Love to eat?
Well, I do... and preparing a meal ranks right up there with eating. That is until recently, when I found out that prep work was not so much fun anymore and realized that it was due to the fact that I had fallen out of love with my knives. To get myself back on board, I made my way over to the west side of Madison to a shop that specializes in knife sharpening and wow, what a difference it has made in my life. If you’re thinking about having your knives professionally sharpened—I will attest, it is a truly wonderful, simple pleasure.

Last week I discovered yet another thing to fall in love with—the new pizza dough offered through the Deli—wow! Fresh, not frozen—the bags of dough are an ideal size (makes two 15”) and are a great texture for pizza making or holding together any number of caramelized, cheesy, saucy or savory items.

Haiti relief fund
The Co-op has re-established the disaster relief fund through the Cooperative Emergency Fund to assist in their recovery. Being able to provide this kind of support for the rebuilding of Haiti is an important factor toward establishing cooperatives there, as has been done in Sri Lanka and other communities struck by tragedy. Throughout history, across the globe, wherever there is a problem that people cannot solve, cooperatives are commonly the answer for communities to rebuild themselves.

Expansion
I would love nothing more than to report to you that we have successfully negotiated a lease for a second retail site. The conversations are ongoing and being narrowed to a final draft...waiting to be released.

POS (Point of Sale)
The FY2010 Capital Budget included the purchase and installation of a new POS (register) system. We were also motivated to address this issue in response to many Owner requests to improve the receipt system and other check-out functions. The process of selecting the new system was complex—we needed to identify a system to satisfy the sales and reporting needs of the organization, as well as the manage the owner database and work. The IT department, along with input from multiple departments, settled on a single system last spring, which was included in the budgeted goals for the year. The last several months have been devoted to learning the new system and categorizing our data to import into the new software, and now the time has come to schedule the installation.

On Sunday, March 14th, the store will close at 7:30pm to facilitate this work; we will open on time the following morning. This will offer the installation team a bit more time to dismantle the old register equipment, install the new, and get the new system up and running. During the week leading up to the major installation, one register lane will be dismantled—akin to a trial run—to ensure that the hardware fits in the current register lanes, and to offer cashiers a training lane. Following the installation, IT staff will be stationed at the Customer Service desk ready to make fixes when or if needed.

Store closing early
We will be closing early at 7:30pm on Sunday, February 21st for our annual Staff Party.