Hello, Fellow Member-Owners,
The Food Co-op Board has decided that even though there may not always be fresh news to tell, we should write an Evolution Update each month to let you know how things are going as we explore our facilities options. So here is the first update!*
Last fall, we formed a committee to map out the process for the Co-op’s evolution, comprised of our general manager, Kenna Eaton; our board assistant, Rachel Williams; and four board members, with board member David Wayne Johnson as committee chair. We named ourselves the Evolutionary Road Crew, or ERC—who says boards can’t have a sense of humor?
ERC divided the work on our facilities into several stages:
- Phase 1: Define our facility needs
- Phase 2: Identify a short list of options for feasibility study
- Phase 3: Evaluate options, then board decision on preferred option(s)
- Phase 4: Preliminary design and budget; ask for member approval
- Phase 5: Pre-work work: contracts, permits, etc.
- Phase 6: Remodel or construction or ?
We completed Phase I in the spring, and so we are currently working on Phases 2 and 3. As we’ve noted before, there is no perfect option. We are searching out all the feasible options, so that we can pick the most likely possibilities and study them more thoroughly. Since this process sometimes involves real estate or other organizations, we cannot always go into detail. If you are too open about your ideas and plans, the perfect piece of property might be snatched up before you can agree to purchase it! And sometimes the details are not ours to share.
To help with Phases 2 and 3, we are enlisting community members with expertise in various pertinent areas to be part of a work group to study our options. Summer is a busy time, but we plan to convene this work group as soon as we can.
We are trying to be comprehensive in our exploration of options, and we welcome any ideas a member might have on some new possibility. Maybe you and several of your friends want to start a development cooperative and build the perfect community center to include the Co-op! We love to hear all ideas, especially ideas that benefit everybody.
In addition to this blog and the Commons, you can check the Board’s Board at the front of the store (next to the bathrooms) for updates, information, and events. As a for instance, we are in the process of planning some events next fall where members, staff, and the board can learn about various topics pertinent to our co-op and then talk about them: Organic: What Is It and Why Is It Important? (And how does it differ from natural?); Financial Literacy: What Do Those Numbers in the Annual Report Mean?; P6: Labeling Local, Small, and Cooperative Products (Is it for us?); and we also plan to cover food topics this winter, such as Healthy Food Access.
So, until our next blog, we’ll see you at the Coop!
Janet, Monica, Henry, David Wayne, Patricia, Peter, and Lisa
*To see earlier blogs on Co-op Evolution, including why we are looking to improve our facilities, please follow the links below, or scroll back through the blog and look for the Co-op Evolution image.