Monthly Archives: March 2018

Inclusion: Starting from the Store

You can't have a conversation about inclusion without first expanding the circle and inviting everyone to the table. Prasanna Regmi, General Manager at Davis Food Co-op in Davis, CA talks about the work being done at Davis starting with the core of the co-op network, the store.

Keeping the Co-op at the Table

Co-op donation and local giving programs is sometimes not enough. In order for the cooperative to remain a central and key player in the local community it can sometimes mean getting involved in local government, planning committees, and more. These are the kinds of strategies employed by Liz Haywood, CEO of People's Food Cooperative of LaCrosse and Rochester. Here Haywood calls co-ops out for [...]

Cooperation Fosters Deep Roots

Change can be uncomfortable. By discussing what we may be afraid of losing it can be a valuable process to get to being excited about what we might better, or more of. Chris Maher, General Manager of BriarPatch Food Co-op in Grass Valley, CA tells the story behind the BriarPatch name, and its deep connections to a rich history of cooperation across the Northern [...]

What ‘Everyone Welcome’ Means

The closing of a nearby neighborhood grocer presented what could have been a great sales boost for Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, MN. But the neighbors weren't beating down the doors of WFD.  Sarah Hanningan, GM, tells the story of what it took to reach out to their neighbors and their communities. Having 'Everyone Welcome' printed on their awning simply wasn't going to be [...]

Is Independence a Barrier to Cooperation?

As a result of the coalescing of the regional Co-op Grocers Associations into National Co+op Grocers GreenTree Co-op was able to undergo a transformational shift in their approach to operations and customer experience. Sarah Christensen, GM at GreenTree in Mt. Pleasant, talks about what she perceives as a barrier to collaboration and true cooperation among cooperations: Independence. Christensen explores what it means to be [...]

The Problem No One Wants to Talk About

A client, who I’ll call Mary, is the owner of a small natural foods store. A new bookkeeper had been on the job for several months before Mary studied the bank records and realized $15,000 had disappeared. Mary confronted the bookkeeper, who sobbed that she'd "borrowed" the money to pay her mortgage. Mary was touched by this story. She intended to fire the bookkeeper, [...]

Analysis of Board Members’ Conflicts of Interest

It’s very common for conflicts of interest to be present on the board of a retail food co-op. Some even joke that conflict management is at the heart of cooperation. And in a way, it’s true. The legitimacy of a board’s decision depends in large measure on the board’s ability to demonstrate that the decision was made to further the best interests of the [...]

Aiming for Continuous Communications Improvement

By Sarah Dahl 191 July-August 2017 No one is a perfect communicator, and no co-op experiences completely effective communication at all times. While some co-ops may do better than others—at least as reported in more than 200 staff surveys conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op—communication issues are nearly always on the list of things that staff want to see improved. While communication issues can be as [...]