Years ago, on a quiet, unassuming side street in Wilder, Vermont, our Co-op invested in a state-of-the-art production facility, which at the time we called the Commissary Kitchen. The vision was to provide our stores, and by extension all our members and shoppers, with the best prepared foods anywhere.
The newly christened Co-op Kitchen is still just as progressive, forward thinking, and cutting edge as ever. And thanks to a plan that a team of employees developed last year, the reenvisioned Kitchen is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. Never has the Co-op Kitchen been more fully utilized than it is today, with popular new dishes, recipes, and product lines coming online regularly to show for it. In short, the best prepared foods anywhere are now better than ever.
Products aside, I want to talk about what makes all of this possible. The Co-op Kitchen is not a vision, a plan, or a place, but an amazing group of people. With little fanfare and great tenacity, these employees have been serving Co-op members, shoppers, and fellow employees for years. While many of us are still in bed in the mornings, they are already hard at work. And while many of us can live in the moment, they are always planning ahead. As I write this, Co-op Kitchen employees are busy preparing for our Co-op’s Annual Meeting on April 7.
I spend a lot of time in all our Co-op locations, and I’ve found the strength and spirit of the Co-op Kitchen is not the exception, but the norm. It represents the collective efforts of members and employees everywhere.
As a result, my thanks to all the employees at the Co-op Kitchen who have made such great strides over the past year. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” The Co-op Kitchen keeps moving forward, which keeps the rest of us moving forward, too.
Want to talk about this? Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open.