Helping Each Other and Looking Ahead

A Letter from the Co-op General Manager

To Our Community,

It was recently brought to my attention that, at last count, I have published more than 60,000 words to our members, employees, and broader community of shoppers since mid-March. Although the subject matter has varied, the goal has always been the same: Given the pandemic and all the challenges we face as a cooperative community, I want you to know what I know.

I write this message today on a seasonably cool (thank goodness) late-summer morning. As I work on this, our employees are busy with a bustling local summer produce season while also gearing up for the fall. All of this is made much more challenging due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic. Our employees’ tenacity and vision through this strange, surreal period has been extraordinary.

I have shared plenty of updates with you through spring and summer. It has been a lot to keep up with, I know. Today I would like to take a break from that, and use the opportunity to thank all of you for your patience, flexibility, and support.

I would also like to remind us all to think conscientiously about the months ahead. With fall around the corner and children going back to school, it is difficult to know what course the pandemic will take next. Here are a few things I would like for you to know:

Social distancing. At the Co-op, our social-distancing measures have been aggressive from the beginning. I am glad they have been. The vast majority of our shoppers have been very supportive, and employees have been champions of navigating change. Moving forward, please continue to be mindful of our Shopper Code of Conduct and social-distancing guidelines. And of course, wear a mask. These are mandatory. Remember that the employees who have to implement these mask mandates are just hearty souls who are doing their jobs and following the law of the land.

Planning out shopping trips. Shopping behavior has changed dramatically during the pandemic. We continue to see customers shopping less frequently but stocking up more on each trip. This is good. Fewer people in the stores keeps all of us safer. Bear with us for the time being as we may have fewer employees in the stores as well. We have encouraged all employees to take some time off, time that is needed and very well-deserved.

Case Lot. This time of year our employees are often putting the final touches on the upcoming Case Lot sale, normally held in October. As I have written about before, this year we have suspended the sale due to social-distancing concerns and the impact of the pandemic on our supply chains. That said, we will be offering case savings on a number of popular products throughout the fall. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for details.

Back to school. Area children are not the only ones going back to school. Our Co-op Learning Center is gearing up for the fall season, and will continue to offer a wide range of virtual classes in both demo and hands-on form. Being hunkered down at home is a great time to sign up for one of our popular Co-op Classes. Look for the fall schedule coming to our website soon.

Online ordering and curbside pickup. Finally, remember that online ordering and curbside pickup is now in full swing at the Co-op, and thanks to this service you can shop for many of your favorite products on our website and arrange for a no-contact pickup at the curbside. We continue to add approximately 500 new products a week to enhance your shopping experience. This service was implemented in rapid response to member requests, and is a great way to shop safely and efficiently. For details visit Groceries-2-Go.

Wrap Up

Thank you to all of our members and shoppers for all of your support. Remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves. In the meantime, we look forward to serving in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,

Thanks,

Paul

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed General Manager by the Co-op Board in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.
Paul Guidone

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