Makeover time for our ten-year-old store

From Richard Drace, Board President

Face lift? Tummy tuck? Botox? Joint replacement? Or maybe just a new hairdo and wardrobe upgrade? But why change a good thing? Aren’t we super just the way we are? That’s what people in my age range like to say as we insist we are “aging gracefully.”
Our once state-of-the-art store still continues to serve us well, but the times they are a changin’. So… maybe it does need a joint replacement. Environmental technology has advanced a lot in ten years, and our store could use some new moving parts. New energy-efficient refrigeration equipment will give us significant utilities savings. And while we’re at it, let’s include some higher capacity shelving, widened aisles, a new staff restroom, and an expanded customer service area.
When we all decided to stay here rather than relocate, we knew that our store has only so much capacity. We also knew that if we continued to grow, the store would soon feel the way the parking lot used to: people getting in each other’s way, which makes it hard to feel appreciative of human interactions. That’s why we hired a makeover artist who can help us make the most of what we’ve got.
The store will be bigger by only a few square feet. But the feel of the space will be good.
The convenience will be good. And with an even friendlier customer service area, our staff will be able to strut their stuff even better. The makeover will make the shopping experience more pleasant, and the working conditions more pleasant for our valued employees.
With every growth spurt BriarPatch has had so far, the same question arises: Why grow? I hear two valid yet opposing answers: (1) Since our mission is to make the very best food available, wouldn’t we want to make that food available to more people? (2) But doesn’t there come a point at which “bigger” means that we compromise the very virtues we have and extol?
I believe we accomplish little by making general statements for or against growth. Rather, let’s look at each specific opportunity that presents itself and ask: Is going this route in the very best interests of BriarPatch owners? Can we do what we do well even better, and not in any way do it worse?
This store makeover was an easy choice. For whatever comes next, we know that we need long-range thinking and planning. Ten years ago, who could have guessed we’d be where we are? What’s your guess where we’ll be ten years from now?

Showing 2 comments
  • Ken Rohrbach

    It’s time someone took a good look at how to improve the efficiency of the food service area. When I think of going there for lunch the word
    cluster…. comes to mind. It is awkward to stand amid people that are trying to choose their lunch with nowhere to stand and not be in the way.
    I usually go elsewhere because of that. It also means that we shop elsewhere as well. This situation means that management is failing in this area. Please correct this!

    • BriarPatch Co-op Community Market

      Hi Ken, Thanks for the comment. This makeover is the first phase of the implementation of a full master plan. While we are thrilled that our deli and store are so popular, we do understand that it presents some challenges for both customers and workers. You will see improvements to our food service area in the future, so, stay tuned! In the meantime, we have recently begun offering light-up, vibrating pagers for customers waiting for service counter orders. They allow you to go anywhere in the store or even outside while you wait for your food. We are also happy to take call-in orders so you can zip in and zip out

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