Cultivate Your Community

Introducing Your Co-op to New Communities

By |2019-09-10T20:11:17-04:00July 12th, 2018|

Business introductions are a networking staple—and they run the gamut from the ho-hum ‘We are here to sell you something’ to the dynamic, ‘We love to support communities and make a difference in people’s lives.’ As co-ops continue to seek out ways to innovate, offer more goods and services, and reach out to new communities, it is worth the investment of time and resources [...]

Customers – The Heart of the Co-op

By |2019-09-09T15:12:13-04:00April 10th, 2018|

Essential viewing for any cooperator wanting to stay on top of the latest efforts being made by National Co+op Grocers (NCG) to drive the food co-op sector forward with strength and sustainability.  Dave Olson, Co-op Development Director with NCG, shares the 2018 vision, which focuses on being great grocers, and focusing intently on not just customer service, but the Customer Experience.  Watch at an [...]

Inclusion: Starting from the Store

By |2021-12-07T13:31:37-05:00March 30th, 2018|

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.

Co-op: Community Impact Amplifier

By |2019-09-08T00:53:40-04:00March 30th, 2018|

1 + 1 = 3 according to Dan Arnett, General Manager of Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The co-op can, through its interrelationships with the community, amplify the missions of all involved.

What ‘Everyone Welcome’ Means

By |2019-09-07T02:13:52-04:00March 27th, 2018|

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 [...]

Using Ends to Tell the Story

By |2019-09-07T02:01:50-04:00February 7th, 2018|

The author Stephen Covey made “begin with the end in mind” a famous touchstone with his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Beginning with the end in mind is “Habit #2.” Of all the habits he writes about, this one involves the most reflection, pushing the reader to consider whether what they are doing is by design or default. Habit #2 encourages [...]

Everyone Welcome? Examining Race and Food Co-ops

By |2021-12-07T13:29:33-05:00December 5th, 2017|

By Patricia Cumbie, Jade Barker "The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others."—James A. Baldwin Part of our professional work is to support people acting together for a common purpose. We do this by working with co-ops to improve their relationships with all their stakeholders—owners, staff, board, managers, communities—to better [...]

Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops

By |2022-01-21T10:19:13-05:00August 30th, 2017|

By Jade Barker and Patricia Cumbie We believe that now is a critical time to engage our cooperative community in important conversations about racism and oppression. Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops presents a variety of perspectives on what can be done to make food co-ops more racially inclusive. Fifteen co-operators from a variety of backgrounds — class, gender, race, ethnicity, [...]

The Cooperative Advantage

By |2019-09-09T23:30:00-04:00August 24th, 2017|

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. Just because we have co-op in our name does not mean that people will really understand what that means. The formal definition of a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. But we need to give that meaning life. [...]

Everyone Welcome? Considering Race and Food Co-ops

By |2021-12-07T13:22:49-05:00July 12th, 2017|

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 [...]