“Meat” Your Vendors at the Olympia Food Co-op

Olympia Food co-op meat suppliers
Chris, Hanna, and John Hagara of Chehalis Valley Farm. Photo courtesy: Olympia Food Co-op

Submitted by Bridget Parent, Olympia Food Cooperative Meat Department Manager for Olympia Food Co-op

The Olympia Food Co-op’s Meat Department would like to introduce you to the four food groups of Winter 2018 – chicken, beef, fish, and buffalo!  Ok, there are other food groups, but we’re biased in the Meat Department. Our membership counts on us to research and support individuals who are good stewards of their animals and the environment. We’re proud to present four Co-op vendors whose missions and visions align with ours.

Olympia Food co-op meat suppliers
The Colvin Ranch near Tenino has been raising quality beef for four generations. Photo courtesy: Olympia Food Co-op

Colvin Ranch is a fourth-generation family ranch dedicated to raising high quality, grass fed beef. Located near Tenino, the ranch is protected with an agricultural conservation easement through the USDA which means it will always be used for farming, never developed. Fred and Katherine use sustainable grazing practices that allow native and endangered plants to thrive on their prairie. Their cows have ample room to roam and Fred explained to me that they keep their cattle’s stress level down by designing corral areas that follow the animal’s instinctual movements. Taking advise from Temple Grandin, Fred says he gets down to their level to see what they see. We sell their ground beef, round steak, sirloin tip, top sirloin, and soup bones. You can also find them at the Proctor Market in Tacoma and order from them directly.

Golden Catch is owned and operated by Gene Maltzeff. He fishes for our salmon in Bristol Bay and the fish are processed in Naknek, Alaska. Gene sets his standards high and it shows in the quality of our salmon. Gene believes the most important part of his job is respecting the fish. He adheres to best practices when catching and handling the salmon. They’re not thrown about, they’re bled right away and cooled quickly. It’s a pleasure doing business with Gene and he’s always excited to talk about salmon. You’ll find frozen salmon, sockeye fillets and cod portions in our stores. For more information, email Beringssea@yahoo.com

Olympia Food co-op meat suppliers
Chris, Hanna, and John Hagara of Chehalis Valley Farm. Photo courtesy: Olympia Food Co-op

The Chehalis Valley Farm started in 2013 in Elma, Washington. John Hagara raises chickens and pigs with the help of paid interns, Hanna and Chris. Their first year, John raised 50 birds; this year they processed 2,000 birds, in their own WSDA certified facility, and they have 40 pigs they will sell this November. They sell to the Co-op and Spuds Market and at The Olympia and Proctor Farmer’s Markets.  Their pigs and chickens are well cared for and fed non-GMO grain grown here in Washington.  John believes in the importance of local; his products will never travel further than 200 miles. You’ll find whole birds, livers and hearts in both our stores.

Wild Idea is located in South Dakota. Not local, no, but this company is outstanding. The Cheyenne River ranch is just west of the Badlands national Park and north of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Dan and Jill O’Brian started Wild Idea in 1997 with preservation in mind.  “Our bison graze like their ancestors did, eating nothing but the grass beneath their feet. The nutrient dense grasses produce a delicious healthy red meat rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike most buffalo on the market today, Wild Idea buffalo are never feedlot confined or finished on GMO corn. Additionally, our buffalo restore the wildlands agrees to a greater level of biodiversity.”  Dan has been a rancher and wildlife biologist for more than 30 years. He’s also a falconer and writer, with several books published, including Buffalo For The Broken Heart which explores the history of the ranch and their conversion from beef to buffalo. Jill has owned several restaurants and a catering business, creates recipes for the Wild Idea test kitchen.  She takes the photos and operates an eco-tourism business. You can find ground buffalo, stew meat, and soup bones in our stores.

These, and other fine companies we support may carry products we don’t stock at our stores, but are available for special order. Please contact bridget@olympiafood.coop, meat manager at the west side or adam@olympiafood.coop, meat manager at the east side Olympia Food Cooperative.  We’d love to hear from you with questions, concerns, or ideas.

For 40 years, the Olympia Food Co-op and our membership have supported local producers in our community. With low mark-ups for local products, every time a purchase is made from our stores, the vendor gets most of the sale.  Everybody is welcome to shop. We have two locations, and both stores are open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

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