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. Athough 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) embarked 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.