October is Co-op month!

This month we celebrate our member-owners by hosting our annual owner appreciation weekend (October 24–26). This year the Co-op enters its 34th year of business—happy birthday. You can expect the usual line-up of events: birthday cake served by Board members, food samplings, live music, and great product specials. Several new events have been added to the line-up including print-your-own-tote, a seasonal bike workshop, and pumpkin carving. Look for the event schedule on page 14 and posted in the store as well as on the website.

October is also the month product departments begin to stock traditional holiday favorites to assist you with your meal preparation—from basic baking ingredients to heirloom turkeys (or Tofurky) you can find it at your Co-op.

Expansion efforts

In the course of the last 12 months, the management team has learned a lot from our work on Metropolitan Place II—mainly the need for strong, internal planned project management, single point of contact with the contractors, and clear communication with all the stakeholders.

We have added project management to our repertoire of tools to move the organization into the future and through change. For example, a team of five staff have been working on a project to review the use of space in the store to determine if the receiving area and basement office can be redesigned to improve efficiencies and work flow. The group has collected feedback from department staff to evaluate the possibilities. The group leader was reminded by another staffer that in 2005 we had prepared preliminary plans to remodel the current site. Those plans were discussed and helped shape the group’s opinion about their charge.

Those remodel plans served also as a reminder that there are other steps that can be taken to improve the site we have while we research second store options. Without a second retail site, the need to address the physical limitations that we are faced with has surfaced again as a necessary conversation at the management team level, as well as the Opportunities Committee. It is not just expansion for the sake of expansion—making the current space more user-friendly and better meeting the needs of the membership is the reason to pursue growth and expansion.

This year we are forecasting $17.4 million in sales—in a 1999 market study we had prepared for the relocation to the current site it reported that $16 million in annual sales was about the best we could expect from the site, and at that time, nine years and another $11 million in sales seemed eons away. Welcome to the future!

Please check our website (www.willystreet.coop) or the Information Station in the store for the most up-to-date information. And feel free to contact me with questions or concerns:or 251-6776 x470.

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