More Than Just Free Flatbread

More Than Just Free Flatbread

While the flatbreads and endless bowls of salad at American Flatbread are a delicious perk of attending the Co-op’s annual meeting, this event is so much more than a free meal! The Annual Meeting makes our Ends Statements–1) Healthy Foods 2) Vibrant Local Economy 3) Environmentally Sustainable and Energy Efficient Practices 4) Co-operative Democratic Ownership 5) Learning About These Values–come alive for an evening of celebration and community.

Our Annual Meeting is an essential component of practicing co-operative democratic ownership and a unique time to learn about the Co-op, two of our Ends Statements. Each year, our General Manager, Glenn, makes an honest presentation about the successes and challenges of the year, and the Board Treasurer presents a financial summary. The highlight of these presentations was learning that we are able to offer a patronage dividend to Member-Owners this year! We anticipated that it would be up to two years post-expansion before there would be patronage dividends, so this was an exciting surprise. Another highlight of the evening was a brief survey we developed as a board to ask all member-owners what initiatives they’d like to see us pursue now that the expansion is behind us. Thanks to everyone who took the time to tell us what you think.  We’ll report more on those results soon!

The Annual Meeting is a great time to learn more about the Co-op and make sure your voice is heard.  We welcome questions and comments, anytime, but especially at this annual event.  This year more than 200 people attended on a particularly sunny and beautiful evening.

Hosting this important gathering at American Flatbread is significant and representative of the ends: 1) Healthy Foods 2) Vibrant Local Economy and 3) Environmentally Sustainable and Energy Efficient Practices. American Flatbread’s flatbreads and salads are nourishing foods, made from the highest quality ingredients, most of which are local, organic, or both. American Flatbread is a perfect example of how all foods–when prepared mindfully and intentionally–can be part of a healthy diet. Finally, it’s a joy for the Co-op to be able to support our Vibrant Local Economy by allocating our Annual Meeting funds to a local restaurant.

What would our world be like if all businesses put as much thoughtful energy into creating an annual meeting for their customers? What would our world be like if all businesses were as transparent and open to feedback? If you have never been to an Annual Meeting, make sure to put it on your calendar for next year. We are truly lucky to have the Co-op in our community, and the Annual Meeting is a yearly celebration of this fact. Of course, we can’t deny that the pizza is delicious, as well!

Amanda Warren is a member of our Co-op Board of Directors

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