GM Report: January/February

Happy New Year, Co-operators! I hope that everyone’s holidays were safe and restful. We could never have guessed what 2020 had in store for us, and I am hopeful that 2021 will be much better.

Hopefully, you have found some comforting warm beverages to keep you feeling cozy. If not, check out our excellent bulk tea selection and some of the new seasonal tea varieties. We also have Equal Exchange hot chocolate in aisle three if you prefer something on the sweeter side.

The fall and winter holidays kept us busy over the past couple of months. We were delighted to offer curbside pick-up options for Thanksgiving turkeys and Cafe pre-orders, which allowed shoppers to pick up their orders without coming into the store.

We also held our first-ever virtual annual meeting. We missed interacting with members in person and breaking bread, but this was just another way to help create a safe co-op experience for members. There was a fun co-op trivia break out session, and participants could hear from the board candidates.

Co-op staff and board members participated in a diversity and inclusion survey hosted by Inclusant, a locally owned diversity and inclusion consulting firm. The survey results will help build a road map to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for our staff. The survey is our first step as an entire organization to becoming an anti-racist entity that upholds equity and is welcoming.

We continue to explore the financial feasibility of relocating our store to a larger footprint. We are exploring sites and a capital campaign. Co-ops use capital campaigns to raise funds for large projects because it reduces the financial risk and use of traditional bank loans by raising capital from the membership. It is an excellent opportunity for members to participate in the economic future of the co-op. As we grow nearer to beginning this exciting next step, there will be more information and likely live information sessions for members.

It is going to be a busy year, but hopefully with fewer surprises this year!

Maura Holliday, General Manager