Full Steam Ahead!

July 28, 2023

With a successful Steep Hill AGM in the rear-view mirror, the newly elected Board of Directors took a bit of a hiatus from their weekly meeting schedule – to recharge our batteries and catch up on our sleep! But we have still met twice since the night of the AGM. Our long-term goal has not wavered - to ensure that Steep Hill becomes, and remains, one of the best food co-operatives in the country. We are committed to ensuring that Steep Hill is solidly grounded financially, has an achievable business plan, efficient and appropriate equipment, a team of knowledgeable, welcoming and capable staff, and that we work with responsive, co-operative and, where possible, local suppliers to provide a continuous and dependable supply of high quality, wholesome, fresh and nutritious food. All of this is guided by our vision to build a sustainable alternative to the big retailers that serves our member and our community.

A watercolor painting of a yellow train pulling cars down a railway track, full steam ahead!

The Board will be setting up a number of Committees in the next few weeks. Our hope is to populate them with a diversity of members who would like to participate in making Steep Hill stronger and more effective both as an organization and as a grocery store. We feel that input and insights from many perspectives will bring fresh, creative ideas and a wide range of skills and experience that will strengthen the Co-op and richly inform the Board’s every decision. More information on the Committees will be shared in the near future. We are excited to be moving forward and optimism and determination and invite you to be part of the action!

Letter of Appreciation

We received this lovely letter of appreciation from a Steep Hill member just a few days ago. It is always such an amazing and gratifying feeling to hear good things from the people that you are serving, and these occasions are special, and rare. We wanted to share this letter with you all. We also want to hear from you! What are your favorite Steep Hill products? How do you use or prepare them? Photos welcome!

Morning Steep Hill:

I wanted to write to you today, to say thanks. I value the power of gratitude, perhaps in these times more than ever.

I’ve been a member for a relatively short period of time. I’m coming up to my two-year anniversary of calling Saskatoon and the West home.

I support you as my current financial vision allows. As a semi-retired senior I do my utmost to live without debt and within my means. I digress.

I was thinking, as I prepared my standard breakfast today, that I must be settling into some of my most favourite products at Steep Hill…

Your gluten-free steel cut oats, your California walnuts, and newly added to that list, your organic berry blend.

The Two Good Plain Yogurt suits my pre-diabetic lifestyle at 9 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of sugar. A good 2.2. km. walk to Gord & Wendy’s NO FRILLS is my best bet thus far.

I’ll end with this, thanks to all of you for weathering the hard times, and to Scott and Sam who are also my favourites.

Attached is a photo of my favourite breakfast from this morning. I’m no longer on social media, but if it’s somehow helpful to you feel free to share it anywhere you wish, or not.

With Gratitude,

A bowl full of gluten-free steel cut oats, California nuts, organic fruit berry blend and plain yogurt.

Lets All Escape To The Saskatoon Fringe Festival!

Steep Hill will be open our regular hours during the Saskatoon Fringe Festival. We are excited this year to have a table promoting Steep Hill in front of the store on Saturday and Sunday, August 5th and 6th. Stop by and say hi! Check out our array of delicious and energizing snacks and refreshments for sale. Memberships to Steep Hill will also be available for purchase. If you would like to be part of the act, you can volunteer some time at the most “co-operative” table on Broadway! Please contact Gillian at vicepresident@steephill.ca for details about how to sign up.

New Product In Stock - Wigness Bison

Steep Hill is excited to be partnering with Wigness Bison a local supplier of grass-fed/grass-finished bison. Wigness Bison has been raising plains bison near Cadillac, SK since 1996. Bison are a keystone species and important for the biodiversity of native grassland ecosystems.

Grass fed bison is the healthiest red meat available. Bison meat is nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein, fat, minerals and fatty acids to its caloric value. It is flavorful, easy to prepare and cooks in less time and with less shrinkage than comparable cuts of beef. Bison tastes very similar to beef, with a slightly richer, sweeter flavour.

Bison meat is a rich source of complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids in appropriate amounts. Each serving contains 22 grams of protein which is used in the body to build and repair tissues, produce enzymes and some hormones, and maintain cell membranes and components of the body’s immune system.

Rich in Vitamin B12, Selenium, Zinc and Phosphorous, bison meat is also an excellent source of Iron, Vitamin B6 and Niacin, all of which are recommended daily. It contains essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are necessary to obtain through food consumption as our bodies cannot manufacture them. Essential fatty acids aid in the formation of cell membranes and hormone production and are also essential in immune and visual processes. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and stroke.

The high bio-available iron content of bison meat helps boost energy and increase endurance by improving the blood’s capability to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from body cells. (Canadian Bison Association)

Here are some tips for perfect ground bison burgers on the grill this summer!

  1. To maintain tenderness, do not over-work meat while forming patties;
  2. Cook ground bison to 160 °F (70 °C) internal temperature;
  3. Always use a meat thermometer to gauge internal temperature;
  4. Make sure all patties sit flat on the grill for the entire cooking time;
  5. BBQ should maintain a temperature of 375 °F (190 °C) even when loading continuously with frozen patties;
  6. Ground bison should always be cooked until no pink remains.
  7. Bison has a much more delicate flavour than beef and doesn’t need much enhancement. A simple spice combination of salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce really brings out the flavour of this tasty and healthful meat!

Summer is short! Let’s make the best of it with some wonderful and nourishing food! Good for the body, and good for the spirit.

Good Things To Remember…

Store Hours

Steep Hill Store hours are:

Monday to Saturday - 12 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday - 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We’d love to see you anytime!

Corner Store/Pantry Essential Items will be in place after the Point of Sale system has been installed and is operational. We received a great deal of good feedback from the product survey. Thank you for your input. We are working to stock the items that you have asked for and will keep you updated.

And Finally… Our continued and constant appreciation to:

Our awesome staff duo of Scott and Sammy; They are our letter-writing member’s favourites, and they are our favourites too! Scott and Sammy have recently been joined by our newest staff member Zain. These three are the first faces that you will see when you walk into the store. Our friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable, staff and are one of the biggest reasons that Steep Hill’s doors are still open!

And you, our members and customers shopping at Steep Hill; You make the store a viable enterprise as well as a vibrant community. Our little store with a big heart makes it easy to quickly pop in to pick up great ingredients for a meal – or to bump into old acquaintances and enjoy a chat while deciding which excellent products to put in your basket.

And to you, our working members who volunteer their time; You are also constantly expanding Steep Hill’s potential. It is amazing how selfless people are when they are working together as a team to improve and protect something that means so much to them individually and as a collective. This could be a person or people; it could be a place; it could be ideals or a set of values - or as is the case with our volunteers at Steep Hill, it could be all the above! Our volunteers are beyond amazing! Steep Hill couldn’t do what we do, with any success at all, without their commitment.

Together, we all make good things happen!

Ann Smith,

On behalf of the Steep Hill Board of Directors