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|Amber Brooks • 7/10/17|
The Short Version: Since 1976, Frontier Co-op has supplied local businesses and wholesale customers with premium organic products, including spices, seasonings, herbs, and teas. Today, the member-owned co-op supports sustainable agricultural practices in 50+ countries around the world. The company stocks a full line of fair-trade, non-GMO, and all-natural ingredients to spice up your meals and create a memorable evening with someone special. You can buy these products wholesale online or find them on the shelves of thousands of co-operative members, including Whole Foods. From smoky sea salt to sumptuous vanilla, Frontier’s quality herbs, spices, and extracts elevate home-cooked dinner dates by adding unique flavors from growers around the world.
From a river cabin in Iowa, two people started selling herbs and spices to local stores in 1976. Within a few years, high customer demand for their products led the founders to buy a 5,200-square-foot grocery store in FairFax, Iowa, to house their operation. The co-operative business pioneered sustainable growing practices and advocated for environmentalism through its extensive line of organic products.
Since those early days, Frontier Co-op has grown into a leading supplier of all-natural bulk foods and seasonings, serving over 30,000 members. According to the website, “Our success throughout the years reflects our close harmony with the product needs and values of our members and natural products consumers.”
Frontier Co-op stocks natural, fair-trade, and organic products, including culinary herbs, spices, baking flavors, teas, and aromatherapy products. The company’s branded goods — Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic®, and Aura Cacia® — support sustainability, fair-trade, and quality agricultural practices.
Run with compassion, the co-op frequently gives back to local and international communities. As part of their stewardship program, the team works with growers in the US and abroad and invests in the expansion of organic agriculture. Each year, Frontier Co-op donates 4% of its annual net savings (about $1 million) to charitable causes, including the Indian Creek Nature Center, Feed Iowa First, Clean Water, and a Guatemalan Dental Clinic.
At Frontier Co-op, the company culture is founded on openness and integrity. Kristin Jensen, Public Relations Specialist for Frontier Co-op, told us the team is committed to upholding environmental responsibility and sustainable practices worldwide.
CEO Tony Bedard showed his support for these values in his post about a sourcing trip to Sri Lanka: “It was a joy and privilege to see firsthand the impact our business with them has… we can all be proud that our work here at Frontier has such a positive impact on people halfway around the world.”
As a member-owned organization, Frontier Co-op has unique insight into what customers want and how to bring added value to the table. “Frontier Co-op has been a leading supplier of organic products for over four decades – recognized for quality, sourcing, and social responsibility,” Kristin said.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate its high-end ingredients into your meals, the website offers some great resources for home cooks.
In Frontier Co-op’s community section, hungry readers will find many delectable recipes that use organic ingredients to spice up everyday foods and drinks. If you and your date enjoy red wine, for instance, Frontier Co-op’s recipe for Glugg can turn a regular glass of wine into a warm and savory nightcap laced with organic ginger and cinnamon flavors.
You can browse through Frontier Co-op’s recipes by collection, course, or ingredient to find the perfect dish to serve on your next date night. Frontier Co-op picked out seven of the most romantic recipes perfect for an intimate evening for two.
“In all their forms, colors, textures, aromas, and flavors, spices are perhaps the most sensuous food,” said Tom Havran, Communicator of Natural Living. “It’s no wonder we have the phrase ‘the spice of life.'”
A lot of daters love fiery main courses that they can prepare and enjoy together. Paella, a one-pan rice dish with smoky flavors, is a versatile and savory dinner option for any date.
Frontier Co-op’s recipe for Spanish Paella calls for organic, ethically sourced saffron and smoked paprika. These natural spices infuse the shrimp and chorizo (pork sausage) with flavor and make the rice casserole stand out.
“As red as a Valentine’s Day heart, the most expensive spice in the world (Saffron) is in fact the dried reproductive style and stigma of a crocus flower,” Tom told us. This pungent spice is a must for authentic and savory paella.
Romantic Spices Used: Saffron, Smoked Paprika
You really can’t go wrong with steak on a date. It’s a fancy treat with a simple preparation, so you don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. Which means more time for you and your date to heat things up.
Frontier Co-op’s Spicy Grilled Steak takes your meal up a notch. Cayenne is the main component in this memorable main course. “Cayenne does provocative things to our taste buds,” Tom explained, “eliciting a physical reaction as much as a flavorful one.”
Through a robust combination of organic spices, including paprika, sage, cayenne, and black pepper, you can pack your grilled steak with flavor, without needing sauces or marinades.
The flavors of Frontier’s spices will have your mouth watering as you whip up a spicy and juicy steak for your date in less than 10 minutes.
Romantic Spices Used: Paprika, Cayenne
For a side dish, Roasted Brussels Sprouts are sure to impress. This recipe calls for marinating the Brussels sprouts for up to two hours to infuse them with zesty flavors. The seasonal citrusy-sweet marinade combines cranberries, orange juice, and a dash of cinnamon.
Frontier Co-op’s Fair-Trade Certified Ground Ceylon Cinnamon adds a fragrant sweetness to the savory vegetables. You’ll roast the Brussels sprouts until tender and serve them warm as a healthy accompaniment to an indulgent meal.
Romantic Spices Used: Cinnamon
Another nutritious and delicious side dish is Grilled Asparagus. Frontier Co-op’s recipe calls for spicing up the flavors of the asparagus with smoked paprika and tangy lemon.
If you’re grilling out with a date, throwing on some asparagus is an easy way to make an upscale side to go with your meal. You can coat the asparagus in Frontier’s organic paprika, black pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder to make a tender and tasty treat to surprise your date with.
Tom commented, “The smoldering heat of red, peppery paprika brings a full flush of flavor to just about any main course dinner.”
Romantic Spices Used: Paprika
Dense. Rich. Upscale. Regal Chocolate Cake is the king of date night desserts. This mouth-watering treat only takes an hour to make and is more than enough for two people to enjoy.
Regal Chocolate Cake is an obvious choice for anyone preparing a romantic meal. The recipe’s description recommends serving up a slice of cake to your loved one on Valentine’s Day and topping it with a single red rose. Sounds like a romantic way to end the evening.
Or, for adults who enjoy alcoholic desserts, the Stout Choc Cake with Irish Cream Ganache makes an elegant dish spiked with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a shot of whiskey.
Desserts add a bit of indulgent sweetness to a date, and Frontier’s spices take the rich flavors to another level.
Romantic Spices Used: Vanilla
Sweet tooth not satisfied? Try making a tray of truffles with your date. This hands-on activity is just as fun as it is delicious. Frontier Co-op’s recipe for Coconut Rum Truffles makes a rum-infused delicacy that’ll tantalize your senses. The melted chocolate might get a bit messy during the preparation, but sometimes that just adds to the fun of it all.
Another indulgent option is Raw Cinnamon Cacao Truffles, which are made using Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa and cacao nibs plus cinnamon and cane sugar. These little bites pack a flavorful punch and will have your date craving more.
Romantic Spices Used: Cinnamon, Vanilla
Finally, the Hibiscus and Rosehip Cocktail pairs well with a romantic evening. The distinctive tart and tangy flavors of the flowers make a bold impression and give daters plenty to talk about.
You’ll first make a rich tea using Frontier’s organic hibiscus petals, cut hibiscus flowers, and whole rosehips. Strain and chill before adding in gin and simple syrup to the concoction. Shake vigorously and pour into a champagne flute. Last of all, you’ll top it off with three parts of champagne and garnish with a hibiscus petal.
Frontier’s Hibiscus and Rosehip Cocktail is an elegant drink to mix up on a date. If you like these flowery flavors, you can check out other must-try floral drinks courtesy of Frontier Co-Op. These smooth drinks can help you set the mood on a date and elevate your evening with unique tastes.
Romantic Spices Used: Hibiscus Flower Petals, Rosehips
Frontier Co-op offers employees many enriching benefits, including fitness classes, subsidized child care, an organic cafe, oil changes, and chair massages. The organization supports a healthy work-life balance with flexible company policies and a family-friendly culture. Team members are encouraged to have a life outside of work and communicate honestly with managers about their needs and goals.
According to Frontier’s website, “We believe the most important part of our culture is our people. Happy employees are productive employees. With so much riding on this simple philosophy, our policies and practices promote our employees’ personal well-being, every day and at every level.”
“The atmosphere at Frontier is very fun-loving,” said Melissa, a machine operator at Frontier-Co-op. “You feel comfortable. You feel like you’re part of a family.”
Frontier Co-op fosters transparency, authenticity, and communication with an open-door management policy. During company-wide quarterly meetings, the leadership team shares financial and work-related updates. CEO Tony Bedard eats breakfast with a cross-section of employees to get their take on the company’s progress. At all levels, Frontier Co-op empowers its employees to make decisions, exchange ideas, and achieve their goals.
“Our team members can count on an environment of inclusion, empathy, and authenticity,” in the words of the website. “With a positive and supportive work environment, our employees thrive both personally and professionally.”
At Frontier Co-op, environmental sustainability and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. The company helped establish the market for organic crops in 1976, and it has been growing rapidly ever since.
From a two-person operation in a riverside cabin, Frontier Co-op expanded into a massive member-owned company sourcing all-natural ingredients from over 50 countries. Over the decades, the co-op has maintained a steadfast commitment to authenticity, transparency, and sustainability in its line of organic products.
With Frontier’s organic and fair-trade ingredients in your cabinet, you can whip up a romantic meal packed with flavor and quality. Whether you’re hankering for a spicy bite of steak or a rich cocoa-infused dessert, Frontier’s recipes and products offer daters plenty of culinary inspiration and original tastes to savor with someone special.
According to Kristin, “Frontier Co-op’s goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility.”