We started off the year strong, welcoming 84 new member households to the co-op in January. We celebrated winter and a successful holiday season with our staff, who had a lot of fun during our annual winter holiday party. You may notice our staff wearing new hoodies, designed with the help of our own staff member, Candace Davis; these were part of the staff’s holiday gift this year. January also marked our best month so far with Mercato, our online shopping service! We hope to continue to grow this service and get more of the great food we offer in the store to more and more of our community. You can shop online, for local delivery to your home or office, at www.mercato.com.

Our composting efforts have been doing well since we began including post-consumer waste items last year. Kyle Winkler, founder of Zero Waste Wrangler, sent me our composting numbers for 2019; because of all of his great work, we were able to re-direct 99,985.55 pounds of compostable items from the landfill. Of that, 7,250.2 pounds were waxed cardboard, and 1,844.9 pounds were post-consumer material collected in the café seating area. We are working to increase this number and continue to divert more and more from the landfills, with Kyle’s help.

The co-op’s sales remain mostly on budget this year. We are looking at 2.6% sales growth so far, which is close to our budgeted 2.7% total sales growth. Our staff were able to benefit from strong sales in our second quarter, which ended in December, and earned a gain share. If we continue to grow sales at the current rate, we will remain on track to achieve (and possibly even surpass) our budgeted sales growth.

A great way to cut down our waste is with reusable containers, especially for beverages — be on the lookout for some new, locally made beverage ware by Welly. And April will, of course, feature our Earth Day Bulk Sale on Sunday, April 19, where everyone can save 25% on all bulk foods and bulk herbs, while also reducing waste. It’s a win-win for everyone, so I hope to see everyone at the Bulk Sale!