Olympia Food Co-op 2006 Member Ballot
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History ::: 2006 Ballot ::: Expansion Committee


2006 Ballot Results  Download (.doc 32k)

876 Co-op members voted in the election that ended 11/15/06. Four new members were elected to the Board of Directors (Jackie Krzyzek, Joellen Wilhelm, Bob Grabhorn, & Douglas Goslin) and two incumbents were re-elected (Samantha Chandler & John Nason).

We also conducted two advisory ballots regarding credit/debit cards at the Co-op and regarding Co-op response to growth. The ballots were tabulated by Dec 1 and the Board met a few days later to discuss the results and take action.



We asked two questions on this issue:
1) Should the Co-op accept debit and credit cards as payment for purchases?

55% voted NO (do not accept credit/debit) and 45% voted yes.

2) If the Co-op accepted credit and debit card, would you use this method to pay for your purchases:

58 % said they would use credit/debit cards and 42% said they would not.

BOARD ACTION: Based on the advisory ballot results, the Board decided the following:

1)At this time, the Co-op will not accept credit/debit cards
2)The Board will keep open the option of accepting credit/debit cards in the future in light of potential expansion and other factors (costs could be reduced, etc)
3)The Co-op will seek alternative solutions to work with Co-op membership in need of credit



The Growth Response Advisory Ballot asked five questions with numerous options. Complete results with details on tabulation method (we used four different methods), all the numbers and the hundreds of comments are available for perusing in the store.

In all methods of tabulation, there was a clear preference. The members voted for opening a 3rd store that should be located downtown. The store should be larger than either of our current stores and the Co-op should work to co-locate with local businesses and non-profits.

The Board reviewed the advisory ballot and all of the member comments. In addition, the Board reviewed the final report from the Growth Response Oversight Committee (this included reports from all the member forums, results from the membership survey, Staff survey, neighborhood survey, and suppliers survey), and the marketing report supplied by a consultant.

The Board talked for hours about the options and vision for the future of the Co-op. We looked to the beautiful Co-op Mission Statement to help guide the process. We reviewed what problems we are trying to address that result from our immense growth over the last 10 years. We evaluated how well the current stores are meeting the membership needs and the mission statement. We talked about what the Co-op might look like 10 to 20 years from now. We attempted to identify the Olympia Food Co-op identity. We agreed that the Olympia Food Co-op identity includes:

Being socially, economically and environmentally progressive.
Being a progressive employer and providing a healthy working environment for Staff & Volunteers.
Being a community hub.
Maximizing market growth to build the community; to nurture growth; to grow with values intact; to minimize the impact of corporate market share.
Helping to expand the local Co-op network and help in creating and nurturing community based co-ops in more aspects of commerce and services.
Helping to expand each point of the Co-op Mission Statement.

The advisory ballot results affirmed the desire to build community with progressive values and to work to strengthen downtown. It also showed how many members love our current stores (especially strong attachment to the west side store). At the end of the discussion and review of information, the Board reached a consensus:

It is the goal of the Olympia Food Co-op to open a new store in downtown Olympia. The guidelines for size are 5,000 to 10,000 square foot of retail space (west side current: 2,400 - east side current is 5,000). In addition, the Co-op will attempt co-locate with businesses and non-profits that support the goals of the Co-op Mission Statement.

The Board will work with Staff in the coming months to create an expansion process. We phrase this decision as a goal because many things can happen before or during an expansion. When the Co-op last expanded, we started with a goal of opening a 2nd neighborhood store but we soon found that there were no options for doing this. During the three year expansion process, we continually updated and expanded our parameters based on what we found to be possible. In addition, expansion must be constantly evaluated for financial feasibility.

The Board wishes to thank the membership for your ongoing passionate participation in our Co-op. Your response to the ballot, the surveys, the forums, and of course, to the stores has been fantastic. We also thank the Staff for their dedication and commitment to the Co-op operations. Both stores have been growing like crazy (east side has grown 30% over the last two years alone) and the work load has been increasing dramatically. As a Staff Collective, they have been creative and resourceful in responding to growth. We also thank the Growth Response Oversight Committee for facilitating this process over the past 10 months. This Staff/Board/Member committee did a remarkable amount of work and accomplished the work plan with dedication, grace, and humor intact.

ANY FEEDBACK? EMAIL TO Harry or call 357-1106. Complete Growth Response Ballot Reports are also available for viewing in each store.