Co-op Adds 3rd Checkstand & New POS

Have you seen the new front-end of our store?  We’re pretty excited because on Tuesday November 12th, 2013 our new POS system and check-stands made their debut and staff are getting up to speed on the new equipment.

new check stands

We think these changes are very positive for the Co-op and will make your grocery shopping experience more convenient.  The new checkout stands include a third lane for busy times.

Tim Kennedy of Blind Moses Woodworking in Astoria built them for us.

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He’s done some of the other finish work in the produce and deli areas, so we knew he’d do a great job.  He says the new checks-stands have a “nice personality”.  He constructed them with fir and walnut.  And he helped come up with a new configuration for the layout of the checkout lanes that has resulted in less congestion for you at the front-end of the store.

What’s even bigger than the new checkout lanes is the new POS (point of sale) system.  It was needed given our level of growth in recent years, and this new system will be able to grow with us, possibly even into a larger future store.  What improvements can you see?  Quicker checkouts due to better scanners and credit card processors.  And, you now get to swipe your own credit and debit cards.

The new checkout stands are specifically designed to hold the new hardware required with the POS system.  They are also ergonomic for cashiers and customers.  And,  it’s nice to no longer have our cash drawers resting on milk crates!

Please be patient as we train all our staff on the new system.  We have had lots of extra help as this new system goes live.  While there will be a short period of transition with our new POS system and checkout lanes, we fully believe these changes will benefit you long into the future.  We thank our member-owners and shoppers for continued support!

Co-op Manager Presents at Next “Beers to Your Health”

matt gmo poster

Over the past two decades, GMOs have been entering U.S. grocery stores at a dizzying rate. While certified organic foods are prohibited from containing GMOs, the Congressional Research Service estimates that 60 to 70 percent of processed conventional foods contain GMO ingredients, none of which have been tested for safety by the FDA.  Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from different species in order to create benefits such as disease resistance.  But are they safe?  The answer is debatable, and growing number of consumers are wary of the potential risks. 

In the second of a two-part series by the Astoria Co-op, General Manager Matt Stanley will give a presentation focused on the consumer perspective surrounding GMO’s.  In October, the Co-op brought OSU Professor, Robert Zemetra, a wheat breeder and geneticist to Astoria to speak from a pro-GMO perspective.  In order to present a balanced view of this controversial issue to the public, Stanley will share information he has learned about GMO concerns.

“It’s always been important to me since I learned about the lengths the industrial food system has gone to create food that isn’t keeping our health in mind.  This is one of many ways that large companies are manipulating our food in ways that aren’t good for us.  All you have to do is look at health trends in our country, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, in large part all come back to our food system,” Stanley said.

Stanley will share a presentation created by Gary Hirshberg, the chairman of the Just Label It campaign.  JLI is a national coalition dedicated to bringing about mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in the U.S.  More than one million people have signed JLI’s petition to the Food and Drug Administration, more than any other food petition in the country.  The Astoria Co-op has joined other food co-ops around the country to support the labeling campaign, and increase awareness about GMOs.

Stanley says his main concern about GMOs is exposure to chemicals.  Genetically engineered plants can be designed to withstand more pesticides, created by corporations that design the GMO seeds, and cancer drugs, which some of these chemicals may cause.  GMOs are also linked to digestive issues, allergies, and other dietary struggles Americans are going through, according to Stanley. 

When and Where:

“Beers to Your Health” the Co-op’s monthly lecture series happens Thursday November 14 at the Fort George Lovell Showroom at 14th & Duane St. in Astoria.  Doors open at 6 p.m., food and drinks are available from the Taproom, the talk starts at 7 p.m. and lasts about an hour.