Monthly Archives: July 2017

Gaining Grocery Fluency

Most directors are drawn to serve on the board of their local food co-op because they embrace its values and mission, and not because they yearn to become grocers. And yet their role as the elected fiduciaries, they must exercise oversight and make key decisions that can impact the health of the business in multiple ways. Knowing something about the industry and the business [...]

Everyone Welcome? Considering Race and Food Co-ops

  Three years ago, we were participants in a workshop designed to raise awareness of racial bias, particularly in progressive organizations.  As part of that Training for Change session in Minneapolis in 2014, everyone was asked what we would like to do as next steps.  Part of our professional work as consultants is to bring a variety of people together in co-ops to better [...]

Reflecting Ends and Implementing Inclusivity Practices

Seward Community Co-op Minneapolis, MN Year founded:  1972 Member investment:  $75 Number of members:  16,000 Number of employees:  335 Business units:  two retail grocery stores, restaurant, production facility In 2013, when Seward Community Co-op began the feasibility process for their second location in a historically African American neighborhood in South Minneapolis, it experienced a tremendous amount of community interest as well as sharp questions [...]

Distinguishing Characteristics: Utilizing the Power of Produce to Stand Out from the Crowd

By James Morrell 190 May-June 2017 Keeping it fresh: a vibrant and fresh produce department is a key part of most natural food cooperatives, and a positive produce experience is the primary reason given by shoppers for their choice of a specific store or location. A healthy produce department offers a great foundation for overall store success and is an effective way for a store [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly understands the other’s role or perspective, and this can lead to misunderstandings, haphazard planning [...]