From the General Manager’s Desk
By Emile Amarotico
As we commence our lap around the sun in 2018, I wish to recognize the longstanding contributions of an amazing group of professionals. We are blessed with the dedication of eleven department managers expertly coordinating the daily flow of people, products and services that breath life into our Co-op!
Lynne (35+ years’ tenure) our Grocery Manager oversees keeping the aisles abundant with shelf stable products and coolers full of fresh perishables.
Zack (25+) our Front End Manager assures an accurate and timely flow at checkout.
Barry (20+) our Produce Manager and his team replenish coolers with the freshest Organic fruits and vegetables all day long.
Kelly (20+) our Specialties Manager offers unique beverages along with miscellaneous culinary and mercantile adventures.
Annie (20+) our Marketing and Education Manager maintains myriad channels linking with our owners and community.
Derek (10+) our Meat Manager sources and fabricates a dazzling array of fresh and prepared proteins.
Sharon (10+) our Human Resources Manager carries our banner to foster participation, empowerment and growth for all our employees.
Steve (10+) our Information Technology Manager and his team support our efforts to streamline communication and transaction processing.
Marty (2+) our Deli Manager and his culinary brigade provide fresh hot and cold prepared foods and beverages for on site or take out.
Courtney (1+) our Wellness Manager and her tenured team stock remedies and supplements for every need.
Mel our new Financial Manager oversees the receipt, payment and reporting of over $30MM in annual transactions.
Without this team of pros and contributions from of each of the other 160 plus Co-op employees we owners would still be researching and sourcing products, receiving and stocking the shelves, cutting cheese and washing produce, pricing items and running cash registers, and of course cleaning restrooms! We are so lucky and grateful that they’ve each chosen to apply their gifts on our behalf.
More Co-op News
Forty six years ago, a group of families formed a buying club to access sustainable, local organic food as an alternative to modern industrial agriculture. This humble foundation of social and environmental responsibility started the Ashland Food Co-op and has shaped every decision we’ve ever made. It’s how, over four decades later, that a small buying club became a 30 million dollar, 17,500 square foot Certified Organic Retailer diverting 82% of their discards from the landfill.
By Emile Amarotico
In celebration of Sustainability Month in April, we asked our Sustainability Committee to share their favorite eco-friendly product.
We’ve teamed up with Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer three different camps this summer. Each week campers will dive into food production, preparation and exploration, with a mix of farm and kitchen experiences that delight the senses and inspire the soul. Join Rogue Valley Farm to School staff as they cultivate the ability to grow and cook delicious, healthy, seasonal meals. Monday - Wednesday at the Co-op Community Classroom, Thursday & Friday at the Farm at SOU.
By Ed Claassen, Board President
Your Board and Management Team invested a significant amount of time in 2014 developing a set of strategic initiatives that we believe are vital in shaping the future of our business and furthering our mission. We formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee consisting of 3 Board members and 3 Management Team members to guide the implementation of these initiatives.
To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.
No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.
As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.
The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations is now open.
Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.
By Gwyneth Bowman, Vice President
After serving on the AFC Board for fourteen years my passion for the Co-op model has strengthened my commitment to the Cooperative Principles and Values. Of special importance is how we work together as a governing body with one voice. We are the ultimate decision-makers of our Co-op and hold a trusteeship for the benefit of our owners and community.
Like it or not, the cool weather has arrived. Whether you are heading out for a hike or enjoying a good book by the fire, the Co-op Deli has what you need to fuel your favorite fall activity. Stay warm with these comfort food recommendations from the Co-op Deli.
By Emile Amarotico
A recent visitor commented that our parking is totally inadequate to our business volume. What’s true is that we cannot create more parking due to space and municipal code constraints. Thus, the value of each available space is increasing over time. Assuming only half of Co-op shoppers use automobile parking, each space supports at least $200,000 in annual sales.
When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland.
October is National Co-op Month, so what’s the big deal? Being a co-op is special. Yes, we know we are biased, but being a cooperative enterprise means we do business differently. We don’t have a single owner living on their private island drinking margaritas all day without a care in the world. We are owned and governed by you, our 10,000 members. We share the burden in hard times and share the benefits in the good times. We put people, the planet and our principles before profit.
By Emile Armarotico
This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.
Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.
When we say local, we mean local. We source our local goods from within 200 miles of the store. By purchasing goods from local producers, we aim to create and maintain a healthy local economy and support family farms. What could be better than helping your community by buying local goods?
With all the local products that we offer, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But that’s exactly what we asked our staff to do. Here are some of their go-to local eats.
How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.