With temperatures well into the 90’s, the first full weekend of autumn kicked off our inaugural Member Linkage event with a “Patio Takeover” for member-owners to meet new General Manager Prasanna Regmi. Estimates are that 75 to 100 people joined in welcoming Prasanna and discussing the Co-op’s past, present and future. Member-owners came with great questions “What is special about a Co-op?” “Why should I shop here?” “What role does the Co-op play in the larger Davis community?” Flanked by her personal team of husband Sudeep and (adorable) 20-month old son Shrehaan, Prasanna fielded a wide range of queries with grace and clarity.
Prasanna joined the Co-op family in June and swiftly set about the task of moving the Co-op forward, providing strong leadership and financial guidance with the support of a very talented staff. This stands in sharp contrast to the status of our beloved Co-op just nine months ago. In December 2015 the Co-op separated from our last General Manager, and some members reacted by seeking to recall the entire Board of Directors. But communication prevailed, and representatives from the petition gatherers and the Board entered into a facilitated conversation mediated by Yolo Conflict Resolution Center (YCRC). This resulted in a jointly crafted statement with goals of better communication and commitment to work together for the future of our Co-op. The beauty of a true democracy lies in the ability to have dissent without disintegration.
What a great segue to Co-op Month, which honors democratically owned and run businesses! The Davis Food Co-op is celebrating National Cooperative Month in October, along with 40,000 other cooperatives serving more than 120 million people nationwide.
“Cooperatives Build” is the theme of this year’s National Cooperative Month. This year’s theme is excellent, because there are so many ways that cooperatives help to build a stronger community. Our cooperative garnered over $17 million in sales last year, with all our profits either returned to our members or reinvested in the Co-op. Those dollars (as well as the salaries and wages we paid, plus our purchases from nearby farmers and suppliers) circulate close to home, helping to provide more jobs and tax revenue while strengthening the local economy. Well done, Davis Food Co-op!
Yours in cooperation,
Davis Food Co-op Board of Directors