by Anya Firszt, General Manager
Initial steps are being taken to grow the capacity of the organization to support a second retail site (hiring staff to fill new positions, for example). Last year, staff worked to design a staff structure to support more than one retail site, and now we are in the throes of implementing the plan. The structure included a Store Manager at each retail site—Wynston Estis has been assigned to manage the Downtown site, and Dan Frost has been assigned to the Eastside location. Wynston and Dan have worked for the Co-op a combined total of 26 years; no doubt you have seen them around. Together they have filled the roles of Assistant Grocery Manager, Grocery Manager, Merchandiser, Operations Manager, and Assistant Store Managers (Product and Operations).
Over the course of the next several months, Department Manager, Assistant Manager, Buyer, Clerks, and Cook positions will be posted and filled to fulfill the staff structure—this may result in some staff deciding to relocate from the Eastside to Downtown or to the Off-Site Kitchen. Stay tuned. As positions are posted and filled, other positions will then be posted and filled—very much a puzzle to piece together to complete the big picture.
Additionally, steps have been taken to put the parties that will be responsible for the build-out (the construction or improvements of the interior of a space, including flooring, walls, finished plumbing, electrical work, etc.) phase of the Downtown store into place. Bachmann Construction is the General Contractor the Co-op is working with on this project—Bachmann is the contractor that was selected to do the remodel of the Eastside site in 1999, as well as the contractor that did the build-out of the Off-Site Kitchen in 2005. The various phases of the build-out of the facility include store plan, floor plan, interior/exterior plan, and mechanical plan development. The Co-op has identified team participants for each phase of the project to support the overall project goal—to deliver a unique, vibrant retail space able to serve the needs of our owners and employees.
The Co-op will host the 33rd Annual Membership Meeting and Party on August 9th. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm and last through 9:00pm in the Co-op parking lot. The parking lot will be partially open throughout the morning and early afternoon, but CLOSED entirely at 2:00pm. If you need additional assistance getting to or from your car, please call ahead or ask for help getting your purchases home. The store will remain open until our usual time—9:30pm.
The Business Meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm. An important aspect of the Business Meeting is to introduce Board candidates and announce “last call” for Board candidates—this announcement will be made toward the end of the Business Meeting.
The Board of Directors will have four open seats to fill this year; three of the open seats are scheduled to be open per the standard term definition. The fourth seat will be open because of the resignation of Cara Coburn—she is moving and cannot complete the remaining two years of her term. If you have an interest in the oversight and governance of the Co-op, plan to run for the Board. Candidate statements are due at the end of the business meeting on August 9th (see next page for statement questions). If you intend to run, please contact the Owner Relations Committee Chair Tamara Urich-Rintz for detailed information and read her “Run For the Board” article on the next page.
The Co-op manages several programs to support green business practices. For example, the bag reuse program—you bring in a bag to reuse and we will take five cents off your purchase for each paper bag used or 10 cents off your purchase for each cloth bag used. The program has reduced the number of paper bags that are purchased for customer use by nearly half. The year before the bag credit program began, the Co-op purchased $23,000 of new paper bags. The following year the Co-op purchased $11,000 in new paper bags and paid $9,000 in “cents off”. The purchase of new paper bags and the bag credit program cost the Co-op $20,000, but the net effect was that the Co-op purchased half the number of new paper bags. The program has saved the Co-op money and everything that went into making that new paper bag (trees, gas, electricity). Nice job reusing what we already have!