Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

October 7, 2012

Maple City Market operators want to grow in Goshen

GOSHEN — When Kum Ng looks around Maple City Market’s neat, brightly lit aisles, he sees a lot of products he’s proud to offer the market’s traditional customers. Now he wants to attract to the store Hispanics and younger customers who use social media to communicate their likes and dislikes.

“This is the market (direction) we need to go in,” Ng said last week.

Ng is the new general manager of the market, which is a co-op that was incorporated in 1981 to offer healthy, locally-grown food to Goshen-area residents. The store also offers a lot of gluten-free and vegan food items as well as personal hygiene items that don’t contain artificial dyes and fragrances.

Ng was hired in August and has been commuting to Goshen from Madison, Wis., where he had been working as a chef in a Chinese restaurant.

On Wednesday afternoon there was a small notebook on Ng’s desk in an office no bigger than a walk-in closet. Ng had been jotting down the demographics for the Goshen community. He said while the community is about 32,000 people, the market’s reach into the community has been limited and he wants to expand that. He gave the example of marketing to Goshen College students who want healthy food at an affordable price. He also said he wants to let local shoppers know Maple City Market has plenty of prepared meals, fresh meats, vegetables and dairy products that Americans purchase at big box markets.

“We have all these things here,” he said.

Sales growth

Bob Rademaker is a retired pastor. He is also the business development manager for the market. He said co-op membership is about 1,500 people and has been growing during the past three years.

“Our sales continue to rise. Every year our sales increase. So that is a good thing. Our deli is doing well. People who are in a hurry want to have a healthy lunch,” he said.

Other good news for the market is that the mortgage on the building at 314 S. Main St. is paid off. “ We are in a very good financial position,” Rademaker said.

Membership is open to everyone for $100. That fee can be paid in a lump sum or in $20 yearly installments over five years. Once paid, the membership is for life.

The market is open to the public without memberships every day. It’s just that non-members don’t get the special discounts provided to members.

Many of the products in the market are locally sourced. Beef comes from pasture-raised animals from farms in Goshen, Nappanee and Dowagiac, Mich. The beef is hormone and antibiotic free, according to market literature.

Poultry products come from chickens raised in free-range conditions on Goshen and Ligonier farms and are also chemical-free.

These are examples of products that Ng said will help local residents lead a healthy lifestyle.

He said the obesity epidemic and the prevalence of many preventable diseases in America are due in part to families having bad dietary habits and passing those habits on to the next generation.

“They put the wrong things in their body,” Ng said. “In the long run the body reacts.”

He said one of the challenges of running the market is informing potential customers about the health benefits of changing their lifestyles.

“It’s a process of educating people why they should eat things from us,” he said.

Some customers come to the market as they age and change their diets, Ng said. Others come in after they have suffered a health crisis. And some customers look ahead at their lives and want to avoid preventable disease and seek out healthy products at the market.

He likened shopping for healthy foods to putting money in the bank for the future. “It’s an investment in yourself,” Ng said.

More than food

Employee Rachel Beyeler-Jimenez was in the market’s center aisle, taking stock of the soaps, lotions, shampoos and other body-care and wellness products the market offers. Many of those products are certified organic. Some of them she has used on her own children.

“All my kids were sensitive (to additives),” she said.

One product she sends to school with her son is CleanWell hand sanitizer because it doesn’t contain alcohol, to which her son is sensitive.

Showing off some snacks for school lunches, Beyeler-Jimenez picked up a pack of rice cakes. She said they make great school snacks, especially when they are combined with jelly or peanut butter.

Picking up another package, she smiled and showed it contained seaweed. “My kids may be a little unorthodox,” she said. “But they like seaweed.”

Other products she showed didn’t contain synthetic dyes. Instead they were dyed with carrots or beets or some other organic product.

Do these products cost more than products sold at national outlets? Beyer-Jimenez said some do and some don’t.

The market’s body-care and snack products don’t cost any more, “If you are smart about it and watch for coupons and sales,” she said. “But that is what you would do at other stores anyway.”

And, customers who become members can obtain discounts that further offset the cost, she said.

Brooke Rothshank of Goshen had just pushed her sleeping baby son in a grocery cart around the market, under the pictures of local growers, past the fresh vegetables and frozen food section and around the outside aisles. Her other toddler son had tagged along. After paying, she stopped to explain why she shops at Maple City Market.

“We like to shop here because they have different options not available in other stores,” she said.

Wednesday’s trip was to pick up some flour and millet. The grains she uses in baking. The millet also makes a good hot cereal, she said.

For Ng, he sees the market’s customers, like Rothshank, as being informed on health issues and wanting to maintain their own good health.

“You are buying into a culture we have here,” he said.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • GN140801 Mackowiak new Millersburg marshal.jpg Retired Goshen police officer sworn in as new Millersburg town marshal

    Retired Goshen police officer Al Mackowiak was sworn in as Millersburg's new town marshal Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hunt_Jeffrey New Paris home invader sentenced to 120 years in prison

    Jeffery J. Hunt was sentenced to 120 years after being pleading guilty to a violent home invasion in New Paris.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results