Plunging into the Holidays, 2020-style

| Food For Thought, GM Report

At the Co-op, this time of year is always both exhilarating and exhausting. I always say that a true retailer revels in this craziness: people enjoying thinking about food, looking for interesting products, planning events with family and community, and bubbling over in the aisles with joy—and with stress. This year, overlay all that with the pandemic situation, which as I write this is currently hinting at surging, and the balance between joy and stress shifts a little.

The Co-op Difference

At the Annual Meeting, Sabine Rhyne, our General Manager, used this phrase to characterize why shoppers chose the Co-op: “The reasons we, or at least I, head to the Co-op have to do with more than what is offered on the shelves.” In some respects the Co-op difference is intangible, elusive. In addition to purchasing food, you might see someone you’ve been meaning to call, hear live music in the café, and/or alleviate the feeling of ennui we can experience in our disconnected society. I know that I shop the Co-op for a myriad of reasons—it’s about the food, but it’s not just about the food.

CO-OP ANNUAL MEETING FOR SHAREHOLDERS OF THE BRATTLEBORO FOOD CO-OP

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Annual Meeting 2019

Come to the Brattleboro Co-op Annual Meeting – all 8,000 owners of the best cooperatively owned grocery store in town are invited!  Get free dinner, childcare, and have all your burning BFC questions answered. This event also kicks off voting for and new Directors on the Co-op’s Board, AND our celebration of our 45th anniversary! At the .

Annual Brattleboro Food Co-op Shareholder Meeting

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BFC Shareholders: Join us for our 43rd Annual Shareholder Meeting at NEYT (New England Youth Theatre) on Flat Street on Friday, November 9th, 6-9 p.m. Enjoy a handmade meal from the Co-op’s Deli team and hear updates about the Co-op from the General Manager and Board President.  We will be hosting a panel discussion with a wide variety of community members to share the many ways the Co-op has impacted their lives.  Panel members include Josh Davis from Groundworks Collaborative, Cor Trowbridge from BCTV, Tim and Brooke from Laughing Child Farm, and a few to be announced.  Voting will begin at 9:00 p.m. that night.

BOD Report: More Than Just a Grocery Store

I’m just completing the final year of my first 3-year term on the BFC Board of Directors, this time around. It’s very interesting to think back to my prior service on the Board back in the early 2000’s. At that time the Co-op was being lured out to Putney Rd. to fill an empty box store space. Kudos to the Cassidy brothers of BAST Corporation whose offer to sell the shopping plaza property to the Co-op turned us from renters into owners. That’s what made the numbers work in support of remaining in the downtown space. Now the Co-op is well-rooted as a downtown anchor. I for one wouldn’t want to imagine downtown Brattleboro without the Co-op walking distance from the residential and commercial core of our town. Over time it’s easy to take significant things for granted and forget the challenges we worked through to get to where we are today.

Board of Directors Report: Community Ownership & Something New

I’d never been a shareholder before. Being part of a community has always been important to me although it had never involved paying to join. It was all about frequenting the same places, getting to know the people who worked there, and making friends. There was no hesitation, however, about joining the Co-op. Here was a community I was excited to become a part of.