Devising a shopping strategy for the upcoming holiday season? You might consider a new one for groceries, too.
Walla Walla's food cooperative is once again offering its "Made in Walla Walla Box," a weekly array of food items all grown, raised or made locally.
Response to last year's pilot run of the program was so overwhelming that organizers extended the season and have added a couple of other changes: local pastries to substitute when fresh fruit isn't available; a $30 discount for Daily Market member-owners; and a $10 in-store coupon for each subscription referral.
The Daily Market Cooperative is accepting signups for the winter/spring season, which runs 17 weeks from Jan. 19 to May 11.
The cost of a standard share is $530, which breaks down to a little more than $31 a week. For that price, subscribers are asked to select six options for their weekly allotment. They could also choose two or more of one item. The choices are: one dozen eggs from free-range farm hens of the valley; milk from Pure Eire Dairy (with a choice of raw whole milk, pasteurized whole milk, 2 percent or skim); a loaf of artisan bread from the Walla Walla Bread Co.; a half-pound of salad greens from United League of Vegetation or Welcome Table Farm; a local grain option; a seasonal vegetable; and a sweet treat (fruit when available). A meat option is also available for an additional $185 -- not quite $11 a week through the season. The meat is a variety of pork, lamb and beef cuts from Thundering Hooves.
Daily Market officials had hoped last year to sign up 10 to 12 customers for the pilot run of the program, said board member Margaret Thomas, in an e-mail. Instead more than 40 people signed.
"I think the initial interest in the Made in Walla Walla Boxes was in supporting the local economy and making choices to eat fresh, healthy, locally produced foods, not to mention the convenience of picking up a wide selection of weekly staples all in one box," Thomas said.
Households can join together to share a subscription. But those who want to sign up must do so by Dec. 15. Once the season begins, the boxes will be available for pickup Wednesdays between 4 and 7 p.m. at the Daily Market Cooperative, 508 E. Main St.
For more information call 529-7348 or visit: www.dailymarketcoop/box.html.
Speaking of shopping strategies: Nothing goes better with Black Friday crowds than a few shots of caffeine.
Hot Mama's Espresso, 1447 Pine St., will open at 4:30 a.m. Friday for all the Early Birds, the shop announced on its Facebook page. As an added incentive, those who drop in between 4:30 and 6 a.m. that day will get a double punch on their coffee cards for every drink purchased.
Owned by mother/daughter team Cathy and Jenny Rasley, Hot Mama's is also open Thanksgiving between 6 and 11 a.m. and offers $2 daily specials.
For more information, call 529-4298 or visit www.hotmamasespresso.com. Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8321.