Contributed by Rachael Phillips
Three months ago my family and I set out on our “Big Adventure.”  We left behind everything familiar to us, including all our friends and family, for a new business opportunity in Hamburg. Although my husband, toddler and I (7 months pregnant) didn’t know a single person in the area, we embraced this move as chance to grow. The move was exciting, stepping outside our comfort zone and doing something completely unexpected.

Once settled making new friends was a priority, hopefully ones with similar interests and passions. We visited the area twice before settling on a house and discovered that East Aurora was creating a Co-op. The area was so beautiful and everyone was so kind, the Co-op sealed the deal. We knew we would be with like-minded people and a part of something important. We were members of our Co-op in Maryland for many years. Waiting for this Co-op to open has exposed us to mainstream grocery stores. We realize now how much the Co-op helped us support eating locally and sustainably with ease. We joined the community of East Aurora in September and immediately joined the Co-op. Are you starting to see a connection between the Co-op, the community and the food that we share?

As a health coach, I believe that food is so much more than just filling our stomachs when we get hungry. Food is our fuel, it becomes who we are, food gives us the energy to be our best self; it expresses and shares our love. Food brings us together to celebrate or share a family meal.  Through my training, I have come to see that the food creates a sense of community. Joining the East Aurora Co-op and visiting local farmers markets these past three months has connected my family to the community.  We’ve met so many wonderful people that make this feel like home. The belief to eat sustainably, eat local, and support the Co-op has created a community around it.

The power of food is truly amazing! In the short time we have lived in New York, we are so fortunate to have become a part of the East Aurora Co-op community. Now if we can survive the winter our adventure will be complete.

You can visit Rachael’s website here.