Sarah S. Davis, Board Secretary

February 3, 2023

Winter is when we can watch a blanket of snow cover the ground as the living earth rests below and prepares for a warm reawakening. This process is more than a metaphor for us and our Co-op: We have been hunkering down through the long cold nights of January while serious preparations have been happening behind the scenes. Through no small miracle of the inner workings of the Co-op, we can welcome the warm reawakening of our Co-op Bakery, Deli Kitchen, and full Hot Bar! I’d like to share with you some of what I have seen happening under the cloak of winter that makes this possible.

From my seat on the Board of Directors, I can see that the Co-op never actually rests. Even when you and I might be less active, store management continues to plan and execute projects and improvements (alongside the constant activity of daily operations). We patiently waited through January and watched massive renovations to the outdated and insufficient ventilation and cooling systems, which were gutted and replaced – all on schedule! While this appeared seamless on the outside, what went unseen was the year+ of planning that ensured its success. Our store managers, with review and oversight from the Board, spent many months discovering the scope of the problem, getting feedback from store employees, seeking engineering and design consultation, getting estimates and bids for the equipment and construction, reviewing the “Major Repairs” policy, investigating the financing, approving the final bid, scheduling the work, and orchestrating the major dislocation of our kitchens with the least disruption to service as possible.

Even while Punxsutawney Phil returns to his lair for six more weeks, we can emerge to find a brand new kitchen HVAC system. Like a breath of Spring air, the store has improved working conditions and a better store environment. So, as our favorite foods reappear on the co-op shelves, let us savor each morsel of healthy deli and hot bar dishes and every slice of the incomparable Co-op bread. While we enjoy these delights, let’s also appreciate the work behind the scenes that turns your membership and store patronage into an ever-better community resource.