The February day that Chad Roeder, owner and founder of Bloomington Pedal Power, began transporting food for Bloomingfoods, the weather wasn't exactly the greatest. Area schools were on a two-hour delay, and the icy roads weren't yet fully cleared and open.
Roeder sent a message saying that "Everything went great (except for the pesky hail, sleet, and rain)" - a measure of his enthusiasm for his new business.
Roeder has begun transporting baked goods, soups, salads, and sandwiches made in the Near West Bloomingfoods kitchen. They travel via pedal power six blocks east, to the original co-op - a restored carriage house "right up your alley" off Kirkwood and Dunn. At that store, the limited food prep space is used for making fresh sushi, which goes back out to the larger stores.
Jason Hill, Wine & Beer Buyer, and Manager of the Near West Side StoreAre you enjoying the organic beer that you drink? Would you enjoy it as much if you knew that the hops which give it flavor and aroma and that crisp, refreshing smack might have been grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides which are usually forbidden in the production of organic produce? Do you think âorganicâ should mean âgrown and processed without the use of artificial chemicals and pesticidesâ? Do you believe the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should hold organic brewers to this standard?
Reflecting on the past two years, when I have served as board president of Bloomington Cooperative Services, I can honestly say with pride that the experience has been rewarding and extremely educational. I have great admiration for my fellow board members, past and present, and for the hours of board work they have done governing a growing multi-unit organization. Although board work is important for setting policy and taking on fiduciary responsibility for the co-op, credit for the implementation and manifestation of our vision belongs to the people who work in the Bloomingfoods family of neighborhood grocery stores. Kudos goes to our general manager, George Huntington, and his staff, for a job well done.
Over the past few years a lot of our board time has been absorbed by major practical decisions involving financial business issues and the philosophical nuances of working through the process of how best to govern a democratically principled organization. The last few years have been occupied with the financial health of our co-op business. After exhaustive financial and marketing research, and much discussion, we decided to convert the Encore into a neighborhood grocery store. At this point in time, it looks as if we made a good decision.