January 4th was my one year anniversary as the General Manager of the Co-op, and what a year it has been! I have learned so much, and continue to do so every day. It is like peeling an onion as with systems, buildings and tech there is always a deeper level of understanding to attain.
The summer was full of challenges, the major two being a lack of staff and equipment failure. We were not able to get up to our full capacity in the kitchen and bakery. I think the key to next year’s success lies squarely in attracting and retaining a full compliment of staff. We count on our summer to get us through the quieter winter months. When visitors come, they are impressed with our offerings, both in the store and the bakery/deli. How lucky we are!
I have always been a huge fan and supporter of the Co-op. Now that I know more, I see what it takes to keep us viable, sustainable, and thriving. Our infrastructure, much of it put in place by the indomitable Eric Hargrave, is in need of replacement. Everything has a life span. This is particularly true with our refrigeration units. The heat dome caused a meltdown, leaving us without a display freezer for 3 weeks at the peak of our season. In order to avoid this happening again, we need to undertake a huge project to both move and replace our equipment. We hope the membership can help us with this project so that we can continue to serve the community throughout the year, and maximize our summer sales.
We have an awesome team at the Co-op, we are problem solvers, we are resilient, and we always manage to figure out a way to go forward. We look forward to an excellent 2023.