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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 [...]

Expanding Fresh Food Convenience

Eastside Food Co-op Minneapolis, MN Year founded:  2003 Member equity:  $100 Number of members:  6,500 Number of employees:  100 Retail square feet:  9,500 Eastside Food [...]

Cooperative Ends, Impact, and Telling the Story

An individual member-owner or customer or vendor could probably describe how the co-op impacts their life: This is where I get the food that feeds [...]

Communicating Co-op Impact to Staff, Members and Community

Hunger Mountain Co-op Montpelier, VT Year founded:  1972 Number of members:  8,300 Member investment:  $180 Number of staff:  165 Retail square feet:  12,000 Hunger Mountain [...]

Excellent Staff Communication—the Pillar of Change Management

Now more than ever, co-ops must adapt to market forces and make changes to survive and thrive in the marketplace. So much change can be [...]

Location, Location, Location, part 2

Today’s successful food co-ops are by and large located in more affluent neighborhoods—with shoppers who are typically college-educated and white.  But what if you want [...]

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: , |

Experiencing Competition Head-On

Good Foods Co-op Lexington, KY Year founded:  1972 Number of members:  7,750 Membership investment:  $200 Number of employees:  100 Retail square feet:  12,000 It seems [...]

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

Location, Location, Location

When selecting a natural food co-op store location, there are a number of characteristics that can add to, or detract from, the store's opportunity for [...]

Retail Food Co-ops as Servant Leaders

Listening.  Empathy.  Healing.  Awareness.  Persuasion.  Conceptualization.  Foresight.  Stewardship.  Commitment to the growth of people.  Building Community.  These are elements of servant leadership, a concept developed [...]

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: |

In Service to Community in Pensacola

Ever’man Co-op Grocery & Cafe Pensacola, FL Year founded:  1973 Number of members:  11,300 Number of staff:  91 Retail square feet:  17,000, (co-op also has [...]

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for shoplifting!

Of the average $40 billion in U.S. retail theft annually, a significant share of that is unfortunately stuffed into stockings and swept out the door [...]

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, [...]

New North Willy Street Co-op Serves Needs and Values

Willy Street Co-op Madison, Wisc. Year founded:  1974 Equity investment:  $56 single/$91 household + $2 service fee Number of members:  34,000 Number of employees:  420 [...]

By |November 14th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Including Members in the Ends Dialogues

How is your board spending its time? It’s easy to get caught up in the delegation and accountability portion of a board’s job.  Yet there’s [...]

A Board’s Quick Guide to Communicating Decisions to Owners

As competition makes the reality of executing difficult or complex business decisions more common, it's important that boards be ready to address situations when owners [...]

What is Board Holism or Speaking with One Voice?

When the members elect and delegate the board to act on behalf of all members, the delegation is to the board, not to individual directors. [...]

By |October 5th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Connections, Featured, Teaming|Tags: |

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: , |

Inter-state Cooperation Compels Leadership and Communication

People's Food Co-op LaCrosse, WI and Rochester, MN Year founded:  1973 Equity requirement:  $100 Number of members:  8,700 Number of staff:  210 Locations:  LaCrosse, WI [...]

So Our Co-ops are Mostly White, Now What?

In the more than 30 years I’ve been involved with co-ops—student housing co-ops, food co-ops, even a worker-owned collective—almost all of the participants have been [...]