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Joy of Food + Joy of Cooperation = Joy

Another reason to enjoy this harried season springs from the amazing foods and friendly gatherings to celebrate and be of good cheer. To prepare for your arrival this month, the Co-op has been checking their lists....of historic sales data in preparation for keeping the shelves full in every department. Extra staffing during peak periods including re-assigned administrative staff will once again be on hand to make the bagging easy and, possibly, the parking lot more peaceful.

I’m told by the little helpers working on the FY09 Annual Report that it is expected to begin arriving in mailboxes near the solstice and more copies will be placed with care at the Customer Service desk if you don’t receive one at home. The great news, that I can’t resist telling you, is that the Cooperative did achieve our financial goals set forth by the Board of Directors in the FY09 budget.

Looking ahead to the current fiscal year already underway, we are performing well with a record number of shoppers pushing weekly sales to unexpected highs. My sincere thanks to staff for keeping pace with the consistently large introduction of new Owners each month and the exponential demand for more and more groceries in the store.

Wish lists
If I had a wish-list this month, it would start with: a smooth installation and transition of the new register system, a well-planned and quickly executed street reconstruction (whether in 2010 or 2011), a final resolution on the second retail site and forward motion on our end goal to better serve all of our Owners while providing twice as much demand and opportunity for local farmers, fair employment for nearly another 100 people, and peace in the ’hood.

10% surcharge pros and cons
The practice of requiring a 10% surcharge to non-Owners who are shopping in the store has been under review for a number of years by the management and Board. The reasons for this review are varied—as of now Willy Street Co-op is one of three co-ops in the nation that still impose a surcharge. Other co-ops have eliminated the surcharge to eliminate any barriers from new shoppers who could become Owners and also to be more competitive with the growing number of natural foods retailers. In order to make a final recommendation to the Board, we are requesting your input from January 1st to February 15th about whether to maintain or discontinue this practice. In the January issue of the Reader, a list of pros and cons compiled by management and the Board Ad Hoc Committee for either removing or maintaining the surcharge will be included for your reference. We are seeking as many varied opinions as possible to shape the conversation and outcome. Look for the results of this comment period in a future issue of the Reader.

If I don’t get a chance to bag your groceries this month, here’s wishing you a Happy New Year!