What an amazing and wonderful first year I’ve had here in Port Townsend. Everyone has been very welcoming and patient with me as I learn my way around this town and our Co-op. I was recently asked what the hardest part of my integration had been and I think it’s simply getting to know everyone. I hadn’t realized how many people I knew at my previous home in Moscow, Idaho, and how many new faces and names I would need to remember here in my new home. If I forget your name please be patient with me a while longer!
In 2011 we worked on many successful projects within the store. Our first accomplishment was the kitchen storage addition. All in all, the entire project went very smoothly, coming in on time and on budget. However, I was shocked to discover that our hot water heater was housed between the electrical panels and the “brains” of our computer system – heat and moisture are not ideal companions for electronics! We quickly added a “hot water hut” to our plans and relocated that beast someplace where it won’t cause any damage. In the midst of doing that project we upgraded much of our outdated IT equipment- a big relief to our staff who had been frustrated by either not enough equipment to get the job done or aging, unstable tools that don’t let them complete their tasks.
During this project we also remodeled a storage room to become a meat preparation space- cold and clean and perfect for keeping our meat at just the right temperature all the way through the cutting and wrapping process. Finally we added a new Grab-n-Go cooler for packaged deli items. Now we have more foods for customers on the go.
2011 was a year of planting seeds: investing in our staff, our equipment and our building. In 2012 we want to make our store easier to shop while planning for the future. As far back as the 2005 member survey, our member’s #2 request was for more dining space. Recently our board approved this project and we’re currently slated to break ground in the fall to enlarge our indoor dining area. Our goal is to add much need breathing room, which, in turn, will allow us to create space in our bulk department.
We’ll soon be replacing an outdated check stand with a more ergonomic version and plan to revamp our Member Services Desk to be more user friendly. We’re replacing some outdated in-store signage, rebuilding our website and working on our customer service. As if that isn’t enough, the Board of Directors is tackling strategic planning, thinking about our long-term future. And it’s our 40th Anniversary year – we’re so looking forward to seeing the fruits of our efforts- and another 40 years of feeding our community. Thank you for helping us.