President's Report Fall 2019

Whitewater Grocery Co.
President’s Report September 23, 2019


Dear GroCo Owners and Board Members,

I respectfully submit the following report to you, updating you on the progress of the GroCo and the hard work being done by our many volunteers. It has been a busy summer in Whitewater and we are only getting busier as the school year is getting underway. I want to take this time to give a giant THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who have continued to work hard to propel us forward. You give so much of your time when there is so little time available and it does not go unnoticed. Thank you.

We are gearing up for our Annual Meeting on October 10 and are very excited to update our Owners on our progress while we look ahead to what’s next. Your Board, along with super-volunteer Vicki, met on a recent Sunday evening to plan our presentation. We have a lot to share and we’re looking forward to an exciting night. The evening will kick off with delicious food, followed by a book talk by Jon Steinman, author of Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants. Then we will deliver your annual update and conduct board business. I am anticipating an exciting evening with a lot of Owners present! 

Action Plan Updates

At our Board Retreat in January of this year, we determined our top three priorities for this year and developed action plans around them. The priorities for this year are:

  1. Complete and perpetually update our Business Plan
  2. Reach 800 Owners
  3. Site Selection

Business Plan Update

The business plan was created in 2017 by board member Joanna Baker and has been updated frequently since then. The action item to complete the business plan (updated with the latest information available) has been turned over to the very capable hands of Praveen Parboteeah. The goal of the action plan is to complete the business plan by the end of 2019 so we can begin sharing it with potential partners.

800 Owners Update

Our Outreach and Ownership Committees have been hard at work reaching out to the community about Ownership shares. At the writing of this report, we are two members shy of reaching the 600 mark! That is so exciting!
It’s important to remember that Ownership milestones are one of the key indicators of our success and growth. As we grow in Ownership numbers we gain more capital, more volunteers, and more influence with potential partners. We have also predicated important business decisions on our Ownership levels in order to pace our growth with the local demand. 

Owners can help us reach our growth goals by reaching out to friends and talking about the GroCo.

Site Selection Update

The site selection action plan focuses on an early 2020 date for selecting a site for our grocery store location. At our 2018 Annual Meeting we announce three sites that we were evaluating for potential locations. Since that meeting, we have encountered updates to our criteria and to these sites. The site selection committee will be reconvening to further evaluate these and other potential sites alongside the new information. 

When we hold our next meeting, we will discuss the updated mission and values of the cooperative as well as the updated market study. We will also discuss the latest changes to the market, including the potential of Kwik Trip opening on the Eastside and the potential of an Arby’s opening in the parking lot of our potential Westside location. We will also decide on the updated selection criteria. 

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Reichwald
President, Whitewater Grocery Co. 

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