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Co-op Education and Ownership Programs

Fresh Convenience is Recipe for Growth

Customizable meals at fast-casual restaurants that offer made-to-order tacos or noodle bowls have found a sweet spot among consumers who want variation, portability and convenience [...]

What Drives Co-op Employee Engagement

Workplace employee engagement is a hot topic.  Open any human resources publication and you’ll find countless articles on making work fun, motivational and results-oriented.  No [...]

Retail Operations Survey 2002 Report: Invest in Success

Available only as a PDF below, due to complexity of content. Prepared with the help of the Data Analyst Team* * Data analysis was carried [...]

Compete to Thrive

Every grocery retailer is currently in a race to sell more groceries to more people.  Convenience is paramount—from grab-n-go meals to quick checkouts and in-and-out [...]

By |February 8th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Who Decides? Owner Participation in Cooperative Decisions

Cooperatives are a shared asset, managed for the common good of the owners.  At its heart, cooperation is a human enterprise that begins with relationships, [...]

Master the Fundamentals of Governance Leadership

Good leaders often ask this question:  what would set us up for success?  Most of the time the answer is simple.  Master the fundamentals.  By [...]

By |September 8th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Outlook for Growth and Establishing New Co-ops

The good news about the current environment for food co-op expansions and startups is that there’s continued planning for growth among established stores, and ongoing [...]

By |July 6th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: |

Marketplace Overview and the ‘New Normal’

For the first time since chain natural food stores rose to prominence in the 1990s, natural food grocery stores have lost market share to conventional [...]

By |January 13th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: |

Amplify Cooperative Impact through Participation

The democratic structure of cooperatives allows people the opportunity to have a real influence on business goals and outcomes through their investment, patronage, feedback, and [...]

Protecting People and Assets:  Implementing a Security Plan

                        If there’s one thing retailers know, it’s that they have to expect surprises [...]

By |July 9th, 2015|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: , |

Reaching the Co-op’s Owners

By Patricia Cumbie 179 July-August 2015 Food cooperatives have a special relationship with their owners and customers, but even the best relationships need to be [...]

Results-Oriented Communication Systems in the Workplace

Good communication systems are a real differentiator in the workplace whether the message being delivered is praise or unfavorable feedback.  Good communication systems can make [...]

Promoting “Local” Starts with Cultivating Relationships

By now it’s become all-too-familiar.  National chains and conventional grocery competitors tout their local food selection to gain market share.  Instead of actually sustaining relationships [...]

By |March 12th, 2015|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: , |

Telling the Co-op Story

By Patricia Cumbie 176 January-February 2015 Stories are as old as humankind.  If we didn’t have stories, we wouldn’t have progress or evolution.  It’s how [...]

Give Where You Live: Impact of a Cooperative Community Fund

By Patricia Cumbie 175 November-December 2014 When cooperatives work together to set aside funds to benefit groups in their local communities, the impact is multiplied. [...]

Growth Frameworks for Expansions and Startups Predicate Success

From September-October 2014 Let’s say you wanted to bake a cake. Chances are you would make a plan, choose a recipe and buy the necessary [...]

By |September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Solutions|Tags: , , , |

Fostering Belonging, Creating Community

Patricia unpacks the idea of "Belonging" and ties it to the idea of connections. Building community, support, and passion doesn't happen successfully without belong.

Co-ops Create More Co-ops

There was a time not that long ago when food co-op startup groups could be counted on one hand. They were truly anomalies. There was [...]

By |November 1st, 2013|Categories: Solutions|Tags: |

Be a Force for Good

Ok, so cooperators are always talking about building a better world. How does all that talk become action? As one person put it, “If I [...]

By |September 1st, 2013|Categories: Solutions|

Out of the Pocket

New wave food co-ops are (after four decades) mature businesses enjoying the benefits of their retail expertise and professionalism. They can put resources toward community [...]

By |July 1st, 2013|Categories: Solutions|