Staff Picks

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The first staff-person I spoke with this month was Skyler Simoneaux, who has been working at the Co-op as a Cashier since August. For her staff pick this month Skyler chose the Tinkyada brown rice penne pasta; she is gluten-free, but says she still appreciates a good pasta dish from time to time. After personally trying many of the alternatives, Skyler says that she’s found the Tinkyada pastas to be very similar in taste and texture to wheat-based pastas. Skyler says that she loves pasta dishes because they provide quick and easy meal options. One of her favorite ways to enjoy the Tinkyada pasta is with a simple white sauce, broccoli, and Cajun seasoning all cooked in a skillet together.

Food Directions, Inc., the Canadian company that produces Tinkyada Rice Pasta, specializes in wheat-free/gluten-free rice pasta made with rice imported from the United States. They are careful to not handle any grain or cereal other than rice in their facility, and to ensure that there is no cross-contamination from wheat, corn, egg, dairy, meat, soy, or nut contents. All of their products are kosher certified, and their organic products are certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association of the United States. Tinkyada currently has 18 different pasta products, including a number of brown rice pasta shapes, organic brown rice pasta shapes, and a vegetable brown rice spiral pasta.

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The second staff-person I spoke with this month was Liza Swenson, who has been working at the Co-op as the Body Care Buyer for just over a year. For her pick this month, Liza chose the Wild Carrot Herbals Viridescent Serum. Liza described this product as a lovely treat for your skin with a nice earthy scent, and she really likes that it was specifically designed for aging skin. For those of us unfamiliar with how to use a “serum,” Liza says a serum is meant to be applied after you have cleaned and toned your face, but before you apply a moisturizer. I realized after chatting with Liza that I (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) have fallen into a bit of a rut when it comes to skin care. I very seldom reevaluate and consider new products that might be more appropriate for my skin as it changes and ages, but I may just have to give a serum a go.

Founded in 2000, the goal of Wild Carrot Herbals is to “create honest, nutrient-rich, joyful products that are reasonably priced for the entire family” (Wild Carrot Herbals, 2017). Their plant-based skin care line is handcrafted in small batches by their staff in Enterprise, Oregon. This small, family-owned business manufactures a wide variety of products, and even grows many of the botanical ingredients found in their products.

The company’s namesake is a plant known as Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), a ubiquitous weed found all over the Northwest. The plant produces abundant seeds which have many uses, including being distilled as an essential oil, cold pressed for nutrient-rich oil, and consumed to avoid pregnancy. The essential oil is said to help improve the complexion of the skin and cell regeneration. Queen Anne’s Lace is just one of the many plant species this company uses to produce hundreds of gallons of botanical infused oils every year that go directly into their products.


Food Directions, Inc. (2014). Main. Retrieved from Tinkyada:

Wild Carrot Herbals. (2017). About. Retrieved from Wild Carrot Herbals: