it’s lead with a dismissive attitude towards other cooperatives.

    The definition of “cooperative”: The process of working together to the same end.”

  2. Margaret on February 8th, 2019 1:31 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I am a member of this new coop and of the Moscow Food coop. I am also a local farmer who has sold produce to the Moscow Food coop in the past. I am so excited to have our own coop starting in Pullman. Just one coop between the two cities is fine if you have the mobile capabilities to access it while living in the other city. If you dont, then it’s useless. Their flower program is great but still may not meet the needs of truly low income folks. The Pullman Good Food Coop might not be able to either and that is okay. No one solution is perfect for everyone, just like having only one coop doesn’t work for everyone.

    It’s your right to think a new coop is silly just like it’s my right to think it’s not a silly idea, to think its great that I can have a choice and to buy into and sell into whichever coop I find to fit my needs best.

  3. Mark Tetzlaff on February 8th, 2019 10:19 am

    When I lived in Pullman, I never made it to the co-op in Moscow, except for one or two times a year. It would be awesome to have one in Pullman. Ease of access is a big plus for that kind of store.

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