Over 125 Member-Owners, friends, staff, and community partners of the Monadnock Food Co-op celebrated Co-op Impact! at the 6th Annual Meeting on October 23rd at the Courtyard Marriott in Keene. The prepared foods team shared tasty appetizers featuring local cheeses, meats, bread, and other co-op favorites, accompanied by local cider and beer, fair trade wine. Monadnock Waldorf School provided colorful and inspiring artwork for the walls.
It was my pleasure to introduce Noah Elbers, owner of Orchard Hill Breadworks who was honored as the 2016 Co-operator of the Year for his generous community involvement hosting weekly pizza nights to raise money for local organizations, his commitment to sourcing much of his ingredients locally and for living the spirit of co-operation.
Michael Faber, MFC General Manager, and Gary Tochterman, MFC Finance Manager, described our 2015-2016 co-op year including explaining the determination of the patronage refunds to be distributed to Member-Owners in February 2017. The Monadnock Food Co-op has the distinction of being the youngest NCG-associated food co-op to declare a patronage refund, thanks to the support of our shoppers and Member-Owners and the work of our dedicated staff! Michael also described the newly established Monadnock Cooperative Community Fund, to which members may donate their refund check. This fund is being established to provide financial support to cooperatives under development while donating the interest to local non-profits, much like an endowment.
The election results were announced. Both Kathy Burke and Anton Elbers were re-elected, and we welcome a new member, Carolyn Crane. We would like to thank Erik Walker for his years of service to our co-op.
Three great speakers shared their Co-op Impact! stories. Megan Straughen, MFC Sustainability Coordinator, talked about the flame that can ignite us into making great change through grocery shopping! Aubrey Saxton, owner of Saxy Chef, spoke about the impact that the co-op has had on her bakery. And Dorian Gregory, Board President, River Valley Co-op (Northampton MA), gave her perspective of handling the growth and success of a co-op and left us all imagining what we will look like ten years from now!
Thanks to all the MFC Member-Owners and friends who joined us in celebrating a truly great year for our cooperative!