• Meet your vendors: Pat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods

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SitkaFarmersMarketSign(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.) 

When you walk into the Sitka Farmer’s Market, comforting aromas of freshly baked breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls overcome the senses. Near the entrance of ANB Hall, you can find the talented baker Pat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods selling a beautiful selection of her baked wonders that are nearly impossible to resist. Trust me, I’ve tried.

PatHansonHansonBakedGoodsHanson bakes for the market as a public service, not for a profit. She uses organic ingredients whenever she can, and the only thing that is not organic is butter, which she is working on sourcing organically. Her baked goods are more expensive, because of her insistence on using organic eggs and other crucial organic products. Hanson fell into a passion for baking, because she loves to eat and loves organic food.

Born in Colorado, Hanson lived in the Centennial State until she was 25, when she moved to Canada with her husband at the time. For the past seven years, she has lived in Sitka with her second husband, Jim, whom she met here. Hanson used to work as a school psychologist in Washington and California, but is retired now. She now volunteers at the Sitka Food Co-op, a buyer’s club organization that thrives with increasing membership. Her husband works at Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Arrowhead Transfer.

PatHansonWithCinnamonRoll“You don’t go into the food industry to make money.” Hanson says that she likes food and likes to know what’s in it. “I won’t sell anything that I don’t think tastes good.”

Hanson sells organic breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls. She makes white sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, dark rye, and honey oat breads. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side make sure to pick up one of her lemon blueberry, cranberry orange, or maple oat scones. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to get a taste of her pumpkin spice scone with ginger chunks, the baker’s favorite.

When she’s not busy baking, Hanson enjoys reading, and was actually a literature major before becoming a teacher. She especially loves Arizonian author Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, now a popular STARZ original series.

Come out to this summer’s last Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.) to experience Pat Hanson’s delectable baked beauties.

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• Sitka Food Co-op looking to hire a part-time general manager to start in March

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SitkaFoodCoopMedGreenLogoThe Sitka Food Co-op is looking to hire its first general manager. The general manager position will be part time, about 25-30 hours per month, with the job to start in March.

The main duties of the general manager include coordinating and overseeing co-op orders and deliveries, while meeting the goals and objectives of the co-op as established by the board of directors and members. Other tasks include working with the volunteer coordinator, monitoring the co-op’s ongoing operations (including technology, facilities and equipment), and communicating any problems or other concerns back to the board of directors. This will be the co-op’s first paid staff member.

The Sitka Food Co-op is a community-based, member-owned and operated cooperative that believes in “Nourishing the community by focusing on value while providing healthy foods and quality products.” The co-op currently serves more than 110 local households and businesses in Sitka, and is growing monthly. According to the co-op’s ad, “This is a wonderful opportunity for an energetic person committed to cooperative values and principles, likes to work from home, and is interested in ‘Bringing good food and community together.'”

Incorporated in September 2011, the purposes of the Sitka Food Co-op are to:

  1. Create a community-based, member-owned buying service;
  2. Make available wholesome natural and organic foods and products as inexpensively as possible;
  3. Support and encourage local growing of fresh organic foods;
  4. Purchase and purvey, whenever feasible, the goods or services of local and regional growers; and
  5. Serve as a center for activities and services which otherwise enrich the life of the community.

The position features a salary and benefits package based on experience, and incentive packages mutually agreed upon by the board and general manager. The job features a six-month trial period. Applicants should have a basic knowledge of Word, Excel, Quickbooks and Google Drive. The hiring of  new general manager is part of the Sitka Food Co-op’s new strategic plan adopted in November 2013.

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume and three employment references with full contact information to sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com. Applications also can be mailed to Sitka Food Co-op, P.O. Box 6407, Sitka, Alaska, 99835. A job description is posted below, as well on the co-op’s website. Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2014.

• Sitka Food Co-op general manager job description

• Sitka Food Co-op hosts 2013 membership drive in January

SFC_membership_flyerThe Sitka Food Co-op is hosting a 2013 membership drive in January. The group, which helps Sitka residents pool their resources to order organic and bulk food not readily available in Sitka, has a new website, http://sitkafoodcoop.org/ (note, no www at the start of the link) where people can learn more about the co-operative, which also supports buying local and regionally produced foods.

By joining the co-op, Sitka residents can buy at discounted rates. Non-members also can order, but pay a higher rate. Click here to learn more about how the co-op orders food and what the costs are.

The co-op typically sends in an order to United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) on the second Sunday of each month (there will be no February order, so the next order is due by March 10, order page requires free log-in/password), and the food arrives a week later and is distributed at Grace Harbor Church the next Monday (from 4-6 p.m. on March 18 for the next order). The group also orders from Blue Valley Meats (next order deadline is March 10).

Co-op memberships are available for individuals, families and businesses in Sitka. The fee is $20 for one calendar year (all memberships expire on Dec. 31, regardless of when in the year they are purchased). Members also can vote for the board of directors and attend board meetings.

For more information, send an e-mail to sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com.