Letter from the General Manager
I'd like to take a moment to thank our member-owners for your continued support of the business that you own and have entrusted the staff & board to steward on your behalf. The founders of the coop laid the groundwork to get us to where we are today and it is now my job to help steer the organization into the future.
The future as we envision it will see us operating a viable & sustainable business enterprise that offers the goods our member-owners wish to purchase at fair prices with mindfulness of supporting local entrepreneurs. In order to position the cooperative for long-term financial sustainability we must operate a profitable business. At this moment in time the financial statements of the coop show aggregate operating losses in excess of $400,000 since the birth of the coop. Clearly, continued operating losses are not sustainable and must be converted into operating profits. There are difficult choices facing us as some business practices that we have historically observed must be revamped or ceased altogether. Toward this end there will be some changes in our special order and member discount programs coming soon so that we may strike a balance between offering attractive member-owner benefits and ensuring profitable operations that allow for retained earnings to reinvest in the coop.
At this point in the cooperative's development we find ourselves in need of reinvestment in our infrastructure and systems. The cash register system - in retail parlance, the Point Of Sale or POS system - that we own is out dated and in need of replacement in order to satisfy federal credit card security protocols. Replacing our POS system will also allow us to manage our inventory much more efficiently and will provide new ways to offer discounts & promotions to our member-owners. In addition to replacing the POS system we also are looking at some new equipment for the sales floor and prep areas that will provide opportunities for sales growth and labor efficiency improvements.
The investments that we plan to make should contribute to our pursuit of profitability via improving efficiencies and growing sales. I look forward to keeping you informed of our progress towards these goals as our plans develop more fully.