Our Big Plans for the Future

​Making a plan for next week has not been easy in the grocery industry this past year; the normal way we plan was thrown out the window last March. We replaced our annual plan for eight-week budgets, we have made big accomplishments we didn’t plan for​, and we have built a few airplanes in the air. But like many of you, it’s nice to feel that things might be slowing down a little​. A​though I believe they will never be back to the old way​, we are imagining some possible ​“​new normal​“​ ahead.

Over the last ​few months, the Menomonie Market ​Food Co-op Development Team ​made up of​ the courageous people in the photo (The Team Left to Right: Jay, Crystal, Astrid, Layne, and Joe plus Kendall who took the picture) embark​ed​ on a five-year vision exercise. We are beholden to the ends of our organization, set by the Board of Directors as our north​ ​star to guide us on who we want to be over the course of our lifetime. But there’s a lot of space between the ​north​ ​star and an eight-week budget!​ Setting a vision allows us to imagine ​the success of the co-op in a five-year time frame. And whoa Nelly​!​ ​You’d better get ready because big things are in store for your co-op. The team was creative​,​ bright​,​ thoughtful, and data-driven to find ways to do more of what we already do.

We discovered that there were three internal workplace values that lead to our success in 2020​.​ These values were resilience, ​innovation, and advocacy. We know we want to keep employing this style of work in the years to come. Our work led us to group our goals into four main categories​:​ Spreading Our Reach, Supporting Local, Serving Our Community, and ​Strengthening Our Team​​.

Within each of these subsets are some pretty extraordinary ideas and imaginations for what life could be like for the food co-op in 2026.​ And the most exciting part of all—I have complete confidence that our resilient, innovative, and caring crew can make it all happen.​ Buckle your seatbelt!

Over the summer you will have an opportunity to learn a lot more about our five-year vision as it pertains to our consolidation discussions with ​Just ​Local ​Food​ Co-op​. This large decision​ of​ whether our co-ops should join forces and work together is coming up, and the decision cannot be made without the ​owners. So tune in to get financial and operational plans and other sources of information to help guide you.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.

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