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Updated: Jan 16, 2019

Good Food! Get your bulk on at Willimantic Co-op.

"THERE ARE SO MANY mysteries in our daily lives that we need to solve: why nobody in my house understands that you don’t dip the jelly knife back into the peanut butter jar, or why I’m the only one who knows how to replenish the toilet paper. Mysteries abound all around us, but buying in bulk shouldn’t be one of them.

A key aspect of buying in bulk is that food co-ops welcome shoppers who aren’t members. If you decide to join, the fee is affordable and broken into installments. I’m lucky enough to live near The Willimantic Food Co-op at 91 Valley Street, Willimantic, CT. The Co-op began in the basement of St. Paul’s Church as the Willimantic Buyers Club in the early 70’s, giving members a way to save money by buying food in bulk. Today, the Co-op’s bulk section boosts a multitude of items such as flour, oats, nuts, beans, coffee, tea, olive oil, spices and much more. It can be a bit overwhelming for bulk food shopping newbies, but the staff at the Co-op are incredibly helpful and kind, so don’t be afraid to ask for help...."

Excerpt from Jennifer C. LaVoie's piece in Connecticut Food & Farm's latest issue.

Crafting an image to go with your recipe, illustrate a narrative and make a subject come to life is what it's all about when working in our studio or on location.

Granola is Good!

I made this recipe and photographed it in my studio.Then I ate every last crumb! I loved it.

Part of what made this assignment so enjoyable for me was the memory connection it stirred. When I was a child in Vermont, my mom went through a pretty extensive period where we belonged to a co-op and really utilized it's offerings on a daily basis. She wasn't working full time, or even part-time outside of the home. My older brother and I were the only ones in school and she was still caring for my younger sister. She was nesting hard at the time. Churning out homemade preserves, breaking bread from scratch, pickling all sorts of items from our garden's harvest, making yogurt and homemade granola. Thinking back now, I have no idea how she did it. I only had two kids and if I made them dinner that didn't involve at least one item that was breaded and frozen, it was a miracle.

I have a very distinct memory of the granola. I can see her pulling a weather baking tray of it, fresh and hot out of the oven.

Her's had coconut and pecans mixed in with the oats and brown sugar. It was amazingly good, hearty and filling. It fueled many a winter's day activities in the Vermont hills.

She took excellent care of us all when we were growing up. She would later lament how we would chip away at that early nurturing with our altering (a tattoo or two) or not caring (the occasional Whopper or three...) for our body's as well as she did. I certainly took good care of myself with the subject of this shoot. :)

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