The co-op reopened on Sunday, February 28, after a week-long closure to install new refrigeration equipment and remodel our cafe. The new equipment replaces our ancient produce case and noisy deli case. We expanded the cafe area to make it a more inviting environment and a more functional space for events. While closed, we also resurfaced the floor, replaced lighting, and painted the walls.
New produce case, fully stocked; Jenny stocks the new deli case
I am truly humbled by the teamwork and all of the support we received to make this past week possible. It really takes a village, y’all! Let me tell you about my heroes from last week:
Pro Glover (lead contractor) and Malka Hoffman (lead designer) are a dream team. These two have so much respect for each other and passion for helping make the co-op into the best community space it can be. I love watching them talk through design details and learning from each other. Pro’s team rocked out all of the paintwork as well.
Bill Golly, Andy, and Russ. We truly could not have made this all happen without these three. They worked for days to break down the old equipment and get the new equipment in place and functional.
Alex (aka “sunshine”) and team: This team worked overtime to grind down the many layers of paint that had accumulated on the floor, all the while with smiles on their faces. They even shared some of their home-bottled wine with us!
All the co-op staff! Some cooked up delicious meals for the crew. Others worked on the renovation – painting walls, scraping windows, moving products, and more. The staff picked up all sorts of oddball jobs and worked long, unusual hours.
Ismael “Mayo” Rodriguez: Who knew clean windows could completely change a building? I guess Mayo does! This was a last-minute project that made a massive impact.
James Gallager and Natalie Meyer: These two came in at 5:30 in the morning, before a full day of work on the farm, to put the stain on the concrete floor. We would not have finished on time without them!
Even more volunteers who moved all of the product in and out of the store: Olivia, Izzy, Margaret, Abby, Holden, and Ginny. I hope I haven’t missed anyone!
Jeff Hansen and Laura Cover: thank you for letting us store some of our equipment in your parking lot for the week!
New Refrigeration Equipment
Our investment in the new refrigeration equipment was made possible with funding from our COVID-19 disaster loan and strong sales last year. The produce case has about the same display space but operates much cooler and more efficiently. Our beautiful organic produce will stay fresh much longer! (We also hope our electric bill goes down.) The new deli case has been relocated next to the produce and is much quieter. Both units are cooled by a remote compressor outside in the alley behind the store. Thanks to Myers Restaurant Equipment for the good deal and especially the folks from North Coast Refrigeration who have been our local contractors for all of our refrigeration needs.
Co-op Members Stocked Up!
Our shoppers helped reduce inventory of perishable items prior to the closure. We offered a 10% discount on all produce, deli, dairy, and meat items to get them off the shelves before their expiry dates. Nearly 50% of sales took advantage that discount! And co-op members increased their proportion of sales to almost 70%.
Future Plans for Cafe
Over the next few weeks we will be focusing our attention on the cafe area. We will be building out a few pieces of furniture/shelving, adding beautiful carpentry details, and re-arranging the space to better suit our needs. Can’t wait to show you all!