[Vision2020] Moscow Food Co-op has best year ever in 2009

Bill London london at moscow.com
Sat Jan 2 11:43:19 PST 2010

Co-op ends 2009 with best-ever revenue
Moscow-Pullman Daily News - DNews.com
Extra cash allows store to give back to customers, employees

By Alexiss Turner, Daily News staff writer
January 2, 2010

Nothing can keep the Moscow Food Co-op down, not even a sluggish economy.

The store finished out 2009 with its best financial performance to date. Profits topped $200,000, twice as much as during the co-op's previous best year.

General Manager Kenna Eaton attributes the added cash to staff ability to band together, buckle down and spend wisely.

"The staff worked really hard to turn things around," she said. "... to be careful with all expenses they control, such as labor."

Eaton said reaching this feat was no easy task.

"We've had to work a lot harder," she said. "It's a twist on that old adage, 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.' Staff had to really buckle down to make this work."

Even with money being tight, Eaton said the community has given constant support.

"I know everybody had to cut back a little bit on their purchases," she said. "... Everyone recognized this, and we had to pull together and work together."

Sales for the year reached approximately $7.2 million. Eaton said that number is relatively unchanged from 2008.

The extra profits allowed the co-op to give back. More than $30,000 was returned to employees in bonuses. The top 500 shoppers for the year received coupons worth anywhere from $10-50 dollars, totalling $10,000.

Eaton said the coupon bonuses went over so well with regular customers, the co-op has voted to give top shoppers a portion of their spending back this year. 

"We figured if they liked (receiving coupons), they would like it if we (gave back to them) properly."

Also in 2010, Eaton said the co-op is planning to add a salad bar to their offerings. 

"We're really excited about that," she said. "I've wanted one since we moved here. We've always had the space for it, we just needed the money."

The bar will offer a large self-serve salad selection under a single price, Eaton said 

"I think our customers will be pleased with the selection," she said.

A "grab and go" case will also be added in the meat department to widen selection and improve the overall aesthetic, Eaton said. A customer service desk also is slated for addition to the wellness department.

Eaton said she is looking toward the future with an "optimistically cautious" view.

"We're looking for basically another (average) year," she said. "But (we hope to) continue to run a profitable business because we know what we're doing."
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