Articles

The Wheatsville Way: A System for Better Workplace Accountability

It’s hard to create a positive workplace culture, and it seems to be even more difficult to understand how holding staff accountable to standards of internal service, hard work, and cooperation actually make a workplace better. At Wheatsville Co-op in Austin, Texas, we’ve developed a system that builds organizational alignment, [...]

The Art of Successful Sampling

A great sampling program goes beyond the tired cliché of weekend trips to cavernous big box stores where customers roam the aisles gobbling up random bites. Having a well-designed sampling program can be a strong draw for shoppers, give a delightful experience, and immediately impact sales. Getting the most out [...]

Cross-Training to Achieve Operational Efficiencies

We’ve been in the “new normal” long enough to not call it “new” anymore. Despite pressure from competition and rising minimum and livable wages, co-ops continue to work to be the employer of choice in their communities and to offer great compensation packages. We all know efficiencies are the main [...]

Preparing for the Launch of Columinate: CDS Consulting Co-op Rebrand

Like many of the established cooperatives and organizations we work with, our relationships go back almost a generation. We have been thrilled to be part of so many remarkable transformations in our sector over the years. Every day we’ve supported people as they have made important changes to their work [...]

Cross-Merchandising Wine & Beer

Everybody loves a great dinner party, especially when we take things outdoors and make it a picnic. Deliciousness needn’t be hard. Your member-owners are looking to make great food with excellent beverage pairings, so help raise basket totals while improving engagement! Become the place for wine and beer with these [...]

The New Operational Basics for Continued Profitability

The reason retail basics continue to be so important is that profit margins in the grocery industry are slim and getting slimmer. Labor, cost of living and competition have contributed to mounting financial pressures, and staying focused on good operations is the difference between a profit and loss. That’s always [...]

By |April 10th, 2019|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Guiding the Fundamentals of Co-op Business

Seward Community Co-op Minneapolis, MN Year founded: 1972 Member investment: $75 Number of members: 20,000 Number of employees: 270 Locations: Franklin and Friendship grocery stores, cafe, production kitchen, administrative offices Ray Williams is Seward Community Co-op’s operations manager and recognizes that even though the co-op has achieved a lot over [...]

How Coaching Benefits You as a Leader

In a competitive economy with slim profit margins, hiring a consultant or a coach can feel like a luxury line item.  Yet feeling overtasked and having to do more with less is the perfect reason for hiring a coach.  Coaches can help leaders prioritize and focus their energies, leverage their [...]

By |March 14th, 2019|Categories: Articles, EXPORT, Featured, Solutions|

Leadership Development for Expansion Readiness

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Middlebury, VT Year founded: 1976 Member investment: $300 Number of members: 5,300 Number of employees: 85 Retail square feet: 9,000 The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op is uniquely situated in small town Middlebury, Vermont. Rather than becoming one of those places that time forgot, it has maintained [...]

By |March 14th, 2019|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, EXPORT, Featured, Solutions|Tags: |

It Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top

When I became general manager of Outpost Natural Foods in 1986, I had already been working at the co-op for seven years doing ordering, receiving, merchandising, marketing, managing, and assisting the general manager (GM) with board work. So naturally that made me the prime candidate for the GM job, since [...]