As many of you know, the co-op has been navigating difficult financial straits over the last few years. During these trying times, as we examine ourselves and our future, it behooves us to reflect on the reasons why we support the co-operative model that distinguishes us from other grocers. In an era of ever-increasing centralization and authoritarian sentiment, it is a singular act of defiance to employ a business model that is built not cynically on the mere accumulation of wealth, but courageously on the needs and well-being of a community. Co-ops put people first, always; a guarantee that one simply will not get from a for-profit enterprise.
That brings us to an important question. With the demand for healthy and organic foods rising, can a democratically-run independent business really compete with the interests of large corporations who seek to secure their share of the market? Quite simply, it must. Since it's inception, the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op has been dedicated to providing healthy and ethical foods to the Toledo area - and as long as our doors stay open, it always will. No other business is as committed to this as we are; it's built into the very fabric of our organizational structure. Through good times and bad, through thick and through thin, through fads and obscurity, our co-op is the one place you can always depend on to meet the dietary needs of the conscious consumer. Our existence ensures that our market will never be without an ally, and our members never without a place to shop.
As we look ahead, I encourage all members to rediscover what it means to be part of a co-op. As owners, you have a right and a responsibility to get involved and help ensure the success of our business. There are many ways to help, ranging from sharing your ideas with board members, to signing up as a volunteer, to spreading the word about us within your circles of influence. If you would like to speak to me directly, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be glad to listen to your thoughts on what we can do to make shopping at the co-op an even better experience. Together, we can make a better future.
Sean Nestor, President