Happy Mother's Day...

May 1, 2024

To all moms, grandmoms, moms in-waiting, potential moms, and pet moms! As we usher in the beautiful month of May, the Board and Staff of the Steep Hill Co-operative, your grocery store on Broadway, want to send a big, warm hug and thank you to all the mothers out there!

On a light pink background sits in the centre a large darker pink imperfect circle with the words of 'Happy Mother's Day'. Each corner frames the circle with two having small pink hearts and the other two corners have beautiful flowers pushing towards the centre.

Mother’s Day has existed in some fashion since the mid-1800s. It began as an effort to combat unsanitary living conditions which contributed to high infant mortality, especially in Appalachia, by educating and helping mothers most in need. ’Mother’s Day for Peace’ started in the 1870s and, for over 30 years, was dedicated to the celebration of peace, as mothers knew all too well the high cost and heartlessness of war. In May 1907, Anna M. Jarvis memorialized her mother’s life-long peace activism at a Philadelphia church where her mother had taught. On May 10th of the following year, that same church held a Mother’s Day service to celebrate all mothers, and shortly thereafter the Mayor of Philadelphia proclaimed a local Mother’s Day. Jarvis promoted Mothers Day in Canada as well, where it was first celebrated in 1914, the same year US President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as ‘Mother’s Day’ – “dedicated to the best mother in the world. Your mother.”

Mother’s Day endures and evolves. The modern day celebrates the varied and complex roles of mothers. We commemorate the many ways that mothers have fought to better the lives of their children, and we honour every single mom who has done her best to raise and nurture her children with love and courage.

Why not plan an intimate Mother’s Day brunch for your favourite mother? Your grocery store on Broadway offers you beautiful and nutritious free-run eggs, organic, nitrate- and gluten-free breakfast sausages in tempting flavours such as apple, sour cherry and sweet ginger, and a wide variety of delicious fresh breads, vegetables and fruits. Your imagination and cooking skills are the only things that you will need. Steep Hill has you covered for the rest!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Choose Steep Hill this May!

Did you know that just five big companies together account for three-quarters of groceries sales in Canada? And that since 2021 they have used their market power to double their rate of profit compared with before the pandemic? This May, there is a national campaign calling on people to boycott the big grocery chains – and use people-power to push back against these corporations’ undue power. As an independent, non-profit, locally-controlled cooperative, you already know that Steep Hill is a great alternative to the big five retailers! Shifting more of your purchasing to Steep Hill, and encouraging your friends to try Steep Hill for the first time are great ways to promote a more equitable food system this May.

Democratic Member Control - A Co-Op Principle

The co-op principle of democratic member control is the spirit of co-operative organizations worldwide. At the heart of democratic member control lies the principle of equality, ensuring that each member has an equal say in the decision-making processes, irrespective of their financial contribution. This principle is upheld through the practice of one member, one vote, which ensures that no individual or group holds disproportionate power within the co-operative. 

Democratic member control promotes transparency by granting members access to information about the co-operative’s operations, finances, and governance. This transparency is meant to foster trust among members and allow members to hold elected representatives accountable for their actions, ensuring that decisions align with the collective interests of the membership. Steep Hill offers members this through Annual General Meetings, willingness to answer questions and listen to concerns, and communicating often with all members and the community (look at you reading this newsletter!). 

Active participation is another crucial aspect of democratic member control, encouraging members to engage in the governance of the co-operative by serving on boards or committees, participating in general meetings, and volunteering in-store. This involvement not only strengthens the democratic process within the co-operative but also cultivates a sense of ownership and responsibility among members, leading to increased loyalty and commitment. Steep Hill has opportunities for all members to be engaged with the co-op, no matter the member’s strengths or the number of hours that folks are able to contribute each month. If you are interested in supporting Steep Hill please reach out! 

Moreover, democratic member control extends beyond internal governance to encompass relations with external stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the wider community. Co-operatives aim to engage these stakeholders democratically, seeking their input and feedback to ensure that the co-operative’s actions reflect the needs and values of the communities they serve. As a food co-op, Steep Hill has many external stakeholders and suppliers. Steep Hill engages with them regularly to ensure that we are supporting them in ways that they find meaningful and respectful. We look forward to introducing you to our stakeholders regularly through our newsletters.

In essence, the co-op principle of democratic member control embodies the values of equality, transparency, accountability, and participation, forming the foundation upon which co-operative enterprises are built. By adhering to this principle, co-operatives empower their members and uphold the democratic ideals of economic and social justice.

Steep Hill Awarded Nutana Notable Neighbour Award

On April 9, 2024, Steep Hill Food Co-op was awarded with a Nutana Notable Neighbour Award from the Nutana Community Association at their Annual General Meeting.  

The nomination submitted by Tracy Pytlowany read: 

“During this past year, a new board has worked very hard to rejuvenate this long-standing, neighbourhood food cooperative. With the closing of our one chain grocery store on Broadway, Steep Hill has worked hard to fill the gap that was left. This includes expanded hours, expanded products, and partnering with Federated Co-op to provide some pantry basics for our community. In addition, they have partnered with a neighbourhood church to offer group cooking classes. At times, they offer food at greatly marked down prices, or even free. It is a friendly and easy place to shop at where you know that any profits made are simply going back into improving the cooperative.” 

We want to thank Tracy and the Nutana Community Association for their recognition!

A dark backdrop drapes down behind Tracy Pytlowany (nominator) and Amielle (Steep Hill manager) as they stand side-by-side while Amielle holds the Nutana Notable Neighbourhood award.
Nominator Tracy Pytlowany (left) and Steep Hill manager Amielle (right) with the award

New Staff and Meet the Manager!

Welcome to our newest staff member, Madeline, who also works with one of our most popular suppliers, Floating Gardens.

If you’ve come into Steep Hill during the past eight months, you’ve already met and chatted with Amielle (pronounced ‘am-yell’). We’re pleased to officially introduce her as the store manager. She comes to Steep Hill with a background in journalism, as well as a degree in Business Management and almost two decades in the service industry, mainly working with food. Fun facts: she grew up speaking French as a first language, has lived in two other provinces and two other countries, is a big soccer fan, and enjoys reading and game nights. We asked her to talk a bit about her experiences at Steep Hill so far:

What interested you in working for Steep Hill initially?

After working in the service industry for nearly two decades, I was interested in taking on a more senior leadership role. I like the pace of Steep Hill: there’s enough to keep a person busy without it feeling like you’re constantly working at a breakneck speed. The store’s principles resonated with me and I wanted a job where it might be possible to make a difference, either through access to food, labour standards, or the way we connect with our customers. Steep Hill does things a bit differently and that was something I’d been really looking for.

What has been most rewarding about your time at Steep Hill so far?

There have been so many rewarding parts to this job that it’s hard to pick one! One very satisfying thing has been hearing from our customers, members and non-members alike, what a positive it is to have Steep Hill remain open. Everyone deserves access to food and it’s so rewarding to see people surprised and excited at discovering the range we carry in store.

What is your main goal for Steep Hill’s future?

Primarily I’d like to make sure Steep Hill continues to stay open! We’re one of the only small, independent, community grocery stores left in the city and staying open is important for a host of reasons. More specifically, my main goal is to help build Steep Hill into a truly community-oriented grocery store. I’d like it to be a place where people can buy a large portion of their groceries, grab something they’re out of, or regularly stop by on their way home from work to pick up dinner ingredients. One of the great things about Steep Hill is the importance we place on getting to know our customers. A lot of people don’t realize how good that can feel, to have a place in your neighbourhood where the employees take the time to get to know you on some level.

I also want to work towards the community-at-large knowing that Steep Hill is open to everyone - not just members can shop here! (Interview edited for brevity)

Remembering Dave Greenfield

Video of Dave singing The Ballad of the Steep Hill Revolution at the 2023 AGM

We were saddened to hear that long-time Steep Hill member Dave Greenfield unexpectedly passed away on April 18. Dave shared his vision of a better world through his poetry and music, as well as by speaking out with clarity and courage at many public meetings and gatherings where people came together to advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice. He believed that within the boundaries of what we are able to do on this finite planet, we must create a just and peaceful world in which what we have is distributed fairly. At our 2023 AGM, Dave joyfully sang The Ballad of the Steep Hill Revolution – the song he wrote to celebrate Steep Hill’s history and our determination to continue after the co-op’s difficult time last spring. Dave has left a legacy of integrity, wisdom, courage, and humble leadership that is the true strength of community. 

We love you all, heart and soul.
Time for a new day to unfold.
We’ll buy our food, and live our lives.
We will give it all that we have to give.
Let the Steep Hill Revolution live.

View full lyrics

See Dave’s obituary with information about his memorial service and donations in lieu of flowers.

Nut & Seed Butters – Not just for toast!

There is a dizzying array of nut and seed butters available to the modern consumer. All are delicious and nutritious, packed with good fats, and, depending on your taste preference, interchangeable in recipes. All of these butters start out with roasted seeds or nuts. Certified organic butters are made from nuts or seeds grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Seed butters are usually tolerated very well by people with nut allergies, so there is no reason to deny yourself those favourite recipes that call for nut butter. Experiment with Steep Hill’s great selection of nut and seed butters! All the following products are available to you:

Peanut butter is the original nut butter and can be found in most supermarkets and homes around the world! Peanuts are legumes rather than nuts but produce a butter that has a very “nutty” and flavourful taste. It comes in both smooth and crunchy texture.

Almond butter is probably the most well-known type of nut butter after peanut, has a stronger nutty flavour, and isn’t quite as sweet. An excellent source of vitamin E, it works well in dips and salad dressings, and can also be used as a dip itself for celery and carrot sticks.

Cashew butter has a slightly sweet and only mildly nutty taste. Its mild flavour works well in a range of savoury and sweet recipes, from desserts and smoothies to dips, salad dressings, soups, and stews.

Hazelnut butter has a mildly sweet and creamy taste. It works well for giving hazelnut flavour to dessert-like recipes or smoothies. Hazelnut butter pairs especially well with dark chocolate (think Nutella spread). Try it in hot chocolate, as a creamy topping on a piece of dark chocolate or in the filling for a chocolate pie.

Pumpkin Seed butter is high in iron, zinc, Vitamin E, thiamine and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds also have tons of healthy fats, and the flavour goes well with crackers and cheese.

Tahini (Sesame Seed) butter has a protein content comparable to that of almond and peanut butter, but is typically a little lower in calories. Use it in your favourite hummus recipe, or in a creamy-textured salad dressing or sauce.

Sunflower Seed butter has a roasted, earthy taste and provides healthy fats along with magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Add some to a sweet smoothie or a savoury soup for a protein and flavour boost.

#Hashtag Steep Hill

If you have been on Facebook or Instagram lately, you’ve probably seen the great posts and reels Steep Hill staff are creating. If not, type #steephillfoodcoop into the search window on Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll see the latest.

You can help promote our co-op’s social media to let more people know what Steep Hill offers. We don’t have to pay Jeff Bezos to circulate our good news – we can use people power instead! “Like” Steep Hill’s social media posts and reels – “share” them with your own contacts – and encourage them to share too! Add your own comments and get a conversation going!

Whenever you’re on social media, go to our Facebook and/or Instagram page to explore, check out the latest posts, and share your favourites!

$5 Delivery

DID YOU KNOW…? Steep Hill does $5 delivery!

Ran out of milk? Out of fresh fruits and veggies? Need some creamer for your morning coffee? We’ve got you! Email us at orders@steephillfood.ca or give us a call at 306-664-4455 with what you’re looking for, and we’ll drive that over ASAP!

An advertisement about $5 delivery with contact details and a person on a scooter leaving Steep Hill grocery store to delivery goods to a customer.

New Local Meat Supplier

Pine View Farms recently shuttered their operations, as the Boldt family has decided to retire. We are grateful for their many years of service and all the great products that Steep Hill shoppers have enjoyed. We wish them all the best for the future!

We also know many of you have been concerned about the store’s chicken supply. We’re very excited to announce that we’ve begun stocking chicken from Original Family Farm! Original Family Farm is run and operated just outside of Saskatoon by the Sloboshan family and has been a meat-based farm for over 25 years. The farm is one of Saskatchewan’s provincially inspected abattoirs, and receives regular, in-depth inspections aimed at ensuring humane treatment of animals and safe meat for human consumption. They produce a range of products including: grass-fed bison, antibiotic free chickens, heart healthy pork, and marbled, tender beef. So we’ve got all your favourites back in stock: chicken bones for tasty soup (perfect for this weather!), whole chickens, chicken thighs, shishliki, and hot dogs!

A dark background with white outlined chickens and a rooster along with the Original Family Farm logo with a title above that reads, 'New Local Supplier'. A collage of fresh chicken and veggies on a butcher block are displayed.

Volunteer Opportunities

Have we mentioned lately how much we appreciate our in-store volunteers? We do – and more volunteers are always welcome! In-store volunteers usually package, label, and shelve products (herbs and spices, nuts, candy, dried fruit, etc.), and generally assist with tasks that the staff may not have time to do regularly.

You can sign up for a shift on the schedule posted on the store bulletin board, call 306-664-4455 or email hello@steephillfood.ca to request a shift.

View May 2024 Volunteer Schedule

If anyone is interested in volunteering by assisting with picking up and disposing of recycling and/or compost or by performing handy work or minor repairs, we would love to hear from you! To learn more or to volunteer, please contact he store by phone (306-664-4455) or email (hello@steephillfood.ca).

We would also like to hear about other ways you can help Steep Hill thrive. About a year ago we did a survey and got a great response - thanks so much! Now we’d like to hear from long-time members again, as well as from the many new and renewed members and customers who got involved more recently. Please take a minute to fill out the survey and take just a few minutes to let us know how your skills, talents, and energy can be part of Steep Hill’s growing success!

Start Survey

Recipe Corner

Our ongoing series of recipes using ingredients available at Steep Hill!

Taco Salad Topped with Fresh Pea Shoots

The beauty of this Taco Salad recipe is you can fit it to suit your dietary needs and be as creative as you like!

A white bowl sitting on a surface heaping full of a colourful fresh Taco Salad with pea shoots.

View Taco Salad with Fresh Pea Shoots Recipe

We Want to Hear From You!

For information about products and the store, email us at hello@steephillfood.ca or call 306-664-4455.

To contact the Board of Directors with ideas, feedback, concerns or questions, email board@steephillfood.ca or fill out a “How did we do today” card when you are in the store.

Thanks to Joan Almond, Jasmin Carlton, Adam Douglas, Cathy Holtslander, Maryann Scott, and Ann Smith for contributing to the Newsletter!

Your grocery store on Broadway!