Fall Update From Good Tern’s Manager, Kevin Gadsby

Autumn often brings a sense of reflection as the nights turn crisp and the landscape is transformed from many shades of green to tones of red, orange and yellow, then to shadowy browns. It’s a good time to stop and consider how we’ve changed and grown over the course of the past few months. It seems that with every season we have been busier than ever at the Co-op.
Here are just a few things we’ve accomplished. The outside of the building is beaming with a fresh coat of paint thanks to our neighbors Joe and Heidi Bueno. The pits and potholes in the parking lot have been smoothed over with a new layer of rock dust.
Our new grab-n-go cooler at the front of the store is proving successful as we are selling out of deli items daily.
Over the course of the past year we’ve gained an estimated 250 new members. It is a regular event for new members to stop into the office to say it’s their first time working a volunteer shift. We are continually bustling with energy and continue to face the challenges of limited space.
Our Co-op is also experiencing strong financial growth. Our growth rate was 25.5% over 2011. We realized increased sales each month over last year and between March and July 2012 we set all time record sales every month.
We are currently working on the application process to become a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA). Membership in NCGA will enable us to take advantage of significant savings through volume discounts in the costs of goods as well as supplies. These savings will be passed on to our members and other customers by way of weekly and/or monthly Co-op Deals such as those you see in other membership cooperatives such as Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta, Blue Hill Co-op Community Market and Café and, most recently, the Belfast Co-op Store. Becoming a member of NCGA will also increase our cooperative connection to our regional coastal co-op community by way of training and seminars for staff members.
After many board and finance committee meetings we decided it is in our best interest to hire the services of CDS Consulting Co-op based out of Madison, Wisconsin. They are in the business of supporting the growth of the cooperative movement. They have helped hundreds of retail food co-ops from start-ups to major expansions. The board of directors and I will be meeting with CDS consultant Bill Gessner September 19 through 21. We are very excited about this and believe this will help us as we look toward our continued growth potential to serve the greater Rockland community and regional harbor towns in a larger capacity.
One of our chief goals of expansion is to further support the ever-increasing number of local and regional producers who bring us the most beautiful, healthy Maine-grown food. We love it! We are very excited and we anticipate continued months of growth as we enter into a new season.
Finally, we welcomed Dee Obuchon to the Good Tern in July. She comes to us from Rising Tide. Dee is our very friendly, full of energy and initiative multi-tasker. You will find her most often at the front-end where she will provide customer service!