Stories of a Community Co-op
Natural Times, January/February/March 2012
By Crystal Wakoa
New Leaf Market has been rolling out great groceries and service for a long, long time now. Try to remember Tallahassee before New Leaf Market or the Leon County Food Co-op, as it was called at its Gaines Street location prior to 1989. Most likely you can’t; New Leaf Market is part of the fabric of our town. Now take a moment to imagine Tallahassee without New Leaf. . .
That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is called grief. The imagined loss is not just about healthy food, although surely that’s part of it. It’s more about a sense of place, a gathering spot, that elixir and mender of the human spirit called community. Something we’d be wise to never take for granted.
In a few months, New Leaf Market will celebrate its 38th Anniversary. We think it’s a cause for celebration, and as part of it, we’d like to hear from you. What motivated you to become a New Leaf Market shopper and/or owner? What’s made you stick with us through the years? Send us a vignette, a memory—recent or from the old co-op days on Gaines Street. Tell us what makes New Leaf Market your co-op. Send a sentence, a paragraph or a page. Pictures are welcome, too.
Here’s what owner David Moynahan had to say: “My first member/worker job was at the old co-op on Gaines Street. I loved the old warehouse feel of the place. Cutting cheese in the back with other members made me feel part of something good. But my favorite job was cooking in the deli with a crew that I grew to love—Victor, Amir and John, among others. Victor set the tone; everyone worked hard and helped each other. I had a blast cooking with those guys and I learned a lot, too. New Leaf makes me know I belong to a special community.”
Don’t be shy. We want to post your stories/memories in a special display at our Anniversary celebration on May 5-6, 2012. Submissions are needed no later than Friday, April 6, 2012. Please email to: Cristin@newleafmarket.coop or mail to:
New Leaf Market
C/O Cristin Burns
1235 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 3230