Monthly Archives: May 2018

How Cooperative is Your Customer Service?

Too often, customer service and membership trainings become a quick checked box on the first day on the job, and over time, staff become disconnected from the true meaning of service and the significance of their co-op in the community. As competition in our marketplace continues to tighten, it’s imperative that we strive to create a culture of continuous improvement and enthusiasm for the [...]

Hiring For Success

James Morrell has over 25 years experience in natural foods retail management. Over those years he’s done a lot of hiring. I’ve written about hiring in this column before, but for a fresh perspective I turned to James, now a consultant in fresh category management.   What do you look for when you’re hiring? The resume and past experience are a starting point but [...]

Co-op Capitalization Campaigns that Engage and Inspire

Research suggests that public speaking tops the list as the number-one fear-inducing activity for most people. Put that together with asking people for money, and you’ve got a potent combination for high anxiety. If you have a project you believe in—especially if you’re a cooperator seeking to finance a startup or expansion—sharing your passion for why you think people should support it doesn’t have [...]

Capital Campaign Funding Builds Expansion Momentum

Astoria Food Co-op Astoria, OR Year founded: 1974 Member investment: $200 Number of members: 4,200 Number of employees: 25 Retail square feet: 2,000 currently (7,000 Summer 2019) The town of Astoria, Oregon has a strong independent streak. While other nearby areas are overrun with chain stores, their town has not sustained that level of attention or development. That doesn’t mean the 10,000 people who [...]

When a Living Wage Becomes a Demotivator

By Sarah Dahl 195 March-April 2018 It’s hard to understand how something as benevolent as paying a living wage could cause resentment within the workforce. With over half (29) of states and an additional 39 localities mandating a minimum wage higher than the legal threshold of $7.25, more co-ops are attempting to provide a living wage for their lowest-paid employees. While this is a [...]