International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019

We work with many woman-owned and woman-friendly businesses at the Co-op! This International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight some of our local women-owned or led businesses. Please join us in supporting them!

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is Balance for Better. Balance drives a better working world. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Use the hashtags #Balanceforbetter and #IWD2019 for sharing your International Women’s Day stories on social media.

Here are a few national women-led food businesses to support! 

We apologize for those local women-owned or led businesses we missed! There are quite a few! 

Event in Ames

Ames Public Library
Friday, March 8,  6:30-8:30pm

Join as we celebrate the empowerment of women across our community. The Ames High Step Team will kick off the evening with a lively performance. Then Dr. Karen Kedrowski, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, will facilitate a panel discussion on increasing representation of women in politics. Come hear how women can support women!

Panelists will include:
Niki Conrad, 4th District County Supervisor
Monic Behnken, Ames School Board Member
Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen, Ames City Council
Kelly Winfrey, Assistant Professor at ISU whose research focuses on political campaign communication and gender

LonnaCards + Onion Creek Seedlings

Ames, Iowa
Cute and whimsical LonnaCards have been featured at the Co-op for many, many, many years. Lonna hand makes every card with illustrations inspired by life on the farm. Look for Onion Creek heirloom tomato, pepper and herb seedlings in the spring at the Co-op. Lonna plants and cares for them in her greenhouses before they arrive at the Co-op.


Dallas Center, Iowa
Sarah Underberg and her husband Eric started making fermented foods to address health problems like joint pain. Today they make raw sauerkrauts, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha – on tap at your Co-op! “We’re changing lives one gut at a time,” Sarah says.


Olympia, Washington – working with producers in West Africa
Every Alaffia purchase empowers mothers and West African communities. They’re committed to fostering gender equality, and measure their success not simply by profit, but by empowerment. That’s not lip service – their empowerment projects include maternal health services, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) eradication, eyeglass donation, education projects, and reforestation. Since 2003 they’ve opened 10 schools, planted 57,575 trees, provided school supplies to 32,842 children, and maternal healthcare to 4,432 women

Zaza’s Pastas

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Julie Parisi handcrafts her flavorful pastas (delicious simply with butter or good olive oil) in small batches, cutting her ravioli by hand. “I started making pasta when I was young next to my grandmother – we made pasta every Sunday for our family.” You won’t find pasta made with better ingredients, including local, organic flour from Early Morning Harvest, grown and milled here in Iowa, giving even her dried pastas the flavor and texture of fresh pasta.

CADO Ice Cream

Fairfield, Iowa
Deb Dowd is passionate about good health. She and her family created Shaktea Kombucha before moving onto their next (and very successful food adventure) CADO Ice Cream. The brand is really making a name for itself nationwide – winning accolades on many blogs’ and magazines’ “top 10” dairy-free ice cream lists. Their avocado base provides a rich, creamy canvas for classic ice cream favorites like mint chocolate chip, dark chocolate & lemon sorbet. Enjoy a whole avocado in every pint!


Nevada, Iowa
Jennifer Knox, a poet, a cook, and a “devoted friend to parrots everywhere” makes unique herb and spice blends with her husband Collin. What started as holiday gifts in 2011 have gradually taken over their lives. They grow some of the herbs and spices and dehydrate them and also source ingredients in bulk, but all are grown in America and are preservative free.

Siberian Soap Company

Ames, Iowa
Ann Staudt is the founder, chief soap formulator, kitchen chemist, graphic designer, sales manager, packaging extraordinaire, and overall operations manager behind Siberian Soap Co.  She holds degrees in both chemical and environmental engineering. Soapmaking provides a wonderfully creative outlet that combines her interests in science, art, and living a simple, eco-friendly lifestyle.

Maytag Dairy Farm

Newton, Iowa
Myrna Ver Ploeg joined Maytag in 2003 and is currently the CEO of this premier cheese making company. She herself grew up on a dairy farm in Marshall County. Myrna says the business has always operated under three basic principles: be good stewards of whatever resources they are given, be independent thinkers and follow their hearts.

Deb Zisko Cards

Boone, Iowa
Deborah spends her precious spare time creating watercolor collages of the much loved Iowa landscape. A self-taught watercolor painter, she often works on smaller size paintings. The intimacy of space affords her the opportunity to explore layers of color.

Iowa Choice Harvest

Marshalltown, Iowa
Penny Brown Huber, CEO, leads Iowa Choice Harvest in connecting customers to earth-conscious Iowa farmers who grow high-quality fruits and vegetables. Iowa Choice Harvest acts as a food hub for Iowa based farmers to wholesale their sweet corn, apple and sweet potato harvest. The company then flash freezes the product and sells the product under one brand.

Iowa Choice Harvest is currently being forced to move due to the tornado that devastated Marshalltown last summer. Visit their crowd-funding campaign to support this local business.