At the Cooperative Café in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2013, participants discussed the question of growth and Sarah Christensen, general manager at GreenTree Cooperative Grocery in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., addressed the group about GreenTree’s approach to growth in the past and how they are addressing it now.

The co-op had been founded in the 1970s and had stayed a small storefront for many years because it had been risk-averse. “We missed out on some opportunities and the ability to write our own destiny,” said Christensen, about the co-op’s fear of growth. It led to some serious limitations over the years in terms of paying employees and attracting customers.

In addition to sharing their co-op’s story, Christensen also shared her perspective on the importance of intentions. “Sometimes in the history of our co-op, growth happened because of other things—thank you Dr. Oz—or whatever was the current situation. From here on our growth has to be planned and executed and bold, and that will make the most difference.”

Get in the spirit of why growth matters by watching the video.

“I think growth matters because we do good work in each of our towns…and if that good work can touch more people, not only does growth matter, but it’s essential.”
—Sarah Christensen, general manager, Green Tree Cooperative Grocery, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

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