As we continue to see words like “local” and “natural” at more and more national chain stores, the Co-op has taken the time to redefine what we support as local to better meet the needs of our members and producers, and ensure the word “local” retains its meaning within our stores (see Making Local Meaningful for more details). Our Merchandising and Marketing & Membership departments are working together to create a demo program that supports our local vendors and our members, offering more product demos of local brands, particularly when they are on sale. On a weekly basis you can find our highly trained Demo Clerks at both stores offering anything from Tofu Shop burgers to herb-infused almond cheese.
While sales are always a goal, consumer education is our top priority. Our Demo Clerks are knowledgeable about the products they demo, and are ready to answer questions. They are also highly attuned to the special dietary needs and concerns of our member and shoppers and make every effort to have gluten-free, vegan and other specialty items available to sample regularly. We are so lucky to live in a community with nearly so many food producers, and we hope that by offering you the opportunity to taste local goodies, we are helping to develop your locavore spirit.
In addition to our in-house demos, we have several vendors who visit our stores on a regular basis, many of which are wellness representatives. These brand ambassadors are highly skilled in their knowledge of the brands they represent and they always have great samples. These demos are scheduled in advance, and you will find them on our Co-op Calendar.
We look forward to seeing you in the stores!