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, 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.

October 2017 GM Report

Market of Choice

Sales in our hot bar have been jumping! Last month, in preparation for the new food bar coming in 2018, we added a sneeze guard to our existing hot bar. Now eaters can see how great our food looks without juggling hot, steamy metal lids. Additionally, we replaced one of our aging ovens in the kitchen and this month we’ll be replacing a steamer, both well used pieces of equipment.

Last month we were named “Best Place to Buy Health Food” by the Peninsula Daily News and received finalist awards for groceries, produce, salads, and lunch specials. Thanks for the votes, everyone!

Food System Development

So far this year we’ve sold almost 3 ½ tons of fresh local blueberries, up from 2 tons in 2016.  When Finnriver ran out of berries, we purchased from Hunter’s Moon Farm, a new organic vendor from Whidbey Island specializing in late season varieties. Grocery Manager Laura and SIPS Manager Deb met with Hal (one of the owners, the other being Claire) last winter when he visited the Co-op. In addition to Hunter’s Moon, we have two other new local vendors:  Whidbey Island Natural, which produces organic soaps, salves, and lotions, and Skokomish Ridge, a growers’ cooperative producing locally grown, high quality specialty mushrooms in Mason County. Key City Fish is distributing their mushrooms. We also have 12 new local items and 10 new regional items.   

Building Internal Capacity

We successfully implemented our employee engagement survey and simultaneously launched an upgrade to Timeclock, our system for tracking staff hours, during the second half of September.

Sadly, we accepted the resignation of Kimberly Johnson, our Wellness manager, who is relocating to be closer to her family. Per our normal procedure, the position will be posted internally for Co-op employees before we post it externally.

Sustainability

Hot off the press—The Food Co-op has earned our third EPA GreenChill Partnership award! This year our recognition is once again for Best Emissions Rate (for small/independent partners), but also—for the first time—for Superior Goal Achievement, for reaching our refrigerant emissions goal. Refrigerants used by supermarkets are harmful to the environment when emitted into the atmosphere; some harm the ozone layer and most are very potent greenhouse gases. A typical supermarket leaks about 1,000 pounds of harmful refrigerant gas into the atmosphere every year, whereas the Co-op released just 7.56 pounds of Freon in 2016.

Oddly enough, in September, due to a failed weld in the refrigerant lines we had a Freon leak from one of the produce case compressors (I overheard 15 pounds was leaked but that wasn’t verified). The compressor serves two different cases but fortunately we did not lose any product in either case.

Education, Outreach, and Advocacy

The PRC (Product Research Committee) submitted an article about glyphosate for the October Commons, which will be published October 11 and as usual distributed in the store and in The Leader.  The PRC’s September meeting was spent reviewing aseptic milk, toothpastes, and sunscreen for titanium dioxide and they will be contacting manufacturers who use titanium dioxide for more information. 

Co-op to Co-op News–The new crop of La Riojana olive oil has arrived and for the second year, NCG co-ops have purchased all that is available! This great tasting olive oil is made by a co-op and only available in co-op’s across the country. La Riojana, a co-op in Argentina, is thriving due to the relationship we have built with them. To see them tell their story a video link will be posted on our web site during October—expect to be wowed by the difference we can make by supporting each other. We ordered several more cases than in 2016 because it was so well received, but still don’t expect our stock to last an entire year. 

During September we offered our shoppers the opportunity to “round up” at the register for “Feeding Texas” and pledged to match that amount out of our donations budget. Funds raised will sent directly to this organization. From September 13-20, we raised $1201.37 from our shoppers. Our other promotion focuses on the “Save the Bee” campaign and we will be donating $1 for every pound of Bees Knees Granola we sold during September.

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