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Alfalfa’s Market pie contest brings out local flavor

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How one local natural foods market builds community and goodwill, one tasty slice at a time.

I spoke with Bea Steiner, Alfalfa’s marketing director, about the impetus for the pie contest. “John Lehndorff is really passionate about pie, and I was also talking to Lynne about ways that Edible Front Range could be more involved with Alfalfa’s,” she said. “After that, it all fell into place, and we simply promoted it through the store and online; people could either sign up online or at guest services.”

Motivating entries was easy. In addition to the gift cards, winners will be published in Edible Front Range magazine—and everyone who entered got a 10 percent discount coupon at Alfalfa’s, a boon for both the shoppers and the store. Sweet!

Alfalfa’s is no stranger to community-building events. “We do a lot of larger events at our store, such as a pancake breakfast fundraiser for Community Food Share and an Organic Day that includes baby cows from Aurora Organic Dairy and a panel discussion about what organic means,” said Steiner. “We try to do events where people will be involved and engaged in some way, and that even if they don’t attend there’s still a good residual energy that people feel.”

Cooking, obviously, is a sweet spot for Alfalfa’s events. “I like the idea of people finding old recipes, new recipes, and experimenting in the kitchen,” she said. “That’s what we’re all about here: people enjoying cooking, having fresh food and meals, and exploring what they enjoy about cooking. That was my main motivation. It’s so neat to see all those people come in with their pies; everyone was kind of proud about their particular pie, so it created a neat energy.”

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