Newsletter Issue Winter 2023-24
by Glenda Bissex, Editor
The big news is that the Co-op now has an agreement with the Christiansens to purchase Plainfield Hardware. The membership had voted in August to pursue, if feasible, acquiring Plainfield Hardware. Considering the purchase feasible, the Board made an offer that the Christiansens have accepted. Whether you are rejoicing, grieving or something in between, now is the time for us all to work together—to cooperate—in creating a store that will be financially stable and true to our Co-op principles.
We aren’t about to move yet, and your support for our little Co-op is needed now more than ever as winter is the time of year when sales drop off the most (see Treasurer’s report). Operations Manager Jezebel Crow explains in her report that “as the Co-op’s sales have decreased, we have responded by getting fewer deliveries.” She and the staff are working hard to keep our Co-op going. Co-op customers need to make an extra effort, too. If you don’t find products you want in the store, you can learn a lot by asking and finding out why. Don’t give up. Tea and herb buyer Deb Barnwell (see One Staffer’s Perspective) tracked down why P.G.Tips Tea was no longer available, and ended up learning about marketing in the tea industry, and confronting the reality that “we are working with a vast, mega-industry that is working non-stop to swallow up the little independent, quality manufacturers.”
As Jez points out, we’re becoming more dependent on local producers. One of those is Whizzo bagels (see Gail Falk’s feature article on them). Do you remember when they had an equipment problem last year and for a while there were NO Whizzo bagels? I remember other bagels not tasting nearly as good. Debra Stoleroff’s recipes are easy to print out now, and the Co-op carries all the ingredients for her winter treats–baked apple cider doughnuts, potato latkes and David Palmer’s beef stew.
Also on the joyful side was the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Community Center and Gallery. Revisit it with the article, photos, and video link in this newsletter. Or get a chance to see what you missed. When the Co-op moves, what will happen to this space and the life of the arts and community gatherings that have happened here for decades? Anne Van Couvering reported in the fall newsletter on a group hoping to create a Plainfield Area Community Trust (PACT) that might buy the Co-op building. She had nothing further to report for this newsletter.
This is the first issue of the quarterly newsletter in its digital format. (We published a “supplement” that was a trial run in November. Feedback was that it was easier to read online than the previous version, laid out to be printed as a booklet.) No longer needing to fit the text into a fixed number of pages fitted together in a certain way, we were easily able to include last-minute news, like the purchase agreement for Plainfield Hardware. While Co-op staff will print out several paper copies of the newsletter, available in the store for shoppers who need them, we are no longer paying to have many booklets commercially printed, folded and stapled. Thank you, Lorraine Checchi, for all your trips to Barre to bring those print copies to the store. We continue to invite everyone’s feedback as well as your contributions of opinions, poems, photos, etc. Deadline for the spring issue is March 15.
The Newsletter Committee:
- Glenda Bissex, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elizabeth Mathai, Design & Layout, and Ad co-ordinator, email@example.com
- Gail Falk, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Debra Stoleroff, Recipe Editor, email@example.com