PT Food Co-op

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

General Manager’s Blog

by Kenna S. Eaton

Each month, the I report to the board on how we are progressing on our long-term goals, which we call our Ends. These Ends reflect our aspirations—what we hope to accomplish—and they are what makes us different from a regular grocery store. We publish these reports as a blog to keep our member-owners up to date on what we are doing.

The reports are organized by our five Ends, although not all are discussed in every report. Our Ends say that, as a result of all we do—

  • We will be the market of choice for our community to access local, organic, and non-GMO products.
  • A vibrant local and regional food system will provide our community with a year-round supply of food sold at prices that are fair to both consumers and producers.
  • We will have an engaged staff and board that use their expanding knowledge and skills to create a thriving workplace.
  • Our operations will be environmentally sustainable for the benefit of our members, community, and the planet.
  • Our members will be knowledgeable about the products they consume, the connection between food choices and personal health, and environmentally sustainable practices.

August 2017 GM Report

Market of Choice

Our deli received recognition from the Jefferson County Health Department for their great work. They received a 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award, “for demonstrating the highest standards of safe food handling during the past year.”

Member dividend update: This year we began distribution in June instead of July as we did last year, so the numbers below compare the first 24 days of the member dividend distribution for each year. All in all, the pattern is similar to last year (our first member dividend distribution), except that fewer members are asking for checks and we’ve had hardly any mistakes to correct.

This year the total dividend to be distributed is $73,083.98, which includes $6,074.94 that was still undistributed from last year—20% of the total dividend declared. Last year the total distributed was $156,160.88, or 50% of the total declared dividend.

  • This year $56,924.05 or 77.9% of total was redeemed in 24 days; last year it was 82.7%.
  • $1,750.83 or 3.08% of dividends redeemed were donated; last year it was 3.17%.
  • We issued $270.75 or 0.48% of total dividends in checks; last year it was 3.35%.

Food System Development

We recently added two new local vendors: Fiddlehead Creamery, who make a nondairy frozen dessert that is super yummy, and Clucks and Quails, who give us local chicken and quail eggs. Altogether we added approximately ten new local products in the last month.

The LandWorks Collaborative did not meet in July. The next meeting includes planning a Pitch Night this fall for local entrepreneurs who complete WSU’s “cultivating success” classes.

“Eat Local First” campaign—I have decided to postpone our efforts to launch an ELF campaign until this winter, when hopefully everyone has a little more capacity to undertake such a massive project.

Building Internal Capacity

Two of our staff—Kimberly Johnson, Wellness Manager, and Morgan Carrico, Grocery Manager—recently attended the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) Convergence Conference. The keynote speakers addressed global warming: environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken came with a message of action and hope with “Project Drawdown” (www.drawdown,org), and Lara Dickinson from the Climate Collaborative spoke about NCG’s partnership with this initiative to curb global warming. NCG has made formal commitments through the Climate Collaborative to help reverse climate change by taking action in the areas of agriculture, food waste, and policy. We’re joining other companies throughout the supply chain who are stepping up to make climate commitments.

Environmental Sustainability

We had a coolant pipe crack and leak Freon, which affected the compressor unit that runs the cheese, deli, and Grab & Go cases. The problem was discovered early in the afternoon, and we repaired it quickly. The deli team worked together to move product out of the cases and into the walk-in cooler while the repair was in progress, so we lost no product. However, lost sales for cheese and deli cold items compared to the previous week were $1600. The Freon loss will be measured and reported.

GMO Advocacy Update

It has been two years since we first labelled some products in the store with red dots, indicating that those manufacturers either did not answer our requests for information about potential GMO ingredients in their products, told us they didn’t know, or replied that indeed they do use GMO ingredients. While the signage did not seem to affect sales much, it did allow us to have good conversations with customers who asked questions. The opportunity for education was one of the reasons that the Product Research Committee recommended that products not necessarily be discontinued when we gave them red dots. We have, however, discontinued items when we find a better product.

I did want to share some interesting details about two product lines. Our single “Have a Chip” product has been red dotted for a little less than two years. Sales of this item are down almost 1,000 in quantity when we compare the two years prior to July 1, 2015, with the two years since. Brianna’s dressings have been red dotted for just a few months, but when we look at the year-to-date quantity sold for each dressing in the entire line, they are each down 80 compared to the prior six months.

We are still actively looking for a gluten-free pretzel that is non-GMO verified, but we have found a line of Thai sauces from Oregon, so we might be able to replace Thai Kitchen sauces.

Additionally, the PRC has gathered information about glyphosate over the last several months and is publishing an article in the fall Commons in October. Next they’ll be conducting a product survey in the store to look for products containing titanium dioxide, mainly items such as alternative milks, toothpaste, and sunscreen.

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