There is an opportunity in every change. We humans often look to the shift of seasons, a holiday, birthday or a move to a new location to decide that it is time for a fresh start. Now that fall is officially here and we have a new store, new students in town and many new friendships beginning, it is a good time to remind ourselves of what kind of life we want to be living in this place we will be calling "home."
As a member-owned cooperative grocery, we are dedicated not only to providing each other with the healthiest food we can find but also sharing in the events that make us feel like a real community. That might mean helping local growers have a place to sell their wares, supplying concessions at a music festival, offering food to organizations that fee the hungry, and sharing knowledge with people who want to start their own cooperative ventures.
A focus of the board of directors over the last few years has been to learn more about other local cooperative businesses and how we might benefit each other. You will find our member-owners participating in biking events, clean-ups, plantings and just about every other earth-caring activity that comes to their attention.
Even if you are not a joiner, you can enhance our community spirit by making a small friendly gesture to someone in the store the next time you shop. At the top of your grocery list might be "thank the person who needs it most" or "treat someone special."
Our cooperative is more than just a "shopping experience." Healthy food includes the need for emotional nourishment as well. This is one of the places where hugging a friend in the aisle is okay.
Not too many generations back, the corner grocery was the place where everyone knew your name and probably remembered your favorite items. You shared neighborhood news and checked into who was doing well or in need. We may not be able to duplicate that level of familiarity, but we can still treat everyone as if they are our neighbors and as if we will know each other a very long time. It is this feeling that gives us permission to slow down, take notice of the good which surrounds us and truly appreciate all that we have.
Not everyone wants a run to the store to be a significant friend-meeting even. It is not efficient when you are in a hurry. But, personally, I am glad that many co-op shoppers make friendship their highest priority. Even when I don't run into folks I know, the place still feels welcoming. Judging from the current trend of constant cell phone and social media use, I think that whether we know it or not, we truly want and need many friendly encounters. Now is a good time to make them face-to-face while you pick up a few items at one of our stores. We are truly grateful for the spirit of co-operation that each of you bring.
for the Board of Directors