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1620 Fort Riley Blvd, Suite 101
Manhattan, KS 66502


People's Grocery Cooperative Exchange is a member-owned food store in Manhattan, Kansas specializing in local, organic, natural and allergen-free food options. Our knowledgable and caring staff is dedicated to a sustainable lifestyle, especially as we continue to grow. We offer a wide variety of bulk products, organic and local produce and meats, an extensive supplement and herb selection, a natural grocery department with a focus on small and sustainable companies and deli where everything is homemade. Stop by and grab the most sustainable sandwich and town and check out our selection. You will not be disappointed! 


The People's Grocery Blog

Get the latest scoop on any news and events happening at People's Grocery!


People's Grocery

Herb Support for Respiratory System and Body in Prairie Burn Season. 

Topeka herbalist Joanne Bauman* has provided us the following information about how to use herbs to treat the short and long term irritating and allergic effects of smoke from Kansas prairie burning. 

Driving through the Flint Hills to Manhattan , the smoke from Spring prairie burns is thick and lingering. The foggy haze engulfs Kansas this time of year. Our respiratory systems become assaulted with this noxious stimulant and can trigger allergic type reactions, irritation and damage to sensitive mucosa. Coughing, bronchial spasms, scratchy throat, sinus irritation, sneezing or runny nose, headaches, stinging and burning eyes, are just some of the symptoms of short-term or long-term smoke exposure. Long-term inflammation can lead to secondary health issues (e.g., immune system) as well. People who have asthma, COPD pulmonary obstructive disease, emphysema, heart disease, or even seasonal allergies will be extra susceptible.

When the body is under stress or environmental assault, it is important to nourish your body with good nutrition, high quality whole foods such as bone broth and fermented foods. Get adequate rest and push fluids (drink water!!).  Nourishing  herbal daily infusions, such as Mullein leaf, Nettle leaf, Oatstraw or Linden are an excellent source of absorbable vitamins and minerals, combat fatigue, ease nerves, and support numerous bodily systems (respiratory, adrenal, immune, cardio-vascular, endocrine, etc).

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).  Mullein Leaves are an excellent tonic for the entire respiratory system. To soothe and relieve  hacky or wheezing cough, throat irritation and lung problems try drinking 2-3 cups of Mullein Leaf infusion daily. As an expectorant, Mullein aids the lungs in expelling mucous and phlegm. To strengthen the lungs, or to restore health to lung tissues after "assaults" such as tobacco smoke or radiation: 1-2 cups of mullein infusion daily for six weeks is suggested. To relieve allergies and asthma, 2-4 cups of Mullein infusion every day for 6-8 weeks is helpful. Mullein Leaves are fuzzy, so either use a muslin bag for making your infusions, or strain through tightly-woven cloth (cheesecloth or even a coffee filter) before drinking. Drink warm or cool according to preference. In addition, a compress made from plant strained from the infusion, can be applied to the chest to ease congestion. A warm poultice of leaf can be applied to swollen glands.  (Peoples’ carries cut and sifted Mullein Leaf.)

Lemon Balm, (Melissa officinalis).  Fresh Lemon Balm is much better than dry, for it loses its fragrance in drying.  Drink Lemon Balm as a tea, use in tincture form, or infused honey, or as a bath tea.  Lemon Balm is mood boosting, uplifting, calming and nourishing to the nerves. For headaches, Lemon Balm tea or a handful in some white wine, helps ease the pain. Other herbal nervines like Skullcap tincture in low doses can sometimes relieve headaches. Lemon Balm assists energetically in healing from the effects of smoke/smoking, so try rubbing Lemon Balm infused oil on your chest.  (Available at People’s Grocery dried and just emerging, fresh from our herb garden.  It makes a delicate and delicious tea by itself or combined with other herbs like Oatstraw or Nettle with a bit of honey.)

Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis).   Malvas /mallows are cooling, soothing demulcents--relieving inflammation or irritation to lungs, dry tissue, mucous membrane. You can use the dried root, leaves and flowers in infusions and the powdered root in honey pastes/balls to help moisten the lungs and soothe dry tissues. To make a mallow root cold infusion , simply fill a jar 1/4 of the way with dried marshmallow root. Then fill the jar with lukewarm water and cover with a lid.  Let sit for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. The water should change color to a soft yellow.  Strain off the roots.  The resulting liquid should be thick and viscous.  Marshmallow can boost the immune system, soothe an inflamed sore throat and moisten the lungs in cases of dry hot conditions, such as hot coughs with little to no expectoration.  (People’s carries cut and sifted Marshmallow Root.)

Elms.  Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra), and allied elm species (Red Elm ,Siberian Elm, Ulmus pumila).  The bark of Elms is mucilaginous and gooey when steeped in water.  Powdered Slippery Elm Bark can be stirred into water or a drink.   It is mild and sweet tasting and wonderful as a daily nourishing infusion during fire season .   (People’s carries Slippery Elm Bark powder.)

* Joanne will also be teaching a class, “Common Healing Yard Weeds: Their Nutritional and Medicinal Values,” on April 15th, 1-3 PM, at the UFM (University for Man) House Solar Annex, 1221 Thurston St., Manhattan, KS.  Sign up online at or call 785-539-8763.  To see a list of other classes Joanne teaches or to get directions for making an infusion, visit Joanne’s website, Prairie Magic Herbals,    You can contact Joanne at

People's Grocery CoOp Cooking Classes

People's Grocery

With our final cooking class of 2014 approaching, we would love to extend our thanks to you owners and shoppers! Your participation in these events have been so wonderful! Hopefully, these classes taught by our staff have inspired new recipes in your own kitchens.

We also want to thank the First United Methodist Church for kindly allowing us to use their kitchen as our classroom. Our cooking classes would not be nearly as successful without your wonderful facilities. 

For our December class, our Assistant Manager, Lynn, will be showing us how to make Kitchari, a rice and lentil dish that is warm, healthful and delicious. 

Come learn a new recipe and give it a try! Thanks for making our 2014 cooking class series a success! We look forward to sharing more with you when we start our 2015 series in February! (Sorry, but we will not be having a class in January.) Stay tuned for more info!

October is Non-GMO Month!

People's Grocery

GMOs are a hot topic these days and in October, we're celebrating companies that are part of the Non-GMO Project! 

People are always talking about GMO! What exactly is it? Why is it bad?  

GMO means "Genetically Modified Organisms." These are plants and animals that have gene-slicing techniques. Sometimes it is also called Genetic Engineering (GE). These strains of organisms are ones that could not occur through natural cross-breeding or pollination and the long term effects of GMOs are not yet known. 

The Non-GMO Verified Seal

The Non-GMO Verified Seal

What does the Non-GMO verified seal mean?

According to the Non-GMO Verified Project's website, the seal means that: 

  • We require ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.
  • We use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled). Absence of all GMOs is the target for all Non-GMO Project Standard compliant products. Continuous improvement practices toward achieving this goal must be part of the Participant’s quality management systems.
  • After the test, we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product.
  • For low-risk ingredients, we conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk.
  • Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products.

Is a Non-GMO seal the only way to tell if a product is free of GMOs?

No! If a product is Certified Organic, it is already a Non-GMO product. (GMO free is a requirement for Organic Certification!)

How long has Non-GMO verified been around?

The Non-GMO project was founded in Berkley at the Natural Grocery Co. In 2003, after a concern of Genetically Modified Soy Lecithin at their store, they rallied 161 other stores and co-ops together to form a letter writing campaign to discover what the GMO status was for the products in their stores.  In 2005, these stores teamed up to form the Non-GMO Project and created a standardized meaning for Non-GMO for the North American food Industry. 

What are the most common GMO crops? 

Alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, summer squash and zucchini. 


Does People's Grocery sell Non-GMO Project Verified products?

Yes, and we are always adding them. During the past year, more and more products have gone through the Non-GMO Project certification process and so we are adding more and more products all the time, both new and old! 

October is Fair Trade Month!

People's Grocery

Over the last few years, Fair Trade has become a more common term. Fair Trade coffee and chocolate have become more important to many consumers and we hear this word all the time. But what does Fair Trade really mean? How does it work?

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a certification process that assures that the workers in developing countries that grew your coffee beans, cocoa, sugar cane or many more products were paid, well, fairly. In order to certify, the farmer must use sustainable practices. Fair Trade is a Nonprofit program, but is not a charity, meaning that rather than making communities reliant on donations and drops, they are helping them build businesses, improve their local economy and learn how to sell their product in a free market for a price they deserve.

I still don't get it...

Sometimes understanding how businesses work can be tricky. This great video from Fair Trade USA does a great job of explaining how your choices at the grocery store take the dollars you spent and turn them into solutions for communities in developing countries!

Ok, so I know the positives. What are the negatives to Fair Trade Certification? 

Unfortunately, everything has a downside and the issue with Fair Trade is the very thing that also makes is good: the certification process. While the process of certifying makes sure that workers are making sure they are fairly paid, using sustainable methods and that their are improvements to the community, which is great, the process can be expensive. Some organizations cost less than others. If you are interested in learning more, this article does a great job of explaining. 

Wait... Is Fair Trade the same as Free Trade? 

Not at all! Free trade means that the person that sold their goods was able to do so without taxation from the government or tariffs. While in theory this sounds great, free trade also believes in leveling the playing field on an international level. So say you have sugar grown in Africa and Central American and this year Africa had a great year for sugar so it was pretty cheap, if Central America had a bad year and experiences a lot of crop loss and needed to sell their product at a higher price, because of the level playing field aspect of free trade, they would not be able to and would have to sell it for the same low price as the farmers in Africa. This pattern can worsen poverty in some places even more. does a great job of explaining the difference between Fair Trade and Free Trade. 

How do I know if something is Fair Trade?

In a store, the best way to check is the label! If it has one of these logos, it means it has been officially Fair Trade Certified:

Sometimes on handicrafts or other products from smaller companies that do not want to/cannot pay the certification fee, telling if a product is certified is much harder. In these cases, you can do one of 2 things: 

  1. Contact the company. If they are truly a Fair Trade company, chances are high that they will be more than willing to share information and proof of their practices. It is a source of price for all fair trade businesses!
  2. For coffee, check out! Find the coffee that you're drinking and it will take you to the exact lot where is was grown and will tell you if it has indeed been certified! (Isn't the internet amazing?!)
Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Does People's Grocery Cooperative sell Fair Trade products? 

We sure do! From coffee and sugar to jewelry and shampoo, we have a great selection of fair trade certified products! Keep an eye to our blog this month, to learn about our favorite Fair Trade Companies and products!

October Events

People's Grocery

Other than just classes, October is an important month for People's Grocery! All month long we will be celebrating Non-GMO month and Fair Trade month!

We'll be commemorating them by kicking off the month with an Owner sale from October 2nd-4th! All owners will receive 10% off every visit. If you're non currently an owner, now would be a great time to become one!


Monthly Cooking Class: Warming Fall Soups

Thursday, October 9th

6:00-7:30 pm, First United Methodist Church Kitchen

Taught by our own Dolly Gudder (She makes a lot of those soups you love so much!)


Fall Fertility Series Class 1: Increasing your Fertility

Saturday, October 4th

2:00-3:30 pm, Heartspace Yoga Studio

Taught by Shannon Ryan. Learn more about our fertility series here. 


Fall Cleanse

11am- noon, Heartspace Yoga (321 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan, KS)

Taught by Anna Franklin


Fall Fertility Series Class 2: The Fertility Diet

2:00-3:30pm, Heartspace Yoga Studios

Taught by Aimee Phlegar, For more information on the series, click here.


Monthly Board Meeting

7:00-9:00pm, UFM Fireplace Room




Introducing Our Fall Fertility Series!

People's Grocery

We're so excited to introduce a new education series this fall on fertility. If you've been trying to get pregnant or would like to learn about how to have a more natural pregnancy or birth, we will be hosting three Saturday afternoon classes at Heartspace Yoga Studio on Poyntz with three local experts on various topics. 

Our first class, on October 11th, will be hosted by Acupuncturist and Herbalist, Shannon Ryan. 

If you are familiar with our seasonal health classes, you've probably seen Shannon before. She will focus on teaching us how Chinese Medicinal Herbs can be used to increase your fertility naturally discuss the prevalent of environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals that can cause an array of hormonal imbalances and disease.



Our second class, on October 25th, will be hosted by Holistic Nutritionist, Aimee Phlegar.

Nutrition is the basis of health, and it only makes sense that it's necessary to consume a nutrient rich, whole foods diet to provide precursors to healthy hormones and optimal fertility. A fertility diet is a way of eating that is supporting your body and it's reproductive efforts. It includes foods which are dense in specific nutrients needed for hormonal function, production and balance, fetal development, egg health and more.

Join Holistic Nutritionist, Aimee Phlegar, as she discusses which specific whole foods, micro-nutrients, and fertility superfoods are integral in giving you and your future child the best start in life.
You will also receive a FREE daily and weekly food checklist to help you get started just for attending!


Our final class, on November 1st, will be hosted by Doula, Rachel Andreson. 

Food is the most important factor in childbearing, and it is in your control! This class will focus on foods to support your body for optimal fertility, vibrant health for the motherbaby unit in all three trimesters of pregnancy and birth, and rebuilding your body in the postpartum. We will discuss expanding the blood volume, keeping up energy and minimize nausea, and maintaining healthy body ecology, as well as many other food-related ideas for typical pregnancy and childbirth complaints. 

She will cover common concerns such as blood sugar, nausea, minimizing UTIs, healthy hemoglobin/hematocrit levels, diet and postpartum. 

October Owner Sale!

People's Grocery

We're so excited to let you know about our fall owner sale! Come visit us any time from October 2nd through the 4th and receive 10% off your purchase!

If you've been thinking about becoming an owner, now would be a great time! Stop by the store to grab and application or print off your own and bring it in! 

Reintroducing Desert Sun Coffee!

People's Grocery

Image from Desert Sun's Google+

Image from Desert Sun's Google+

Last fall, we brought in Desert Sun Coffee, a product that was very popular with our staff. Now, to help kickstart you into the new school year, we're reintroducing Desert Sun Coffee by bringing in some new origins and blends at a great discount!


Desert Sun Coffee is a company based out of Durango, Colorado. All of their beans are certified organic and they practice a unique small-scale fair trade. They work with Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative that works directly with farmers encouraging fair and sustainable trade relationships. Desert Sun also wants you to know that you can also trace your beans back using their, a website that allows you to see where a company's product really comes from and learn about their relationship with each lot.

First this week, we'd like to share Desert Sun's Blends we will be carrying in the store!  

Black Velvet: Desert Sun's darkest blend is one of the more popular blends with our Pegro customers. It's a full-bodied dark Italian roast. Its bold flavor has woody, spicy and smokey notes. 

Dark Canyon: Desert Sun's French Roast Blend is the perfect coffee for a dark coffee lovers. While it's robust and a little nutty, it still incredibly rich and smooth. 

Southwest Morning: Desert Sun's most popular blend is a great breakfast blend. This medium roast is just the right amount of darkness and nuttiness with notes of citrus and bright finish. 

Mountain Decaf: Desert Sun's decaf is swiss water processed, meaning that the caffeine is removed in the most natural way using no chemicals. Even though there's no caffeine, it's definitely still full of flavor and richness.

Process photo from

Process photo from

Stay tuned later in the week to learn more about Desert Sun's espresso and single origins!

Image from

Image from

Product Spotlight: Lesser Evil

People's Grocery

Image credit to 

Image credit to 


While it's best to avoid junk food all together, we can't help but love it when companies make snacks that satisfy that craving while still being healthy and nutritious!

Lesser Evil Snacks is a company based out of Wilton, CT and has been making healthier snack options for a decade! They have a commitment to health, meaning there's no empty calories in their snacks. They are also certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified (this means GMO free popcorn!) and they are certified organic! 

Photo credit:

Photo credit:


In addition to all that great stuff, we love their ingredients! Black beans and lentils in their chips offer a base that has way more nutrition than potatoes or rice. Plus with appearances from omega rich chia seeds, antioxidant packed coconut oil and detoxifying Himalayan sea salt, it's hard to feel guilty about eating their addictive snack. 

On top of all of that, people just think Lesser Evil Snack are downright delicious! Plus, Chia Crisps ended up on Dr. Oz's Ultimate Shopping List in 2012!

Image Credit:

Image Credit:


We carry 4 products from Lesser Evil in our store: Buddha Bowl Popcorn in Himalayan Pink & Himalayan Sweet and Chia Chips in Dill Pickle* & Southern BBQ. 

Make your snacktime less evil and swing in and grab some today! 


*Did we mention the Dill Pickle chips are INCREDIBLE with whipped goat cheese? They are!