I am writing this from my hotel room at the National Cooperative Grocers spring meeting. One year ago I attended this same meeting as a brand-new GM. Now, I am reflecting on an amazing first year at the Brattleboro Food Co-op – and there is a lot to think about. First, thank you to everyone on the BFC team. You have been patient, kind, and supportive while holding me to the high standard you deserve. To our Board, thank you for being such vibrant thought partners and for your service to our community.
What Would You Tell a Shareholder? September 2022
From the Board’s September 12, 2022 meeting:
I would like to start this month by extending a heartfelt thank you to Jon Megas-Russell who is moving on to new adventures after an amazing career with the Co-op. Jon built a strong and capable Marketing and Community Relations team and was instrumental in helping the Co-op build strong ties to our community. Jon – thank you for your time, energy, and service as a member of the Brattleboro Food Co-op team. You will be missed, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors!
The update in May centered around the idea of emergence. As I write this in the shadow of the horrific events in Buffalo, Uvalde, and the ongoing atrocities in the Ukraine I would like to share some thoughts about resilience. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty. In many ways it is easy to feel helpless in moments like these. What can we do that is meaningful for the parent in Uvalde whose child is never coming home? For a grieving mother in Buffalo who must explain to her children why they will never visit their grandmother again?
Round Up for Change
If nothing else, the challenge of surviving during the pandemic has taught us to prioritize, adapt and distill what is most essential. We’ve needed to re-examine and restructure how we live our lives – individually, locally in our community, and globally.
Not Just a Grocery Store
A large part of what brought me to Vermont, and specifically Brattleboro, was the Brattleboro Food Co-op. I have family here and have been coming to visit since around 2000. I would go to the BFC (both at its previous location and the current one) and it just felt like home to me. I had the sense that I had found my people.
New Outlooks, New Gratitudes
Much has been said and written about the turn into this new year. At the Co-op, things are no different—our cumulative exhaustion is proof enough that things need to go better in this new year, as we will no doubt need to adjust several more times to new normalities. Still, I find that gratitude has actually been easier to come by in my own assessments, and I believe this to be true of lots of our community members and Co-op customers as well.
SUSU Community Farm
January Recipient of Round Up for Change is SUSU CommUNITY Farm
Reflections on the Annual Meeting
In case you were not one of the 145 owners who registered and/or attended the Brattleboro Food Co-op’s Annual Shareholder Meeting on the evening of Wednesday, November 11th, you can get a really good sense of the content by reading the minutes that will be posted once they are approved at the December Board meeting. They are actually quite descriptive.
Empty Bowls Fundraiser for Foodworks Goes Virtual with Curbside Pickup and Retail Sales
BRATTLEBORO, VT — A fixture of autumn in southeast Vermont, the Empty Bowls fundraiser for the food shelf at Groundworks Collaborative will look very different this year. This is the 17th year organizers have come together to raise funds for the food shelf now known as Foodworks.
Aligning with Allies
As I don my COVID facemask and walk down Brattleboro’s Main Street, I hear Black Lives Matters supporters’ calls for justice and see MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters seeking economic power and national pride. Though seeming to face off against each other, I see more similarities than differences in the messaging. Don’t we all want to live well in a place where we feel safe, proud, and a part of it? I like to think of the Brattleboro Food Co-op as a haven of safety and neutrality. To me, the Co-op has always been a place where we come together to meet friends, connect and share community – even during hard times. But is it? Can we be doing more to be an even stronger community connector and a truly welcoming space for all?