Fall 2019 Newsletter

Weighing Our Options

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About This Newsletter

Much has been happening with our Co-op since the sobering June meeting reported in the last newsletter. During the summer, members held Kitchen Table Conversations about ways to move forward; the Board sent out a survey; and most reently, on September 14, called a Special Meeting to explore 4 specific options. Information about all of this is in this newsletter and on the Co-op website www.plainfieldcoop.com...

A Lot Has Been Happening
by Sarah Phillips, President

At our April annual meeting, member-owners asked the Board to step up over the spring and summer months to let our community know about our financial challenges and invite member-owners into a conversation about how we create a thriving, financially sustainable Co-op.  In an August email, we updated member-owners on the summer work to fully engage member-owners.  Here are some highlights:

by Glenda Bissex, Editor

THIS IS THE LAST ISSUE OF THE NEWSLETTER THAT WILL BE MAILED TO MEMBERS (through the postal service). This is purely a financial decision, which will save the Co-op hundreds of dollars a year, as explained below. But we don't want anyone to feel discouraged from reading the newsletter!!...

Special Meeting on the Coop’s Future
by Gail Falk

More than 70 members and friends gathered September 14 for a special member meeting at the Plainfield Town Opera House to choose a future direction for the Co-op. Andy Robinson chaired the meeting, and established ground rules for the discussion...

Welcome (back) New Board Members

Welcome to Les and Charlotte...

I Am Happy to Report. . . but. . .
by Giordano Checchi, Treasurer

I am happy to report that during the month of July there has been a definite improvement in the performance of our Co-op.  For the last three months sales have improved steadily, with the Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS) at 66% of revenues.  Expenses, on the other hand, have been kept under tight control, without affecting wages, that in turn remained at the normal level of all previous months.  Altogether, looking at the numbers only, we see a pretty healthy picture...

A Busy Summer
by Jean Hamilton, Interim General Manager

Hello Members and Friends!

As you have read in other parts of this newsletter, it has been a busy summer at the Plainfield Co-op. Staff and members alike have worked together to pull the Co-op out of the financial deficit we faced earlier in the year and we succeeded! As of the end of August, the store has made about $16,500 in profit. Let me clarify that this performance represents the success of a short term strategy not necessarily a long term plan for the Co-op (see other articles in this newsletter for more details). That said, it is a huge WIN that staff, shoppers, members, and good fortune were able to come together, support one another, stay the course, and land us in a place where we have options about how to approach winter...

Survey Highlights: What Do Members Think?
by Gail Falk

The recent Co-op survey was designed to invite and measure community sentiment about ways to build a sustainable future for the store. The survey asked about a number of proposals that member-owners made over the summer through an online idea board, at the June community meeting, or as part of a member-owner hosted Kitchen Table conversation. Two hundred sixteen (216) members and shoppers took the time to respond to the 19-question survey and many added thoughtful comments...

What I Love About the Co-op
by Lucy Blue

I don’t remember the first time I shopped at the Co-op. I do remember in the late 1960s the old Ivy Grange Hall, however, because my parents used to be active members there. In fact, I was a Junior Grange member there for a while. In 1972, when the organization started to die out, my father, Cyril Carty, was the prime mover in arranging the transfer of ownership of the Grange to the Plainfield Co-op. Maybe it’s partly because of this “family legacy” that I feel a special connection to the Co-op...

Brian Tokar Remembers . . .
An interview with Board member Charlotte Domino.

This is the second in Charlotte's series on the history of our Co-op.

Thursday morning I woke up early and rode in with my mom (Anji) to the Co-op. It was receiving day, and I had a little time before I met with Brian Tokar, so I helped with stocking and other work. Even though I’m not on staff any more, I appreciate the time I can spend helping out the people who work hard to make the Co-op run every day...

The Story of Patchwork Farm Bakery
by Gail Falk

East Hardwick, VT  At the end of a long, bumpy unmarked driveway, Charlie Emers hops out of his car toting a big bin of potatoes he’s just dug at his neighbor’s farm in exchange for some loaves of bread. Ahead of us is a large weathered house festooned with Tibetan prayer flags and a large menorah in the window. He leads his visitor into what looks like a small, weathered barn, but is actually a bakery in full production.  It’s Wednesday, baking day for Everyday Matzoh. Two assistants are rolling, shaping, baking and cooling hundreds of the distinctive oval discs. Emers offers me a sample from the cooling rack.  Still warm, the nutty smells and tastes of the whole grains and seeds mingle in an utterly satisfying combination of healthy and delicious...

Featured Products
by Kevin Levesque

Check out these 12 great products - Cakes, Kombucha, Popcorn, Chocolate, Fire Cider and more...

Harvest Recipes
from Debra Stoleroff

Best time of the garden season is harvesting the rewards of your hard (or not) work!...


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