Northampton, Massachusetts 

Fueled by local kombucha and cheers of “YAY!” from co-workers, the River Valley Team has set a new co-op record: 26.5 minutes from customer order to completed sandwich. Yesterday the elite group of grinder makers ensured their spot in the upcoming Brattleboro Co-Op Regional Competition, where they will face off against workers from natural food markets as far away as Austin and Seattle. Events at this year’s three-day competition will range from ‘best soy milk froth in a half-caff capp’ to ‘culturally appropriate end-cap displays for small-batch artisan ethnic foods.’

Team Leader Maple Barque was effusive after the sandwich–a hummus and daiya cheese wrap with all the veggies (except black olives)–was delivered to a grateful customer: “our last mindfulness retreat did wonders for our synergy and concentration. We were so in the zone making this sandwich. Interruptions were limited to a brief conversation about the band at Iron Horse last night and a quick debate about Marxist dialectics.” Barque added: “we were confident that six people could make a takeout sandwich in under half an hour, but we had to achieve it to really believe it. Look out Brattleboro, here we come!”

While River Valley employees have long dominated in the ‘best facial hair’ category, a medal in ‘vegan sandwich building’ has long eluded them. Could this be River Valley’s year? One thing’s for sure: the Team is headed to Brattleboro with the wind at their backs.

Tofu Curtain wishes the Team all the best, and we know the entire Valley is cheering with us (except maybe those assholes at Whole Foods in Hadley). Bring home the gold!