Old Creamery Co-op


It's Co-op Month!

Each October, cooperatives across the United States celebrate the cooperative difference, business model, and the contributions of cooperatives to their communities. Minnesota was the first state to observe Co-op Month in 1948, and it spread quickly to the entire nation. Co-op Month became a government-sponsored national event in 1964, and the responsibility for planning was turned over to cooperatives in 1971. Co-ops exist in farming, fishing, health care, housing, finance, retail, and most forms of enterprise. 

Co-op Month

In recognition of the cooperative movement and the creation of the Old Creamery Cooperative, we offer the following statistics. They might come in handy when your friends ask, "Why co-op?"

  • The University of Wisconsin's Center for Cooperatives estimated in 2009 that Massachusetts alone had more than 530 co-ops, with 2.5 million members and more than 11,000 employees. These numbers have surely increased since the study three years ago.
  • Massachusetts food co-ops have about 16,000 members and generate well over $40 million in revenue supporting their local economies. 
  • For New England, the University of Wisconsin study found that there were an estimated 1,400 co-ops owned by more than 5 million members and employing over 22,000 people.
  • Nationally the study found nearly 30,000 US cooperatives operating at 73,000 places of business throughout the country. These cooperatives own more than $3 trillion in assets, generate more than $500 billion in revenue, and pay more than $25 billion in wages.
  • Americans hold 350 million memberships in cooperatives, which generate nearly $79 billion in total impact from patronage refunds and dividends. Nearly 340 million of these memberships are in consumer cooperatives.
  • A substantially higher percentage of the business done with co-ops stays in and supports local economies. Beyond the numbers, co-ops also focus on broader community cohesion, social responsibilities, and thoughtful stewardship of natural resources.

Want to learn more about cooperatives in everyday life? Click here for a link to a full-color, 36-page booklet entitled "A Day in the Life of Cooperative America."


Cheese of the Week!

This week's sampling cheese is Moliterno Fiore di Sardo, a very fine cheese made from a breed of sheep found only in Sardinia, Italy. Pecorino Romano is made in the fiora de sardo same region, but Fiore di Sardo is richer and smoother. Ligurian pesto is generally made with Pecorino Sardo and Parmigiano Reggiano in combination. (Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from ewe's milk.)


Pecorino Sardo is made from fresh whole sheep's milk and poured into molds made from Apulian reed, influencing the flavor and giving the characteristic shape. After a brief period in brine, the molds are lightly smoked and left to ripen in cool cellars. The rind varies from deep golden yellow to dark brown and encases a paste that varies from white to straw-yellow. The sharpness is determined by the length of aging. This is a fantastic rich, nutty cheese with tremendous and balanced flavor nuances. A favorite!


Come in this Saturday and taste a sample of this incredible cheese. Remember, we'll take 10% off the price all day Saturday. Hope to see you!


Nearly Half the Country's Food Is Wasted!

The following comes from the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Food is simply too good to waste. Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten. Getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of fresh water consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all fresh water and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions. (To continue reading, click here.)





Alice's Recipe: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Sometimes we're stubborn Yankees: we hold out for as long as we can before building our fall fires. If we find ourselves waking up shivering we know it's got to be a cooking day, to generate some precious heat. I poked a toe out of my warm nest this morning and knew it was a soup day. Amy just harvested the most gloriously beautiful, perfect shiitake mushrooms (from our FIVE-year-old, still-producing logs!), and our farmer buddy Sy brought us more king stropharia mushrooms, and we have local cream in our refrigerator, so it's going to be Cream of Mushroom Soup for dinner tonight.


As the recipe says, this really is an elegant soup. It begs us to slow down, pick an autumn bouquet, light a candle, and savor each delicious bite. So be it! 

(Click here for a link to the recipe.) 


Following is one of a series of weekly articles in recognition of the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives

  IYOC logo

Book of Cooperatives

The International Co-operative Alliance is proud to announce the launch of its official book in commemoration of the United Nations Year of Cooperatives, a book filled with 100 cooperative stories. This high-quality, visually stunning production highlights the achievements of both the international cooperative sector and the individuals behind the movement. It tells moving personal stories and examines how cooperatives ensure their ongoing success. To learn more about the book and how to order a copy, click here.


Time to Check the Calendar 

The Old Creamery's Community Calendar is your place to post, and check for, happenings in the Hilltowns. The Community Calendar can be found on the Old Creamery's website under "News & Events." You can click on any event in the calendar to pop up an expanded information box. For instance, click here to see the expanded listing for Sunday's walk and talk in Plainfield, "Farming in Stone." 


We'd also love to hear from you with any suggestions, compliments, gripes, or other comments about the Old Creamery Co-op's weekly email and website. You can email them to info@oldcreamery.coop. Thank you for your help!


Help us spread the word! Consider encouraging your friends to sign on to receive the Creamery's weekly email newsletter. Better yet, encourage them to become member owners of the co-op. You can forward this email to your friends and relatives, and rest assured, we won't clog their inboxes and we will respect their privacy. We will not disclose your or their email addresses to anyone else. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for your interest, commitment, and support.  

Many items are on sale every week at the Creamery. Look for the brightly colored shelf tags. These items are 15%-45% off regular prices. Click here for a list of all the items that have recently gone on sale. In addition to the items on the list, there are always dozens of additional items on sale. Enjoy the savings!

Your continued patronage supports the Creamery's transition to a community-owned, values-based cooperative. Thank you for supporting the Old Creamery Co-op as a member-owner, as a shopper, as a friend. We value every contribution to the success of the Old Creamery Co-op.


Kimberly, Hattie, Michael, Susi, Sylvia, Patty, & Deborah,     

your Old Creamery Co-op Board of Directors;


Alice & Amy, proprietors   


Please pass this message on to your friends  

and encourage them to join our mailing list


Click here if you would like to become a Member-Owner 

    Quick Links

Creamery Specials and Sales                    Bulk Purchase Program  

445 Berkshire Trail

Cummington, Massachusetts 01026