Straight from the Board: Third Quarter

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Third Quarter

 It’s time, friends, for an informal “State of the Co+op” report.

The summer slow-down is underway, at the store and all over town. It’s probably no coincidence then, that you have time to sit still for a minute and just read - oh joy! Thank you for choosing to read this newsletter. If you’re relatively new to our Co+op, you may not be familiar with our recent history, so we’ll begin with some background.

 

While the success of organic food and healthy living is altogether a good thing for the future of humankind and the planet, it also means availability now almost everywhere. Increased competition has put financial pressure on grocery co+ops like ours, so much so that in 2015 we had a net loss of more than $250,000. Last year was rough, too, but we made big improvements, with a net loss of $126,492 on $3.1 million in sales. For this, the Board thanks and celebrates an amazing staff, including former General Manager (GM) Sierra Hirtzel, and you, our shoppers who have kept us afloat.

Sierra was succeeded this January by then-Store Operations Coordinator Nagisa Suzuki, and we are excited to share that under Nagisa’s direction as GM, the Co+op achieved its first quarterly profit in more than three years! Q1 ended $6193 in the black. This may sound like a modest gain, but it puts us on track to potentially break even in net income for 2017. The second quarter, April through June, may not end up as rosy due in part to sizable plumbing repairs, but we’re confident the strategies that Nagisa and her management team have implemented are the right course for now.

And of course, the balance sheet is just one measure of Mountain View Market’s success. We feel it on entering the store, which is more vibrant, clean, and better organized than ever. We see it in the faces of staff members, always eager to help, provide information, and brighten our day. We see the responsiveness to our shoppers, resulting in the Hot Bar, amped-up Grab-n-Go case, and more low-cost options like Field Day products; and the ways the Co+op helps the broader community, through providing a market for local producers, give-back programs like the Round Up, and Co+op Fest’s free concerts that showcase local bands.

Some of our readers will remember the 2014 store remodel funded by a member loan program and may be curious about their investment. A separate letter is going out to update all those who made loans. In a nutshell, with an eye to meeting all of our financial obligations responsibly and in the Co+op’s best interests, we are asking lenders to consider measures to ease the burden to the Co+op in various ways, such as drawing less interest or extending terms. The bottom line is that we need sales to continue to grow and net income to improve before we can commit to timely repayment. We are monitoring this closely in the hope that we will be able to make that commitment in the future.The continued success of the Co+op relies on all of us showing our support for this community-centered economic model. To our wonderful lenders, and all of our owners, put your mouth where your money is! Tell your friends and neighbors to check out the Co+op, and inquire about ownership while they’re at it. We’ve made some changes that we think you’ll appreciate, and we also want your input about what you’d like to see in the future.

To our shoppers who haven’t become owners, we encourage you to empower yourself and improve your community by joining us and adding your voice. You’ll have a vote at our annual meeting in October, an owners’ forum at the start to our monthly Board meetings, and the opportunity to serve on the Board. But more than anything, we want to sincerely thank all of you for doing your part, large or small, to ensure that Mountain View Market Co+op continues to improve the lives of everyone here in the Mesilla Valley and the border region. Much gratitude!

Contact the Board of Directors with any questions or comments you might have at mountainviewmarketbod@gmail.com. Board meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm in the MVM Co+op Community Room, and each meeting begins with an owner forum..

We look forward to seeing you at your Co+op!

In cooperation,

MVM Co+op Board of Directors

Dael Goodman, President

Siddeeq Shabazz, Treasurer

Chris Bardey, Secretary

Spenser Lopez, Staff Board Member

Claudia Piper

Xochitl Torres Small

Norm Fristoe

ENDS STATEMENT

As a result of all we do, we will have systemic inclusivity grounded in a fun, healthy, equitable, and democratic economy re-imagined by the people of the desert for whom this is home.

*Do you believe in our Ends and have a burning desire to get involved Mountain View Market Co+op is seeking new leaders for the Board of Directors. Board elections will be held in October 2017. Interested candidates must be an Owner in the Co+op and are encouraged to attend at least one board meeting. Deadline for application submissions is September 1, 2017. Pick up a board application packet in the store, or online at http://www.mountainviewmarket.coop/board-of-directors/.

Crazy About Cantaloupe

Longer days, warmer nights, the scent of barbecues wafting through the evening breeze. These are some of the signs that summer is underway. Although it's still a couple of days before the official beginning of summer on June 21, it's already hot, hot, hot here in Las Cruces.

Sweet and fragrant cantaloupe melon is a sweet sign of summer.

Sweet and fragrant cantaloupe melon is a sweet sign of summer.

Summer also heralds the beginning of melon season. At Mountain View Market Co+op we love the fresh, sweet flavor of cantaloupe and right now we've got it available as a Fresh Feature and it's only $.79/lb. while supplies last. 

Cantaloupes originated in the region between India and Africa, were later introduced to Europe and became a commercial crop in the United States in the late-1800s. It's known by many names around the world, such as rockmelon, sweet melon, mushmelon and spanspek (in South Africa). The variety most often found in grocery stores in the U.S. is actually a  muskmelon and is a variety derived from the European Cantaloupe. European cantaloupes are characterized by a smoother, slightly ribbed grey-green skin whereas muskmelons have a net-like rind.

Carved cantaloupes can create a beautiful (and edible) centerpiece.

Carved cantaloupes can create a beautiful (and edible) centerpiece.

In addition to being a tasty summer treat, cantaloupes are also high in some key vitamins and nutrients. A medium sized melon (one with about a five inch diameter) contains 1,474 mg of potassium (42% of the USDA recommended daily allowance), 5 grams of dietary fiber (20% DV), 373% Daily Value of Vitamin A and 337% Daily Value of Vitamin C.

Cantaloupe should always have the rind washed before cutting to remove bacteria. It is usually served cubed with the seeds removed. If you're looking for some new ways to enjoy this summer treat, why not try it a new way like:

  • Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh and freeze the melon balls for a sweet and pretty alternative to ice cubes. Frozen melon balls can be eaten when your beverage is finished and won't water-down drinks like melting ice can.
  • Try adding diced cantaloupe to your next batch of pico de gallo to add a sweet twist to this fresh summer side.
  • Add cantaloupe to salads for a pop of color and added nutrients.
  • Put fresh or frozen cantaloupe in the mix with your morning smoothie. 
  • Add cubed melon to skewered kabobs for a new twist on an old favorite. 

What's your favorite way to enjoy this sweet, summer fruit?

Introducing Fresh Features

We're introducing a whole new way to save at Mountain View Market Co+op - Our new Fresh Features flyer!

With our new Fresh Features, we're offering great savings on fresh produce and refrigerated grocery foods like milks, cheeses and meats. Our new flyers can be found at the front registers printed on the reverse of the Deep Discounts flyer. We started these new sales back at the beginning of May and we are so pleased with the response from our shoppers! 

The new Fresh Features flyer allows our produce and refrigerated grocery buyers to select popular items from their departments to put on sale or to feature all new products to Mountain View Market Co+op. Our produce department has a new sale just about every week on the freshest produce available and it's always organic or local and our refrigerated grocery department helps keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh savings on the chilled foods many of our shoppers use most, like cheeses and milks. 

Our Fresh Features are always changing and we do our best to get our shoppers what they want at a great price. Is there something that you'd like to see as a featured sale in our fresh Features flyer? Let us know! Drop us an email at info@mountainviewmarket.coop, fill out a comment card in the store or talk to one of our friendly staff members. 

These great savings on Fresh Features are available to everyone, but they're only available while supplies last. So don't wait to check out the newest deals on our Fresh Features!

 

Are you ready for CO+OP FEST?

On Saturday, April 29th Mountain View Market Co+op will be hosting a storewide event we're calling Co+op Fest. Co+op Fest is a celebration of all things, well, co-operative!

Co+op Fest starts at 8 am with a 10% off storewide sale, free samples, free coffee from Equal Exchange and an ownership drive. This drive will be a great time for new Co+op owners to join us in ownership. The first twenty new owners who sign up during Co+op Fest will receive a free gift basket featuring some really great products that we love (each basket is at least a $10.00 value) and every new member will get a 20% off coupon for their next purchase. So if you've been on the fence about joining or have a friend that would like to join us in ownership, now would be a great time to sign up.

During Co+op Fest we will be doing a shopper survey to check in and see how we're doing. Everyone who fills out a survey will be entered into a raffle to win a deluxe gift basket filled with premium, full-sized products including Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens, Everyday Coconut body lotion, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day hand lotion, Peace Coffee, NeoCell Derma Matrix Collagen Skin Complex and more in an Alaffia market tote (over a $150.00 value). These surveys will be confidential. Everyone who stops by during Co+op Fest will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a mini Alaffia market tote gift bag filled with goodies from Mountain View Market Co+op.

Join us at 6 pm for a free concert in our cafe with live music from KT Neely, Sorrytown, Late Phases and the Kangaroo Infant. This concert is free and all ages. 

We hope to see you there!

 

Country Cares

During the month of March, KGRT Your Country 103.9 FM will be hosting the “Country Cares” radio fundraising event for St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. Mountain View Market Co+op is joining the Country Cares drive to help raise awareness for this tremendous cause. We are so pleased to announce our partnership with KGRT and St. Jude’s to help bring an end to childhood cancer. Since the inception of the Country Cares radiothon in 1989, more than $650 million dollars have been raised to help St. Jude’s combat child cancer as well as other rare diseases that threaten children all across the country. This round of fundraising has been predicted to bring in over $50,000.

 

St. Jude’s is an incredible organization that treats patients from all across the country as well as around the world. Families who come to them never receive a bill for treatment, travel, food or even housing expenses. This is because St. Jude’s believes that the only thing parents and families should have worry about during their trying times is helping their loved ones get better. Since St. Jude’s opening in 1962, survivor rates for childhood cancer have jumped from 20% to a staggering 80% today and they pledge not to stop until no child dies. Not only that, St. Jude's freely share its discoveries, helping doctors and scientists the world over to save more children than ever before.

 

This year, the event will take place between March 30th and March 31st and will be a collection of survivor stories, country celebrity vignettes and local patient appearances where applicable. This is KGRT and Mountain View Market Co+op’s first time participating in the event, so tune in, donate and help beat childhood cancer with Mountain View Market Co+op, KGRT 103.9 FM and St. Jude’s Country Cares.