Staff Picks


The first staff-person I spoke with this month was Ella Hannibal, who has been working at the Co-op as a Deli Server for three months. For her staff pick this month Ella chose the Riesling made locally by Colter’s Creek Winery. Ella said she chose this wine because she wanted to give a shout out to a local company that has a great product. Ella says that Colter Creek’s Riesling is a little sweet, but not overpowering or syrupy. She says it is a bright and crisp wine that pairs well with a lemon pasta or simple Mediterranean fare.

Colter’s Creek is a local company located near Juliaetta, ID, along the Potlatch River. The company was founded in 2007, and has been focused on expanding and maturing their vineyards ever since. The name Colter’s Creek was the original name for the Potlatch River, and was given that name by Lewis and Clark, in honor of one of the most intrepid members of the Corps of Discovery’s team. The story goes that in October of 1805, the Corps set out down the Clearwater River in five new dugout canoes. A short distance downstream of the mouth of Colter’s Creek (Potlatch River) one of the canoes hit a rock and cracked, filling with water and soaking their trade goods (Discovering Lewis and Clark, 2017).

The owners are Mike Pearson and Melissa Sanborn. Mike is a University of Idaho alumni who “enjoys designing both winery and vineyard systems”, and helps to develop the menu in their restaurant. Melissa studied “wine chemistry and sensory science in graduate school at Washington State University”, and brings those technical skills to the business (Colter's Creek, 2017). They have won a number of awards since their inception and provide a good boost to the local economy.


The second staff-person I spoke with this month was Zach Kotlars who has been working at the Co-op as a Meat Department Clerk for four months. For his pick this month Zach chose Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew. Zach mentioned that he is a big fan of ginger, and likes that this product is loaded with serious ginger flavor. Zach claims that many of the other ginger sodas he has tried that are made by Reed’s competitors more closely resemble Sprite. Zach says that this is a staple drink he incorporates into his routine, and that he likes to stock up with a case or two when it goes on sale.

Reed’s, Inc. was founded in 1989 and makes a variety of sodas that it sells in over 15,000 stores nationwide. They use “old-fashioned, natural methods and wholesome, fresh ingredients” (Reed's, Inc., 2017). The founder, Chris Reed, was a former chemical engineer who had taken a sales job while trying to develop a business of his own. He liked the taste of ginger and began brewing a spicy ginger ale that he sold to local health-food stores and delis in the Venice Beach, California area. He “stuffed some bottles into his backpack” and brought them to the 1990 Natural Foods Expo West, where some beverage distributors really liked his product and signed him up. Within a year, he was in Whole Foods and his business was taking off (Inc., 2008).

When Chris Reed first decided to make a ginger ale using fresh ginger, he did some research and found a book from the 1780’s that talked about brewing sodas from whole roots, spices and fruit juices in the kitchen. These methods were the basis for creating his delicious soft drinks that also served as herbal tonics. Expert brew masters, using “only the finest fresh herbs, roots, spices, and fruits”, craft each small batch. There are “no preservatives or artificial anything” in their beverages (Reed's, Inc, 2017).


Colter's Creek. (2017). Mission. Retrieved from Colter's Creek:

Discovering Lewis and Clark. (2017). 79. Clearwater River Near Spalding, Idaho. Retrieved from Discovery Paths:

Inc. (2008, February 1). His Way. Retrieved from Inc.:

Reed's, Inc. (2017). Products. Retrieved from Reed's, Inc:

Reed's, Inc. (2017). About Us. Retrieved from Reed's :