General Managers’ Report
By Larrane Hartridge, General Manager
Thirty-seven years ago a group of like-minded folks got together and opened the Leon County Food Co-op. Their reasons then are the same as now: to supply our community with food and products that were healthy and safe for consumers and our land. Co-ops fight to make organic and all-natural food available to all has been won. Organic food, although not as prevalent as conventional, has officially gone mainstream.
Co-ops around the country are seeing customers flocking to the big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and their local supermarkets for their organic purchases. And New Leaf Market is no exception. But there is a big difference between shopping at box stores and the Co-op.
The most striking difference is that New Leaf Market is locally owned by thousands of local residents. For every $100 you spend at the Co-op, $68 stays in our local economy. Sustaining our local economy is always important, but it is more critical now during this economic slump. Likewise, by supporting New Leaf Market you are in turn helping our local farmers and our local service providers—$3.7 million was spent with local providers last year.
Another key difference is the cooperative business model. Many people frequently equate the word “cooperative” with a hippie sensibility and the 70s. But the cooperative business model is more pertinent now than it has ever been. As a cooperative we are led by a Board of Directors who are elected by our owners, YOU. Our mission is to serve our owners, educate about organic food, and to give back to our community. It is not solely to make money for our owners. Granted we love it when we can return profit in the form of patronage rebates, but the Board’s and management’s decisions are based on what is best for the owners, not what is best for the bottom line. If this had been the mentality of the banking industry several years ago, where would we be now? Where else can you shop and know that your money is both staying in the local economy and is supporting a democratic and equitable business model?
But we aren’t just asking for your support, we also appreciate you! Mark your calendars for our Owner Appreciation Extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday, August 27 and 28. Owners, join in the fun, register to win prizes, sample lots of food and stock up on great sales—owners receive 10 percent off all weekend long!
Look for these NEW items:
- Annie’s Granola Bars
- Blue Bonnet Animalz Line
- Boldbean Coffee
- Fruit on the salad bar
- Full Earth Pet Food
- Grassroots Coffee
- Goat First Network Goat Milk Ice Cream
- Honey Pax
- Lucky Goat Coffee
- Nutra Source Dog Food
- Pure Vita Dog Food
- Rudi’s Bagels
- Sea Breeze Winery
- Sea Buckthorn Supplements
Don’t see something you’re looking for? Ask us about placing a special order!