In this quarter's Note From the GM, Mountain View Market Co+op's new General Manager, Nagisa Suzuki, introduces herself and shares some of her visions and upcoming goals for the Co+op.
Dear Owners and Shoppers,
First of all, hello! My name is Nagisa Suzuki and I am the newly appointed General Manager. Those of you who have been with us for a while will know that I am the third General Manager for the Co+op in two years. It is true that we have been in a state of what seems like constant transition for quite some time. Although transition brings its challenges, I can finally say that we are coming out of this period stronger, wiser and full of optimism. I may be new to this position, but I am not new to the Co+op. I moved to Las Cruces three years ago and immediately applied for a position here. I started as a cashier and then moved into the Point of Sale Coordinator position. Shortly after that, I became the Grocery Manager, then Store Operations Manager and presently, the General Manager.
In my time here, I have met many Owners. I have met brand-new customers, lifetime shoppers and everything in between. Among all the different types of people I have met, they have one thing in common; they shop here because the Co+op is something special to them. The Co+op is something special to you! We, the staff of the Co+op, recognize that this business has been a staple in the community for decades. It is true that the Co+op has struggled for the past few years and we have not yet fully recovered. The recent wave of conventional grocers becoming our biggest competition has caused us to reflect on the way we operate our business. What can we do to be more competitive? How can we best serve our Owners, customers and community? What can we change to make our Co+op the best it can be? This year, we are focusing on making our internal operations stronger, building our sales, gaining new shoppers and continuing to engage our current Owners.
One of the biggest changes we have made is the decision to end our current made-to-order sandwich program. For years the MVM Kitchen has been a lunchtime staple for Las Cruces and we have tried our best to keep up with the demand, while still providing consistent, high-quality food. The made-to-order sandwich program has been inconsistent and time consuming. By ending the current program, we will have the opportunity to not only re-evaluate our systems, but also bring back many of the delicious items that you all have been asking for. Our Grab-N-Go case will now be fully stocked with countless offerings and tons of varieties of fresh food. We will still have a number of sandwiches in the Grab-N-Go case (gluten-free and vegan options too!) and our smoothie & juice bar is here to stay. We are focusing on making our salad and hot bar the best it can be. We want to give you the highest quality products available and we believe this change will enable us to do so. We would love to hear your feedback! Please take the opportunity to come in and leave us a customer comment.
Another main focus will be our Produce department. We’ve created brand-new signs that highlight our local offerings more efficiently. We’ve begun working with many new local vendors from El Paso, Arizona and, of course, Las Cruces. Keep an eye out for the new “Fresh Features” flyer that will be posted online and also in-store. The Fresh Feature flyer will highlight the best deals in our Produce, Refrigerated Grocery and Kitcen. Our goal is to offer fresh, seasonal, local and organic produce year round. If there is anything you want to see in the Fresh Features, please leave us a comment!
A new, exciting program of ours is the Co+op Basics line. These items, marked with purple tags around the store, are our best-of-the-best in terms of quality, value and pricing. We have worked very hard to offer items our shoppers love for affordable prices. Our Field Day brand offers premium organic products such as organic apple juice gallons for $8.99 and organic coconut oil for only $5.99! New additions to this line include Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Ground Beef for $5.99/lb and Free Bird Chicken Breast for only $4.99/lb! This year, look out for new additions to this program such as; organic orange juices, eggs, butter, Greek yogurt, sports beverages and single-serve drinks. I hope you all are as excited as we are to see this line expand.
With all of these upcoming changes, there will be hurdles and road bumps, but we will continue to serve our community to the best of our ability. I want to personally say THANK YOU to all of our Owners and shoppers. You are the reason we are still here and I can speak for everyone here at the Co+op when I say that we appreciate you! As I said before, the Co+op still faces many challenges. Our sales are still down from our previous year and that is why we need you more than ever! If you haven’t visited us lately, come in and take a look at all the great changes we have made. Let us know how you think we’re doing and what new products would love to see in our store. Please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!