GM Report

September Update and Farewell to Lee Bradford

September 1, 2023
Graphics Dept
Table of Contents
Primary Item (H2)

I hope this note finds everyone in good health and spirits. It is with mixed emotions that I write to you today. As many of you have heard, I have decided to step down from my position as the General Manager of the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Serving in this role has, quite simply, been an honor and a privilege. I have had the pleasure of working with an exceptional team, dedicated board members, and passionate shareholders who are committed to the values and mission of our cooperative.

Together, we have done remarkable work and have provided a strong foundation for our Co-op’s future. Our Board continues to ensure we are prepared for the growing effects of climate change and income disparity. We have invested in our team and ratified a new contract. We welcomed new faces and said goodbye to friends. We have the right people in the right place to support the mission-critical aspects of our business and we have an engaged, fairly compensated staff.

We have re-engaged our community in a number of key ways. Of course, there are the great programs and events that really ramped back up this year. The Co-op led initiatives that resulted in over four tons of waste being pulled from the Whetstone brook and surrounding area. We have new initiatives that have been instrumental in helping people who are struggling with homelessness and addiction. We have also refocused on building community partnerships which will continue to strengthen in the coming years. This includes everything from financial or volunteer support for community partners like Groundworks and SUSU commUnity Farm to strategic business partnerships like Potash Hill and the historic Marlboro Music Festival.

We are well on our way to implementing a new point of sale (register) system that will help us better manage our business.  A new and improved website and online shopping experience is also on the horizon. With these new solutions, we’ll be able to provide a better experience in-store, at curbside, and online. And of course, we have invested in a lot of deferred maintenance. Our ‘new building’ isn’t new anymore, nor is the equipment we put into it many years ago! Plumbing, electric, security, and refrigeration systems all received significant work and there is more to do.  More shopping carts, a refurbished community kitchen, new signage – just about every aspect of our building needed some TLC.

In short, it has been an incredible journey, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of our Co-op’s story. I am certain that the Brattleboro Food Co-op will continue to inspire and advance the health and well-being of all people by nurturing a sustainable, resilient, and just food system for many years to come.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard. – A.A. Milne

Best regards,


By Lee Bradford, General Manager

Lee Bradford, GM