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 [...]

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 [...]

When and how to seek staff input on a store expansion project

Balancing staff engagement in the design process of an expansion project without creating unrealistic expectations about their role in decision-making can be difficult. Employees may [...]

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: |

Governance Considerations in Multi-Store Co-ops

We’re in a position not unlike the years after WWII when the small grocery cooperatives began to fold in the wake of full service supermarkets [...]

Stakeholder Engagement is Vital to Co-op Alignment

Seward Community Co-op opened two new business units back-to-back in the late summer and early fall of 2015.  Part of that opening process for the [...]

Planning a Member/Owner Capital Campaign

Capital campaigns can be a very important part of an expansion project - serving as a healthy test of member support.  Will your members be [...]

Membership Growth Strategies for Startups: Common Features of Success

By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream [...]

Engaging the Whole Person in Succession Planning

By Sarah Dahl 180 Sept-Oct 2015 There are two commonly seen staffing problems in co-ops that may at first seem unrelated: At Co-op A, sales [...]

Getting Started with Expansion Planning

By Bill Gessner 180 Sept-Oct 2015 Expansion projects for food co-ops fall somewhere between a labyrinth and a maze. With continuous improvement and development of [...]

Board’s Role in Expansion Projects

No matter what kind of expansion your co-op wants to do, there are always hurdles to be overcome.  Everyone has them, although some projects come [...]

By |July 2nd, 2015|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: , |

Staffing for a natural products store expansion

Your new store will have a bigger deli, more parking and a better floor plan. But will it have the staffing to support bigger and [...]

Expansion Projects Require Great Internal Communication: Before, During and After

As a co-op prepares for an expansion project, clear and effective communication within the co-op is essential for building alignment and commitment.  Here's the short [...]

By |April 9th, 2015|Categories: Articles, Grab & Go, Solutions|Tags: |

Stayin’ Athrive

At Outpost Natural Foods they've achieve success by growing their co-op too reach a wider portion of the market and to create increased access to [...]

We Don’t Have to Create the Story, We are the Story

Bobby Sullivan, the general manager of French Broad Food Co-op has some clear and direct ideas about how co-ops can and must thrive amidst growing [...]

Community-Owned, That’s the Difference!

Sharon Murphy brings the motto of Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, "Community Owned, that's the difference".  Learn how WFC has been able to sustain growth [...]

A Culture of Service

Amidst the growing competition in natural foods, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has a clear vision of how they will differentiate themselves.  Paul Cultrera, GM [...]

Refrigeration 101

Knowing the basics about refrigeration will help you communicate with specialists and make good decisions.

Interior Design Checklist

A checklist of what you need to keep in mind as you plan a new or remodeled store. Interior design is how your customers SEE [...]

People’s Expands: A Tale of Two Co-ops

What happens when you merge a mature, financially stable co-op together with one that needs to build market share? Great things! In this lively presentation [...]

By |October 4th, 2014|Categories: Connections|Tags: |