The New Season Holds Much Promise

Many years ago, I had an elderly friend who had grown up on a farm on Prince Edward Island. One of his bits of wisdom was, “April is for waiting.”  This April felt that way particularly. Spring has come in fits and starts, from unseasonably warm to a snowstorm, which means waiting impatiently for the warmth to stay. The global pandemic drags slowly to what we hope will be a definitive finish line as we wait for vaccine doses; schools open, if only briefly until the term ends; and indoor socializing returns with cautious excitement.

For our co-operative and its community market — our expansion completed and not yet fully celebrated — the new season holds much promise. As we have noted in past messages from the Board of Directors, we are facing exciting times. We have undergone significant growth in our capacity to serve our members and other shoppers with new and exciting products, achieve lower prices on many items due to increased volume, and build our network of more than 3700 member-owners.

As the only community-owned grocery in the region, we have a unique responsibility to ensure that our efforts meet the Ends that our founders created for us. As a Board, we have been thinking strategically about those ends and how they can best guide our activities in the next chapter of our co-op’s story.

What does it mean when we say in the first two Ends Statements that we are a community-owned, downtown market that “connects community,” is accessible, and welcoming? That is among the most important questions that our Board has been strategically considering over the last several months. What do we mean by “community”? How can we assure our owners that we are accessible to everyone in that community? How do we measure “welcoming,” and when might that effort not be what is needed and how will we know? Our region and our world are changing — and our next chapter will test how we can adapt, particularly in ways that will enhance justice, equity and foster greater diversity and inclusiveness among all our stakeholders.

If you would like to be a part of leading our co-op in this next chapter, we are looking for Member-Owners to run for election to the Board in the fall. Watch for candidate information events or contact the Board at [email protected].