Board Report: Past & Present

Two new board members, Kristina Wiltsee-Meeker and Dedamia Whitney, were welcomed to the board in November.  As is our practice, the Ends Policies were read and our first hour of discussion focused on a review of the formal Business Plan and how it relates to those policies.

It was emphasized that being a sustainable business is just as important as being a profitable business.  Creating a strong community is a necessary part of sustainability.  Money earned by the co-op stays in the community.  Supporting local growers feeds the local economy.

BCS participates in many local events, gives talks about the co-operative business structure and donates to many local charitable organizations.  With five stores and ongoing involvement in our community in so many ways, BCS has become a very important part of the sustainable local economy.

Ten percent of the businesses in the city of Bloomington are non-profit organizations. This shows us that as a whole, we are very oriented toward helping each other in all kinds of ways.  Co-operation in all its forms is an outstanding mark of Bloomington itself.

We may live different lifestyles and have widely varying opinions on specific topics, but we value being able to discuss and learn from each other.  We are a spontaneously self-organizing system.  As we become aware of local issues and trends, we respond in ways that bring order.  Sometimes this involves personal discipline, often humor, and always a sense of respect for the history of rules that have been created and knowing when it is time to change them.

Part of the board's responsibility is to continue to review the "rules" which we call Policy Governance and make sure they are still leading us where we want to go as peacefully and efficiently as possible.  Some of these "rules" are called the Co-op Principles and Mission Statements printed in the newsletter and the Board of Directors Policy Manual and Employee Manual available to those in these positions.  We find that the more clear we are about this foundation, the easier it is to spontaneously act to bring about the benefit of the whole.

You keep this method alive by shopping at Bloomingfoods, voting for directors that are intelligent and experienced, and continuing to share your ideas with us.  Your involvement, whether just a verbal comment or serving as a volunteer, an employee or dropping us a note in the store or on the web continues to be of primary importance in creating the kind of stores you need.

We live in a world of nearly limitless choices at this point in time.  It can be overwhelming.  Just trying to learn about the best forms of nutrition for your own body, then research brands, read all the labels, understand the unpronounceable ingredients on the packaging, buy the product, figure out what to do with the packaging, prepare the food, then finally eat it can involve hours and hours of your seemingly shrinking available time!  Bloomingfoods stores have narrowed it down for you while still providing a variety of options.  Come in, find what is tasty and good for you and still have time to chat with friends.  We are part of Bloomington's history, and with your very present support, we will still be here for you in the future.

Carol Bridges
for the Board of Directors