May Updates From the Board: Talking About Growth

Hello, member-owners!

This month, the Development Committee would like to bring the topic of growth and expansion to your attention. This topic is top-of-mind for the board, and it has been a point of discussion frequently over the past year as we look to the future and explore new opportunities for the co-op.

At our last annual meeting, we shared our enthusiasm for the possibility of opening a second store in Peterborough. Based on the discussion that followed, we know that some folks were concerned about whether this would be in the best interest of our community. The board members share this concern. We are volunteers, our motivations for serving are not profit-driven. We are on the board because we believe in the co-op’s community-focused mission, which is expressed through the our Ends Policy. When we consider expansion opportunities, we always ask “why are we doing this?”, “how does this align with our Ends?”, and “how does this serve our community?”.

By asking these questions and educating ourselves on the co-op’s impact on our community, the board has concluded that growth and expansion are indeed positive for our community. And here is why:

  1. The co-op supports our local farms and businesses in multiple ways. First, the co-op prioritizes local providers when it comes to selecting inventory – many local goods that are available at the co-op are not available in the larger grocery chains. As the co-op grows, more offerings from local producers get picked up. And second, the co-op provides financial support to local farms through grants. As the co-op grows, more funds become available for these grants.
  2. The co-op helps more people in the community get access to high quality, local food by allocating financial resources to programs like Healthy Food For All, Double Up Food Bucks, and WIC. As the co-op grows, more funds are applied towards making food more affordable for more people. Furthermore, as the number of shoppers increases, the co-op can negotiate better contracts with food vendors and pass more savings along to shoppers.
  3. The co-op is an exceptional employer, offering wages and benefits that are above industry standards. As the co-op grows, more positions are added and more local folks can take advantage of these employment opportunities.
  4. The co-op enables the community to support local farms and initiatives through the Round It Up program. As the co-op grows and the number of shoppers increases, more of the community can chose to support these farms and initiatives.

This is why the board believes that growth is good.

If you have comments or feedback on this topic, we would love to hear them. You can send comments to [email protected], or join us during the monthly Member Forum time, which occurs at the co-op on the 3rd Monday of every month at 4:45pm.