From the General Manager's Desk

By Emile Amarotico

Over the years, the General Manager and Management Team have considered the benefit of adding a store manager role to our organizational structure. Store managers are dedicated to the day to day coordination of retail operations. In this increasingly competitive market, where retail execution, achievement of financial goals, and the customer experience are so crucial to success, most of our food cooperative peers have found tremendous value in having a store manager. Of our 10 single store peers with greater than $18M in annual sales, ours is the only one to not employ a store manager.

In the decade from 2004 to 2013, Ashland Food Co-op nearly doubled sales from $15.1M in to $28.6M. Over the last four years, sales growth has been cooling as a result of new and improved competition exacerbated by our own capacity constraints. Thus arises a simultaneous need to enhance operational performance and to pursue strategies to meet the future needs of the Co-op.  And, at our present scale our management structure with the General Manager directly supervising 11 department managers dilutes our capacity to drive retail excellence while advancing organizational and strategic initiatives with priority and urgency.

Consequently, at its January meeting, the Board approved adding a Store Manager this year. While we are conducting a national search, we are already blessed with several strong and tenured internal candidates. If you know of someone who can lead a team of experienced managers using a collaborative participatory process to advance the Co-op’s legacy as the region’s premier organically certified and cooperatively owned retailer, please make them aware of this rare opportunity! Click here to view the Store Manager job opening.

More Co-op News

Meet Board of Director Trine Ostergaard

Trine Ostergaard is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. She brings a world, literally, of experience to the table and has a sincere passion and love for the Co-op. We are thrilled to have her aboard and asked her to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. He brings to the table a plethora of co-op experience and a love of chocolate chip cookies. We are thrilled to have him aboard and asked him to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Staff Picks: Favorite Local Products

September is Love Local Month!  All month long we’re celebrating our local farmers and vendors with demos, events and more. Here are some of our staff's favorite local products.


Meet Pachamamma Coffee Cooperative

By Lauren Taber, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative started in 2001 with a few simple questions in mind: what would it look like to take Fair Trade a step further? How can coffee farmers be in direct relationship with end consumers in the United States?

We found that the answer was even simpler: cooperative ownership. Pachamama Coffee has been 100% farmer-owned since day one, and is currently owned by 140,000 small scale family farmers across the coffee producing regions of the world.

Community Cider Backyard Fruit Drive

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.

2018 Board Election Results

The AFC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Board Election. There were three excellent candidates running for two Board positions. In total, 905 votes were cast.

Congratulations to the following candidates who will serve three-year terms on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors.

Thank you for voting!



Beat the Heat

When the heat of summer takes over, it can be hard on our bodies and moods. Don’t let the scorching temps get you down, cool off with one of these refreshing Staff recommendations.

Report from the Board of Directors: Strategic Plan Update

By Jeff Golden, External Relations Committee Chair

Ashland Food Co-op is striding into the future with careful intention. We’re especially focused on the three top priorities of our strategic planning process, a collaboration of our board and management team. A quick update:

Riding off into the Sunset


By Annie Hoy, Retiring Marketing Manager

Since I was born and raised in far West Texas, I cannot help but use some imagery from what is so familiar to me.

Staff Picks: Summer Hikes and Trail Snacks

Our staff loves to head outside and enjoy the gorgeous Oregon outdoors. Here's a few of their favorite trails and the Co-op snacks they like to take with them.