We are listening.
Cooperatives are fundamentally democratic organizations. This is so important to who we are and how we are different from every other food store in Bloomington! As a democracy, we offer ownership to everyone who would like to be an owner-member and is willing to accept the responsibilities of owner-membership. In addition, the co-op is governed by the owner-members. Each owner-member has one vote in electing the board members, who serve the owner-members.
Another important part of being an owner-member is the right to offer comments or suggestions and to ask questions of board members. As board members serving the owner-members, we welcome these. There are several ways owner-members can reach out to the board. All owner-members are welcome to attend all board meetings (except for executive sessions); there is a time for owner-members to make comments at each meeting. Our website contains contact information for every director. You can always approach a board member in a store; we are trying to spend several hours a week at each store and we are happy to speak with you.
We are very grateful to those of you who have already spoken to us! How do you know we hear you? It is important to us to be responsive to your comments. At meetings, we listen and let you know that we will get back to you if you ask for a response. If you email, you will get a response. If you talk with a board member personally and that person cannot respond to you right then, the board member will get back to you later. Our response lets you know we have heard you.
We always appreciate the comments/suggestions/requests because the grocery environment in Bloomington is changing and hearing a variety of perspectives is helpful to your board and our general manager as we guide Bloomingfoods in this evolving environment.
We are also confident that you all understand that hearing your comments/suggestions/requests is not the same as following them. Bloomington Cooperative Services has over 12,000 owner-members and continues to grow. Of course, every one of 12,000+ people is not going to find everything s/he may want in the store or see the store run in every way s/he thinks is best. We assure you that your board and the general manager we have hired are doing our best to make Bloomingfoods the best we believe it can be and to assure that it thrives in this very competitive environment.
by Director Janice Lilly, on behalf of the board of directors