From the Board
Beechworth Food Co-op
End of year progress report
As we get closer to the end of 2019 we thought it timely to let you, our members, know-how your co-op is progressing.
As we get closer to the end of the year, it is important to reflect on the past 12 months and think about next year.
2019 has been a tough year for your co-op.
Moving to the Railway Building
The move to the Railway Building took a lot of work and energy from our volunteers. We have been lucky to be assisted by the Beechworth Correctional Centre work teams.
Overall, we think the move has been a good one. The Railway Building offers more visibility and shopping convenience as well as the potential for the co-op to hold events.
The relocation has meant more than just moving the shop.
It is a condition of our lease that we are also responsible for the management of the entire Railway building. This means managing the bookings of the two community rooms for classes, events and other meetings. This has taken a bit of time to bed down, but we are now confident that this will work smoothly and enable the co-op to better manage the costs of maintaining and servicing the building. The booking system for using any of the rooms is now accessible on the Co-op’s website.
So what about the shop
Earlier in the year, we conducted a survey about the shop. We heard that it wasn’t serving you as you would like. We failed to have the products you love in stock and sometimes our stock quality was not what you preferred. We also failed to have the shop open each time you expected it to be open.
We are working hard to make it better
As you know we have aimed to keep prices as low as possible and we do this by ordering in bulk when we can and by relying on volunteers to serve you in the store. When we don’t please our customers and members our sales suffer and this means we can’t buy the stock that you want.
Like any small business, we have had a cash flow problem.
Some of the actions we have taken so far to improve our cash position are
- Inviting members to pre-purchase bulk items, like toilet paper, as this helps with the price we pay and the freight cost
- Selling a fridge that wasn’t being used
- Reviewing shelf prices to make sure we are actually covering our costs
Already the shop is looking like it has the things that you like to buy and cash flow is getting a little better.
Let’s keep it up!
Co-ops work when the board and staff know what their members want and when members actively support their co-op. We are listening to you, so please tell us how your co-op can serve you better and keep buying from the Co-op whenever you can.
We will be rolling out a few more things for you to support over the next few weeks, such as an online bulk ordering facility, some evening markets and cool drinks and snacks for families using the swimming pool and skate park over summer.
So please, let us know what you want from your co-op so that we can truly work together to create a strong and reliable co-op for Beechworth.
We would love to hear from you so we can improve. Please drop us an email at [info @ …?] or next time you are in the shop talk to any of the volunteers about how you think your co-op can serve you better, or how you might like to help your co-op!
Your co-op board of directors