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 [...]
Brett Fairbairn, co-op thought-leader, breaks down what it looks like when the co-op, it's members, and the marketplace are not in alignment and why it's so important that they all be in alignment.
By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream when it has no store, minimal (if any) staff, and, when organizing in areas that don’t have other food co-ops, no credible examples to refer to. This can make membership growth slow and painful. Nevertheless, some startups have had [...]
By Marilyn Scholl 140 January - February - 2009 In my work with food co-op boards and staff over the past 30 years, one of the questions I have often encountered is this: How can we get more people more involved at the co-op? The question has prompted a lot of soul-searching and hand-wringing. Co-op leaders intuitively believe that member involvement is vital to [...]
By Patricia Cumbie 179 July-August 2015 Food cooperatives have a special relationship with their owners and customers, but even the best relationships need to be continually nurtured and cultivated. In a rapidly changing marketplace, one in which skillful competitors can outstrip other grocers on price, convenience, and amenities, customer loyalty is king. And consumers these days are notoriously fickle. A generation ago, people [...]
Dan Arnett, General Manager Central Co-op, Seattle, WA Dan gets brainy about participation. Watch Dan break down participation into 3 components and explain some theory behind effectively engaging stakeholders in your co-op and its direction.
Bonnie Hudspeth, Outreach Coordinator Neighboring Food Co-op Association, New England Region Following the successful opening of Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH, Ms. Hudspeth share tools and strategies that were effective and instrumental in the success of Southern New Hampshire's newest food co-op startup effort..