What does it mean to be an owner at CSM?

Many of our shoppers come to Company Shops Market because they care about their wellbeing and the health of their families. They know that Company Shops Market is a reliable and trustworthy place to find whole foods, natural and organic products, and food that has been produced transparently. As a grocery store, Company Shops Market provides shoppers with delicious options, and takes the guesswork out of nutrition. But as a co-operatively owned business, Company Shops Market offers much more.


Joining Company Shops Market as an owner allows you rights that non-owners do not enjoy, such as 10% off sales on Wednesdays and the second Saturday of the month, the right to an end-of-year dividend, and the right to run for a position on the Board of Directors. Perhaps most importantly, you earn the right to elect Board Members, who set policies and procedures for the store, hire the General Manager, and set the vision for the future. By either becoming a Board Member yourself, or communicating with your elected Board Members, you have the ability to influence the operations and role of the store.


However, the true privilege of being an owner of Company Shops Market, or any other cooperative organization, is becoming part of a system that values the local community and that is committed to equitable social and economic development. The United Nations so values the role co-operatives play in grassroots democracy that 2012 was declared “The Year of The Co-Op,” and the UN announced that co-ops “promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people…and are becoming a major factor of economic and social development and contribute to the eradication of poverty.” When you become a member of a food co-op, like Company Shops Market, you commit not only to your own health, but the health of your entire community. We appreciate the UN’s fancy language, but here at Company Shops, we put it more simply: Local Food for Local People.


By supporting local farmers and food businesses, and by employing local people, food co-ops re-localize the food system and create resilient and inclusive economies. With their collective buying power, food co-ops are able to offer food at lower prices, making nutritious food accessible to people of all socioeconomic background and increasing the food security of a community. Because they serve such a diverse array of people, and are owned by the people they serve, food co-ops have the ability to bring people together and act as the center of a community.


When you become an owner at Company Shops Market, you assert your belief in a self-sustaining, equitable economy, and in the power of democratic governance. You declare your concern for your neighbor, and commit yourself to believing in a world where everyone has their basic needs met. You also accept the responsibilities of being an owner of a co-op, which include supporting Company Shops Market, spreading the word to other community members, and finding ways that Company Shops Market can connect with the community.


So what are you waiting for? Invest in yourself, invest in your neighbor, invest in Alamance County, and become part of Company Shops Market today! If you’re already an owner, help us bring more local food to more local people, and bring a new friend into the store! We’ll be waiting with the coffee. 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Company Shops Market is, of course, a grocer that provides healthy and delicious local food. But we are much more than that. We are a neighbor, a friend, and a resource for the community. That’s why we’ve created the position of Community Outreach Coordinator. The mission of the COC is to expand Company Shops Market past the walls of the physical store and into the community. We want to serve you where you are, bringing our passion and expertise to your front door. Whether this means helping your organization establish healthy living programs, providing education on why local food matters, or introducing you to your neighborhood farmer, the COC is here to serve your unique needs.

Cat Palmer currently serves as the COC, and brings a history of community outreach and public health to the position. She is passionate about creating equitable health systems and universal access to healthy food. She welcomes the opportunity to speak with local partners, and encourages you to contact her at catpalmer@companyshopsmarket.coop or at (336)223-0390 ext. 204

At Company Shops Market, we believe that providing local food for local people can create a stronger community, one that is economically secure, physically healthy, and nourishes a sense of unity. We are eager to continue learning about our community, and look forward to working with you to create a thriving Alamance County. 


Local Food for Local People

Letter to Owners and Friends of Company Shops Market

 As we approach the holiday season and the end of 2015, we want to say "Thank You" for your support of Company Shops Market during this past year. Although it had been a challenging period for the store with several staff changes and readjustments, we want to let you know that the future looks very good.

       The National Cooperative Grocer Association will develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for the store which we will guide the work of our board and staff through the next year.

        In spite of what other stores may claim about "local" and "organic", Company Shops is the one, true source of local and organic food in Alamance County. We work constantly to source produce, meat and many other products locally. We are constantly working to put as much as possible of our operating budget back into the local community.

        We encourage you to come in and shop as often as possible during December. Your continued patronage is very important to us. It is the primary way that you can support Company Shops during this time of transition. Your support does not go unappreciated or unnoticed. We thank you.

Ben Wright, General Manager
Clay Smith, President, Board of Directors

Letter to Company Shop Market Owners

From the Board of Directors:

I am writing to you as the President of the Board of Directors of Company Shops Market to let you know that there has been a change in the position of General Manager.

Chris Bartlett has served as General Manager of Company Shops Market for its first four and one-half years of operation. He is now leaving that position. Chris brought many gifts to his role as General Manager, and we appreciate his diligence and hard work in guiding Company Shops during its start-up phase. We wish him the best in his next endeavor.  

We are pleased to announce that beginning today, August 3, Ben Wright will become the Interim General Manager. Ben has served Company Shops well in several roles including produce manager and central store manager. We have great confidence in Ben’s leadership abilities and look forward to working with him as we move forward.

As a Board of Directors, we also want to reaffirm to all of our owners our absolute commitment to making Company Shops Market an excellent and sustainable coop grocery store in the heart of downtown Burlington. We are excited about new opportunities for the future of Company Shops Market and ask all of our owners to join with us as we all work together to make Company Shops Market all that it can be.

Clay Smith

President, Company Shops Board of Directors


Introducing our new Coffee Bar at Company Shops

Introducing our new Coffee Bar at Company Shops

We're so excited to have another amenity to offer our valued customers! After a successful crowd funding campaign, we were able to raise funds to purchase and install an espresso machine in our deli area.

In addition to our drip coffee, we now have the ability to offer lattes, cappuccinos and specialty drinks with espresso and coffee provided by Beans Boro, a roastery and coffee shop in Greensboro, North Carolina.

We also have some special options available, including bullet proof coffee - made with grass fed butter or coconut oil - and house made chai. We hope you'll come out and check out our new coffee bar!

Also, be sure to visit every morning for Happy Hour(s) from 8-9:30 and enjoy $0.25 small coffee and $0.50 large coffee.


Spinach & goat cheese stuffed mushroom recipe

By Jade Honey


1 cup spinach

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon rosemary

Pinch of salt

6 ounces goat cheese

12 baby portabello mushrooms


Oven set to 400 degrees and cook time of 15-20 minutes

1. Prep mushrooms by rinsing and de-stemming them; set aside

2. Brush olive oil on cap of the mushroom

3. Combine spinach, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and goat cheese in food processor or chop by hand and mix together the ingredients

4. Pulse until ingredients are slightly chopped and blended

5. Scoop mixture into the concave side of the mushrooms

6. Place stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet pan preferably with parchment paper

7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes; until the mushrooms darken a little

8. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes


Simply Delicious Avocado Chocolate Pudding Recipe & Tips

By Jade Honey

This Friday, January the 2nd from 6-8 and Saturday, January the 3rd from 11-2, our new Demo Coordinator, Jade Honey, will be offering free samples of an amazing chocolate pudding. Please come try it! I know if you love chocolate you will enjoy this healthy chocolate fix.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding is a creamy, light delicious delight. If you’re thinking that chocolate and avocado seems odd together, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. The cocoa powder makes it hard to taste the avocado. The pudding is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and safe for the diabetic diet. When you enjoy this healthy treat, you will be amazed by the soft-fluffy texture. It is important to eat this the day that you prepare it, for the pudding will keep for a day when you store it in your refrigerator. The avocado becomes oxygenized after it gets exposed to the air, causing it to go bad.

Avocados have many benefits, including the essential nutrients folate, carotenoids, fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and lutein. They also have the ability to increase heart health with oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that protects the cardiovascular system. Oleic acid lowers bad cholesterol and increases your high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which is often called the good kind of cholesterol. When avocados are part of your diet the ability to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A,E, and K, increases.

Picking an avocado can be a tough task; it is good to feel several different avocados before you choose one. By gently squeezing the fruit, you will know how ripe it is. Feel for a semi-firm one that has no soft areas. Softness can mean that the avocado is too ripe and it will appear brown and taste unusual. I typically hang on to the avocados I buy for a few days before they become ready to eat. If necessary you can store them in the refrigerator to prolong the ripeness period a little.

To slice, start on the top in the center, cut down length-wise and all the way around the large seed in the center. Then grab each different side of the avocado and twist the two sides to separate them. Remove the seed by digging, spooning, or pulling it out with a utensil.

(yields 2 servings)

1 ripe avocado

¼ cup raw agave

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Mix in blender, food processor, hand held mixer, or by hand held whisk (results will end up lumpy)

Blender or food processor yields best results.

It’s best to enjoy the day you make it.

Resolutions for the coming year

2015 is nearly upon us and now is the time millions of people start making goals and creating plans for the new year. According to Health.com, weight loss is one of the most popular and healthiest resolutions. It’s also one of the hardest to commit to. A recent article explained many people will fail in their New Year’s resolutions when they expect instant results and lack structure. Keeping a food journal, meal planning, exercising regularly and having accountability will help tremendously in achieving any weight loss goal.

Another popular New Year’s resolution is cutting stress. Relaxing, exercising, sleeping and socializing are all healthy ways to help cut down on added stress in your life. Many people will also set exercise goals, and even plan to participate in races in the coming year.

With the new year, it’s an excellent opportunity to start fresh. But it’s also easy to become too overwhelmed by setting unrealistic goals for yourself or making too many resolutions.

At Company Shops, you’ll find a healthy environment to encourage you in your New Year’s goals. From locally grown and organic produce, to gluten free and vegan options to humanely raised and grass-fed beef, we’re the place to help kickstart your resolutions.

Our staff have a lot of knowledge of healthy eating choices and can provide a great deal of insight on diets and lifestyle changes. Don’t be overwhelmed by all you hope to accomplish. Just focus on your goals one day at a time. And of course, visit your local co-op for information, help, tips, recipes and great food options!

Happy New Year!

Co-Hops 2014 was a huge success!

Co-Hops 2014 was a huge success!

Our third annual Co-Hops Beer Festival finally came together last Saturday after months of planning, sending e-mails, making phone calls, placing orders, organizing, advertising and marketing!