PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

News from the Board: Advisory Poll Responses

Coop EvolutionAdvisory Poll Responses Are In!

By Janet Welch, Board President

The miracles of electronic communications allowed 622 members to weigh in, repeatedly as the rankings changed, on what qualities they valued most in a Food Coop facility.

Many members also took the opportunity to include comments, either in the comment box or by sending a letter to  Those comments will provide the Board with further insight in the creative ways that members are thinking about our facility.  Keep those letters coming; we love hearing what you are thinking.   We hear that a few members believe that we’re just “going through the motions” of getting input and that our minds are made up about what we want to do.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  We love our location, but it has problems with drainage and no space to expand.  Everything is on the table as far as our evolution; we are actively looking for ways to retain what we value most, while planning for the long term as more members shop in the store.

Here are the results:

Report date: Monday 02 February 2015 10:07 PST

The Food Co-op Facility Advisory Poll

Rank Choice Votes %
1 Ample space for produce, local and bulk 519 83.44
2 Efficient workspace (backroom and receiving) 356 57.23
3 Accessible by bus, bike or walking 335 53.86
4 Energy efficient 309 49.68
5 Modest scale with country store feel (not “trendy”) 279 44.86
6 Adequate parking for a growing membership 246 39.55
7 Visible location, central to community 223 35.85
8 More storage to keep backstock of product( for food security, etc.) on site or off 159 25.56
9 Sized for growing membership (larger, more spacious facility) 133 21.38
10 Adaptable, expandable facility (possibly through modular design) 124 19.94
11 Sized for full service (one stop shopping) 96 15.43
12 Some functions or departments off site 54 8.68
13 Space for recycling, including #5 plastics write-in 44 7.07
14 Delivery service (bike or otherwise) to offset need for additional parking 38 6.11
15 Engaging transitional entryways with room for produce, starts, etc. 31 4.98
16 Space for seated dining write-in 30 4.82
17 Site on higher ground, to avoid water damage write-in 16 2.57
18 Off site warehouse write-in 12 1.93


One advantage to inviting the entire membership to participate in the poll was to test for similarities and the differences between the responses gathered at the member meeting and through the poll.  The similarities were notable.  So were the differences.

One of the striking similarities was the importance that both groups placed on three qualities: an efficient workspace; ample space for produce, local, and bulk; and a capacity for food storage.  “Energy efficiency” and “accessibility by bus, bike, or walking” both rose decisively in the poll as members continued to rank their preferences.  I thought it was interesting that, among meeting participants, one of the most important qualities was “retain central location” while on the poll this dropped to #7.  Perhaps the importance of location was heightened at the meeting because of the discussion we had about the implications of moving.

What is next?

In the process we’ve laid out for the “evolution” of our facilities, Phase 1 culminates with a prioritized list of essential facilities qualities. We are hoping to sift through the poll results and the comments to create that list by late March.  Phase 2 will involve brainstorming as many options as we can and then whittling them down to create a short list of options that will best address our short and long-term needs while providing as many of the essential qualities as possible.  Then we’ll bring those options back to the membership for more input.  This will be a very creative time, since we’ve found that no obvious option could possibly give everyone everything that they want.  Stay tuned!

One Response to “News from the Board: Advisory Poll Responses” Comments are currently closed.

  1. Nancy Erreca says:

    Hi – I never got your survey which you said was going to be mailed out.

    The main reason you don’t have enough space is because you have too many varieties of one thing. Why do you need 90 different chocolate bars for instance? You don’t have to be everything to everyone. People can special order. Maybe you should visit the Chimacum Store and remember ‘small.’ If you build a new location being by the Goodwill is a great central location. Remember some people live outside of Port Townsend. The bus line is close enough and you can always ask for an additional stop. At least half of the cafe area could be used for grocery. I think I saw 6 people in the cafe once. Thank you.