Thanksgiving: this is the holiday we all live for in the retail food business, or at least in this country. Turkey and all the fixin’s, along with non-meat offerings, will be available at both stores. But, what I really wanted to tell you about is my attendance at a recent National Cooperative Grocers Association meeting where I got all fired-up. General Managers from across the country shared our top ten ideas for providing great service to our Owners during the season. I’m not certain which new ideas we will have time to introduce, but we’re always looking for ways to improve your shopping experience, and I was inspired to implement many of those that were shared.
Also at that NCGA meeting, Willy Street Co-op received recognition for being an outstanding cooperative based on strong operational performance and over 20% sales growth FY12 (actually 25.1%). This is a phenomenal accomplishment and one that is so important to our management team and staff.

More Things I’m Thankful For
Many thanks to past Board President George Hofheimer, who over the past four years has, in addition to being one of the busiest people I know, been of great service to the Co-op. We have all benefited from his priceless gift of time and attention to Willy Street Co-op. On the other side, I’m looking forward to working with new Board President Marti Ryan, who brings steady leadership and other valuable expertise to the table.

This is also an opportunity to schedule myself to bag groceries at both stores during the holidays, something I look forward to every year.

I am so thankful not to hear cars scraping over the old Willy Street Co-op driveway hump. For me, that made it almost worth the pain of going through the entire street remodel.

Also on my list of thanks; the double-decker shopping carts at stores, the Co-op Kitchen’s pesto, and an office with windows.

Annual Report
FY12 Annual Report will be out to Owners by mid-December and it’s my opinion that you should feel really proud of the organization you’re a part of. We saw profitability a full two-and-a-half years before projected, and that was during the Williamson Street reconstruction project, closely followed by the University Avenue construction. I’ll be interested to hear your feedback after you’ve all had a chance to review it.

Veterans Day
This is a big month for elections and, boy, do we have some heavy decisions to make. I know the candidates have taken some hits during their campaigns, but none as literally as the veterans we honor this month on the 11th. Thank you.

Survey Says!
We have compiled the results of this summer’s Customer Survey sooner than expected and we will be addressing these in the January Reader, while beginning our work on making changes to support that input.

Finally
As a reminder, all Board meetings (except those in Executive Session) are open for Owners to attend. Whether you want to learn more, or address a particular topic, we welcome new faces and old, to any of our regularly scheduled Board meetings. The calendar and agenda for upcoming meetings can be found on our website at: www.willystreet.coop/board_meeting_calendar.

Special Store Hours
Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving): 7:30am-2:30pm

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