April Staff Picks: Justis & Anna

The first staff person I spoke with this month was Justis, who at the time had been working at the Co-op as a full-time Meat Department staff member for just five days; but don’t think her “newness” means that she won’t provide a great recommendation. Justis has been a long-time fan of the Co-op, and is extremely excited about her new job.

For her pick, Justis chose Julie’s Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches, which are located in the freezer aisle alongside the ice cream. Justis selected this product because she says that she recently tried them after realizing she had never had anything but non-organic ice cream sandwiches found in conventional grocery stores. She said she was very impressed with the quality, taste, and creaminess of the product, and is really happy that they also contain no preservatives or additives.

Julie’s Organic brand was launched in 1998 in Eugene, Oregon with the mission to create the “best ice cream possible” (Julie's Organic Ice Cream, 2016). Julie is the wife of Oregon Ice Cream Company owner Tom Gleason. The story goes that shortly after acquiring Oregon Ice Cream Company in 1996, Tom noticed that Haagen Dazs ice cream kept showing up in his home freezer. When he asked Julie why she kept purchasing this foreign ice cream brand when they owned an ice cream company, she told him she would stop if he created an ice cream that was “pure and better than Haagen Dazs…and made from the best ingredients, clean, no preservatives, no pesticides, child friendly…and indulgent” (The Cornucopia Institute, 2016).

Seventeen years later they have created a company that we think makes some of the best ice cream around by sourcing what they find to be the best organic cream, fruit, flavors, and chocolates available. In addition to their USDA certified organic ice cream, they also make delicious non-dairy coconut cream desserts, as well as a selection of frozen yogurts and sorbets.

The next staff person I spoke with this month was Anna, who has been working at the Co-op as a Baker for a year and a half. Anna’s recommendation this month is the chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons made by the Co-op’s own Bakery. They are sold in packages on the cookie table between the deli and the pastry case. Anna chose the macaroons because she absolutely loves coconut, but often finds products containing coconut to be over-processed and dry. She says the Co-op’s macaroons are moist, buttery, and perfect. She also says that they smell absolutely incredible when they are baking, so it can be difficult to resist their allure.

The Co-op bakery has been making macaroons almost longer than anyone can remember. They are usually made twice a week, except around the holidays when demand is higher. Currently, the bakery sells a combined total of approximately 400 plain and chocolate dipped macaroons per week (so it is probably safe to say that Anna is not the only fan). I asked Anna whether the process of dipping the cookies was a messy endeavor, and she told me that it is not as bad as it sounds. She also said that dipping the cookies used to be one of her least favorite work tasks, but now that she has gotten the hang of it, and has gotten faster, it has become very meditative and is now one or her favorite responsibilities.

It also is worth mentioning that the macaroons are gluten free, so they are a great item to bring to parties or potlucks.

Julie's Organic Ice Cream. (2016). Contact Us. Retrieved from Julie's Organic Ice Cream: http://juliesorganic.com/contact/
The Cornucopia Institute. (2016). Organic Dairy Report. Retrieved from The Cornucopia Institute: http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/FarmID_97.html