Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Community Market

This week's Big 10 Tuesday had me working the sales floor quite a lot and I'm just getting back to my desk and finding time to post. I have set my goal of posting daily and will meet that goal! So expect more consistency in the coming days and weeks.

Our "Big 10 Tuesday" this past Tuesday was a great success. We did record sales and had a record customer count. It was exciting working the floor, helping shoppers, directing traffic, stocking and facing shelves. If I had my way (and much less other GM tasks), I'd be down on the floor all the time. I love meeting and interacting with all the many different owners and shoppers that come through our doors. Some of you I've known since the old days when I used to have hair. That's how long it's been. Also the positive feedback from our owners this past Tuesday confirms to me that--even though our current primary business is a grocery store--we're more than that.

We are a true community. Sure, people are rushing in and doing their shopping. And we may not all know each other. But there are webs of connections running throughout our co-op. We were started by four people in our community and we grew year by year from the vision, dedication and support of many more people in our community. And here we are--from 1974 to 2009.

I shop at other stores in town and I never experience the feeling there as I do at our co-op. Sure, I work here and my perceptions might be skewed. But I say this sincerely. I see much richer and longer interactions between everyone in our store. This is our community market. People are not just "shopping" here. They're engaging with each other. Connections are made. Old friends are rediscovering each other. Entire families are being raised from the food we provide. I've known owners before they had kids and then watched their children grow from infants to college graduates. (For those of you who don't know, I've been here since 1985. And I'd only planned on staying six months. Who knew?)

In these times, it's important to have public places that allow people to come together and engage on a deeper level than just "buying and selling" and the daily grind. I can honestly say Co-opportunity is one of those places.
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