The Co-op Is Off to a Good Start

July 14, 2022

We measure our Food Co-op’s success by how much progress we make toward achieving the long-term goals (“Ends”) set by our Co-op’s Board of Directors. Each of these “Ends” connects directly with one of our four core values – local products, community engagement, sustainability, and financial success. 

The Board recently took a deep look at our progress so far based on a review of the annual “Ends Report” prepared by our General Manager for 2021 – our opening year.  Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Positive Impacts and Achievements

LOCAL:  We prioritized purchases from local producers. For 2021 – our first year – the board set a modest goal of 10% of purchases from local producers. During 2021 we purchased from 215 local vendors and these local products comprised 18.9% of our total purchases – substantially exceeding our goal.

COMMUNITY:  The heart of our Co-op is this community. After all, we are a community-owned grocery co-op! We want the Co-op to be a place where people and ideas come together and we want the Co-op to be inclusive of all people in this diverse community. A few of our 2021 achievements: 

  • We held 102 events during 2021, including nutrition, cooking, and gardening classes, live music nights at the Co-op, and much more.  
  • Our Co-op launched a Food for All program that provided free fruits and vegetables to customers purchasing groceries with SNAP EBT. In all, we gave away over $40,000 in coupons for produce.
  • We also donated $4,325 in cash or in kind to local non-profits to support their important work.
  • In 2021 we added 850 new Co-op owners. Everything is better with more owners!

SUSTAINABILITY:  We center environmental sustainability in all of our decisions. In 2021, our Co-op:

  • Worked to reduce unnecessary bags and packaging. We rewarded customers for bringing their own bags to shop at the Co-op and reduced by over 12,000 the number of bags we would have otherwise used for customers’ groceries.
  • Offered a wonderful bulk section that features great prices and allows customers to bring their own containers.
  • Our volunteers made thousands of reusable tote bags from donated t-shirts, which we gave away as part of our effort to reduce plastic waste.
  • Diverted 2,850 lbs of food waste to farms.

FINANCIAL:  Without financial stability, the most noble mission can’t be realized. In 2021, while not yet profitable, we ended the year with a better bottom line than we had forecast. This was due to the prudent control of costs. We are thrilled that, since January 2022, our sales have soared above our 2021 level as more people are discovering the Co-op and the unique benefits it offers.

2021 was a good start.

Our commitment is to always stay focused on our core values and to keep working to improve the planet and contribute to our wonderful community in ways that bring people together.