- The Washington Times - Monday, January 10, 2005

UKIAH, Calif. (AP) — Everything served at the Ukiah Brewing Co. and Restaurant — everything — is organic — from the burgers and beer right down to the salt and pepper.

Ukiah Brewing is the first restaurant in California to be certified as organic, a designation that isn’t easy to come by.

Its owner, Els Cooperrider, pays a price in both time and money to lay claim to being one of only two organically certified restaurants in the nation. The other is across the country, Restaurant Nora in the District.

Mrs. Cooperrider, a former biologist, received the certification four years ago after she filled out a 160-page application guaranteeing that every ingredient going into the brewery’s dishes comes from a federally certified organic provider.

Now, it takes her and her son a week of work to renew it, and the cost is up to $1,600 a year.

Still, Mrs. Cooperrider thinks her restaurant is helping take the lead in satisfying consumers’ growing interest in knowing exactly what goes into their food.

“How else would my customers know that things are really organic?” she asks.

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