New Logo


Let the Renovations Commence!


This coming Monday or Tuesday, weather permitting, our renovations to the building and grounds of the Creamery will begin in earnest. Equipment was staged as of yesterday morning in preparation.


We'll start by preparing to pour cement footings for future work before the days get too cold. The work on the west side of the store should not be disruptive to customers. Our initial work on the east side of the building will require patrons to walk in front of the building and use the west entrance for a few days next week. The vehicular access to Route 9 right next to the east-side stairs will be closed permanently with the start of this work. Some of the trees will be removed soon, and some of our shrubbery will be set aside for replanting in the spring. In addition, the entrance ramp will be unavailable for the better part of one week as the foundation work takes place. If anyone who would normally use this ramp needs assistance with shopping during this period, please call the store at 634-5560 and ask for Karen or tell the person you talk to what you require. We will gladly make arrangements to support your needs during this time. A temporary ramp will be reinstalled as quickly as possible.


In future emails, we'll be writing more about the renovations, including the planning and construction processes, who's involved, oversight, scope, limitations, financing, and so on. We will make sure to provide regular updates in this email and in the store so that you are kept informed on progress and can anticipate how the next phases might affect your visits to the Co-op. We encourage you to greet our work crews with a warm hello when you visit the store, but ask that you not engage the crews with questions or curiosities. We will be meeting with the crews on a regular basis and will keep you well informed. Please let Karen, staff, or board members know in person or by email ( whatever is on your mind or in your heart during this period of substantial change.


We're glad to be getting under way with these projects that will bring us all our "New Old Creamery." As a reminder, when renovations are completed, shopping space and staff working areas will be expanded by 20 percent, we will have wider aisles in the store, and the deli will be adjacent to the café and have an outside ordering window from the new outside dining terrace on the east end of the building. 


Member-Owner and Associate Cards Are Here

If you haven't had a chance to pick up your member-owner or associate cards (for household M-O card members), they are available at the store the next time you shop. These cards contain your member-owner number, which you give to the cashier each time you check out. This way, we are able to track your co-op patronage for potential dividends when we are able to declare them in the future.


You will never need your card to shop, just your number. If you remember your number, great; if not and you don't have your card on you, no worries--the cashiers can easily look it up. If you ever need a replacement card or additional associate cards for members of your household, just ask and we will have them printed for you (to add an associate member, you must notify the Co-op in writing).

Associate Card
Camille says they slept here.
Sounds like a "tall tail" to us!

We will be handing out member-owner cards in the store until roughly the end of January. Cards that are not picked up at the store will be mailed at that time (if you must have your cards sooner than that, let us know and we'll mail them right away).



Thank you all for being member-owners and supporters of our wonderful new Co-op.



Alice's Holiday Picks 

Once again this year, I encourage you to think nontraditionally this holiday season. Don't buy stuff. Offer the gift of your labor: a car washing and vacuuming, a wood-stacking session, gardening help. Give the precious gift of your time: offer to accompany your friend/family member on walks in the woods, cook a meal for someone you love, or offer to teach something you know like knitting, cooking, bicycle maintenance, or furniture repair. Take the time to write a card (make your own or buy one of our many cards by local artists). Invite your gift-recipient to accompany you to one of our many local arts venues (theater, music, dance) or to your favorite restaurant. For those of you who would like to buy gifts, purchase them from locally owned businesses. Here is a list of some of the treasures to be found at the Creamery.


Alice's List of 20 Great Gifts at the Creamery Co-op

* Two mugs from our crafts gallery and a bag of locally roasted Indigo coffee.
* Vermont-made wooden toys from sustainably harvested timber.

* Tessier's maple syrup, in a variety of sizes. The quintessential New England gift!

* The book World Enough and Time by local author Christian McEwen. As critic Edward Hirsch writes, "a wise book--a quiet feast, a daydreamer's manual, a work of mindfulness, which teaches us to slow down and see the world anew. Read it slowly, and come to your senses."

* Les Costes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the richest-flavored, most delicate, buttery olive oil I have ever tasted. For an extraordinary gift, pair it with Eiswein Vinegar with Quince from Germany, unique among the vinegars I've tasted.

* A small African Market Basket with an assortment of Nitty Gritty Grain Co. of Vermont bags of regionally grown cornmeal, grains, and flour.
* A small African Market Basket with an assortment of Lotus Foods heirloom rices, supporting farmers from many countries in their efforts to grow delicious and nutritious heirloom varieties using environmentally sustainable growing methods.

* Sap House Meadery's assorted flavors of meads in exquisitely beautiful bottles. I enjoy the aroma as much as the flavor.
* Bug Hill Farm delicious Black Currant Cordial to drizzle on ice cream, to mix into seltzer, or to use as a delicious flavoring in a cooking sauce.
* Faber Castell environmentally sustainable beeswax crayons and colored pencils for the little kids, and the big grown-ups too!
* One of many really cool, well-engineered kitchen tools.
* Of course! Assorted chocolates from all over the world; many are organic and fair trade. Put a selection together in a small basket.
* A colorful African Market Basket from Ghana.

* Beautiful bamboo kitchen towels (soft and absorbent) and sustainably produced bamboo wooden kitchen spoons and spatulas.
* A book about canning, canning jars, labels, and a canning funnel.
* Wise Ways locally made herbal medicines, and skin-care and personal-care products with a book on medicinal herbs.
* A basket with locally made Ooma Tesoro's marinara sauce, your favorite pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and other Mediterranean condiments.
* Maggie's socks, from a regionally owned company.
* A member-owner share in The Old Creamery Co-op!!

* And the very last of the old-style Old Creamery T-shirts, sweatshirts, or baby jumpers!!!


Enjoy the season, and we look forward to seeing you at the Creamery.



Cheese of the Week!

This week's sampling cheese is Hubaner from the Huban Farmer's Dairy Cooperative in Doren, Austria, a cooperative that has existed for over a hundred years. This is a classic Alpine-style raw cow's milk cheese, with a slight, pleasant pungency. Although it is a washed rind cheese, it more closely resembles natural rind cheeses, with taste characteristics similar to Comte, Emmentaler, and cave-aged Gruyere. The wheels are brine washed for eight months, then aged for an additional year, to produce a fabulous cheese with a nutty, slightly salty taste. This cheese is delicious and perfect for your holiday table! Come in this Saturday and have a taste! Remember, we'll take 10% off all day!



Judy's Recipe: Pumpkin Date Nut Bread


This week's recipe comes from Judy Bowerman, one of the Creamery Co-op's superb bakers.


With seven children, my mother always had her hands full during the holidays. One of her many preparations was to make cranberry bread as a thank-you gift for our school teachers. Since each of us had numerous instructors, she would end up producing a small bakery sum of sweet bread. When my three daughters were young, a friend gave me her favorite holiday recipe: Pumpkin Date Nut Bread. This robust, sweet, and slightly spicy bread has become the staple of my own version of my mother's tradition. I initially baked countless loaves for my daughters' teachers every holiday season. Now that they are young adults, they continue the custom by sharing with friends.


This pumpkin date nut bread has received rave reviews over the years. About a decade after my friend had given me the recipe, she was at my house eating a freshly baked slice and said, "This is really delicious--could I have the recipe?" She was amused and delighted to learn that she herself had given it to me years before.


This large recipe makes eight small loaf pans or three standard size loaf pans. Enjoy!


(Click here for a link to the recipe.)     


What's your favorite "go to" recipe? Submit a recipe and a little story and we may share it right here in the Recipes section. Just send it to 



Old Creamery Co-op Featured on NPR

Our Co-op's purchase of the Old Creamery continues to make the news, and nationwide! This past HereNowLogo Monday, NPR's Here & Now featured a short interview with our Board of Directors' president, Kimberly Longey. Kimberly talked about the vast community support and hard work that made our Co-op a reality and offered up a bit of advice for others who might be inclined to follow the model of the Creamery Co-op's creation. Here & Now is produced in Boston by WBUR and is heard on NPR stations from coast to coast and in Alaska. If you'd like to hear the interview, you can listen to the segment and read an associated article by clicking here. Alternatively, podcasts of Here & Now shows are available through WBUR's podcast page (click here).


Wanted, Needed: Office Chair for Co-op Office 

The Co-op needs a petite-sized office chair with good back support and in decent shape for our bookkeeper's office. If you've got one you'd be willing to part with, please contact Karen at 634-5560 or Thanks for supporting the Co-op!


Need Some Holiday Greenery?
As step one of our renovation project, we've removed some overgrown arborvitaes that were behind the shed and growing over the top of the back entrance to the store. The removed plants are on the ground up behind the store. Bring your gardening clips and take all you can use.  


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


IYOC logo

Cooperative Legislation Finds a Home in More Countries

Hayati Yazici, Turkey's minister of customs and trade, said in a new manifesto on cooperative development in Turkey, "Cooperatives have become an integral part of economic and social development model of our time since they have the capacity to combine social responsibility and civil society values with a free enterprise approach in their organization. A cooperative, one of the most efficient development means today, not only makes economic and social contribution to manufacturers, consumers, and small enterprises but also provides added values to the national economy." (To read more, click here.)


The World We Live In Is Not the World We Live In

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 listing for a Sunday afternoon event at the Cummington Community House, when Survivor Theatre Project presents a powerful performance about sexual violence and the culture that encourages it.


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 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. We work hard to find bargains on many different items, including staple groceries, treats like chocolate, juices, refrigerated items, personal care products, and supplements. The shelf tags indicate when the sale price expires. Some sale items are one-time opportunities that remain on sale until sold out. Many are purchasing opportunities that can be replenished over several weeks at great prices. Enjoy the savings!

Your continued patronage supports the ongoing success of our 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.



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 

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445 Berkshire Trail

Cummington, Massachusetts 01026