Partner of the Week: PURE NATURE HONEY

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Business Name: Pure Nature Honey
Type of Business: Local Honey Producer
Products: creamed honey, comb honey, beeswax candles, beeswax lip balm, and other beeswax and honey related products

Elk River Area Food Co-op Member Benefit:  $1.00 OFF ANY SIZE JAR OF HONEY (That's anywhere from 5-20% off)

How can we order??


About the family:

Pure Nature Honey started beekeeping in 2013. The plan was to have just a few hives, but by the end of the first year they had 8. Doubling to 16 the next year, and currently running close to 50 colonies in the Big Lake, Monticello, Elk River, and Rogers/Corcoran areas.

A true family business involving beekeeper Aaron & Melodie Staehnke. The Staehnke's have two young children that enjoy watching the bees and help in the honey house whatever task that may bee! Aaron's father Glenn also helps out from time to time with keeping and holding down the fort at the farmers markets.

Pure Nature Honey has been award winning several years in a row at both the county and state level. They have several varieties of creamed honey, comb honey, beeswax candles, beeswax lip balm, and other beeswax and honey related products. What sets them apart is their passion to produce a quality product, and their dedication on keeping a sustainable apiary.


Partnering with the Elk River Food Co-op: 

Pure Nature Honey became co-op members and partners the minute they found out about our efforts. They believe buying local food and supporting local farms and businesses is imperative for the local economy. They live with community in mind! "Invest in your community, by doing so you are making our community a better place!". They are excited to help the co-op grow and can not wait for a local food co-op store front!!

Learn More & Place Your Order

Contact Name: Aaron Staehnke
Contact Email Address:
Business Facebook:
Business Phone Number: (612) 508-4062
Business Address: 18465 182nd St. NW, Big Lake, MN 55309 US


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Business Name: Moe Therapeutic Massage
Type of Business: Massage & Wellness Provider
Services: Therapeutic massage (customized to each individual's needs ranging from relaxation to deep massage), Superior Hot Stone Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Raindrop Technique

Elk River Area Food Co-op Member Benefit: $10 OFF first massage (1-1.5 hours) session. All following sessions RECEIVE 10% OFF.

Moe's Massage Elk River

How can we make an appointment or learn more?

In Person934 Highway 10, Elk River

Contact Name: LuAnne Moe

Contact Info: 
(763) 441-0041

Facebook: Moe Therapeutic Massage
Website: Moe Therapeutic Massage


About Moe Therapeutic Massage:


Moe Therapeutic Massage opened in Elk River in 1998 and has been operating ever since. Every massage is customized to the individuals needs, ranging from light, relaxing to a deep tissue session. LuAnn 'Moe' is the owner and masseuse providing a personal experience for everyone who walks in the door. 

Motivated by the physical pain she witnessed in both her parents, she was drawn to massage school. After years of watching her parents suffer from health problems that could not be identified or diagnosed, she felt inspired to help others relieve their physical pain and/or reduce their stress.


A little about LuAnn Moe: 

Moe has been married to her best friend for over 40 years. They have 2 adult children and 1 Grandson. Both have always been very family oriented and have stayed close with extended family (aunts/uncles, cousins), hosting a multi-day family reunion at their home every 5 years that tends to draw 100+ people.

In the past they used to camp, but now have a small cabin in the woods about 2.5 hours from their house. Moe loves to garden (mostly flowers now since Elk River has such a convenient Farmers Market). They raise their own chickens for meat, and a few extras so their friends and family can enjoy too! They have Bantam chickens which free range their yard (and occasionally their neighbors). When they are not on strike or hiding their eggs out of the coop/pen, they will get the small Bantam-size eggs and enjoy for breakfast.



Why do you think the co-op is important for the community?
"I believe it's important to have access to healthy food that is not loaded with chemicals. I prefer local fresh produce when I can. But living a healthy lifestyle should include more than the food we eat. I believe it means caring for ourselves with healthy choices in non-food products also (such as regular massage to help keep our bodies functioning the best they can)."


In Person934 Highway 10, Elk River
Contact Name: LuAnne Moe
Contact Info: 
(763) 441-0041

Facebook: Moe Therapeutic Massage
Website: Moe Therapeutic Massage

Partner of the Week: PEARSON FAMILY FARM

ERA FOOD COOP PARTNER BIO - pearson family farm

Elk River Area Food Co-op Partner of the Week Pearson Family Farm

Business Name: Pearson Family Farm
Type of Business: Local Family Farm (4 generations deep)
Products: Chickens, popcorn, strawbales, non-gmo corn and soybean feed and so much more!


How can we order??

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About the family:
The Pearson family has been farming in this location for almost 75 years. Most of those years there has been a wagon load of straw bales by the highway for self service availability. Many people have come to know the Pearson Family Farm as a landmark! As years, generations and the community have evolved the Pearson's have tried to change along with the times. They are currently 3 generations working together on the farm on a regular basis with the 4th generation around to help when things get busy!

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What they provide:

For the last several years now, the Pearson's have been growing many varieties of orange and specialty pumpkins, other fall decor crops such as broom corn and sorghum and their very delicious homegrown popcorn.

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They have a new and unique corn maze each year, hand cut in the field behind the farm.

During the months of September and October they are open for customers to browse through the "Barn Boutique". A quaint space filled with all of the things they have grown during the year as well as a wonderful variety of vintage decor and antiques.

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Why they do it:

It is the Pearson's passion to offer a wonderful fall family experience where every family can afford to participate!

They have an excellent quality corn maze, hay rides & beautiful pumpkins. There are real tractors and farm equipment to be explored (by well supervised children and the adults they bring with them).


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Why they've partnered with the Elk River Area Food Co-op:

Community needs the community! The Pearson's feel it is important for the health of individuals and the community itself to be continually involved with those closest to them. They seek to support their neighborhood businesses by shopping locally whenever possible and through crafting their business to best meet the needs of the community.

Learn More & Place Your Order

Business Facebook:
Business Website:
Business Address: Pearson Family Farm - 8846 Highway 10 NW, Ramsey

Yard Sign Sign-Up - Businesses & High Traffic Areas

Thank you for your interest in helping grow awareness of the Elk River Area Food Co-op.
Please provide the requested information so we can drop off your yard sign!

Name *
Contact Phone Number (Just incase we have questions or problems finding the location)
Contact Phone Number (Just incase we have questions or problems finding the location)

Partner of the Week: HOME SWEET HONEY


Business Name: Home Sweet Honey
Type of Business: Local Family Farm
Location: 23114 Variolite St. NW, Elk River
Products: Local raw honey, spun honey (flavored), pasture-raised meats, baked goods & preserves, lightening in a bottle sauce

Elk River Area Food Co-op Member Benefit: 5% off raw, local honey orders AND delicious varieties of SPUN HONEY.

How can we order??

  • Farmers Market: Nowthen Farmers Market [Thursdays June 21-September 20, 3-7 p.m.]
  • FREE Local Delivery: to the greater Elk River Area
  • Farm Pick-up: Contact Jade and place your order for pick up at the farm (23114 Variolite St. NW, Elk River)
  • Connect: through phone calls, text or e-mail


About the farm:
In 2011, Home Sweet Honey LLC. began beekeeping and has never looked back since. In 2013 they moved to their 15-acre farm located on the western edge of the city of St. Francis (Elk River Address), settled on the edge of wooded glacial end-moraine hills. Home Sweet Honey's apiary is located on their very own Honey Hill; from there, the honey bees forage up to 2 miles from home!

Beyond honeybees, their farm seasonally includes pigs, lambs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and the beginnings of an apple orchard and large garden. Home Sweet Honey enjoys farming and loves the lifestyle. 

Home Sweet Honey Philosophy:

Home Sweet Honey believes in natural agricultural practices. They do not spray their gardens or orchards with pesticides, and do not provide any hormones to their bees. Using only organic treatments on a colony-by-colony basis, according to need, they leave their honey in it's natural and raw state.


Their animals are fed a natural diet, free from growth hormones and non-essential antibiotics.  Home Sweet Honey believes in giving their animals space--space to roam and space to engage in their natural behaviors.  Because their animals have a good diet, fresh air, and socialization, they are VERY healthy. Home Sweet Honey believes in treating animals ethically--happy animals produce healthy foods. An open door policy,  at any time customers are welcome to come out and see what we have going on. Their food speaks for itself!


Partnering with the Elk River Area Food Co-op:
Home Sweet Honey became a partner with the Elk River Area Food Co-op in 2017 and is happy to provide 5% off raw, local honey to the Elk River Area and surrounding communities. Try out their delicious SPUN honey, a wide variety of flavored honey tastes. 

Learn More & Place Your Order

Business Facebook:
Business Website:
Business Address: 23114 Variolite St. NW, Elk River

Partner of the Week: IRON SHOE FARM

Elk River Area Food Co-op Partner of the Week - Iron Shoe

Business Name: Iron Shoe Farm
Type of Business: Local Family Farm
Products: Microgreens, hydroponic vegetables, pasture raised beef/chicken/pork, fresh farm eggs, free ranged Muscovy duck

Elk River Area Food Co-op Member Benefit: 5-10% off all microgreens, hydroponic vegetables, pasture raised beef, chicken and pork.

How can we order??

  • Farmers Market: To receive your discount show your membership card to Carla at the Elk River Farmers Market, Big Lake Farmers Market or Princeton Farmers Market
  • Farm Pick-up: Contact Carla and place your order for pick up by appointment at the farm (located in Princeton)
  • Connect: through Facebook, Email or Phone for questions or to place your order.


About the farm:
Iron Shoe was established in 2013 with 3 head of cattle, 150 chickens and 2 hogs. In just a few short years they have seen immense growth at the local and regional level. Since their humble beginnings, they have grown to supply 6 local restaurants (Featuring: Tipsy Chicken, Rockwoods Bar & Grill and Main Street Farmer), 4 food co-op's (Good Earth Food Co-op, Harvest Moon, City Center Market and our very own Elk River Area Food Co-op) and 3 farmers markets (Elk River, Big Lake, Princeton) while also servicing 700 families in the Elk River Area.


Iron Shoe now supplies up to 15 head of cattle per year, 2,500 chickens, 6,000 eggs and 20 hogs to the local area! In 2017 they expanded by adding a microgreen operation (If you haven't tried the tiny, nutrient packed plants, you've got to start). Since then they have increased business from 3 trays a week to nearly 30 trays of microgreens for co-ops, farmers markets and restaurants. 


About the family:
Iron Shoe is a small family farm comprised of Dave, Carla and their teenage daughter. Both Dave and Carla work full time off the farm. Dave is an engineer at Sportech by day and Carla an interior designer. Farming is their hobby and passion, with a mission to bring healthy raised whole, natural and sustainably products to the Elk River Area. They believe it is important to know where our food is sourced and are happy to provide the best quality and service to their customers. 

In the small bit of spare time they have, the Mertzes enjoy taking time away to go to the family cabin, fish & hunt and travel to watch their daughter competitively figure skate. Carla is very involved in the community and gleans her energy through connecting with others and providing healthy products to her neighbors and friends.


Partnering with the Elk River Area Food Co-op:
Iron Shoe believes in the co-op's mission and are deeply affected by our efforts, partnering and providing our members with discounts since 2016. Working with the Elk River Area Food Co-op helps their small farm stay sustainable and raises awareness of the impact of "keeping it local". By partnering with the Elk River Area Food Co-op, they are able to support the communities within a 30 mile radius of their farm. When shopping with local farmers, like Iron Shoe, you are supporting real families who put their heart, sweat and tears into bringing the most cared for products to your dinner table. Waking up before the sun and feeding animals after a full day of work is not an easy task. This community wouldn't be the same without these hardworking farmers who give their all!

Learn More & Place Your Order

Business Facebook:
Business Website:
Business Address: Iron Shoe Farm - 31548 136th St. NW, Princeton, MN 55371

Partner Bios

Thank you for being a partner with the Elk River Area Food Co-op. This summer we are going to be presenting a partner bio a week.

Please provide as much or little information as you wish.
The more you share, the more likely people are to shop with you. We want to put a face to the business and products!

After completing this, feel free to e-mail us pictures of your farm, family, etc. (E-MAIL: 

This information will be transformed into a blog post and will be shared on our social media and website with links to your business page.

Partner Bios

Contact Name *
Contact Name
Business Phone Number
Business Phone Number
Business Address
Business Address

Get Us In Front Of Your Group

Help us spread the Elk River Area Food Co-op Word

Get us in front of your group! We would love to come give a short presentation to any group, club or congregation you are a member of in the Elk River Area. [Including but not limited to: Otsego, Zimmerman, Big Lake, Ramsey, Anoka, or Rogers]

Lunch & Learns, Walk & Talks - whatever you want to call it. We want to come speak to your network of friends, coworkers and family members to build awareness on our co-op efforts! It doesn't have to be fancy, any group of any size at any venue is a possibility. This includes your home, office, church, favorite soccer field or coffee shop. There is no limits to the opportunities available. Our presentation is short and concise without skimping on the details. We'll give you the information you need while providing space and time for any questions you may have. Conversation is the most effective way of building our membership base thus getting our store opened sooner, rather than later!

Fill out the form below and we will contact you to set up a meeting day.

Name *
Phone *
Date you'd like to have the meeting
Date you'd like to have the meeting

Become a Partner

Becoming an Elk River Area Food Co-op Partner is simple and convenient.

By becoming a partner you are supporting the co-op vision and in turn helping us grow and achieve our goals. Become a member, decide what discounts you will provide the Elk River Area Food Co-op members, and actively promote the co-op efforts. In doing so, you gain free exposure through our website and an added costumer base. It’s a beautiful thing when small business’s support each other, unlock a whole new world of collaboration and become a partner today!


  • The Elk River Area Food Co-op will help promote your business on our Facebook, Website and in our Newsletter by providing information on discounts, member-only deals and industries best practices.
  • You are helping a grass roots effort to provide healthy, local, sustainably raised goods in YOUR community.
  • You will be added to our Co-op Partnership Book that is displayed out our events and classes, providing our community with your contact and business information.


Name *
Phone *
What will you offer our members? 20% off case orders, free consultation, etc.
Please provide a brief description of your business, practice, vision and principles. What sets you apart?
How would you like consumers to contact you? E-mail, phone, in person, etc.
If you have any further questions or details you'd like to provide, please do so here.


STEP ONE: Become a member

  • In order to become a partner you must first become a member of the Elk River Area Food Co-op. As a member you become an owner in our community-supported business and are an integral asset in moving the co-op forward. A one-time investment of $100 will get you a handful of benefits. No annual fees or hidden costs, transparency is one of our values.
  • You can sign up online or mail in a membership form. The application takes less than 5 minutes with benefits available immediately!

STEP TWO: Decide what you will offer

  • The Elk River Area Food Co-op prides itself on supporting local! What do you have to offer? We want to help you grow your business as you help us grow ours. Decide what discount you will provide to our Food Co-op Member-Owners and we will add you to our growing list of community partnerships! That means free promotion and a whole new customer base.

STEP THREE: Spread the word

  • Proudly spread the co-op word. Let your customers know you have teamed up with the local co-op and tell them why! Share our posts, forward our newsletter, display our 'Proud Partnership Table Tent' at your check out counter. Word of mouth is the strongest form of promotion and it’s free, so talk about our efforts as often as you can. This not only helps the co-op gain visibility in the community but it allows you to promote your business and discounts.




Host a House Party


The Elk River Area Food Co-op understands the power of gathering people together. We believe that bringing people to the table to discuss an important issue, in a comfortable environment, is a great way to grow sustainable and durable support for the Elk River Area Food Co-op.


  1. Contact us at and pick a date and location to hold your party
  2. Download the House Party Planning Guide  and begin inviting your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers
  3. Decide on some light snacks and beverages
  4. Once the day comes, a Co-op House Party Expert will set up a small table with information and answer any questions your guests may have.
  5. Celebrate your community and all the new connections being made!


Hosting a house party is a great opportunity to bring your network of like-minded individuals together to answer questions about the co-op. The best part is you’re not in it alone – a trained volunteer will help you every step of the way. From planning and preparation, to the final celebration you will have support and guidance in order to host an informative, motivating, fun party.

Once you decide you want to host a house party, download the House Party Planning Guide  and contact us at From there we will help you plan the details. Your job is to invite as many friends, family members, co-workers, and anyone else who will benefit from this amazing cause. Decide on a few snacks and beverages to have available, pick a date and let your trained Co-op House Party Expert do the heavy lifting. It doesn’t have to be fancy, we’re all about practicality. In the garage, at the kitchen table, or sitting in the living room – we don’t care where the parties at, we just want to bring people together!

House Parties have been extremely helpful in the growth of the Elk River Area Food Co-op and we look to our members to continue to promote our efforts and get the word out. Check your calendar and set your Elk River Area Food Co-op House Party date today!


Community Benefits

Watch this short ERtv Interview between the Elk River Area Food Co-op and our partners at Walker Farms in Princeton. We discuss the impact the co-op will have on local agriculture, individual consumers and the community as a whole. 

If you believe in our message, don't hesitate to join. The more members we gain, the sooner we open our doors!

Not only do our members benefit from the development of a co-op, but the community at large can reap the rewards of a locally owned and operated grocery store.

The Elk River Area Food Co-op is guided by a strong set of principles. Our vision is rooted in ethical business practices, building a cohesive community, increasing health education and awareness and obtaining fairly priced, high-quality foods. 


Co-op's are dedicated to sourcing there food as close to home as possible. What that means is there is less environmental damage due to transportation costs. This also allows seasonality to be more accessible as local farmers are growing what is available with the current forecasts.  


Co-op's are committed to working with neighborhood farmers in order to close the supplier/consumer gap and build a transparent relationship for all involved. That means you can trust the products and techniques used by the producers of the co-op. 

Social Equality:

Co-op's believe in providing fair wages to those that work for them; employees, producers, etc. What the translates to is fair prices for our costumers. Also, co-op's are democratically owned, meaning as a member you have a voice and vote on business decisions as they arise.

Building the Local Economy:

The money you spend stays close to home, your one-time membership fee fosters community growth. Plus, with local farmers as our main priority, you are supporting neighborhood friends instead of private investors.

Health Education & Awareness:

We believe healthy communities are happy communities. One of our leading principles is Health Education & Awareness, in which we provide resources, community classes, and guidance so you can feel supported in your wellness journey.
Community Connections:

Our vision is to connect our community in a time of disconnect. We want to provide the space and opportunity for like-minded people to come together in order to provide a brighter future for generations to come.

Elk River Area Food Co-op is a cooperative movement to bring the power back to the individual. What more could you ask for?

Board of Directors Application


The Elk River Area Food Co-op is governed by the Board of Directors who is elected by our owners. The Board’s role is to represent our members, to create and implement a vision for the co-op and develop policies that guide movement toward that vision. This is a “working” board. Directors are expected to assist with various tasks and/or needs, volunteer for at least two events throughout the year and attend monthly board meetings. Board directorship is an excellent way to participate in a dynamic and effective process that helps to support a successful cooperative venture.

Application Instructions

Once you have reviewed the attached documents [Board Member Expectations & Benefits of Board Service ], please complete the questions on this application in as much detail as possible. All interested persons are encouraged to apply.

Name *
Phone Number *
Phone Number
Address *
(Example: Are you good with Accounting? Business Planning? Communication? Teamwork and leadership? What is your background?)
Please honestly indicate how much time you can put into the Elk River Area Food Co-op *
It takes a lot of work to bring a community together. We are looking for individuals who not only have the passion, but the time and expertise, to promote the co-op efforts. Please honestly indicate which time range fits your schedule. All responsibilities are mere examples, roles will be co-developed with board and applicant approval. Please choose one time frame that best fits your schedule.
If you have additional comments, concerns or questions, please provide them here.



Creating a co-op takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
The Elk River Area Food Co-op is growing
and we need volunteers to support our development. 
We are always looking for extra hands to help make the co-op a reality.

Name *
I.e. one hour per week, two hours per month, one event per quarter, etc.
What Area Are You Most Interested In Helping With?
How would you like to help? *
Choose as many options as you'd like.

Our Vision


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The Elk River Area Food Co-op is a member-owner organization dedicated to providing access to high quality, local, natural and organic food at a fair price, supporting local farmers, and contributing economically to the community.


Co-op’s put people in front of profit. That means we rely heavily on ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsiblity, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. The Elk River Area Food Co-op is dedicated to providing it’s community with safe, ethically-treated, sustainable, healthy, trustworthy products by working closely with our suppliers!


Our Principles


Co-op's are different, and we're proud of it. We follow seven principles that help us stand out of a crowd. Cooperation isn't a fad, it's a lifestyle.
Learn them, love them, live them.






















Anyone is welcome to join the co-op! Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, with open membership enrollment free of gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. With a one-time investment you unlock a lifetime of benefits while also supporting your local community and healthy food systems.

Our members are our owners. They vote who becomes a part of our Board of Directors and help decide other policies and business decisions as they arise. The Elk River Area Food Co-op has equal voting rights meaning one member, one vote.

Members contribute equitably to the capital of their co-op. Members are what make the co-op possible, it is their investment and commitment that provide the business with buying power. When the ERA Food Co-op becomes profitable, it’s members get to decide whether they reinvest in the co-op or take their dividends home.

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members.


Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

Co-op Principle Six is Cooperation Among Cooperatives. Cooperatives serve their Owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures. You are more successful when you cooperate with others who know how to cooperate.

Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members-putting people in front of profit!

[Image from: Willy Street Cooperative]

Our Story



Two local woman were tired of running around from store-to-store to purchase healthy, organic and local foods. They began researching co-op’s and through a marketing feasibility study found that a food co-op is exactly what the Elk River Area is looking for.



Though we are still in the start up stages [with no physical location], we are dedicated to creating a space where the community can come together and fill their carts with trustworthy, reliable, safe, ethically treated, sustainably-just products. Since that first conversation in 2013, the Elk River Area Food Co-op has incorporated and grown to over 260 member-owners with a seven person Board of Directors. We’ve been in the newspaper, learning at the conferences and holding education classes. Though we don’t have a brick and mortar at the moment, we do provide our members with amazing benefits. With 14 local partnerships (and growing) you can get discounts on fresh greens, affordable meats, home delivered eggs, hand-made soaps, fitness motivation and so much more! As a member you also receive discounts on all of our community classes.



As the co-op grows, so does our community.
The money you spend stays in your economy and strengthens our neighborhoods. The only way we are going to open our doors is by building a strong membership foundation. Building a strong membership base proves to us, and our potential lenders, that the community values the co-op vision.


 How do you become a member? All it takes is a one time investment of $100.00. Yes, one-hundred flat. There is no annual fees or hidden costs, we believe in transparency. Once you join you unlock a whole new world of local benefits; both on an individual and communal level. To learn more check out our membership page.

Can’t financially support the co-op? No problem. Sign up to volunteer and get involved. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with co-op events and classes! We are growing our co-op family and welcome anyone who is interested in healthy, sustainable living practices.