Chris Maher, General Manager
I’m happy to report that our current delivery yard and access pathway remodel project is nearly finished. The project was initiated as part of our 2017 remodeling effort, when we learned that our access to the street and bus stop did not meet the federal Americans with Disabilities Act’s requirements for grading. As we planned to address this, it became apparent that we could also effectively implement the changes to our receiving area that were designed into our master expansion plan.
It’s important to remember that when our store was designed over twelve years ago, it was beyond our hopes and expectations that we would ever become as popular and busy as we are today. This latest remodel helps us to develop our facility to meet this demand. By adding some 500 square feet of refrigerated storage space, we have greatly improved our ability to support our local small-scale farms by enabling them to make as few deliveries each week as possible. Prior to this expansion, we didn’t have enough room to store a week’s worth of harvest from the full complement of local farms that serve our store. With this expansion, the farmers can now spend more time in their fields growing their delicious produce.
I often reflect on the outstanding success that our co-op continues to experience. We know that our county has seen little population growth during the last ten years. And yet… our store’s gross sales have grown from 10 to over 30 million dollars over the last eleven years! I believe that credit for this is largely due to our cooperative model. It’s not simply a model of ownership; it’s a commitment to doing business a different way.
The grocery business is highly competitive. And our structure as a community-owned cooperative gives us a mandate to do more than other stores do. Yet, even as our conventional counterparts offer increasingly more natural and organic products, our “cooperative service” addresses the needs of our customers, staff and suppliers in a way that goes way beyond simple customer service. The work we do engaging stakeholders helps us to develop a more authentic connection that informs not just the products we offer, but every business decision we make.
I’d like to thank all of you for being part of this wonderful organization. We strive to be more than a store for you. We seek to be a community center that provides benefit to shoppers and community alike.