Masks, Upgrades, and Moving Forward

To Our Community,

Before I get to today’s updates, I would like to thank all of you who have written to me over the past week to express your support for keeping our mask policy in place. I have read more than 100 comments and the vast majority have been overwhelmingly supportive.

There have been a handful of disagreements with our policy. I appreciate and respect those comments, as I hope our policies are appreciated and respected, too.

The one thing we all have in common: We all look forward to the day when we no longer need to talk about masks!

Moving on, I have several brief updates for you today.

  • Budget Forecasting. (I know. Collective yawn, right? Hard to believe it is getting to be that time of the year already.) We are looking at new tools for our budgeting work. The tools would significantly enhance our ability to budget, forecast, and report our data quickly, accurately, and efficiently. We are just exploring the possibilities, so for now, I just wanted to introduce this to you. Reach out to me if you would like to know more.
  • Lebanon Upgrade. The project continues to be on track. This week’s conversion work is almost complete, and our teams are doing the testing and fine-tuning. This is a huge effort by many people across many teams. Thank you to all of our members and shoppers for your patience with us as we make these upgrades.
  • Gimme 5. Our popular Gimme 5 collections are back! I don’t know about you, but I appreciate any step we take that feels like a return to normalcy. Our first post-pandemic Gimme 5 collection takes place this Saturday from 9-1 in our Lebanon store.
  • Meat Processing. Finally, I would like to spotlight the work of merchandiser Greg Marsh and public affairs director Allan Reetz, who are working on a very innovative project. The issue we are trying to solve is that grocery retailers are having a tough time recruiting meat cutters, as young people today are not showing as much interest in the trade as they did 20+ years ago.

    Good butchers are skilled craftspeople with terrific career opportunities. Months ago, Greg proposed the idea of establishing meat-cutting courses at local vocational institutions, which would lead to apprenticeships at the Co-op and other retailers. It is a great idea all the way around, with lots of interest. I look forward to seeing Greg and Allan’s efforts prove successful.

Wrap Up

As always, I thank all of our members and shoppers for the continued support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves. We look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,


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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 by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email

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