John Glennon, General Manager
As I reflect on our theme for the 2019 Annual Meeting – Yes, We Are Open! – I am struck by how imperative the gesture of yes and the concept of openness are to our work at Food Conspiracy. Of course “yes” is the answer we want to hear when we ask if a product is available but for me our collective disposition to yes goes deeper than that by residing at the level of our cooperative culture. I believe the fluidity and movement of possibilities that the gesture of “yes” produces has the power to emanate throughout the space of our Co-op, extending into the very fabric of the aesthetic mood of our store. This tone setting gesture is then reflected in our interactions and relationships at all levels of our cooperation, whether in our Wellness Department, at the checkout lane, in a board meeting, or working with our local producers. I have committed my work as General Manager to instilling this culture of “yes” at Food Conspiracy every day, and I can share with you first hand that I’ve seen a blossoming of new pathways toward success with this approach.
The concept of openness is similar to the gesture of “yes” in that openness perpetuates potential. When our Co-op opens for business, we are opening to the potential of the day by striving to meet the needs of our owners and customers while facilitating health, wellness, sustainability and joy with the products we stock and the vibes of our store. However, the concept of openness as it relates to this year’s Annual Meeting has a very specific meaning. For nearly half a century, you – our wonderful owners and customers – have supported your Co-op by parking behind the store and walking around to our front door. At this year’s annual meeting we plan to present to you our openness to a vision: a vision to alleviate “the walk”, a vision to dramatically increase the convenience of shopping at our store, a vision to open new doors, a vision of an east entrance. The preliminary plan is to create an east entrance with cafe seating as you approach the new door with increased parking throughout our properties. We plan to integrate creative edible gardens throughout the design that will make for a truly beautiful parking and entrance concept.
We are saying yes and opening new doors! Please be sure to come to our annual meeting on Saturday March 2, 2019 to celebrate with us and hear all about our plans for new successes at Food Conspiracy.
You might notice some awesome changes in our store culminating in January with our board-approved grab-and-go expansion project. In this project, we are replacing our sandwich bar with a new refrigerated case and a new island cheese case. The plan is to expand our back-of-house kitchen and produce production with new grab-and-go items and quick lunch/dinner solutions as well as a unique cheese and charcuterie set. We gave the sandwich bar its fair shot, but the numbers were not supporting it moving forward. After unanimous support from the Co-op staff and board for the grab-and-go expansion, I am extremely confident that these changes will be a huge win for our store.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for our grab- and-go expansion or for anything else in the store please let me know. Thank you!