We all remember the “What I did on My Vacation” essay we had to complete when we returned to school from our summer break. Some of us took trips to Yosemite. Some of us rode our first roller coaster. And some of us were hired to pick strawberries but spent most of the day snoozing under foliage with red fingertips and a berry-face. That post-summer essay was a great way to become reacquainted with our classmates and impress our teachers. This September, let’s catch up on some of the new packaged grocery products at Willy Street Co-op. “Some” is the key word here; we’ve been busy.

A Quick School Announcement
The Grocery department at Willy West now houses the entire stock of protein and live food bars that had been offered in our Health & Wellness departments. East is in the process of doing the same. Having members of the protein bar family separated was heartbreaking for us, so if you’re searching for any of the following, they’ll be in grocery: Kind, Pro, Raw Revolution, Think Thin, Luna, Clif, Greens, and Vega.

Mac & Cheese Please
Our first company, Namaste Foods, established a new grading curve with its gluten-free mac & cheese, Say Cheez. This mac & cheese, the creation of a single mom from Idaho whose son has food allergies, is non-dairy and devoid of soy, corn, potato, peanuts, tree nuts, and casein. In addition to brown rice pasta, Say Cheez contains shelled hemp seeds, paprika and turmeric. Be sure to also check out Namaste’s new Pasta Pisavera and Taco Pasta, available next to the Say Cheez. These two meals are made in the same dedicated facility as the Say Cheez, so they’re free of all the allergens listed above. And for convenience, just add oil and water, sprinkle on the seasoning packets and you’re set. Meal finished. Your classmates, and your stomach, will be impressed. Have fun with these A+ creations.
Pacific Foods also offers a mac & cheese that’s ready to go in minutes. The unique quality of this product is that it’s already blended. Just heat and eat. This is a traditional mac & cheese, so it’s comprised of real cheddar cheese and cream. In addition to their Mac & Cheese, Pacific presents Pasta O’s. This ready-to-eat pasta contains two full servings of vegetables in its tomato sauce. Both products come in BPA-free Tetra Recart cartons, which not only help retain flavor and freshness, you don’t need a scissors or can opener. Look for Pasta O’s next to its Mac & Cheese sibling, but don’t let them be seen together at school. That would be so embarrassing.
If organic is a must, Ancient Harvest offers a Mac & Cheese made from quinoa. This gluten-free meal combines the health benefits of quinoa—known for its high protein concentration—with a love for Mac & Cheese. In addition to protein, quinoa contains all ten essential amino acids. These are the amino acids we have to get from food because our bodies can’t manufacture them. How’s that for impressing your teacher? The bonus is that this quinoa Mac & Cheese is ready to go in all of eight minutes.

Waking Up Is No Longer Hard to Do
For those early mornings, Willy Street Co-op now offers even more pick-me-up drinks. Our first is Steaz Superfruit Energy Drink. This USDA Organic yerba maté-fueled drink contains an encouraging amount of B vitamins and naturally occurring caffeine. Steaz is also Fair Trade-certified and uses sustainably sourced ingredients. This super drink is available in packs of four and is guaranteed to get you through Dr. Williams’ lecture on the benefits of pocket protectors.

If you read the grocery article in August, it was all about the benefits of coconut water. Our next company, Coco Café, combines coconut water with espresso and a splash of low-fat milk. The result is a beverage that’s loaded with potassium—600 milligrams worth—and a lower calorie count than many other coffee drinks. Willy Street Co-op offers all three of their flavors: Original, Vanilla, and Mocha. They’re available in our shelf stable juice section or chilled and ready to go in our beverage coolers.

Sure, most of us have hustled out the door with a cup of coffee or tea in hand without a decent breakfast. Nature’s Path new cereal, High Fiber Cinnamon Raisin Granola, will remind you that your day will be better with a happy stomach. Each serving supplies eight grams of fiber and four grams of protein. If you do have to rush out the door, Nature’s Path also has a new gluten-free Fruit and Nut granola in a convenient zip top pouch. And since it’s Nature’s Path, these products are non-GMO and USDA Organic.

Yumbutter 608
The Om Boys from Madison have a new yumbutter to wow you. This one’s called Cranberry and Coconutty Peanut Butter. It’s made with U.S.-grown dry roasted peanuts, organic Wisconsin cranberries, organic coconuts and organic cane sugar. If you’ve never tried Om Boys’ yumbutters, they’re churned homestyle to create a fantastic texture. But the real bonus of Om Boys’ products is their participation in the Buy One/Feed One business model that feeds hungry people around the world. Yumbutter.com is a great way to learn more about this local company.

These are just a handful of the new products from Willy Street Co-op. Whether you need a quick, nutritious meal, a way to energize your day, or a local peanut butter that screams “yummy,” we have a lot to offer: so happy September and remember you have to feed your stomach to fuel your brain. Class dismissed.

Fermentation FestHancock Center