Staff Picks

Jessi Blommer O'Malley

Jessi Blommer O'Malley

The first staff-person I spoke with this month was Jessi Blommer O'Malley, who has been working at the Co-op as a Cashier since March. For her staff pick this month Jessi chose the Big Dipper beeswax candles. Jessi said she is recommending this product because she loves all of the scents, although the Awaken scent is her favorite. She also likes that they are made out of natural beeswax scented with essential oils and that they have lead-free wicks. Jessi says that she loves candles and feels that they elevate the mood of nearly any situation. She really appreciates having an option available that isn't artificially scented.

Big Dipper Wax Works got its start back in 1993, after a stargazing session on the Olympic Peninsula led to the founder’s epiphany of a company named after “The Big Dipper” that would produce hand “dipped” beeswax candles (bigdipperwaxworks.com). Their beeswax is filtered via a natural clay process that cleans the wax of impurities, while retaining its natural color and aroma. These candles are produced by hand in small batches. The beautiful color and honey-like fragrance of the candles comes from the pollen and nectar of the flowers that the bees are pollinating. The color is dependent upon what particular crop the bees have been pollinating. For instance, pollination of dark berries will result in a much darker wax with tones of brown, while pollination of clover results in a bright, golden colored wax. These candles are completely non-toxic and tend to have a longer burn time than candles made from other waxes.


Amanda Presnell

Amanda Presnell

The second staff-person I spoke with this month was Amanda Presnell, who has been working at the Co-op as the Deli Lead since July. For her recommendation this month, Amanda chose the Brush Creek Creamery marinated feta. Amanda described this product as being a very versatile and tasty treat. She loves that she is supporting a local company that makes a quality product when she buys it. Amanda says her favorite ways to eat the marinated feta are sprinkled over a salad, added to homemade pizza, or simply spread on a slice of warm bread.

Located just outside of Deary, Brush Creek Creamery is about as local as you can get. This small, multi-family-owned company hand-makes their award winning cheeses from milk produced by Jersey cows. Demand for their cheese has soared since they won several awards from the American Cheese Society, and they now send their cheese all over the country. In addition to shipping their products to consumers around the country and selling their wares at the Co-op, the group of families also sells their cheese, as well as a wide assortment of other delicious foods such as pizzas, sandwiches, and pastries, at The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen in Deary, which they own and operate.