By Sarah Christensen, General Manager, Co-op Owner
Whew! Grocery ain’t easy. Retail ain’t easy. Downtown ain’t easy. There are lots of pieces that go into running a grocery store. Throw in some democracy, an emphasis on fair wages, and high value products and you have yourself an uphill-both-ways kind of battle. In the last few years, we’ve seen organic products hit the shelves in nearly every grocery and convenience store in town. We’ve seen subscription meal services come out of the woodwork like pit bulls at a town fair. And you may have heard of the little merger between Amazon and Whole Foods which has the potential to change grocery as we know it. Online shopping, next-day delivery, free shipping—pretty soon I’ll be able to order a scone online and a drone will drop it on my bedside table before I can say “GreenTree Cooperative Grocery.” But I also see and hear people wanting to maintain real-world connections. People say they like to see and smell and touch the food they’re intending to buy. People say that GreenTree feels like a gathering space, a safe place, where they run into neighbors and farmers and get their dose of That Co-op Smell™, not to mention the chance to see our fabulous staff.
Despite all of the challenges and changes in our market, GreenTree’s staff stepped up to the plate and made 2017 a home run year.
Here are some of the highlights
- 1.78% Sales Growth
- 195 New Owners
- 2.36% Net Profit
- More local produce sales
- That commercial we made
- Laura’s Videos
We’re planning for a great 2018, too. We’ve already made a few changes, like giving Owners 10% off local grocery, frozen, bulk, and wellness items every day. And we’ve got more plans up our sleeves. We hope that you enjoy them and reach out to let us know if you do or don’t. We also hope that you continue to support the Co-op and other small, locally owned, downtown businesses. This is the place where what you say in terms of real-world connections, local economics, and alternative business models is something you can put into action. Don’t just like the Keepin it Local facebook page, like it in real life where it matters, where your dollars make a difference, where they pay a mortgage or piano lessons or send a kid to college.
Maybe it’s just a matter of time before we’re all living like the Jetsons and our food comes through a tube after we press a button, but I’m going to hold on just a little bit longer to authenticity, to really local, and to in-person connections, and I’m willing to bet you are too.