The Co-op celebrated another wonderful Annual Owner Meeting early last month. Over 100 Co-op owners and employees congregated at the Chico Women’s Club to enjoy good company, relaxed revelry, and thoughtful conversation on the future of the Cooperative.
The evening opened with Julia Murphy, the president of the Board of Directors, offering a summary of the year before. We were then introduced to the four candidates for the ongoing Board of Directors election. Each gave a two minute speech on the personal and professional experiences which qualify them for a position as owner representatives on the Board of Directors. They are a fantastic set of individuals, and we encourage all owners to come into the store and read their candidate statements before voting.
The General Manager, Liza Tedesco, summarized the 2014 Annual Report. This led quickly into the topic that was fresh on everyone’s minds—the upcoming relocation project. Attendees asked intelligent, penetrating questions on every aspect of the subject, ranging from wondering where we will move to (we don’t know, as of yet), how we will finance it (Investment Shares and bank funding), to whether our sales and profitability can support the relocation project (according to projections and market research studies we’ve commissioned, we certainly can!). A lively back-and-forth discussion kept everyone occupied until dinner was served.
The evening ended as employees and owners relished a fantastic array of local items prepared by the incomparable Co-op Kitchen. There were some very real takeaways from the evening in addition to the good times. Owners in attendance were asked to rank in importance several factors that the Co-op is looking for in a new location.
The number one site characteristic that attendees to the dinner wanted the Co-op to prioritize in the search for a new location was more space. We here at the Co-op can assure everyone that wherever our new location may be, it will be more spacious than the Main Street location. The second most desired trait was a café or sit-down restaurant in the new store, which is something that we will definitely keep in mind as we search for new spots.
All in all, the Annual Owner Dinner was the rare event that was both fun and productive. Relocation and finances were discussed. Food, wine, beer, and kombucha were consumed. A good time was had by all.