Customer Spotlight: Sevananda Natural Foods

Written by Cafe Campesino on May 1, 2010 in Customer Spotlight, NEWSLETTER |
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One of the largest consumer-owned cooperatives in the Southeast, Sevananda Natural Foods Market has been a Café Campesino customer and supporter for years.

Located in the “Little Five Points” neighborhood of Atlanta, “Sev,” as it is affectionately called by members and friends, has provided the Atlanta community with locally sourced organic produce and natural foods for 36 years.  Starting out as a small, member-run non-profit where “shoppers made their own change from a cigar box,” Sevananda has evolved into a consumer cooperative with more than 3,000 members who have voting rights that determine the store’s board of directors.  Members also receive a portion of store profits based on annual sales.

With a stated mission to “empower the community to improve its health and well-being,” Sevananda is more than a grocery store for its members.  It offers fellowship at monthly “Healthy Happy Hours”, mind-body awareness learning with classes on stress management, meditation and yoga and instruction on how to cook healthily at home.

If that’s not enough to convince you that Sev is a pretty cool Café Campesino customer, then its commitment to community non-profits and the environment should be. Sevananda’s “Be the Change” program encourages patrons to donate their spare change to a different non-profit every month. Sevananda then adds to the donations by 25 percent in addition to donating 1 percent of its sales to the non-profit for a given month. Supported non-profits have included ones working with families in poverty, women suffering from domestic abuse and organizations supporting local artists.

In addition to supporting a local food system, Sevananda’s environmental commitment includes recycling, using low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, sourcing from environmentally and socially conscious companies and sourcing 5 percent of its annual energy use from the sun! Twenty-four solar panels on Sevananda’s roof help harness some of the energy used in the 29,000 sq. ft. facility. That’s pretty cool.

All considered, we’re very proud Café Campesino can be found in Sevananda’s well stocked bulk bin section alongside dried pastas, grains, and spices, as well as in Sev’s freshly prepared foods section, where customers can get a cup of freshly brewed Mexican Oaxaca coffee or a decaffeinated French Roast any day of the week.

If you’re in Atlanta, look for us at Sevananda- on the shelves- or at sampling events in-store on Fridays, May 7 and 21 – or sometime in the future. We’re in for the long-haul

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