Co-op Orientation

Want to learn about how the co-op works? About where our food comes from, what we stand for, and how you can best take advantage of sales and other promotions? Food Conspiracy board member Robert Oser will be conducting an orientation at the co-op on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. This orientation is designed for new owners, but anyone can attend! Email if you plan to participate.

Can’t make it on Aug 10? The next orientation is Aug 24, also at 6 p.m.

Change of plans: The board will meet in July

The Food Conspiracy Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House, 931 N. Fifth Avenue. Co-op owners are invited to attend.

The Board was not originally scheduled to meet in July, but board needs to meet to name a new treasurer and secretary. The most recent treasurer/secretary, Cody Witham, recently tendered his resignation. We’ll miss you, Cody!

As always, co-op owners who attend the board meeting accrue 3 volunteer hours, good for a 5% discount at the co-op the following month.


The Food Conspiracy Co-op, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in February, recently agreed to lease a building that will more than double the size of the co-op’s physical footprint.

The 6500-square-foot building at 425 E. Seventh Street is a two-story structure that was formerly office space for Verizon and others. The building features a 1,000-square foot area that the co-op plans to convert to a commercial kitchen. It is owned by Hoff-7th LLC, an investment group represented by Ann Lovell, a local CPA known for her philanthropic endeavors, and Richard Studwell, who has developed several inner city projects and restored numerous prominent historic buildings throughout the state.

The new, larger kitchen will allow the co-op to expand its deli menu, which currently includes two daily soups and a variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads. The co-op also plans to begin to offer expanded catering services.

Currently, the Food Conspiracy’s Avenue Deli prepares its popular foods in a kitchen that is the size of a walk-in closet. The co-op’s new, larger kitchen will include a walk-in freezer and cooler, double-stack convection ovens and a six-burner range.

“The co-op traces much of its recent financial success to the growth in popularity of its deli,” says Coley Ward, Food Conspiracy marketing manager. “People love our tempeh BLT sandwiches, carrot and kale salad, and red lentil dahl soup. Soon, they’ll have even more options to choose from.”

A full service grocery store is a key element in the establishment of a viable mixed-use, residential infill area, and neighborhoods in other cities have gone to great lengths to lure grocery stores. Phil Whitmore, former Director of Transit Oriented Development for Metro Portland, says that their research “showed that a viable grocery store in an infill neighborhood added more per-square-foot value to nearby housing than any other demographic factor.”

Ward 6 City Councilmember Steve Kozachik lauded the co-op’s announcement, saying “this is an exciting addition to 4th Avenue and I know the community is really going to embrace this expansion.”

The Food Conspiracy Co-op began as a buying club in 1971 with the motto, “food for people, not for profit.” Anyone can shop at the co-op, which is collectively owned by nearly 2,000 people.

Coley Ward
Food Conspiracy Marketing Manager
(520) 624-4821

It’s time to Bike & Wine!

Hey all, it’s almost time for the Bike & Wine! We’ll have two rides – one 11-mile route and one 25-mile route. Both rides will be led by a co-op employee and both will start and end at Callaghan Vineyards, 336 Elgin Road.

Here’s the plan:

We’ll start riding around 10:30 a.m. We’ll all head west on Elgin Road, then north on Highway 83, and east on Lower Elgin Road. After about 5 miles, those who are riding the 11-mile route will turn right on Elgin Road and return to Callaghan Vineyards. Those doing the longer ride will head south on Elgin-Canelo Road, turn right on Highway 83, and then head east on Elgin Road to return to Callaghan.

We’ll stop for a taste of wine at Willhelm Family Vineyards, Village of Elgin Vineyards, and Canelo Hills Winery. When we return to Callaghan, there will be local food and more wine.

You’ll need to bring a wine glass with you if you want to taste wines. Callaghan is offering Bike & Wine participants 4 tastes of wine and a glass for $5. But if you want, you can bring your own glass and save a couple bucks. Or, if you’re nervous about biking with a glass in tow, you can bring a plastic cup (though the winery owners will probably have a small heart attack if you drink their fancy wine out of plastic).

What if you can’t make it before 10:30? Or if you want to bike more than 25 miles? You don’t have to ride with the group. Feel free to set out on your own, and rest assured the vineyards are all open until at least 3 p.m. and the co-op will be at Callaghan serving local food until 2 p.m.

How much will it cost? The food is free, and the wine is usually around $1 per taste.

Things to bring: a helmet, sun screen, bright clothing, and a water bottle.

Directions: Your on your own to get you and your bike to Elgin. Take I-10 East towards El Paso. Take exit 281 and head south to Sonoita on scenic Highway 83. Continue on Highway 83 to Sonoita. When you reach the intersection of Highway 83 and Highway 82, continue south on Highway 83 to Elgin Road. Turn left on Elgin Road and Callaghan vineyards is approximately 3 miles on your left.

Email to reserve a spot on the trip.