Annual Meeting Recap

Our annual meeting 2018 is in the books! Everyone is welcome to shop at the co-op, and anyone can become an owner of our grocery store. Part of community ownership includes an annual meeting to learn about the business and vote for board members who oversee it.

Our Board of Directors (from left): Venus Fromwiller, Allie Evans, Andrew Catalano, Andrea Larson-Perez, Todd Holm, Angela Sidlo, Matt Stanley (General Manager), Angi Perez, Emily Geddes, and Norma Hernandez

The election highlights:

In our General Manager’s annual report, Matt Stanley says our new store expansion is right on track for our five year strategic plan. It has involved a rigorous land use process, including a compromise to make neighbors happy in a way that works for the co-op. Now it’s time for engineering and financing. There’s still an opportunity to make a truly local investment, as there are $820,000 in preferred shares still available for those interested in investing. In October 2017 the co-op launched an owner investment campaign raising $1.6 million in 8 weeks.

Our co-op is weathering the challenge of more competition, thanks to your support. The new store will help the co-op to become a destination to even more shoppers, with increased visibility and more space for great food including locally-sourced products and a deli with hot food.

New store rendering at 23rd & Marine Dr. Astoria

“Based on research and evidence we have from other co-ops, we need to get out there and be visible to be relevant and be in this community for another 40 years,” Stanley said.

Our expansion timeline is fluid, but your co-op could break ground as soon as January and construction is expected to take about a year.

Some other points Stanley made:

  • 100% of staff are eligible for PTO, 89% eligible for health care, and $16/hr. is the average wage
  • Nearly no food is thrown in the trash: more than 8,000 pounds of produce scraps went to farmers in 2017 and 22,000 pounds of edible food was donated to the food bank
  • A program called Co+op Forest offsets our business travel emissions
  • We work with 50+ truly local producers from our coastal region and we’re excited to be able to expand our local offering in a larger venue
  • Community giving is growing as the store grows in sales including in-kind donations, large sponsorships focused on health and wellness, Beans for Bags and Change for Community
  • 72% of sales came from co-op owners in 2017 and 28% from other shoppers
  • Our co-op grew by 280 new owners in 2017 and we now have 4200

Stanley concluded his report by saying how excited he is to grow so we can provide a bigger community impact including access to more healthy and local food.

Click here for expansion updates.

Fresh New Look

By Zetty Nemlowill/Marketing Director

In our last newsletter I told you we’d be freshening up the co-op’s look and now… it’s official (see our new logo below)! We’re making this change now so that we will be ready to start designing our new store. We’re still the same co-op you know and love; we’re just getting better at sharing our story.

To survive and thrive, especially in a larger, more visible store, we need everyone to understand what makes Astoria Co+op different and why they might want to shop here. A logo and tag line can help represent this visually.

You’ll notice the subtle name change of “Astoria Co+op” instead of “Astoria Co-op Grocery.” The shorter name looks great, is very friendly and can be paired with our tagline (good. local. food.) It is simple and easy to understand at a glance.

The plus sign aligns our brand with the Co+op, stronger together brand and highlights our cooperative ownership. This allows us to fully utilize the resources available through our membership with National Co+op Grocers—Co+op Deals flyers, coupons, bags, coffee cups, and signs—while maintaining a cohesive visual identity with materials produced in-house.

Astoria Artist Roger McKay paints the new logo on our outside wall.

I believe this change will result in an increase in efficiency, allowing us to mature into an even more competitive business, lowering operating costs while still treating our employees well.

While a new logo is an important symbol, it is our amazing staff, dedicated owners and shoppers, local farmers, delicious food, and being 100% community-owned that makes our co-op truly unique and special. Thank you for your continued support!