New Year, New Beginnings

By: LeAnna Nieratko, General Manager | 2020-02-24


One of the most frequent comments we receive from member-owners and visitors alike is how much they love and appreciate the Co-op staff.

In evaluating our spaces, we found that a crowded break room literally facing the open door of the human resources department may not lend to downtime as breaks are designed to do.


On January 1st, a small team of staff repainted and reorganized the break room. Creating some closed space in which team-members can kick back, enjoy their lunch, close their eyes or do whatever without the watchful eye of admin.

We also launched a monthly staff wellness challenge. For the month of January, every day that a staff member drank and logged 64oz of water, they received an entry into a drawing for a Kleen Kanteen. At the end of the month, our produce manager Paul and grocery assistant Patti, took home two beautiful new Kleen Kanteens, while any member of staff who managed to drink 64oz of water every day during the challenge received a special treat from HR. For the month of February, we are focusing on self love with challenges that include 20 minutes of yoga, going for a walk and taking social media breaks.

New year, New Layouts

Another area of focus coming into this new year (decade!) was how we can use our space to more efficiently meet our mission. While we are always re-evaluating our products and our space, there have been two areas of the store that have taken on dedicated time and focus:

Eryn, our Grocery Manager, set out to reduce plastic in our bottled water selection. This can be a difficult task since so many people rely on different qualities in their water, and not all of those important qualities have been transitioned into more sustainable packaging. In order to ensure we are still meeting the needs of our shoppers, but working towards a less wasteful future, Eryn analyzed sales, trends and new products to reset the water layout. If your favorite water is no longer carried, please fill out a product inquiry form by customer service. Be sure to include what quality you are looking for in the water so we can try to find an alternative if possible. The goal is to reduce plastic, but not to reduce options!


Another major lay-out change happened in our wellness department. Linda, Alyssa, Alice and Jaime of our wellness team worked together to find ways to make the wellness department more easily shoppable to everyone. While the former lay-out was intentional and lended to a specific type of organization, they found that some items were displayed in multiple places or far apart from other items that might frequently be paired together. Their goal in resetting the department is to make categories easier for any person who comes to shop to understand and navigate. Come check it out, and please be sure to ask any member of the team where your favorite items are located if you do have any trouble.

Hours change

The other big change we’re undertaking this spring is a change in our hours of operation. A few things informed this change: The success of our donuts and current bakery breakfast items, the requests we’ve received for breakfast items on our menu, and finally the observation that our traffic is pretty slow late in the evening.

The process to decide on what hours to move to included a study of the operating hours of surrounding businesses, a formal study of our actual traffic by hour and a lot of discussions with our staff and management team. The larger management team is a passionate and opinionated bunch, so when we took a vote to change the hours at a meeting and the result was unanimous, we had to jump on the opportunity.

Starting March 29, 2020, we will be open from 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday, and 10am-8pm on Sundays. Stay tuned for more information on what breakfast items we will be offering!

More to Come…

This spring, year, and decade have already proven to be a great opportunity to take inventory of the things we are fortunate for, our purpose, and our opportunities. While consensus on something like an hours change is certainly awesome, we also thrive in the moments of debate and discussion. One thing that can’t be highlighted enough is the passion and dedication of our team and community who make this Co-op home to so many of us.