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Update on the Downtown Expansion and Store Remodel
During the design process for the new Co-op Connections Building, at 405 E. Holly St., we received helpful feedback from staff and shoppers that ultimately shaped the use and design of the building. Then, during the summer, we canvassed the Co-op Summer Party and Downtown store asking for ideas to improve our deli and the Downtown store overall. Co-op member-owners and shoppers continued to share ideas on the Downtown store remodel through the end of October, using paper surveys at the service desk and an online survey.
The feedback and ideas we collected were presented to the Co-op Board and member-owners at the Dining with Directors forum on October 30. We will blend this feedback with operational store needs to develop the remodel plan.
Read monthly updates on the Downtown expansion and remodel projects in our newsletter.
The project will proceed in three phases:
Phase I—Remodel the new Co-op Connections Building to accommodate administration offices, the Healthy Connections classroom, a community meeting space, and a bakery production facility with a small retail storefront. Completed June 2015.
Read the FAQs about the expansion project. Read a summary of community input on the project.
Phase II—Spruce up the Downtown store generally and remodel the deli to include a salad and hot food bar and mezzanine seating. Completed by fall 2015.
Phase III—Expand and reconfigure the parking lot to add a minimum of 20 parking spaces and improve the traffic flow. Completed by fall 2015.
Co-op Board Supports Boycott of Driscoll’s Products
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), a local independent farmworker union, asked the Co-op to discontinue purchasing products from Driscoll’s. The FUJ is organizing at Sakuma Bros. Farms in Skagit Valley for fair pay, regular breaks, and the elimination of wage theft. Sakuma packs blackberries and blueberries under the Driscoll’s label. In the Board’s view, Sakuma has not been negotiating in good faith with FUJ and has taken retaliatory and anti-union actions.
The Board does not take this step lightly. It is our strongly held belief that shoppers should be free to make their own purchasing decisions. In this case, however, the Board felt that agreeing to the FUJ request was the best way to support their good faith efforts to improve working conditions for farmworkers at Sakuma Bros. We support FUJ and we are encouraging other food cooperatives to join in solidarity with the farmworkers, as we have.
Message to Members on Eden Foods
In our view, Eden Foods’ federal lawsuit seeking the right to opt out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate to provide contraceptive coverage is contrary to the fundamental cooperative values of fairness, equal access, and democracy. We also see this action as fundamentally at odds with Eden’s stated goal, “To maintain a healthy, respectful…environment for employees.” –Co-op Board of Directors