March 2004

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Readers’ Write!

Board Report

A Brief History of Irish Cuisine

Farmer Appreciation Dinner Wrap-up

Book & General Merchandise News

Juice Bar News

Cinematic Cuisine

Specials Information

Annual Report

Producer Profile: The Igl Family

Ask the Midwife: Starting Your Baby on Solid Food

Herbal Corner: Spring Equinox Bloomers

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

For the Vegetable Less Traveled... Buy Local!

Community Calendar


GM Report
Anya Firszt
General Manager

Expansion Possibilities
Our store is a co-op; a cooperatively-owned, locally-owned, locally-controlled business, which has proven to be a successful alternative business model to the traditional corporate model. You, our member-owners, have made every critical decision that has built the Co-op into the business it is. Willy Street Grocery Co-op is recognized as a successful business model to other cooperatives across the country. Nicely done!

The Decision is Yours
In the next few months you will be called on to make one more decision in the long list of formative choices you have made for the business. Your Board of Directors has directed me to evaluate possibilities for expanding our operations in order to take the next step in fulfilling our Mission.

The Board and management team have a planning retreat scheduled for mid-March to discuss the expansion possibilities that can offer growth potential to the business. These possibilities are among the many that the ad hoc Opportunities Committee have brainstormed, researched and honed into a workable list of options to consider. The options being considered are stepping stones to shape our future. Opening an off-site production facility, opening another cooperatively-owned retail grocery storefront, developing services not available at the current site, or remodeling the current store plan are ways to strengthen our business and presence in the community.

Once the Board has had an opportunity to review the possibilities, as well as read a business plan for at least one of the options, a recommendation will be presented to you, the membership, for consideration. Your vote of approval is required in order for the Co-op to spend over $50,000 on an expansion effort. Before any concrete steps could be taken to actually lease a space or make an offer on a piece of property, purchase equipment, and provide new employment positions, this by-law requirement must be satisfied.

Prior to receiving notice of the upcoming vote on this matter, which shall be in the next few months, please think about this, discuss it with other members, and please do your part in keeping us active and healthy by raising the number of actual voters above the mere 164 (less than 1% of our 13,000+ members) that were recorded at the last election!

Floor Update
In a year from now, the floor project will (hopefully) be ancient history and I should not have to write about the next steps to complete and/or resolve the multitude of problems with the infamous Optiroc. Currently, the majority of the retail floor has been resurfaced with a Dex-o-Tex micro topping designed for commercial use and high traffic. The punch list needs to be completed, which would be applying the rubber edging, sanding out the footprints here and there, the streaks and smudges that are not intentional. But, an end is in sight and I am fairly happy with the results.

Another Co-op Baby
Congratulations to Bob Smith and his partner, Julia, on the birth of their daughter Rosalei!