Many, many staff members are to be thanked and congratulated for sustaining record-setting sales at the Co-op in recent weeks, strongly exceeding budgeted estimates. Maybe it’s the season, or the unseas-onable warm weather, either way—we’re stocked and ready for whatever weather comes our way in May!
Director of Finance David Waisman and I are nearing the final steps of working with managers to develop the FY13 operations and capital budgets for the coming fiscal year. The capital budget will be geared to update a maturing store or work out the kinks in a new store; each project will enhance the Co-op’s infrastructure and provide improvements to our services and facilities. The finalized budget will be published in draft form following Board approval—this is expected in the July issue of the Reader.
- Building Community Capacity: The Board of Directors has been working on ways to increase Owner economic participation and involvement by taking a look at models/programs from other grocery cooperatives around the country. As a result, the Board is now working with Co-op staff to explore how a community-building program might work for our Co-op. Look for more on this initiative in the coming months.
- Access to Financing: The wallflower Willy Street Co-op Farmer Loan Fund is getting a second look! Though the Farmer Loan fund has long been available to our vendors and farmers, it remains one of the least used initiatives we offer. Recent collaborations between volunteers from Slow Money and Co-op management have explored ethical investment models that might one day allow easier access to capital for building capacity or improving farm/vendor operations. This work remains in its exploratory stages, however, and no long-term plans have been made toward the investment model. The Farmer Loan fund is available now and can be applied for by notifying me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Planning for 1221 Williamson Street Remodel: We will be looking at the current 1221 site and working to address areas where efficiencies can be gained for staff and vendors as well as customers. Special attention will be paid to the retail floor and areas around the Front End.
NEWS FLASH! We are requiring pre-registration for this year’s AMP. We are planning to have tickets ready to pick up well in advance at the stores and cashiers will be reminding you as well. There will be NO on-site registration, which will eliminate many logistical challenges for staffing, wireless laptop connections, and Owner records updates!
Dates to remember
- Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th. The stores will close at 7:30pm.
- Waterfront Festival June 9th–10th
- July 1st—fiscal year-end inventory. Stores close at 7:30pm.
- Independence Day celebration, July 4th. Stores close at 7:30 pm.
- Annual Meeting and Party July 12th—(opening night for La Fete de Marquette July 13th–15th). Stores close at 7:30pm.