Give Thanks & Pay It Forward with Fair Trade

 Fair trade cinnamon producers in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Frontier Co‑op.

Fair trade cinnamon producers in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Frontier Co‑op.

This Thanksgiving, consider paying your gratitude forward. The holiday meal is the perfect time to consider swapping out a few items on your shopping list for fair trade certified products. You get to enjoy delicious food while supporting life changing projects for the farmers who produced it.

Fair trade standards ensure that farmers and workers are paid a fair and consistent price for their crops and labor in markets that can be unstable or are poorly regulated. The standards also guarantee appropriate working conditions, prohibit child labor and protect worker safety on the job. In addition, a percentage of a fair trade product’s sales go into a community account. Workers vote on how to spend the money, usually opting to fund community development projects like building schools or clinics in their communities.

It might seem like a small thing to buy fair trade certified sugar instead of sugar that isn’t certified, but every purchase adds up. If everyone swapped out just one item at Thanksgiving, the single largest food holiday of the year, imagine the impact we could have! Just like gratitude is a small thing that yields big rewards in our lives, fair trade is a simple idea with profound results. Food co-ops are all about empowering people to make a difference in the world with their food choices, that’s why you’ll find a great selection of fair trade items at your co-op.

Many fair trade certified products naturally lend themselves to a Thanksgiving menu. Look for fair trade certified staples like olive oil, sugar, molasses, honey, cinnamon and vegetable shortening as well as fair trade coffee, tea and wine, where available. Choose fair trade pecans to make this tasty cranberry pecan skillet stuffing and look for fair trade almonds for this traditional green beans amandine.

For those who like to bring whole grains to the holiday table, make fair trade quinoa the star of this delicious quinoa, squash and cheddar casserole or use fair trade rice to boost this savory pilaf. If you plan for leftover turkey, buy a little fair trade wild rice to make this classic wild rice turkey soup extra nice.

Depending on your crowd, fair trade products can make for good dinner conversation, as well. Most fair trade products have an engaging story attached that your dinner guests may also appreciate. Fair trade certification makes it easy for us to make a difference in the world, now that’s something to celebrate!

Posted by permission from Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at

Annual Meeting and Community Partner Awards

Thanks to everyone who made it to the Annual Meeting this year! We held it at the Boise Depot and had over 120 people in attendance. Delicious food, great local wine and beer, and awesome conversations made this our best Annual Meeting yet!

This year, we honored some of our local vendors and community partners with awards to recognize some special achievements. In case you missed it, here is the recap:

  • Vendor of the Year: Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters

    • Dawson Taylor has been an awesome partner for us since the business got rolling 14 years ago. They are always willing to donate coffee for our events, hang out with us while we serve breakfast to bike-powered commuters, and even lend us their awesome bike trailer so we can get our burritos to Hyde Park in a greener way.

  • Outstanding Co-op Partner: Idaho Foodbank

    • We partner with Idaho Foodbank throughout the year to help combat Idaho’s serious food insecurity problem. Their operations are so efficient that turn every dollar donated into 5 meals for hungry Idahoans.

  • Innovation Award: Downtown Teaching Farm

    • This Boise High School urban farm takes close to 600 lbs of our food scraps every week and turns it into rich compost for their garden and orchard. They’ve helped us keep 15 tons of organic matter out of the landfill in the last year.

  • Star Vendor: Wildflour Bakery

    • Wildflour not only makes dangerously delicious cookies, they also have the highest sales of any of our local vendors. Not bad for starting out baking in a garage 25 years ago.

    We also wanted to recognize our local vendors who are scaling up their businesses as our sales continue to grow. We love when our customers choose local, because it truly has an impact on these awesome businesses!

  • Outstanding Small Vendor Growth: Better Man Beard

    • Largest year over year sales increase in our small vendor category. If you’ve noticed an uptick in shiny, good-looking beards around the valley, this is why.

  • Outstanding Medium Vendor Growth: Bucksnort Soda Company

    • Largest year over year sales increase in our medium vendor category. Have you tried making a root beer float with their root beer? No wonder these tasty sodas are growing in popularity!

  • Outstanding Large Vendor Growth: Acme Bakeshop

    • Largest year over year sales increase in our large vendor category. These bakers wake up at 2 am to bake us some of the tastiest bread in the state, made from wheat grown on the Idaho Palouse.

For more info on our local sales, community impact, and year-in-review, check out our Annual Report below!

November Cheese of the Month!

Marieke® Gouda Foenegreek

Save 20% on this cheese all month long!


Marieke® Gouda Foenegreek: Sweet and nutty with flavor notes reminiscent of maple syrup. Pair with toasted almonds and maple syrup. Dark rum or Amber beer.

Award-winning cheesemaker, Marieke Penterman, celebrates her Dutch heritage with this exclusive collection of flavored Goudas. She and her team handcraft each wheel using herbs and seeds mostly gathered in the Netherlands. Premium, raw, cow’s milk from her family farm provides each wheel of cheese with the exceptional flavor and texture you’ve grown to expect from Holland’s Family Cheese.

Content thanks to Marieke Gouda

Update From the Board!

Dear Co-Owners,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce our newest Board Members, while reluctantly saying goodbye to those that have loyally served the Co-op, and you, its Co-Owners over the last few years. On that note, we are pleased to retain Shannon McGuire and Divit Cardoza for three-year terms, and  to welcome Jay Henry to a three-year term and Charles Raymond to a two-year term. We want to extend a sincere thank you to Tana Ruud and Jay Holmes, who have been wonderful assets to the board; graciously donating not only their time, but also their expertise in the industry and their services for the benefit and continued success of our Co-op. These positions are entirely volunteer-based and we recognize and greatly value the time and commitment these board members give.

The Board of Directors plays a pivotal role in the functionality of the co-op by hiring and managing the CEO/GM, empowering them to work closely with the executive management staff who in turn oversee the day-to-day operations of the Co-op.

In coming off a very successful quarter, we are excited to be finalizing the last of the arrangements for our Annual Meeting and the 45th Anniversary Celebration of the Boise Co-op,  taking place at the Boise Train Depot on October 27th from 1:00 - 4:00pm. We would love for you all to join in the celebration with us! We will have some great food, music, wine & beer, activities for children, and a celebration of our local vendors!

Keep up to date with us on social media, as well as through our monthly communications. We are excited to announce that the board will be hosting informal meet-and-greet events each month in the Co-op’s Uncorked! Wine Bar with fabulous wines and Co-op prepared food pairings! Seating will be limited so be sure to scoop up your tickets first thing!

In service,

Your Board of Directors

October Cheese of the Month

Frankfully Frightening Gouda

Save 20% on this cheese all month long!


This Frankenstein inspired cheese is bright green in color and packed with flavors of garlic, pine nuts and basil so not only does it look fun it tastes amazing too – And will keep vampires away! A special release for Halloween Only

  • Adds spooky fun to your party cheese plate

  • Delicious addition to ghoulish recipes like Mac & Cheese and Pizza

  • Pairs well with Witches Brew or Pinot Grigio

  • Milk: Cow

  • Rennet: Vegetarian

Content thanks to Uniekaas USA

September Cheese of the Month

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Cave Aged Lily Goat Raclette


Save 20% on this cheese all month long!

When Kimberly’s Best Creamery started processing milk, we were committed to only sourcing milk from dairy partner and producer who uses highest quality feeds and forages, including managing their herd without the use of artificial growth hormones.

Content thanks to Kimberly's Best

Join Us For National Hunger Action Month 2018

September is National Hunger Action Month, and the Boise Co-op and Idaho Food bank plan to take action! Hunger is an issue that affects every county in the state. Each day in Idaho one in six go hungry, including 92,000 of our state’s children, and are in need of assistance. 

We are proud to be partnering with the Idaho Food Bank and our Co-Owners, to sponsor this year’s National Hunger Action Month. For the month of September, the Boise Co-op will be matching all donations made at our registers up to a total of $2,500. Every dollar donated to Idaho Food Bank provides 5 meals to hungry people in Idaho. That means together we can provide 25,000 additional meals!

The Boise Co-op also works yearlong with partners of the Idaho Food Bank to diminish food waste. In our last fiscal year, we donated $326,000 worth of food, an average of $27,000 per month. The donated food goes to the Meridian Food Bank, Boise Rescue Mission, and the Corpus Christi House.

Idaho Food Bank will be in our stores throughout September. Be sure to stop by to learn more about them and the programs they provide.


Boise Co-op Volunteers to Help Feed Idahoans

Everyday The Idaho Foodbank Makes a Tangible Contribution to Our Community


On Tuesday, July 30th, The Boise Co-op volunteered to help  repackage food at the Idaho Foodbank. Upon arrival, Christine Dwello, the Corporate and Community Relations Coordinator, gave us a tour of facility. The Idaho Foodbank started in 1984 as a co-op distributing 400,000 lbs of food. Today The Idaho Foodbank distributes 18 million lbs statewide from their three locations: Boise, Pocatello, and Lewiston and is the largest distributor of free food in the state of Idaho. The Boise warehouse is an enormous facility: 28,000 square feet capable of storing 100,000 lbs of food. Inside the warehouse there is also a huge walk in freezer frozen foods and cold storage for fresh produce.

The Idaho Foodbank’s mission is to feed, educate and advocate for Idaho’s hungry.There are 221,000 Idahoans struggling with hunger: that equates to 1 in 8 people in Idaho. Of that, there are 1 in 6 children (or 72,840) who go without 6 meals per week. 93% of the food is donated by producers, grocers such as the Boise Co-op, agriculture, meat industry, and other food banks. The food bank is able to provide five meals for every $1.00 donated. 


    After our tour, everybody was ready to get to work. A local farmer generously donated thousands of pounds of white beans to the food bank. We were given the task to package the beans into 2 lb bags, label, and then box them up for the senior nutrition program. In the two hours we spent volunteering, our team repacked 2,924 lbs of dried white beans. This will provide 2,436 meals! 

    Volunteers help provide hunger relief with repacking and sorting of food, total statewide 53,599 hours and 21,220 volunteers. That is equivalent to 24 full time employees! Volunteering gives you a deeper connection to your local community. To learn more about volunteering with the Idaho Foodbank, click here.

    The Foodbank feeds 179,000 Idahoans monthly through their six Programs:

    • Backpack: The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack program ensures that students who are chronically hungry have access to adequate food over the weekend by providing them with a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly food every Friday during the school year.
    • Mobile Pantry and School Pantry: School Pantries are a natural extension of the Backpack program .  If children who receive weekend Backpacks are dealing with food insecurity, it makes sense that their siblings are, too. This program helps provide families with food through a pantry set up inside the school, where access is convenient for both students and family alike. The Mobile Pantry Program distributes dry and frozen food to underserved, usually rural, communities. This program helps populations that do not have access to, or have difficulty accessing, food assistance.
    • Picnic in the Park: School’s out for the summer! No more classes, homework, or tests. However, for some students, when school is out, that means no more guaranteed meals.
    • Cooking Matters: Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters is a cooking-based nutrition education program which empowers individuals and families with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals.
    • Health and Nutrition: Helping People Move From Hunger to Health Nutritious Food Growers, processors, manufacturers and grocery stores donate nutrient-dense foods essential for a healthy diet.
    • Senior Nutrition: AARP estimates that 52% of our more than 110,000 senior residents rely on Social Security for half of their family income. Unfortunately, almost one in four Idaho seniors depends on Social Security for 90% or more of their family income. It’s not surprising then that when you factor in out-of-pocket medical expenses, 15% of our older residents are living in poverty.

    Uncorked! Grand Opening

    Grand Opening Weekend, Friday-Sunday July 27-29

    We are soooooo excited to announce the Grand Opening of our newest viticultural adventure, the Uncorked! Wine Bar. 

    Join us for our Grand Uncorking Friday, July 27 at 2 pm

    We'll be popping some bubbly and raising a toast to all the people that made our newest business into a reality.

    Throughout our Grand Opening Weekend, we'll be serving up tastings of cava to celebrate, and we'll have a slew of free tastings as well. Here is the lineup:

    • Friday 5-8 pm
    • Saturday 2-8 pm
    • Sunday 12-5 pm

    Uncorked! offers a rotating selection of wines by the glass, beer and cider on tap, wine flights, a delicious made-from-scratch food menu, and more!

    The Wine Bar is located at 804 W Fort Street. The main entrance is on Fort Street, but you may enter via the Wine Shop as well. Come see what it's all about!

    Uncorked! Hours:

    • Monday Closed
    • Tuesday-Thursday 3-9 pm
    • Friday-Saturday 2-10 pm 
    • Sunday 12-8 pm

    Please note: Uncorked! Wine Bar is 21+ only

    July Cheese of the Month

    Bonne Bouche Ash-Ripened Goat Cheese

    Save 20% ALL July Long on This Cheese!

    Bonne Bouche is the flagship of Vermont Creamery’s signature geotrichum-rinded aged goat cheeses.  Introduced in 2001, Bonne Bouche quickly won acclaim. Today it is one of the most popular “geo” cheeses on the market and has been awarded some of the most prestigious honors in the cheese world. Reminiscent of the Loire Valley cheeses of France, Bonne Bouche means “good mouth” - though we like to think of it as "good mouthful" - and it is indeed a tasty bite.

    Made with fresh pasteurized goats’ milk from family farms, the curd is carefully hand ladled, lightly sprinkled with ash, and aged just long enough to develop a rind. After about ten days, the cheeses are packaged in their individual crates and sent to market where they will continue to age up to eighty days. As a young cheese, the rind has a pleasant yeast flavor and creamy interior becoming softer and more piquant as it ages.

    Tasting notes:  Creamy, rich, buttery, salty, mushroomy, peppery, sour... the list goes on and on. It seems that every person who tastes it takes away something different.

    Use & Pairing Suggestions

    Add a creamy wedge of Bonne Bouche to a salad with grapes, candied walnuts, and duck confit. Air dry in a refrigerator until firm for 2 weeks, and shave slices to add complexity to salads, soups, risotto, gnocchi, and pasta. Bake Bonne Bouche wrapped in puff pastry and top of roasted fruit and serve with crostinis crisps. Serve Bonne Bouche for dessert on a slice of honeycomb with warm fruit compote.

    Condiment Pairings:  Prosciutto, Honey Comb, Chocolate Almonds.

    Beverage Pairing: Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio.

    Content thanks to Vermont Creamery

    Dawson Taylor's New and Innovative Delivery Service!

    Boise's Trailblazers for Coffee Delivery


    With a variety of bike-friendly businesses, Boise is one of the greatest cities to bike in. With easy access from the Boise Greenbelt to downtown, the city has such a large diversity of bicyclist commuting to and from work. But what about biking for work? Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters implemented a coffee delivery system for their downtown orders on their new bicycle cargo trailer.


    The staff at Dawson Taylor said that the delivery system is a practical way for them to deliver their coffee. Dawson Taylor received the Silver Certification is awarded from the League of American Bicyclists for being a bike friendly workplace. Since doing the unique delivery system, Dawson Taylor has noticed how fun, convenient, environmentally conscious, and fast it has been to deliver. Driving a delivery truck takes a lot longer because of the need to find parking and deal with the busy downtown traffic. When biking you can bypass traffic in the bike lanes. Bikes are also a lot easier to find parking for, after all, you can basically park a bike anywhere. The delivery system is also a lot cheaper than driving a delivery truck. Think about the cost associated with managing delivery trucks; maintenance fees, repairs, and gas. Cycling is just great for your health, and reduces the stress levels from dealing with traffic. Overall it was just a smart direction for the company.

    Dawson Taylor’s Roastery is right next to The Boise Bicycle Project (BBP), so it made sense for them to walk next door and ask for help. BBP acted quickly and had the bike trailer ordered the same day they discussed the project. When the trailer arrived, Dawson Taylor asked One Stone, a student-let and -directed nonprofit that empowers high school students to learn and practice 21st century skills through experiential services, innovative initiatives, social entrepreneurship, and the radical reinvention of learn, to tackle the frame part of the trailer. The students learned how to weld, cut steel, and attached the frame to the trailer. After everything was built, Signs Ink printed the side panels and attached it to the trailer just in time for its debut at the Boise Co-op’s Bike to work event.

    When Dawson Taylor arrived at the Boise Co-op for the Bicycle Commuter Breakfast Event , everyone was impressed by how smart and innovative the system was. The coffee delivery bike promotes a more sustainable way to deliver goods offsetting the carbon footprint emissions from trucks that requires fuel. The Boise Co-op supports the delivery system 100%, and hopes that this promotes other businesses in the area to implement the same type of delivery system. The cargo bike has had great reviews from the city of Boise, and people have been calling it the “smile machine” when they see Dawson Taylor zipping by.

    June Cheese of the Month

    LACLARE Evalon


    Save 20% ALL June Long on This Cheese!

    This complex Farmstead American original embodies the rich nutty flavor of an aged Gouda while featuring notes of piquant Asiago and layers of Caramel-like Parmesan. Made with raw goat milk.

    Tasting notes: Rich, nutty, creamy flavor that becomes increasingly complex with age, presenting caramel notes.

    Use & Pairing Suggestions

    Slice, shred, cube, Enjoy.  This Award Winning cheese can be used in place of any traditional Parmesan, Asiago or aged Gouda.  Evalon's presence is bold and well developed, making it the perfect centerpiece to a cheese board or the perfect vehicle to add depth to any recipe .

    Beer:  Ciders & Fruit Beers, Stout, Brown Ale

    Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

    Content thanks to Laclare Family Creamery.