The first staff-person I spoke with this month was Daniel Cullinan, who has been working at the Co-op as a Cook for over four years. For his staff pick this month Daniel chose the sushi prepared by New Bowl Restaurant that the Co-op began selling at the beginning of October. Daniel chose this product because it is a fresh new item being featured in the cold “grab ‘n go” case next to the sandwich bar. He likes the variety of sushi options available, and says that they are a great choice whether you need a quick snack or are in the mood for something more substantial. Daniel highly recommended the rainbow roll, and encourages giving this locally-made sushi a try.
Those of us who have lived in the area for a while have seen several different restaurants occupy the building located on the west side of Troy, Idaho on Highway 8, as you come into town. Zack Ndawng is the owner of the most recent iteration, the New Bowl Restaurant. This Asian-fusion restaurant features popular dishes from a number of Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, China and India, and has recently begun selling their sushi rolls at the Moscow Food Co-op. Ndawng came to the United States from Myanmar and has experience working with multiple types of Asian eateries, including a Japanese sushi bar and a Chinese restaurant (Kuipers, 2017). They offer a variety of sushi configurations for sale at the Co-op, including vegetarian options.
The second staff person I spoke with was Maryah Delgado, who has been working as a Cashier at the Co-op for two weeks. Maryah recommended the bottled tea made by Tazo Tea, and is particularly fond of the giant peach flavor. Maryah said she recently discovered these teas when she started working at the Co-op, and has become so fond of them that she sometimes drinks three during one shift. Maryah likes that the tea is refreshing and wakes her up, but doesn’t taste overly sweet. She also chooses this particular drink because of the health benefits associated with drinking green tea.
Tazo Tea was founded by Portland entrepreneur Steven Smith. Smith’s first introduction to tea came from his mother, who was a business partner at Cornucopia, one of the first coffee, tea and spice shops in Portland, OR (Wikipedia, 2017). While working as a manager at Sunshine Natural Foods in 1972, Steven Smith co-founded Stash Tea Company, which he went on to grow and eventually sell to a Japanese company in 1993. Following the sale of Stash, Smith launched the Tazo Tea Company in 1994 and he personally helped develop over 60 proprietary blends in multiple beverage formats. Tazo Tea was acquired by Starbucks Coffee Company in 1999, with Smith continuing to lead the company until January 2006.
For over 10 years, Tazo has partnered with Mercy Corps, a Portland-based humanitarian organization, to help people facing tough challenges build better lives and transform their communities for good. Their programming focuses on improving health, empowering youth and increasing economic opportunities for tea ingredient farmers and their families (Mercy Corps, 2017).
Kuipers, A. (2017, June 3). Moscow Pullman Daily News. Retrieved from http://dnews.com/business/bringing-the-flavors-of-asia-to-troy/article_1784f9a5-bcc2-5bab-a463-a0eb7d95cb22.html
Mercy Corps. (2017, October 15). Mercy Corps: Partners. Retrieved from Mercy Corps: https://www.mercycorps.org/tags/starbucks-tazo
Wikipedia. (2017, October). Steven Smith (teamaker). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Smith_(teamaker)