New faces and new projects for a new year

By Chris Maher, General Manager

I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate some recent changes to our staffing. Our hardworking Front End Manager, Mike McCary, has been promoted to the position of Assistant Operations and Customer Service Manager. Mike has long been a familiar face in the Co-op, having overseen our Front End department. In his new role, he will be working with all of our department managers to ensure smooth operations and a great customer experience.


From left to right, Shawn Bailey, new Front End Manager and Mike McCary, who was recently promoted to Assistant Operations and Customer Service Manager

We are also pleased to welcome Shawn Bailey as our new Front End Manager. Although Shawn is new to the Co-op, he is a longtime area resident and has a long history in family-run and corporate retail. Many of his previous customers were excited to see that he had joined the BriarPatch team. Please join me in welcoming Shawn!

With the parking lot and solar project behind us, we are looking to the future and the next iteration of updates and upgrades we hope to implement to enhance our customers’ experience in and around the Co-op. They include:

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

We are very pleased to have been awarded a federal grant to install some of the very newest in electric vehicle charging stations. The grant provides funding to install state-of-the-art fast charging stations in easily accessible locations. We are working to make sure we have the highest level of compatibility with the many options of EVs that are on the market today. Expect to see the installation of these stations in the early spring. It is so exciting to make another step toward sustainability and clean, renewable energy!

Store Reset

It is hard to believe that our cooperative has been operating in the Sierra College Drive location for almost 10 years! In that light, it is no surprise that some of our equipment and fixtures have begun to show some wear and tear. In addition, the Co-op continues to attract more people through its doors each year. We will be implementing a fairly substantial reset and remodel of the store in 2017.

We are working with a team of natural food store designers to focus improvements on what we call the ‘center-store’ departments. These include shelf-stable grocery, wellness, bulk, frozen, and perishables. Details will follow as the plan solidifies. As always, watch this space to learn more.

Thanks to all of our staff, managers, and board members for a successful 2016. Moreover, thanks to all of our proud and loyal owners and shoppers for their support of our great Co-op. It is a point of pride and pleasure to serve you. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and into the new year!