Greetings from the co-op board! After the recent election, we have a mostly new board of directors, who agreed on one of our first orders of business: more transparency to you, the owners. The full meeting minutes are available online here, but we know you’re busy, so we’re going to regularly hit the high points here, on the co-op blog.
So how’s the co-op doing? Every business has a tumultuous first year, and the co-op was no exception. However, we’re coming out of it thanks to you, who continue to shop here and support the co-op. Overall gross revenue dipped about 15% in October/November, a tough hit at a time when we are still working to repair vendor relations and catch up on past due bills. Yet even with that dip, our general manager Carmen Hoffner has been able to continue to pay down our accounts payable balance with cuts to inventory and labor costs. As of November 30, we have about $84,000 60+ days past due. If all goes as planned, we should be in the clear by March. Our vendors have been very accommodating, working with us to arrange payment terms that work for both parties.
In other news, the board is already working to move us forward. We’re establishing roles, organizing files, completing some paperwork. We’ve implemented a Trello board for better board collaboration and task management. We’re working with ECRS to get better data from the sales system so we can make more data-driven decisions. We have plenty of initiatives and improvements brewing, but right now we’re tying up loose ends with the board transition and focusing on financials to help get us in the clear.
Speaking of roles, the following officers were unanimously elected by fellow board members!
- President: Kevin Martin
- Vice president: Beth Schatz Kaylor
- Treasurer: Dina Baird
- Secretary: Dale Wetzel (aka Jedi master of meeting minutes)
What can you do? First and foremost, support your co-op! Come in and shop, meet a friend for coffee at the deli, buy gift cards as holiday gifts – a bump in revenue in December will greatly help us clear accounts payable. If you want to get more involved, join a co-op committee. The Finance, Marketing & Outreach, and In-Store Engagement committees are welcoming new members, email the board at email@example.com for details. And you are always invited to co-op board meetings, with the next board meeting on Wednesday, December 13 at 6 pm.
We credit the past board and the co-op’s hard-working staff for navigating many troubled waters, working to “right the ship” and setting the co-op on a path forward. We look forward to continuing that path forward, looking beyond the past and focusing our energies on making your co-op better today and tomorrow. More to come!
The BisMan Community Food Cooperative Board of Directors
Beth, Dale, Dina, Ellen, Emily, Erin, Kevin, Paul, Tracy