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.
For every Christmas tree we sell on December 7th from 10am – 5pm, we will donate $15 to Groundworks Collaborative. The trees are grown by family-owned Bishop Tree Farm in Springfield, VT. Not interested in buying a tree? Stop in and donate non-perishable food to the Groundworks Collaborative and Project Feed the Thousands campaign. We will have warm drinks, snacks and a lively group of people collecting food and helping to load trees on cars.
This October, Brattleboro Food Co-op is joining over 40,000 co-operatives and credit unions across the United States in celebrating Co-op Month, observed nationally since 1964. This year’s theme, “Co-ops: By the Community, For the Community,” was chosen by the National Cooperative Business Association to promote how co-operative enterprises enable people to work together to meet their needs and build stronger communities.
As we continue to work towards the complex improvement of our downtown, I continue to think deeply about the rather wide-ranging views of what both compassion and reasonable accountability look and feel like. No doubt like you, I contemplate this on a personal level, on an organizational level, and on a community level.
During June, July and August, for every New Chapter product purchased at the Co-op, New Chapter will donate $2 on your behalf to Groundworks Collaborative. We want to reach a $2,000 total donation, so nourish yourself and support a wonderful community organization.
Join us in front of the Co-op for a photo opportunity with the CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL BANNER. Gather in front of the Brattleboro Food Co-op Café patio and under the Brattleboro Food Co-op sign. Rain date May 23 @ 5 p.m.
“…community is the optimal condition for human fulfillment.” – Sidney Pobihushchy
Sustainability. The capacity to endure without contributing to wanton depletion. Economically, socially, culturally, and ecologically, we at your Co-op are charged with positive contributions to the longevity of our community. Specifically, I interpret this to mean that we provide the goods and services that are needed in the local community, and we operate a fiscally sound business in order to contribute to the local economy. A tall order, to be sure. For two years now, we have been able to make a profit, although that profit is well under 1% of sales. Still, being on the right side of that zero is part of our charge.
Come to the Brattleboro Co-op Community Room (Canal St entrance) on Thursday, November 15, Noon to 12:30pm, for a Community Engagement Press Event to raise awareness about “Shop Small Saturday” (which takes place on Nov. 24th). Representatives from Local First/VBSR, Downtown Brattleboro Alliance and the Brattleboro Food Co-op will speak and answer questions you may have.
The Brattleboro Food Co-op recently agreed to take part in a pilot program using the principles of restorative justice with our partners for retail theft. I was curious about restorative justice, and I found out that it has been around for at least 35 years around the world. The extent of the program varies from country to country, and from application to application. It has helped when prison overcrowding is prevalent by working with low level offenders to repair harm done, addressing other root causes when possible.
Celebrate Co-op Month in October with the Brattleboro and Putney Food Co-ops by joining your fellow food cooperators for a screening of this landmark documentary which focuses on “food co-ops as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture.”
We had a visit not too long ago from Tracy Shriver, the Windham County State’s Attorney. She, along with Mel Motel from the Brattleboro Community Justice Center, proposed a program whereby the Brattleboro Police Department, on our behalf, would refer persons caught stealing items under a certain dollar amount from the Co-op to the Restorative Justice Center to work on confronting their behavior and making things right, for us, our shareholders, and our community.