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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
MVM Co+op Board of Directors
Dael Goodman, President
Siddeeq Shabazz, Treasurer
Chris Bardey, Secretary
Spenser Lopez, Staff Board Member
Xochitl Torres Small
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/.