PT Food Co-op

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

General Manager’s Blog

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.

December 2017 GM Report 

Market of Choice

We are super excited and honored to have our produce department named #1 in the Reader’s Choice awards given by the Leader. We are so proud of our team and love the fact that others recognize their work as well.

In late November, we began offering our customers the option of buying Boiler Room tokens to give to people in need. The Boiler Room offers a safe space to youth as well as a free meal (plus access to services) to anyone. Coffee is not free, though. Now you will be able to buy a coffee token at the Co-op for $1.50 to give to anyone in need and you’ll know that person will be also be fed. All funds raised go to The Boiler Room to help them fulfill their mission.

In October, we had $1 off coupons available for several manufacturers who were supporting a “Plant the Seed” promotion.  For every coupon used, $1 was donated to a fund to be used to educate beginning organic farmers. Shoppers redeemed 187 coupons.

In mid-November, we ran a three day 10% discount sale on bulk baking supplies for the holiday baking season.

Food System Development

In November, we brought in three new local items, plus we switched our bulk kombucha to Iggy’s from Bainbridge Island. This new on-tap kombucha system has the added benefit of using refillable kegs. Our previous provider had switched to plastic kegs that could not be refilled or reused (at least on the Olympic Peninsula) and were being sent to the landfill. Additionally, we brought in twelve new regional items and one new vendor, Acme Farms cheese from Bellingham. Acme Farms purchases its milk from Coldstream Dairy, located directly across the road from the cheese plant, so the milk is super fresh, and they don’t use rBST. We are selling two of their small batch, artisan cheeses, Camembert and Petit Brie.

Building Internal Capacity

We are pleased to announce that a new marketing manager joined our team in December. Andrea Stafford has experience in natural foods and retail grocery, including six years at Whole Foods in various marketing roles. Her education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Advertising as well as graphic design/animation certificates. Andrea also has wide experience in designing successful events and community outreach.

Food services has continued their work with LEAN to organize their supplies and work flow. For example, based upon a suggestion from a team member, they recently purchased clear storage bins, which make stocking and ordering more efficient. We also installed a new double steamer to replace a single unit that failed.

Environment

In December, we continued our work begun earlier this year to clean and open up the parklet located on the right of way between the Co-op and Penny Saver. This additional work included removing the blackberries that have been choking out the fruit trees growing there, work that will have the added benefit of further improving the security of everyone who uses that space.

Education, Outreach, and Advocacy

Co-op shoppers donated $661.20 to the Cooperative Development Foundation in October. These funds were sent to Puerto Rico to help that island’s cooperatives recover from the devastation caused by the hurricanes.

The Product Research Committee completed their review of a draft humane meat policy, which is now being reviewed by staff, to implemented by the end of 2017.

Starting in February, we will offer another range of cooking classes taught by Sidonie Wilson. Sidonie will also continue to write feature articles for our newsletter, the Commons.

Finally, we are exploring the possibility of sponsoring a Worker Co-op Academy, to be held here in Port Townsend in the spring. In a 10-12 week course, the Northwest Cooperative Development Center staff would take three to five groups committed to forming worker or housing co-ops through the start-up phases, such as a feasibility study, by-laws, and a business plan. At the end of the academy, the groups will ideally be prepared to start their membership and capital drives. Before we can schedule an academy, we’ll need three to five groups of four to five people who have a strong commitment to starting a worker-owned coop or a housing coop. Please contact me if you are interested; gm@foodcoop.coop.

 

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