Saturday, June 1st marked the Co-op’s 40th Annual Meeting & Celebration! We were so grateful to be joined by nearly 150 member-owners to celebrate this exciting occasion at Middlebury’s American Flatbread.
We feasted on a seemingly endless supply of mouth-watering flatbread, salad, & dessert, and sipped on local Champlain Orchards cider. We were so impressed by the crew at American Flatbread! They sure do know how to please a hungry crowd!
We said a reluctant goodbye to two wonderful members of our Board of Directors, Sheila McGrory-Klyza and Kevin Lehman. Sheila and Kevin have given such devoted and valued service to our Board over the last several years. We thank them for their leadership and know they will surely be missed.
We also welcomed two new members to the Board of Directors, Ann LaFiandra & Amanda Warren, and congratulated re-elected incumbent, RJ Adler. We look forward to having these new leaders at the helm!
We reveled in the company of friends old and new. Marjorie & Marian from Orb Weaver Farm were in attendance, and reminded us that they’ve been selling their glorious veggies and cheese at the Co-op since 1981! Wow!
As the meeting commenced, Glenn shared a Co-op year-in-review. One highlight was learning that the Co-op’s sales of local products continue to grow steadily. Thank you for making this possible by supporting the incredible local farmers and producers in our community! We’re so lucky!
Board President, Tam Stewart, talked about the challenges ahead for food co-ops across the country, as competition heats up from more traditional retailers who are responding to consumer demand for organic foods. Their buying power presents a challenge for cooperatives trying to offer competitive prices, though we’re finding creative way to address that through our Co-op Basics program and other cost-saving measures for shoppers on a tight budget.
Board Treasurer, Lynn Dunton, gave a report on the Co-op’s fiscal year and expressed confidence in the Co-op’s financial status based on our healthy debt to equity ratio. She also shared exciting news about the Co-op’s first ever patronage dividend, which will be mailed out to member-owners in the coming weeks. The Co-op had a profitable year and we’ll be able to return a healthy portion (40%) of those profits to member-owners! The remaining 60% of the claimed patronage will be retained and reinvested in the Co-op.
The final portion of the meeting was led by Architect, Andrea Kerz-Murray, of Vermont Integrated Architecture. She updated us on the latest round of potential designs for the Co-op expansion.
The highlight of the night came when a very special guest was asked to give the official motion to adjourn the meeting. It was Glenn’s lovely mother who happened to be in town for a visit!
What an exciting time for our Co-op! It’s been an incredible 40 years and we’re so grateful to this fine community for supporting us through the years! We had a fun look back at our past and an exciting peek into our future. Thanks again to everyone who came out to attend our Annual Meeting & Celebration! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Cheers to another 40 years!