Competition Plus Innovation Equals Excellence

For many years GreenStar Natural Foods Market “peacefully coexisted” with its local competition in Ithaca, New York. As more conventional grocers are wooing the natural food consumer with convenience and price points, the pressure is on. Brandon Kane, the co-op’s general manager has responded with a focus on community, diversity, [...]

Improve Trust and Teamwork Throughout Growth

The quality of the board-general manager relationship is one of the most influential factors for setting the tone within a cooperative. Positive and productive rapport throughout the co-op is engendered through trust and communication with co-op leaders. By establishing and practicing Teaming, (the first of the Four Pillars of Cooperative [...]

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

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 ingredients. To make your cake even more spectacular, you might pick out the highest quality ingredients, or go to a cookbook written by a baking [...]

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

Great Idea: Have Strategic Conversations about Growth

If you could have a “what if” conversation about growth wherein you didn’t have to make an immediate decision, how broad would your thinking go? At the board retreat for the Springfield Food Co-op in Springfield, VT, that’s exactly what they did, and it set in motion a series of [...]

By |June 2nd, 2014|Categories: Connections|Tags: , |

Case Study: Telling the Co-op’s Story through the Ends

City Market Onion River Co-op Burlington, VT Year founded: 1973 Member investment: $200 equity Number of members: 10,000 Retail square feet: 12,000 Number of employees: 215 The City Market Onion River Co-op in Burlington, Vt. is a thriving downtown food co-op celebrating its 40th anniversary. It’s poised for growth and [...]

Great Idea: Hold Annual Board Retreat Focused on Growth

Every annual board retreat is usually designed around answering a strategic question or questions related to the co-op’s future. At Co-opportunity Natural Foods in Santa Monica, Calif. the board decided to address growth issues by considering its benefits to the community. Dean Kubani, the co-op’s board president said that the [...]

By |May 2nd, 2014|Categories: Connections|Tags: , |

Featured Video: The Impact of Growth

Chris Dilley, General Manager, Peoples Food Co-op, Kalamazoo, Mich. You won’t want to miss this video of Chris Dilley, general manager of Peoples Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dilley speaks very eloquently about the impact of their co-op’s growth on the community and as well as how growth has begun [...]

By |March 2nd, 2014|Categories: Connections|Tags: , , |

The Co-operative Decade: Why Participation Matters

Hear directly from the ICA President about the undeniable importance of Participation in building the success of the Cooperative Movement. Dame Green discusses the role of Participation as one of the components of a successful cooperative decade as laid out in the ICA's Blueprint For a Cooperative Decade.