August 2020 Newsletter for the Arena Market and Cafe
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August 2020
News from Your Co-op on the Coast

Arena Market and Cafe / Coastal Organics Cooperative

Manager's Report

Dear Community,

In the midst of all the uncertainty this year, it seems that time keeps marching on! Here we are in the middle of summer and our local farmers are starting to bring in all of the produce we know & love. We’ve got peas from Stornetta Ranch, apples from Green Gorge Farm, and a wide variety of deliciousness from Oz Farm and Nature’s Tune Farm. 

As you’ve likely seen, here at the co-op we are still working hard to keep the store safe and fully stocked for the community. We have our new generator fully up and running, ready to power the whole store in the case that power is shut off in the area over the next few months. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. 


Lee Farmer, General Manager


Co-op Putting COVID-19 Loans to Good Use

Due to the COVID-19 disaster, the co-op qualified for and received federal loans that helped us keep staff employed, recover from lost income, and set us up for success in the future. 

As we reported in previous newsletters, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $60,100 paid for eight weeks of payroll, rent, and utilities. We have been able to stay well staffed and even provide some hazard pay for the increased effort and stress of dealing with the requirements of COVID-19 health orders for essential businesses. Having used the PPP funds appropriately, we expect the loan amount to be fully forgiven so we can eliminate that repayment obligation.

The co-op also qualified for and received a substantial economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) of $150,000. As of the end of July, we have spent all of these funds on the allowed operational costs, including vendor payments, payroll, rent, and utilities. With the resulting extra cash from sales, we have significantly reduced our higher-interest long-term debt and become current on all vendor debt. Because the EIDL terms are more favorable, our monthly payments for our loans remain the same as before. 

In addition, we’ve committed funds to replace some key refrigeration equipment and renovate the cafe. The co-op has a substantial reserve to operate smoothly over next winter's doldrums, and we still have unallocated funds to implement ideas from the strategic planning effort now underway. 

This infusion of working capital has enabled the co-op to dig out of a financial hole that began with the PG&E shutoff last October and continued through the winter slowdown and the early months of the COVID-19 restrictions. Encouragingly, sales have been consistently well above break-even since Memorial Day, including some record-setting days in July. We are better positioned financially than we have been in the three years since the local economy started shifting.

We want to acknowledge the skillful collaboration that has made all of this possible. Rick Beach, our volunteer treasurer, has spent countless hours over the last four and a half months to secure these loans. He and the store’s management team, Lee Farmer and Natalie Cortese, as well as our bookkeeper, Amy Soderman, worked together to understand the requirements to create and implement many new processes and procedures. Rick also partnered closely with numerous agencies and advisors, including Redwood Credit Union, Economic Development Financing Corporation of Mendocino County, West Center, and NorCal Small Business Development Center. 

It has been a tremendous undertaking, and we are grateful now to be in such a solid situation to continue serving our members and the community. We are also grateful to everyone who is shopping locally and helping to rebuild our economy. And of course we could not do any of this without our loyal staff, who are working hard in these stressful times to keep the co-op humming seven days a week. 

Board of Directors
Coastal Organics Cooperative, Inc.


New Items

Brittanie's Thyme Natural Hand Sanitizer 2 OZ. $5.09 

Ener-C Vitamin C packets 30 CT $17.95

Teavana Blueberry Mint Unsweetened Iced Tea 12 OZ. $2.89

Suzie's Organic Buffalo Wing Sauce 12 OZ. $4.49

Santa Cruz Mango Lemonade 32 OZ. $2.49 ($1.00 off)

Premier Japan Organic Hoisin Sauce 12 OZ. $7.69

Chocolove Sugar-Free Fruit & Nut Milk Chocolate Bar 3.2 OZ. $5.19

Me & The Bees Lemonade 12 OZ. $3.79

Inner-Eco Coconut Water kefir Gut Shots 15 OZ. $19.99

Luke's Organic Ketchup Chips 4 OZ. $4.79

Pazzo Marco Creamery Cheeses (from Gualala!)

Sale Items

Mary's Gone Crackers 5.5 OZ $4.79 ($1.80 off)


Eden Hot Pepper Sesame Oil 5 OZ. $8.89 ($1.50 off)

Daiya Jalapeño Havarti Cheese 7.1 OZ. $2.96 ($1.00 off)


Miyoko's Oat Milk Butter 12 OZ. $5.69 (.70 off)                                                                                           


Pesavore Ahi Tuna Jerky Smoked Poké 1.5 OZ $4.39 ($1.00 off)

Lightlife Tempeh 8 OZ. $ 3.69 ($.60 off)

Gardein Crispy Orange Chicken 10.5 OZ. $4.98 ($1.31 off)

Upcoming Events

8/7 ~ Member Appreciation Day!
Members save even more when they shop on the first Friday of the month!

8/20 ~ Virtual Third Thursday Poetry
7PM Thursday via Zoom. Featuring Oakland poet Cassandra Dallet. Email to sign up to read or receive a link. 

8/18 ~ Monthly Board Meeting
5PM Tuesday, Monthly Board Meeting via Zoom. Email for a link.

9/4 ~ Member Appreciation Day!
Members save even more when they shop on the first Friday of the month!

Co-op Annual Member Meeting

Due to the group gathering restrictions that the county has mandated for Covid-19, this year Coastal Organics Cooperative, Inc. will hold its annual member meeting via Zoom. As per our by-laws, the meeting will be on Thursday, September 10, at 6 pm. 

The annual meeting is the opportunity for members to learn about the state of the co-op and ask questions of the staff and board. Rick Beach, Treasurer, and Lee Farmer, General Manager, will make brief presentations and answer whatever questions you may have. In addition, this year we are excited to be engaging a strategic planning process with extensive community input, and we will  devote time at the meeting to describe the phase we’re at and where we’re headed.

Usually the annual member meeting is an opportunity to socialize and enjoy great food, so we will miss that this year! We’ll send a special email with the Zoom link as the date gets closer. For now, please mark your calendar!



Ancho-Spiced BBQ Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Beefy, saucy, and with a touch of heat—this is your new favorite summer veggie burger.

The standard black bean burger gets a kick of heat and a slathering of down home flavor in this recipe from Nina Olsson’s Veggie Burger Atelier.

What you need:

For the burgers:
1⅓ cups drained and rinsed canned black beans, mashed
2 cloves garlic
¾ cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3½ tablespoons walnuts, ground
2 cups panko or regular bread crumbs
¼ cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder 
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 buns, toasted

For the toppings:
½ cup barbecue sauce
4 slices vegan cheese
Caramelized onions


  1. For the burgers, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread black beans, garlic, and mushrooms on prepared sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. Remove from oven, mash garlic with a fork and chop mushrooms. Transfer to a large bowl, add remaining burger ingredients, and mix well.
  2. In a food processor, pulse black bean mixture in batches until texture is rough, crumbly, and sticky. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours covered.
  3. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each into a patty. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place patties onto grill and grill for about 2 minutes per side until browned. Alternatively, cook patties in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Remove patties from grill and assemble on buns with the toppings. Serve immediately.


Volunteer at Your Co-op

Contribute to our newsletter:  Send your stories, recipes, anecdotes to us and become part of this monthly publication.  And don't forget, there are many other things you can do for your co-op, so please become a volunteer.  To get involved, please email


New Members

Welcome to all our new members! If you know someone who’s not a member invite them in. Thanks for being a part of our co-op!


5% off purchases for co-op members every day, plus an additional 5% off for all members on the First Friday of every month!

Board of Directors

Molly Morgan, President
Rick Beach, CFO & Treasurer
Rhonda Rumrey, Secretary
Margaret Grace
Dan Lewis
James Gallager
Lee Farmer, General Manager

185 Main Street
Point Arena

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