Cooperative Grocer

Co-ops at a Crossroads: A Co-op Security Case Study

By Michael Feiner, Paul Feiner 194 Jan.-Feb. 2018 Retail grocery co-ops are as quintessential Vermont as the brilliant colors of our fall foliage, the hallmark herd of Holsteins on the pasture, or the one-room schoolhouse at the crossroads of two backcountry roads. In fact, it’s said that Vermont boasts the most food [...]

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to [...]

Autonomy and Independence: What’s Up with Principle Four?

By Ben Sandel Cooperative principle four: Autonomy and independence. What do you think about it? Or perhaps a better question is—do you ever think about it? In my consulting practice, I sometimes lead activities designed to get people thinking and talking about cooperative values and principles. I’d never accuse my clients of [...]

Everyone Welcome? Examining Race and Food Co-ops

By Patricia Cumbie, Jade Barker "The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others."—James A. Baldwin Part of our professional work is to support people acting together for a common purpose. We do this by working with [...]

Cooperative Business Law Basics: A Primer on Organizational Structure and Capitalization Options

By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson Change in the market, change in the world, can mean stress in the relationships within a cooperative as the organization adapts to the changing circumstances. Both having the right organizational structure and choosing the right vehicles to capitalize your co-op are important in making your [...]

Distinguishing Characteristics: Utilizing the Power of Produce to Stand Out from the Crowd

By James Morrell 190 May-June 2017 Keeping it fresh: a vibrant and fresh produce department is a key part of most natural food cooperatives, and a positive produce experience is the primary reason given by shoppers for their choice of a specific store or location. A healthy produce department offers a [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly [...]

Understanding the Meaning of “Speaking With One Voice”

By Michael Healy 189 March-April 2017 Boards of directors regularly struggle with the concept of “speaking with one voice”— primarily because the concept has a dual meaning. Within the context of Policy Governance, which many food co-op boards use, the principle of board holism is sometimes described as “speaking with [...]

Meat Managers Share Advice on Competing with the Big Boys

By Pete Hodgson 189 March-April 2017 A decade ago, it was still a challenge for consumers to find high quality, locally raised meats. Nowadays, there is no shortage of choices. Everyone from the mom-and-pop grocer to the big-box retailer offers some kind of deal on meat—even the gas station! Competitors [...]

Updating Trends in General Manager Compensation

By Carolee Colter March-April 2017 View data by downloading attached PDF. Data from 104 co-ops with annual sales ranging from $1M to $74M In 2006 and 2011, this magazine published studies on general manager (GM) compensation. Continuing that tradition, here’s a look at the state of management compensation in food [...]