Board News

By Laurene Sorensen, Moscow Food Co-op Board President

The most exciting thing I have to report is also the most relaxing: we have a Co-op with couches! On January 11, I cut the ribbon at our new University of Idaho campus location. It's located in The Center on campus, a 1957-vintage building at 822 Elm Street. In the 1960s, The Center housed The Burning Stake, a basement coffeehouse whose denizens were

progressives and ... Vietnam protesters [who] smoked dope and listened to rock and roll, and had a tolerant relationship at best with the Bible studies classes upstairs. They gathered at The Burning Stake to listen to bluegrass and a lounge piano player, to drink hot coffee and play bridge.
— Argonaut, Jan. 21, 2016

The Burning Stake flamed out in the early seventies, just before the Moscow Food Co-op began. Now, the Co-op occupies the clean, well-lighted space on the main floor next to the Center's living room, where guests are welcome to lounge.

Vestiges of the Burning Stake still linger downstairs: a surrealistic mural, an old Smith-Corona typewriter and a sooty hearth. If you used to hang out there back in the day, I'd love to hear your stories. Please get in touch with me:

I also want to mention that Board elections are coming up this March. Thank you to Dave Nelson and the rest of the Elections Committee for recruiting a full slate of qualified candidates. We will have a contested election, and I hope all owners will vote during the period of March 18-31. Our electronic platform lets you vote from any device with Internet access. If you don't have one, or need technical assistance, you can also vote at an in-store terminal at the downtown Co-op location.

I wanted to take a moment to give you a personal thank you. The Co-op's current strategic plan includes this goal: increase economic and cultural accessibility for all community members. Five years after we adopted that plan, many of our neighbors are struggling with hunger. Many Co-op owners participated in Mayor Bill Lambert's "Poverty on the Palouse" forum in early February. While this was not a Co-op-sponsored event, it spotlighted our Co-op’s mission: "Working together to nourish and nurture our community."

Thank you for showing up and sharing your ideas!