2017 Annual Meeting

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Questions

I am a local artisan, and I am frustrated by the Coop's hypocrisy when it comes to its standards when it comes to buying local. I make beeswax candles, and your mercantile buyer prefers to buy from a vendor in New York, even though I have sent her my line sheet a half dozen times, and she knows I exist because I set up at the Farmer's Market in Ashland twice a week in the Summer. Likewise I have a food processor friend whose full line of product has been bumped off the Coops's shelves in favor of like items from New Jersey. In my case, the other vendor is trading on my good reputation, as every day customers come to my booth at the Farmer's Market and tell me they bought "my" candles at the Coop. I am tired of this and have heard many shoppers are waking up as well and will not buy from you until this stops. How do you plan to fully realize the "local" buzzword you use so freely in advertising and make it real?

Letting you know that I can hear loud and clear. The portal looks good and I think this is going to be good.

Congrats on presenting this meeting in such a way that I can be part of it here at my home after a meeting that prevented me from attending in person!
I've been part of the co-op for 27 of its 45 years and am honored to have been part of the growth and move in venue from 3rd St.

Letting you know that everyone is doing an excellent job. Flowing well. Good information.

Why do we need a new store if our sales have plateaued and we are managing to serve our customers with the current store? It seems that if we look to the future, the best way to provide expansion would be with the addition of a good local delivery option (think electric vans that could both deliver to local patrons and also be used as a local shuttle service to mitigate the lack of parking.)

I'm curious to know what percentage of the 10,000 owners would be considered "active" -- that is, shopped within the past three months, six months. And how the number of active owners has grown over the years. Also, what determines "inactive" owners -- have they moved or are they simply shopping elsewhere? And is there a strategy to reach these owners?

This part is going on a little long. FYI. Next time it would be nice to have some music for viewers to hear while waiting.

If our products can stand with any in quality price and consistency, and I know this is the case, than I hope you will make good on the statement you just made and remove items from your shelves that are NOT local, and replace them with like or better local items. With regard to the statement that it "just easier" to buy from a list, I know this is true as we used to sell produce to to Coop and we were frustrated when we were not called when stock was low yet when I went into the Coop to shop, there was a huge stack of Driscoll berries for sale. Please re-think this.

Thank you very much for putting this event up live for those of us that could not, or would not usually attend (like me). I know the Coop has a hard time with leadership and in dealing with a wide range of Ashlanders. I know the workers and the local vendors all care about the cause though and are trying their hardest. I know it's not perfect but thank you for having a conscious store. I hope to see a better vision some day.

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