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Don't mess with these chefs! Back row: Dawn, Chris, Dano, Greg, Craig, Mikey, CJ, and Bernard. Front row: Scotty, Sam, Tia, and Simon.

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Looking Forward

March 2012

For the past several months– well, maybe a few more than several– the focus of many of my newsletter articles has been on keeping shareholders up to date about progress on our beautiful new building.  It is now March, a mere three months from a projected May opening, and before the new structure totally comes into being I want to share with you some of the excitement that our staff are envisioning and looking forward to when the big day comes. Enjoy!

 

Front End
I look forward to a larger store and the many old and new customers who will visit, along with a spacious customer service booth and additional checkouts– ergonomically better than what we now have. The Deli Café will be right around the corner at the front of the store. In fact, the Front End will be at the front again: with all the changes we made over the years, the entrance ended up more or less at the back and the exit at the front. It is so exciting! — Diane, Front End

Education and Outreach
“ … new, spacious, well-equipped cooking classroom … classes and workshops for people of all ages to come together, learn new ways of cooking, and try new recipes—sharing and learning from each other. We’re really excited to again have a space for shareholders to learn about food, health, and wellness, which is what Cooperative Principle 5 is all about—education!”  — Meredith Wade and Vicky Dibe, Education and Outreach

Food Demos
“In a beautiful space filled with natural light from all those windows and skylights, the demo counter will be located right in the ‘heart’ of the store. We’ll have even more product samples and ideas to nourish our
community. Great chi and chai!”  — Julie Robinson, Demo

Meat
“For the first time in many years, the meat department will be staffed during all open hours, providing much better and more personalized customer service. Offerings will include more store-cut beef and pork selections and more bulk-priced items.”  — Mark Braskie, Meat

Deli
“Hot rotisserie chicken and artisanal pizza in a new self-serve hot food section … less time waiting in line … new energy-efficient equipment … efficiencies for us that mean fresher products for you … new opportunities for professional growth for our staff. We are really excited about our expansion! (How can you not be excited about something called a Blast Chiller?!)” —Dawn Hastings, Culinary

Finance
“The most exciting thing for me is that the accounting department will rejoin the store. Although our offices at 73 Main Street provide the space we need, we feel a bit out of touch with the Co-op as a whole.  Several employees don’t even know us!” — Bruce Boardman, Finance

Wellness
“With the addition of 150 new Co-op label supplements, bulk medicinal herbs and basic items, you’ll be able to make your own herbal and body care necessities. We will also have several exciting new body care, houseware, and supplement lines, with a much more comfortable reference area.”  —Linda Schechterle, Wellness

Grocery
“The grocery department will be more of a hub in the new store, with other departments working synergistically around it. Local foods and gluten-free will be more centrally featured. There will be more variety and more products; for example, a whole four foot section of baby/infant food!”  — Ian Weber, Grocery

Shareholder and Community Relations
“I am also looking forward to being in the store, though less walking back and forth will have its down side. All in all, being under one roof with lots of options for festivities inside the store and out … we are already thinking of many more ways to have fun!” — Sabine Rhyne, Shareholder and Community Services

Bulk
“ … more bins with more products that customers have been asking for, like gluten-free and non-organic, lower-priced commodities such as rice and beans … specialties that we didn't have room for before … extra recipes and cooking suggestions ... a more user-friendly packing counter for shareholder-workers. We are really looking forward to all the new space!”        
— Dan Ridgway, Bulk

Cheese
“ … a truly wonderful, wider selection of local cheeses, as well as a variety of domestic and imported cheese at everyday low prices.”  — John Ferrara, Cheese

Graphics
“ … in the store, close to the action, providing more timely turnaround on signage. And we won’t have to worry about the signs getting wet on the way to the store!”  — Marlene O’Connor and Sarah Adam, Graphics (currently at 73 Main Street)

Produce & Floral
“Imagine the possibilities of Tanna’s magically gorgeous floral displays right at the entrance!  And new, self-hydrating produce cases that keep produce fresher longer and use water more efficiently … Windows and skylights providing natural light in the department … room outside to market produce! And while it won’t be a change customers notice, a new cooler that we can receive pallets right into … less time in the cooler, more time with you. We can't wait for a change of scenery!”  — John Truncale, Produce