Cultivate Your Community

Amplifying Co-Op Values and Meeting Customers’ Needs with Cooperative Wines

By |2020-07-23T15:26:08+00:00July 21st, 2020|Cultivate Your Community, Uncategorized|

Outstanding wine departments offer bottles chosen to taste great. The best go beyond flavor to advance a vision, a perspective, an ethos. These innovators cater to their customers while honoring both economic realities and a deeper mission.  By their very nature, co-ops serve such multiple bottom lines, and your wine department should further our values as cooperators.  Baked into the being of every co-op [...]

The Need for Intercultural Dialogue Facilitation

By |2020-06-16T15:33:15+00:00June 4th, 2020|Cultivate Your Community|

As the country rises in protest around the issue of police brutality and violence against black people in America, the need to have constructive conversations and effective dialogues with those who have differing viewpoints has never been stronger. Columinate consultant Darin Short specializes in intercultural dialogue facilitation and training, and he's been busy this summer working with a variety of organizations around the country [...]

Articulating your Co-op’s Value during a Pandemic — and Beyond

By |2020-05-14T20:45:15+00:00May 14th, 2020|Cultivate Your Community, Improve Operations|

So much is changing so quickly right now, and our co-ops are uniquely positioned to serve our owners and community today, and be practical alternatives to 'business -as-usual' in the future. We don't have a crystal ball to see that future, but we can discuss together how our co-ops can have a larger role and how we can talk about our co-ops as important [...]

Everyone Welcome Chatinar

By |2020-03-21T01:16:10+00:00March 21st, 2020|Cultivate Your Community, Develop Your Leaders|

The authors of Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops believe that bridging the racial divide starts first with encouraging inquiry and engagement that leads toward greater awareness, problem-solving, and embracing radical change.  They know starting and sustaining conversations about race are not always easy.  Being inclusive in our workplaces, board rooms and community organizations requires the willingness and skill to talk about race.  [...]

Welcoming Improvement

By |2019-10-14T21:21:09+00:00October 14th, 2019|Cooperative Cafe, Cultivate Your Community|

Creating a store that reflects the community it serves AND occupies is a difficult endeavor. At Durham Co-op Market they are committing to the hard work of being welcoming to every shopper, in a way that each shopper will feel welcomed. In this video, Leila Wolfrum, General Manager at Durham Co-op Market, describes their ongoing process of continuous improvement in doing the important work [...]

Principles of ‘Openness’

By |2019-10-14T21:12:26+00:00October 14th, 2019|Cooperative Cafe, Cultivate Your Community|

Co-op Principle #1: Open & Voluntary Membership; in this installment filmed for the 2019 Cooperative Cafe series, LaDonna challenges us to deeply examine 'Openness' and 'Voluntary' at our own co-ops. Can we see ourselves in the Co-ops' story? Can our neighbors? Even when we struggle to compete to be seen or heard in the crowded marketplace, cooperative have a competitive advantage when it comes [...]

Columinate Supports Ohio Startup Gem City Market

By |2019-09-30T16:43:32+00:00September 29th, 2019|Cultivate Your Community, Startup Support|

Consultants bring innovation, passion to the groundbreaking project (from Left) Corrine Saunders, Kenya Baker, Lela Klein, Wynston Estis and Amaha Sellassie participate in the Gem City Market ceremonial groundbreaking. Dayton, OH September 30, 2019: A groundbreaking engagement is underway between Columinate consultants and Gem City Market in Dayton, OH. The consulting cooperative is providing managers-on-contract to support a 2020 store [...]

Restoring Trust and Vibrancy in a Co-op Community

By |2019-09-10T20:10:24+00:00January 9th, 2019|Cultivate Your Community|

Central Co-op Seattle, WA Year founded: 1978 Number of members: 14,200 Consumer member investment: $100 Worker member investment: $6,340 (12 years) Number of employees: 120 Locations: Seattle and Tacoma (opening date late spring TBD) When the Central Co-op in Seattle, Wash. proposed a vote to merge with the Tacoma Food Co-op in 2015, the memberships of both co-ops overwhelmingly approved it. Both communities saw [...]

Expanding the Boundaries of Retailing in Local Communities

By |2019-09-09T16:05:05+00:00November 7th, 2018|Cultivate Your Community, Grow Your Business|

Contemporary food co-ops have begun important discussions in their organizations around equity and inclusion. As part of that process, they’ve had to accept and deal with some painful truths that their co-ops have not always been perceived as inclusive, especially through the shopping experience. Food co-op customers in particular are often skewed toward a certain demographic—white, educated, affluent people. Outreach to those who are [...]

Unity: The New Co-op Mission

By |2019-09-09T15:57:20+00:00November 7th, 2018|Cooperative Cafe, Cultivate Your Community, Develop Your Leaders|

The founding vision for Outpost was to be a "safe-haven for people who felt like they weren't included" and Mehnert contends that that mission is truer today than ever. Drawing comparisons to the social rebellions of the 60s and 70s that birthed many of our modern Co-ops, Pam Mehnert General Manager at Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, WI, examines the conditions that our co-ops [...]