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General Membership Meeting Recap

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The General Membership Meeting was held on Sunday October 11 at The Barn at the View in Hagerstown. We owe a big Thank You to Jill Hudson-Miller for hosting us at her wonderful barn. Board President Rita Bratcher spoke about the challenges and successes of the co-op.

The most exciting success is that the chiller has arrived and is fully stocked! The chiller will allow the store to offer fresh produce and other items while minimizing their handling. The added refrigeration area also allows more items in the store for greater selection. We are very excited with this addition! Thank you to all who donated money or time or strong backs to make this happen!

One of the challenges is that we need more people to shop at the store and we need them to shop more often. Our profit/loss statements still show that we are operating in the red, but through membership and marketing campaigns and word of mouth efforts, we hope to get more shoppers into the store — and then we hope that they will buy more of the great products that we carry. Currently, over 65% of our sales are for products from local suppliers. There are 37 local farms and businesses supported by Valley Co-op with product sales. These are great reasons to support Valley Co-op!

It has been a challenging 18 months for the co-op, but we have great hope that we will be successful with our cooperative corporation in Hagerstown. You can help the co-op by telling everyone you know about the benefits of shopping at the store. The best marketing campaign is always by personal recommendation.

As of October 1, the store will host Member Appreciation Week once per quarter. This replaces any other discounts that were previously offered at the store. Our first Member Appreciation Week will be Sunday November 15 through Saturday November 21. Members enjoy a 10% discount at checkout as many times as they shop in that week. The discount is applicable to pre-ordered goods as well as bulk purchases. Member households may increase their discount by volunteering. Each member household volunteering 6 or more hours in a calendar quarter (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) gets an extra 10% discount once per quarter at the cash register any time during that quarter.

Attendees then focused their attention to Chris Vautrin who spoke about solar energy — how it works, the equipment that is used, the expertise that is necessary to ensure success with your purchase, and the cost savings that one household can expect. Chris makes a compelling case for going solar. Thank you, Chris, for your time and enthusiasm about solar energy and the co-op.

All who attended the meeting filled out a raffle ticket. The winner of the raffle was John F. who won a $25 gift certificate to the store. Congratulations, John! That will buy a lot of cabbage!

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  • Valley Co-op Stats

    as of 1/19/19

    MEMBERS

    Total Number of Member Households: 177