Co-op Facilities Evolution—You Can Help
If you shop in the Co-op around lunch time or mid afternoon, you may have noticed that it can get a bit crowded in the store and in the parking lot. What is less visible to shoppers is that the back rooms (receiving, storage, prep, etc) are even more crowded. The challenges and opportunities that this presents are not new. The need has been apparent and ideas have been percolating for years, hemmed in by various factors: we own our building and land, we don’t own the neighboring land (making expansion difficult), we are located on a low spot (drainage issues), the building wasn’t constructed for expansion, etc. Meanwhile many adjustments have been made to optimize use of the space that we have.
The Food Co-op leadership team is embarking on a process to identify our facility needs and assess options that will set us up for success long into the future. We need your help! The first phase involves asking the question: What does the ideal co-op facility provide? To arrive at a useful, thorough answer, we need input from our members, staff, farmers, producers—everyone with a stake in the Co-op. We have lots of opportunities for you to participate including in the store, at a stakeholder meeting January 5th, and online.
In the store:
Stop by the alcove to talk with board members and share your thoughts during the next week at the following times:
Friday, Dec 26th 3-5: Patricia, Henry
Saturday, Dec 27th 12-2: Monica, Henry
Wednesday, Dec 31st 12-2: Henry, Janet
Thursday, Jan 1st 12-2: Monica, Lisa
Friday, Jan 2nd 3-5: Patricia, Janet
Saturday, Jan 3rd 3-5: David, Lisa
At a special stakeholder meeting:
Listen Like Crazy II
Monday, Jan 5th from 7-9 pm at the Uptown Rec Center (upstairs)
On January 5, we will have a stakeholders meeting, which we are calling Listen Like Crazy II (after a Co-op brainstorming event in 2007). We are inviting all Co-op stakeholders to participate. That means you! General Manager Kenna Eaton will give an overview of the issues and challenges of our current facilities. Board President Janet Welch will review the outcome of the previous Listen Like Crazy as a starting point for this discussion. We’ll use the majority of our time to break into smaller groups to brainstorm answers to the question: What would an ideal co-op facility provide? Finally, we will gather back into one group to discuss and prioritize the ideas that were generated. Carrot cake and vegan chocolate cake (everyone’s Co-op Deli favorites) will be provided.
Member Advisory Poll
We are planning a member advisory poll (both online and in the store) for mid February, to engage a wider group of members in responding to the ideas and priorities that that were generated at the January 5th meeting. Look for updates in your email, on the Board’s board at the front of the store, or check back here on our blog for details on how to participate.
Please stop by to see us in the alcove, be sure to come to the stakeholders meeting on January 5, and look for the opportunity to participate in the poll in February. These are just the first steps in a process that will involve lots of hard work and creative thinking by the Board and management to reconcile the vision and values that you help us shape with the practical possibilities defined by geography, zoning and budgets, so be sure to stay tuned for further updates as we move through this process.