All Committee General Meeting 5.30.14

All Committee General Meeting 5.30.14 Facilitator: Nick Collins Note-taker: Kristin Washco Timekeeper: Christina Travers

Attending: Finance, membership, operations, merchandise, education, governance, outreach, design-buildout committees represented.


Membership report:

Current members: 1,334 (276 on leave, 1,058 current). Of current members, ~50% are active (shopping and working). To compare, Park Slope typically has 25% non-active members which equals about 4,000 at any given time.

In May we got 19 new members, totaling 91 new members in 2014.

The committee has roughly 34 members including those who work store shifts.


-Renew/Update FAQs and other website information working with the website staff.

-Have membership info area at front of store near entry (where brochures and bulletin board are currently located) with member notices and other information.

-Set up a regular Orientation shift team.

Finance report:

Current cash cushion of 20-25k w/ 150k total invested. Loans are currently at 38k, with 3k more likely going into the new POS system, which will bring us up to 41k at the end of the summer.

106 members currently have requested refunds on their member equity.

Our income statements have improved with the addition of Sunday hours, we are making 15-20% more even with the slow Memorial Day weekend. Sean estimates we need to make 13k a week to break even.


-Get more concrete financial statements in front of the membership at large. We will also need to share this information with Park Slope in order to receive loans that they would like to give us.

-Decide on a POS system in June, install July and have up and working by August. This will help with tracking inventory, which will lead to better buying practices, less spoilage, and more sales. With this, we can do spoilage tracking by category.

Ops report:

June 7th/8th will clear out expansion space and create an area designated for cleaning supplies and other items necessary for day-to-day operations of the store.

Researching a new internet provider as TWC goes out frequently.

We are due for a health inspection – Naceo should come in and do a walk through inspection to make sure we are in good shape for the inspection.

4-5 current committee members. Hope to get up to 6-8.

Merch report:

Currently coordinating with Finance to bring in new products. Would like to increase the range of products on the shelf. The new POS system will help to identify products that are not selling so that they can be replaced by new products.

June 1st will reconfigure the store as some space has opened up since the white fridges were removed.

There is a new product dispute form for members to fill out who have a product complaint. A sub-committee involving merchandise and food justice members will review these complaints.


-Better meat vendors with more reliable delivery and cuts.

-Get the new POS system installed so that buying practices can improve.

Education report: 

Going into the busy season, hoping to do more food demos and outdoor activities in the good weather.

There is a new coordination effort with Outreach to use education to get new members. They hope to gear demos and tabling efforts to new member acquisition. Their first combination meeting will be 6/2 and they hope to meet as a group every other month to touch base and identify new projects.

Currently have 4 consistent members and would like to add more.

There will be a new “School Series” geared towards educating kids and their parents in the hopes of achieving community outreach and gaining more member.

There is a “Kids Health Day” coming up that they will have a presence at.

Governance report:

Governance currently has only 1 member, so Help Wanted!

They are interfacing with IT to update the board section of the website.

Updating the bylaws to reflect recent votes on new policies and practices.

Elections are coming up in September (3 seats are up for election), so that process will ramp up soon.

Outreach report:

New open shopping day is June 21st. Key members of the events team are decreasing their hours moving forward, so they will need to find replacements for future events.

Tabling is currently happening – most frequently at Putnam Triangle. Other suggestions were to begin tabling at the Greene Market, or outside the Clinton-Washington subway stop.

The “Membership Benefits Project” is currently in the works. This will give members discounts at local businesses. The team is working with marketing to design a sticker that can go in the window of local businesses to indicate their participation in the project. Hoping for a June rollout.

They would like to find a way to incentivize joining on open shopping days. Some suggestions were to wave the administration fee, have a takeaway “gift” such as a canvas bag, wave the first 2 hours of their work requirement or give them 2 hours to bank, etc.

Another suggestion to get new members was to give long-standing members of the community an incentive to join. This might help us tap into a part of the community that we have not yet reached, especially those who lived in the neighborhood before the Co-Op moved in.

The committee would like to establish some more permanent signage or advertisement on Fulton to make the store more visible during events or open shopping days. Nick noted that we did receive a fine for our sandwich board being too far away from our store in the past, so we might need to seek a permit in order to do this. Outreach to work with Design/Build and Marketing to make this sign.

Design/Buildout report:

The expansion space has been measured and a master plan for future renovations is being drawn up. The hope is to get a construction cost estimate for all work and then come up with a plan to phase the work based on available funds and the needs of the store. Would like to put together a proposal for Park Slope along with Finance to request construction loans.

The bid for resurfacing the floors in the expansion space is $680. This is an all-in number which includes renting a power washer, self-leveling concrete and sealant.

Will need to paint the bathroom and shelves in the stock room, which will require ~$200 for materials. If anyone has extra paint that they would like to donate, that would help us complete this project!

The committee is investigating options for heating and insulation to lower utility costs and increase comfort for our working members.

Shelves will need to be designed and built to be installed in both the expansion space and the current store space.

The compost will be relocated on June 7th/8th to a new area in the back yard. The committee is organizing a work day to level the bins and install them. The compost should be back up and running after this date. The Board recently approved funds to construct lids for the bins, which will help with operation.

With new POS system, the checkout area will need to be redesigned and rebuilt to accommodate new scales and a 3rd checkout station.

The committee highly recommends establishing an HVAC service contract to ensure that our units don’t break down due to improper maintenance. They will prepare a proposal for approval.

The committee will work with the Board and Finance to establish a better practice of obtaining and tracking funds for projects.

Work Requirement Discussion:

Due to labor deficits and the addition of Sunday hours, there has been discussion about increasing the work requirement to fulfill the needs of the store and committees.

The goal is to have a transparent discussion during the month of June and come to a decision by the end of the month regarding if we are to increase the requirement and, if so, how much to increase it by (2.5 hrs, 2.75 hrs or 3 hrs).

Suggestions from members:

-Alter shift practices to increase accountability for missed shifts. For example, Park Slope has a shift leader who in charge of staffing their shift. They are the point of contact for anyone who is going to miss their shift. This will ensure that there is more of a conversation and hopefully deter no-shows.

-Better enforcement for missed shift makeups.

-Punitive measures for those who have missed shifts. If you give less than 72 hours notice and miss a shift, you have to work 2 shifts to make it up.

-Create more flexibility for completing work requirement. Come up with a “shift package” where members can work more hours fewer time a year to complete their requirement.

-Create a rewards program for those who work more than their requirement. Create levels or membership (silver, gold, platinum) so members who work more can shop at lower prices. Have a “worker appreciation day” for those who have banked extra hours. Allow members who have worked a certain amount of shifts in a row to skip their next shift. Give coupons to those who have worked extra hours.

Other items:

Should we accept Credit Cards from non-members on open shopping days? We would have to make it clear that we do not typically accept Credit Cards so as to not create false expectations after joining.

Should we have a 3rd checkout station on opening shopping days to make lines move quicker? This would be an “express lane” for those who don’t have items that need to be weighed.


Next Board Working Session: June 5th

Next GM: June 24th