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Co-op serves up the goods on Kamiah’s Main Street: Members sought

The Clearwater Valley Marketplace Co-op offers a variety of bulk items.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
The Clearwater Valley Marketplace Co-op offers a variety of bulk items.

KAMIAH — A mini grocery box store exists in Kamiah, but it’s more than that.

Clearwater Valley Market Co-operative, LLC, on Main Street offers a wide variety of items all under one roof, including gifts, deli items, coffee, tea, mixes, fresh food, seed saver exchange and apothecary.


Dolores Shannon

In addition, the store has more than 200 bulk items including sea salt, aluminum-free baking soda and powder, beans and pasta, spices, gluten-free products and a variety of health-related supplements and snacks.

The co-op is in the former Health Food Store (which before that was a video store) located at 411 Main Street in the Kamiah Mall.

The “Crafty Ladies” who run the next door Creative Spirit of Idaho handmade items store, saw an opportunity and seized it.

“We couldn’t see this building just sitting empty,” said one of the co-op founders, Dolores Shannon, who is also a correspondent for the Free Press.

That was in January, and a few short months later they opened what is a continually evolving co-op store.

Currently, aside from the store, they also have a café with daily specials (open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), serving items such as taco salads, handmade pasta, roasted vegetables, and sandwiches on homemade sourdough bread.

“We make everything fresh,” said John Christopher, who works in the kitchen and was instrumental in setting up the café. “The food is definitely worth the wait, made by the plate.”

Smoothies and root beer floats are also available and soon homemade ice-cream will be served daily.

The group hopes to open a bakery in the building – which also includes meeting space, dining tables and a lounge-beverage drinking space – but that would require a major renovation.

“We could really use someone to drop some cash into the co-op,” Shannon smiled. As it is, the community rallied and provided several appliances including refrigerators and other kitchen items.

In the meantime, those who want to join the co-op as associate members can do it for $25 a year which allows them 10 percent off all co-op merchandise. In addition, members have the opportunity to sell their wares in the store, providing they fit the co-op guidelines.

The co-op plans to have fresh items for sale when they are available. They already sell farm fresh and organic chicken and duck eggs. As fresh produce becomes available, they will not only carry it in the store, but they will also cook with it in the café.

“We’re at a time in our lives where we want to give back, and we want this to be something for the whole community,” said volunteer and one of the co-op founders, Kay Henry.

Volunteers from throughout the community are also sought for all types of jobs.

“Even an hour would be a help,” Shannon said. Volunteers can clean, cook, straighten shelves, answer the phone, help run the store or Creative Spirit next door (in the same mall), help set tables, or offer their own set of skills to the co-op.

Stop by the Main Street mall or call 935-7541 for details.


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