“‘In 2016, approximately $230,000 of local produce, meat, supplements, tinctures, personal care items (salves, lip balm, facial toners), etc. were purchased from members of the local community,’ explained Whitworth. The co-op provides free educational classes to help promote healthy living and gives funds to locally run non-profit companies.”
Moonflower Community Cooperative: Moab's natural food store - May 2018, Moab Stories
“Part of the co-op’s mission is to cultivate health and wellness within our community and to provide educational opportunities for our community,” said Moonflower events coordinator Stephanie Hamborsky. The co-op typically offers two or three classes per month that are in line with their mission and reach out to the community.
Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, has come a long way from the years it spent in a building made of old ammo boxes in the early 80’s. Back then it was called Life Stream, but was referred to locally as “The health food store.” The store and co-op originally opened in 1975 and was organized by longtime resident Conrad Sorensen. For years it was run on a volunteer workforce of less than 100 people. Moonflower’s current manager, Derek Whitworth, says the co-op feels privileged to still be under the “benevolent tutelage” of Sorensen’s legacy and his original intent to provide socially responsible goods and education.
Legend has it, that before there was Moonflower Community Cooperative, there was a small bulk-goods distributor called Life Line, and German immigrant Gerda Stoltz’ miniature veggie and bean pies. Baked from scratch with ingredients trucked weekly from Salt Lake City, the pies made loyal customers of everyone from river guides to miners, and often sold out within a few hours. Imbued with such nourishing grit and determination, the tiny bakery and bulk goods distributor has grown, and now stands as a thriving cooperative with more than 700 members.
Moonflower implemented 5% Days to support local organizations that help further our mission of providing socially responsible foods, goods and education in promotion of a healthy, sustainable community. Each year, 12 local organizations are selected to which we donate 5% of sales from a single day of business. The dollar amount is donated in cash to the organization.
There are plenty of hippies in Salt Lake City. Of course, there’s plenty of pretty much everything in Salt Lake, since it’s the most diverse place in this predominantly Mormon state. But for the hippie lifestyle nowhere tops Moab, a green town nestled between red rocks and the jumping-off point for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. The town draws hippies who go out and do whatever it is hippies do in a desert full of other-worldly formations. Moab’s also home to scores of organic restaurants and grocery stores. The most notable among them: the Moonflower Community Cooperative, a natural-foods co-op that’s been in business for over 40 years and was among the first of its kind in Utah.
Best Hippie Town in Every State in the United States of America - August 2016, Thrillist Travel
Moonflower Cooperative has hosted workshops taught by local practitioners for years, and this year, the market has been successful at publicizing local practitioners through the market’s widely-distributed Practitioner Guide, developed by Moonflower Community Events Coordinator Cactus Moloney. New to her role since last fall, Moloney said that even hosting two classes every month, she feels she’s just beginning to learn about the scope of practice covered by Moab’s skilled naturalists.
“We have such a talented community,” she said. “The Practitioner Guide gave me a good idea on how many directions natural practitioners are taking here. We have an abundant number of people here with such a variety of skills, I haven’t even tapped into all the resources.”