Sunday, 03 June 2012 00:27
By Brandon Kane,
On March 29, GreenStar's Membership Manager, Alexis Alexander, and I enjoyed dining with nine members of the Co-op. These member-owners were randomly invited to engage in an open-ended conversation with us regarding all things GreenStar, while enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by our Deli. I found this interaction tremendously valuable and plan on holding more of these "Dinners with the GM" on a regular basis. Not only was it an opportunity for members to give direct feedback on the Co-op from their particular perspectives, but it was a chance to really engage members of the community on a level that our schedules do not often allow.
Below is a list of the topics explored that evening — some are big, some small, but all provided valuable input on how GreenStar can best meet the needs of its member-owners:
- There is a pressing need for an additional customer bathroom at the West-End store.
- Perhaps there can be a small baby changing room as well.
- It was recognized that the West-End is very busy and there is little space to meet the demand of its customers.
- Weight scales in the West-End bulk section are difficult to deal with because of the compressed retail space.
- There was positive feedback regarding our bulk selection, particularly of our bulk spices.
- It would be nice to have scoops in our bulk spice section that could fit into a home spice jar.
- It would be great to sell more glass storage jars in our Bulk Department.
- A member would love to see the GreenStar bakery produce its own sprouted bread.
- Membership would benefit from classes offered by GreenStar regarding our own co-op's history and the history of co-ops in general. It would be also great to discuss the benefits of being a member-owner of the cooperative.
- A member expressed the desire that we hold more events for children, including cooking classes.
- A member stated that they will not vote on Council candidates or referendums/bylaws if they do not feel fully informed.
- We discussed the concept of a yearly patronage dividend given to our members (as opposed to the 2% discount at the register) as a way for members to contribute to and invest in GreenStar's future development.