December 2012 Newsletter



impromptu celebration

Impromptu One Year Anniversary Celebration at the store


Can you believe the Greene Hill Food Co-op opened its doors ONE YEAR AGO? And what a year it’s been. We came together, held hands, overcame obstacles, and baked ourselves a store from scratch. We have well over a thousand working members in just a year! The best part of it is that wherever we go from here, it’s a cooperative community steering the ship. There’s no General Meeting in December, so this month’s newsletter will celebrate some of our 2012 accomplishments. The members below were asked:

What's one thing about the Greene Hill Food Co-op that made you proud this year?

And like the members that comprise the Co-op, the answers were all over the place. Be sure and check out the year end summaries from all of our committee heads in this newsletter as well. Until 2013!



fall celebration



MARIE CLAPOT: Fall Celebration, September 2012

“I joined the Co-op about a year ago and finally decided to take part in a committee with the hopes of helping the Co-op grow and to start building a community. Planning the fall event showed me this was possible. I worked alongside a dedicated group of people who really just put together a terrific event. I think we were the first ones to be surprised with the good turnout and how fun it was. The numbers only confirmed this! So yes, I'm pretty proud of being part of the Co-op!”



2 dogs tied to bike rack


PABLO ANWAR: Bike Racks and Walk-In Refrigeration

“We asked for 6 racks and the city gave us three! Yay Gov! Our walk-in went up like a giant Lincoln log cabin, but more metallic and no wood burning stove.”







super shifter






TASHA URIA: Super shifter

“This year, after becoming a shift leader and having a series of difficult and under-staffed receiving shifts, it was really helpful to have other Co-op members and shift leaders there to listen to my concerns, answer questions, lend advice, and help problem solve to make shifts smoother and easier to run. Yay for cooperation!”









JAKE STEVENS: Community Building

“The Co-op for me is an exciting but not uncomplicated opportunity for community building. I moved to Clinton Hill as a callow 30 something gay man still arriving in cabs from the city at 4 am. Then as a new dad I 'cruised' with son on board at Tillie's and the much missed Grand 275, which was a delightful interracial artist inhabited bar bistro. The vibe at the Co-op is much more earnest, much more sober, but no less an excuse to chat up my neighbors (especially as a cashier). I hope as we expand in members and hours our little experiment will strike more of our neighbors as a valuable and sensible institution.”


JENNIFER MARIK: Extended Hours

“As a mom, I appreciate the weekday daytime shopping hours - great to shop while the kiddos are in school!”


mural painters

JULIE FLYNN: Taking Ownership of the Co-op

“The Co-op Mural Project has contributed to community ownership of the store thus far by involving many people at the committee level in cooperative "ownership" of the project, and by proactively collaborating with community members (regardless of their Co-op membership status) to gather ideas and comments as part of the artistic planning process. We look forward to continued community participation in beautifying the back wall of the Co-op!”


image by Mike_fj40

KEITH ALMON: Extermination

“Predictably, we had some unwanted tenants in the past few months. These critters are quite determined and much like us, like a warm place with lots of food. We, having both these necessities in abundance! We have since taken and continue to take aggressive actions to make our places a lot less welcome. These actions have included but are not limited to installing steel flashing, steel mesh and steel sheets to rodent proof both the storeroom and the store, and the use of plastic bins to store unboxed food. We have a really terrific exterminator named Naceo who's teaching us a lot. We are currently researching the purchase of waterproof, airtight bins for food and bulk storage. If you're in the store you see something, say something!”


sandy collection box



DK HOLLAND: Collecting food for Sandy VIctims

“As soon as we put together the need and our ability to deliver, it was just obvious that we should ask members to as they were shopping, shop a little for Sandy Victims. Members bought diapers and baby food, canned goods and other non perishables. Two women arrived who had been members but had moved. They were Occupy Sandy volunteers with a list of food needs. A bunch of us were there – and someone said “What about those outdated [but perfectly good] eggs?” We made an executive decision and 40 dozens eggs were put in my trunk. We have been donating to Occupy Sandy ever since, whatever our members give plus something from the store.”


Outreach team(If you want the full scoop on all the committees, their chairs and contact info, the new Web site is the place to go.)

Renée Bergan (OUTREACH):

The Outreach Committee has had an incredible year of development:

  • GROWTH! Our committee grew from about 5 or less members to over 40!
  • BIRTH! Two additional sub-committees were developed: The Food Justice and Events Committees.
  • CELEBRATION! We may be biased but we think we threw a pretty fun Fall Celebration in much so, we just may make it an annual affair!

A thank you to all our committee members as we could not accomplish our goals without you!


rooftop farmMagin Schantz (EDUCATION):

A big part of our job this year was to identify all the different ways that the Co-op strives to educate, internally through interactions between members and outside in the community at large. Our food demo and educational outreach subcommittees are working to design programming to offer at schools and community organizations, and for Co-op member gatherings like General Meetings and special events. We organized a really fun and informative tour of the Brooklyn Grange this fall. Plus, we are looking into developing childcare options for our members who are parents, and we will be sending out a survey to those members after the new year as a means of gathering data and further organizing this endeavor.


vegetables on shelvesAaron Zueck (MERCHANDISING):

This year, the Merchandising Committee created three distinct and operating subcommittees. We filled and organized the shelves, fridges and stock room. We sourced from over 30 different vendors to provide the lowest prices possible and meet the requests of our growing membership.

We also implemented a special orders system and debuted the bulk section!





Sara Cornish (MARKETING):new sign

The Marketing Committee used part of our Sappi grant money on an awning that spans all three of our spaces (along with 2 flags that fly above the store) to get across the point at we are larger than we look and keep our members dry and shaded as they shop. We also created and expanded the interior store signage system which is constantly evolving. We created all the print materials for our very fun party in October including 3 banners which we got for free. We also updated and published our big Brand Book which all of us use to apply the message of the Co-op consistently, attractively and powerfully. We’re really proud of our brand and how its developing and evolving.


sandwich boardNick Collins (MEMBERSHIP):

Over the last year, the Membership Committee has successfully created two subcommittees to help facilitate our shift sign-up process and coordinate our work tracking records. The committee has also created a membership office at the store with the aim of meeting members and responding to any questions in an efficient, timely manner. The Membership Committee has also produced a first copy of our handbook, helped coordinate training for future shift and cashier shift leaders, and facilitated in-store shift coverage.

The Membership Committee looks forward to working with you all in 2013!


mission control





This past year has seen some changes, with our fearless leader Phil taking time off a few months ago. We transitioned our server to some better infrastructure, and hopefully you’ve seen speed-ups in the main and the members website as a result. We’ve also been working closely with membership to make the store’s front desk check-in app faster and more accurate, and are ramping up a team to work on a better worktracking system that will give all members better visibility over their work status. Finally, we realize that the point-of-sale system that we installed a year ago has some issues, and we’re working closely with the Operations committee to make it better.


aisle signsApril Taylor (OPERATIONS):

When we started the Operations Committee in advance of the store opening we didn't know what our roles would become. Here we are, one year later the store is running smoothly, shift leaders have been trained in all departments, the store infrastructure has found it's groove helped greatly by the walk in cooler we acquired and put together. We got our HVAC online, made our office more hospitable and have been instrumental in helping the store find the right coordinator. We look forward to our second year undoubtedly will be filled with achievements and upgrades. Starting with our soon to be acquired industrial refrigerators and freezers! Here's to a grand New Year.


new website in progressCharles Greene (WEB TEAM):

It was a very busy month for the Web Team due to a large reorganization (e,g, new co-chair, Nathan Storey), and the launch of our new website redesign. Yay us! Take a tour if you haven’t done so already. It was a lot of work by many and we thank you for the great response. However, a redesign is only a beginning. Your feedback is crucial and welcome. We encourage you to send any and all kudos, comments, concerns and (*gulp*) complaints to



giselle with squash

Giselle Sperber (GOVERNANCE):

The Governance Committee organized our first online Board of Directors elections! We researched questions posed by other committees: from the Co-op's responsibilities when giving out free food samples to the insurance bonds needed as we grow. We drafted and had the general membership accept our new Harassment/Discrimination Policy and Grievance Procedure. And for 2013, we have an expanded Privacy Policy in the works. It's been a great year!