State of the Co-op 9/21

State of the Co-op, September 2021

To Our Community,

Last night at the Co-op Board of Directors meeting, I presented a brief overview of the Co-op’s operations for the month ending September 2021. Below are the highlights.

Overall, activity remained relatively robust. However, the industry is beginning to experience scheduling delays from vendors, which is resulting in out-of-stock conditions for select products.

Although our Co-op is managing well during this initial phase, we are not immune to these developing conditions.

The graphs below reflect data for sales, customer count, basket size, average price for gas and gallons pumped for the years 2019 through September 2021.


Grocery, Meat, Produce, Dairy, and Frozen Foods continue to provide strong sales growth. However, sales for the 9 months ending September are slightly higher than the same period last year ($59.45 million versus $59.34 million). On a year-to-date basis sales continue to exceed budget.

Year To Date


Customer visits for September are up over last year but remain lower than 2019’s figures. Average basket size is approximately $50.12 down from $54.26 last September.

Customer Count

Customer Year To Date

Basket Size


Gas prices began the year at approximately $2.24 per gallon. At the end of September, the average price is approximately $3.16 or $0.92 more per gallon. Our average price is approximately $0.91 per gallon more than September last year. For the month, we have pumped 7,828 more gallons than the same period last year. Sales of our non-gas business was ahead of budget for the month and year to date.

Average Price of Gas

Gallons Pumped

Gallons Pumped Year to Date

Other Items of Interest

Recently I had the honor of telling you about Melissa K Scanlan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and a member of the faculty at University of Wisconsin’s Law School. In 2018 the Co-op awarded Professor Scanlan the Gerstenberger Scholarship for her work on the environmental impact of worker cooperatives.

This month her new book, Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy: Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses, was released. I am happy to report that Professor Scanlan will be giving a virtual talk about her book at the Norwich book store on November 12 at 7 p.m. I encourage you to register for the talk.

October is Co-op Month, and a great way to honor that is to run for the Co-op Board of Directors! I would like to thank April Harkness, Governance and Community Engagement Specialist, for her work to promote our annual Board of Directors election. It is a year-round job, and if you have an interest in serving, now is the time to begin thinking about your candidacy. Look for April’s excellent article for details.

Wrap Up

Thank you to our cooperative community for the ongoing support, as always. We will talk again next Thursday. In the meantime, be kind to one another and to yourselves, and 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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