By Matt Stanley/General Manager
Published in the Co-op’s Fall 2016 Newsletter
Over the last year and a half the Co-op Board of Directors has spent considerable time overseeing the continued maturation of the business as we prepare for expansion. We also sought ways to maintain the relevance of our co-op amidst increased competition and continued mainstreaming of organic and local foods.
A primary way we are making the Co-op more accessible and welcoming regards pricing. We’ve joined forces with 150 food co-ops nationwide to bring our community the Co+op Basics program. Co+op Basics include items in an increasing amount of categories at amazing everyday prices. The program has helped us grow sales considerably which in turn allows our store to further leverage our volume. We saw 14% growth in sales during 2015 and over 20% sales growth so far in 2016. Needless to say, more and more community members are turning to the Co-op for their grocery needs!
Additionally, we are connecting the community to our store by way of their financial investment in the Co-op. In October 2015, we ran our Equity Drive with a modest goal of $10,000. Instead, our current and new owners together helped us raise nearly $30,000 in owner equity during the month, and all in $25 increments!
Our planning includes continued use of this unique and powerful way that owners connect with our co-op. In 2017 we hope to be ready to issue preferred shares as a primary way for our Co-op to finance our expansion and relocation. Finally, we continue to develop our staff with a framework based on preparation for operating a significantly larger store.
In early 2016 we received help with an Organizational Assessment in order to ensure we have the skills and systems necessary to make our expansion a success. We continue to send staff to workshops and trainings relevant to their areas of work in order to maintain engagement with their roles in a growing business. It is critical that we continue to grow our sales in the current location in order to maintain momentum as we prepare for expansion.
Thank you for your continued support of your local Co-op!