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ONF Moving Past Recent Turmoil

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Firing, Strike, Rehiring Made For Summer Of Strife

Courtesy Photo: Alysen Land stands in front of Ozark Natural Foods in Fayetteville. She was reinstated as ONF General Manager on June 17 after the Board of Directors decided their earlier reasoning for firing her could no longer be justified.

The voices and demeanor of the staff, board members and owners of Ozark Natural Foods still show signs of hurt and frustration from the turbulent events of the last few months.

Despite the wounds that are still healing, one thing is for sure, said several staff and board members: If the co-op is to survive, those involved in its ownership and operations must stand together.

That is why the common theme, when discussing what the future holds for ONF, is one of mending relationships and moving towards more open, clear and understanding communication between all involved.

 

Courtesy Photo: Several staff members stand outside of Ozark Natural Foods on June 11 to educate the public and other owners about what they saw as injustice committed by the ONF Board of Directors. After this photo was taken, new Board President Joshua Youngblood came to speak to the staff and explained their real duty was to keep the store open for the owners, which led staff to hold a vote that ended the strike.

The Strike

 

ONF was closed for only one day — June 11 — due to the staff strike, but the affects of their decision have rippled through the community as the more than 9,300 owners struggle to understand what happened.

When the ONF staff voted to go on strike, they had specific demands — that Sue Graham and Linda Ralston be removed from their positions on the ONF Board of Directors. Since that time, and most likely before, speculations abound as to why these two members were targeted.

Alexa McGriff, marketing director for ONF, had a simple explanation. McGriff said the feeling she received from most of the staff was about Ralston and Graham’s actions during and outside of board meetings following the July 2011 decision to move forward with the mortgage payoff. Some would call it “obstructionism.”

“A lot of people think that people don’t like Sue and Linda because they disagreed with the debt payoff decision that took place last July … I don’t think the majority of people had the problem with them because of that, because the debt payoff still passed whether or not they voted against it. The issue arose concerning how they acted after that decision was made. They began to act uncooperatively,” McGriff explained.

The problem began, McGriff said, when the pressure the two felt to vote for the mortgage payoff led them to treat ONF General Manager Alysen Land and other staff members in a way that obviously made people feel uncomfortable. Staff then began filing grievances against them and slowly things got worse.

Once a special mediation meeting was rejected by the board and Land was let go in a closed session on March 27, staff and owners felt the board had gone too far with what they saw as arbitrary decisions made by people with agendas other than what was best for the co-op.

This may be obvious to people paying close attention to the events of the last year, but what’s important now is that, despite Ralston and Graham not being removed from their positions, the staff has high hopes for mutual cooperation and letting the past lie, McGriff said. That doesn’t mean all of the staff and owners are on board with letting the wrongs they felt go unpunished, but McGriff said most of the staff are willing to try.

“The staff’s split 50/50. Half the staff is just glad (Land is) back and they’re ready to move on. I think they’re willing to work with (Ralston and Graham) and move on and stop living in the past and dwelling on what’s happened. I think the other half of the staff is glad (Land is) back but they still feel like (Ralston and Graham) have wronged the co-op so much and they’re frustrated.”

As for the strike, many owners were upset staff took it upon themselves to close the store to patrons, and make a request that wasn’t within their rights to make.

“There were definitely a few very vocal owners who were unhappy we went on strike because they didn’t feel like it was our place to say who was or wasn’t on the board. The influx of owners that were angry, the main reason was because we closed the doors and they couldn’t access their food,” McGriff explained.

Many staff, including McGriff, can’t imagine another way they would have received the attention they sought to address the issues they faced.

“I really don’t know what else we could have done besides keep the doors open and not do anything. If we voted to not go on strike we wouldn’t have been able to mend our relationships with the board. That’s really the only positive side of it — that if we hadn’t have done this we would still be in the same place,” McGriff said.

McGriff admitted that it will be a process, but that new Board President Joshua Youngblood’s good relationship with Land and the rest of the board is helping to bring everyone back together to work towards the good of the co-op.

 

Returning To Land

 

Courtesy Photo: Ozark Natural Foods staff member Erin Tran hands an owner the 5 cents given for each reusable bag used in the store. Tran has been an owner and staff member for almost a year and voted for the staff strike that took place June 11. She said she loves working at ONF because of the positive and friendly staff and owners.

Since the board voted to throw out all requests for dismissal of Graham and Ralston and reinstated Land as ONF general manager, Land has been making a list of wants and needs, first and foremost to pay off the mortgage that will allow more flexibility within the co-op.

But bringing back Land was no easy decision, said Youngblood. It was one the board took several months to make, and it contradicted their earlier decision that Land’s employment was causing rifts within the co-op.

“The ownership as a whole didn’t know about the issues, unless you’d been attending a board meeting for the two or three months before that. They were really tense, they were hard to get through. Board and management were not communicating before the meetings and certainly not during the meetings,” Youngblood said.

Although he couldn’t say exactly why Land was let go, he wanted to make the report of why they re-hired her more public. Mainly, he said, the reasons why they originally let her go could no longer be justified.

“I didn’t report all of the discussions we had, because I didn’t want to hold board members opinions up to public scrutiny. Out of our deliberations which took two and a half months, the majority of the board came to the decision that we needed to hire (Land) back because she fit the organization best right now — that we need stability in our organization,” he said.

 

The Future Of The Co-Op

 

Northwest Arkansas Times file photo BROOKE McNEELY: Ozark Natural Food Produce Manager Pauline Arnold puts out rasberries grown by a local farmer July 9, 2009, at the natural food store in Fayetteville.

Youngblood and Land both said the $1.6 million left to pay on the mortgage, which costs the co-op $15,000 a month, is set to be paid off by October using the money that the co-op holds in reserve. This will allow the co-op to follow long-term visions, build infrastructure, invest in community projects and adjust pricing.

Land said pricing currently is in line with other similar stores, such as Whole Foods — which is set to move into Bentonville — other local stores such as Harps and co-ops around the country.

Youngblood explained the main reason for ONF’s large profit margins are not that prices have been raised, but that outgoing expenses like staff vacation and professional affiliations have been cut in order to put money in reserve. In the last couple of years, prices have gone down 2 percent and Land hopes to take it down another 1 percent as soon as the mortgage is paid off.

Land said what she sees for the future are setting prices to where more people in the community can afford to shop at ONF, and to be a part of Fayetteville for many years to come. She and Youngblood want to see more ownership communication through quarterly owners meetings, a more open board meeting format, exploring ways to get board meeting minutes more readily available to owners and to continue the management style that has been at ONF for years.

Youngblood also wants people to understand how important this co-op is to the community and its model to the country.

“Co-ops are the best businesses in this country. It’s a workable business model that can be ethical in its decisions. They should have a bigger place in this country and with a co-op as successful as ONF it would be a sin for it to go away,” Youngblood said.

As for Ralston and Graham, they’re ready for ONF to become a true co-operative once again. Graham said she’s glad everyone is ready to look forward and that communication has been opened by this ordeal, while Ralston said she’s hurt by being targeted, but also ready to move on.

The answers may never be clear, and the future may be uncertain, but most seem to be optimistic about what it holds.

37 Comments

Judith Levine July 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

If this were really a co-op, the GM’s 80K + benefits package would be a nice enticement for someone experienced, qualified and hopefully equipped with some people skills. Let the current GM apply and see if she measures up to the competition. I have seen a lot of drama at ONF over the years since the days of filling mason jars with peanut butter on Watson Street, but I have never seen anything like this before. Can’t wait for Whole Foods to get here so we can have some more affordable wholesome groceries in town.

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mean birdie green July 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

The sun needs to set on the Empire. Over the many years of it’s existence the Coop has been a Clique. It delivers a sub-standard service to a progressive community that deserves much better. Whether it be Whole Foods or Sunshine Market, we deserve much better. Walmart must love all this fractious infighting…

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R July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

It’s disappointing to see the board bring Land back; new leadership could have helped ONF far more. A price drop of 1% seems insulting to the owners and not competitive when the store faces growing competition from Harps (which has greatly expanded its natural food section) and the entry of Fresh Market (not Whole Foods, the article is incorrect) in Rogers.

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brad July 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I don’t see much here about owner input.

There are many owners that are still concerned with the events of the last year and especially the re-hiring of Alysen, efforts to oust Linda & Sue, and particularly concerned about the strong push for debt pay off WITHOUT input from the owners.

Where are the cooperation and coop values in this process?

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Max July 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

@Judith
You’re looking for a “real co-op” and you can’t wait for Whole Foods to get here?
Riiiight…
And the current GM who has been there for 17+ years is not experienced or qualified?
Okay…
Did you not just read in this article that the prices are equivalent to Whole Foods? Those prices also help feed farmer’s families and contribute to local charities; something you don’t see Whole Foods INC doing. You can walk into the co-op and ask to see the price comparison report.
Maybe you should put your personal feelings aside about Alysen for a second so you can see the facts.

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Darkly July 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

We’re really aren’t a cooperative and haven’t been for a long time. Cooperatives have transparency and we have no access to reports or financial information. We have no idea how and why decisions are being made and whether they are in the best interest of owners. Cooperatives are democratic and don’t try to purge the Board members because they are not beholden to the general manager. Our high prices and margins have been in violation of our bylaws and we have not made healthy food available to as many members of the community as we should. Better to have a mortgage and serve the community as it was intended.

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Shirley Woodward July 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

The writer (Hufford) interviewed and quoted ONE person. The text should be headed: “Press Release by Alexa McGriff, Marketing Manager of ONF who is understandably biased.” The Marketing Director is hired by, evaluated by, granted or denied raises and benefits by the very person she’s defending in this article, her boss, the ONF General Manager.

The General Manager issue at ONF is as much a matter of personal alliances/loyalties as it is of professionalism or business decisions. Doing a few interviews or reading comments on your own past article would make that clear. So would the “letter from the General Manager” which you could find on line at the ONF web site. It might also help to know that the 2 people most recently elected to the board (one of whom by his own admission had never attended a board meeting before the election, but was recruited) suddenly tipped the balance in favor of rehiring the fired GM and against the 2 board members now being criticized, criticized for no clearly enunciated reasons other than that they asked questions about issues that other board members considered done deals. This was enough to trigger hostility in an intolerant environment and from then on misinterpretation and creative retelling have been the rule.

The new board president once spoke glowingly of the ‘consensus’ he planned to bring to board meetings. We see that consensus taking the form of permissiveness toward attempts to stifle minority views as well as apparently to authorize the Marketing Director to enable “Hufford” to publish an elaborate variation on the facts. I doubt this misleading piece could have been released by the ONF Marketing Director without the approval or urging of the recently cemented alliance of GM, board president, and newly constituted board majority. Why they couldn’t let it rest at this stage of things is beyond me.

Please, TFW, do some research, read the minutes (they’re actually posted on line), read the bylaws (also on line – you’ll see the chain of command and the basic rules for directors, managers, and members). Go to a board meeting. Get minority views on the board (even if you just quote minutes), get views of members who aren’t happy with the latest arrangements. Or, just label it a Press Release. And then give equal time to the facts.

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Alexa McGriff July 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

Just to be clear on one thing: This was not a press release that I sent out. I was sought out by a free-lancer for The Free Weekly who asked if they could interview me for an article they were writing on where the Co-op is now (a month after the strike). I answered her questions, and she also contacted the GM, and several Board members. I am quoted in this article a lot by The Freek Weekly’s decision, not my own. I did not seek any press out to write an article about where we are now. Your comment of a “press release” is simply inaccurate.

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Where's the news July 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm

If this is considered a ‘news’ story about moving past recent turmoil:
1) Why is it rehashing the old accusations?
2) Why are the accusations about Ralston and Graham not backed up with any actual facts?
3) Why didn’t Alexa report that she filed a grievance against Ralston? (It was filed because she either didn’t understand what Ralston had to say, or she wanted to misrepresent the discussion. Instead of talking with Ralston about it, she gave the GM a grievance against Ralston.)
4) Why would it be considered ‘obstructionism’ for a board member to ask for more information before making such a big decision (but ‘cooperative’ for the employees to close the store)?
5) How can you report that the problem started after a vote of last years board when the previous board had also fired the GM and her performance had not changed between the two firings? (It doesn’t look like it has changed yet as she is still trying to tell the board how to act and what they can or cannot see or do.)
6) Since the board threw out the ‘requests for dismissal’, does it indicate that they were unfounded and the concerns of the employees were also unfounded?
7) If the store is a co-op, why are the profits so high compared to other co-ops? (If expenses go down, the prices should too.)
8) Since the first talk of the mortgage payoff was presented last year, why would Joshua believe that long-term visions will be addressed after the mortgage is paid off when the long-term visions have been in the business plan for a long time already?

If you had honestly answered these questions, you might have reported some real ‘news’ and not just the GM and her puppets propaganda.

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frustrated owner July 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Except for the part where the pile of money going to payoff represents years of overcharging faithful owners who trusted Land and thought the Co-op was being run according to it’s bylaws which explicitly state best available food at lowest possible cost. But this isn’t a Co-op it’s AlysenWonderlands little queendom, and it will never be a participatory democracy until she is an ex-employee for good.

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Propaganda July 13, 2012 at 9:45 am

This whole article is just a bunch of propaganda. It is so one-sided and full of misinformation and innuendos. Whether our prices are in line with our competitors or not is not even the issue. Our Articles of Incorporation say that we will offer the BEST FOOD AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE PRICES. With margins upward of 10% (the norm for coops is 1-3%), we are not following the principles on which this coop was founded.

Three boards have tried to remove Land as GM. After various threats (legal and otherwise)and the latest store closure, all three boards ended up rehiring her. These boards have been filled with VOLUNTEER board members who can be held PERSONALLY liable if they fail to uphold their responsibilities to the coop, yet any time board members try to do their job and consult (or try to consult) experts about financial matters of the coop and major financial decisions of the board, Land or one of her puppets is there to stand in their way.

Board members have been denied access to financial reports and other important information in which they are suppose to have access. The only obstructionists here are Land and her puppets. Land wants to pay off the mortgage, but at what cost? The prepayment penalties alone could be as much as $300,000, but in the current economic climate that number looks to jump to $600,000 or more. And what about the money the GM has been hording away to fund her mortgage payoff project? It has not been invested properly (to keep it liquid)and has been so mismanaged that at least $600,000 of it is not even insured. The board has pointed this out to the GM, but she has done nothing to see that the situation is rectified. These things alone are grounds for firing.

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Alexa McGriff July 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

Lisa, there are some facts that you’ve misrepresented in your comment.

First – Food co-ops in the United States run off of a variable 8 point spread in margins. We are three points above the lowest margin and four points below the highest margin in the country. That means that we are averaging right in the middle for co-op margins, which is an excellent position to be in. We have also dropped 3 percentage points in the last three years.

Also – Prepayment penalties will absolutely be as around $300,000 or more, but that at least half, if not less than half, of what we would pay in interest if we continued to pay out over the next 16 years. We are saving money in the long run if we pay off the building early. THAT is the truth. Period. And every Board member is fully aware of that.

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ONFU niversity July 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

…yes! the six figures of uninsured funds in local banks: as if the 2008ff meltdown had never happened. (Know anyone who used to work and depo$it at AR Nat’l. Bank?)

But then rational discussion is very difficult with a cult of personality–this “article” is just another ‘fact free’ co-op communique, Alexa’s protestations notwithstanding.

BTW, there is no “allowing” the Co-op to do anything with having $2m LESS in the bank! To the contrary, this payoff the mortgage no-brainer nonsense will cement absurdly high prices and profit margins in place and ensure owner dividends will remain an empty gesture for the foreseeable future.
And the term “strike” is an utter misnomer. The Staff were “striking” against themselves as owners. It was an owner LOCKOUT pure & simple. In the real universe, not the alternative one being cultivated with empty rhetoric, colluding management and board members would all be terminated for misuse of co-op resources, iow, THIEVERY.
Do not despair, this gravy train will derail in time and fall under the weight of its own non-sense. “The way we’ve always done it” at ONF cannot withstand the light of day.

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Festerville July 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

NICE comments people !
food for thought here:
OH. Cooperatives: “The ‘Cleveland Model’ now underway in that city involves an integrated complex of worker-owned cooperative enterprises targeted in significant part at the $3 billion in purchasing power of such large scale ‘anchor institutions’ as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University. The complex also includes a revolving fund so that profits made by the businesses help establish new ventures as time goes on.”
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/links-71312.html
Strictly speaking, Mgr/Board do not “own” the hoarded profits. They were created by sales to both Ownermembers & non-members.
In a business with a shred of professionalism, board/management would recognize ONF’s obligation to the community (gee, I dunno: with lower prices?) and act accordingly rather than shipping millions off to a too-big-to-fail bank!

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frustrated owner July 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Careful throwing “facts” around there Alexa, somebody’s gonna’ remember you’re a graphic design major and don’t know a thing about business. You have your position only because (and only as long as) you’re compliant with AlysenWonderlands agenda – no other reason really, except maybe you can spout the “party line” with believable honesty because you don’t have the business knowledge to know better. “THAT is the truth”.

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martine July 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Just when we thought the melodrama was ending, the Free Weekly helps ONF tune up the fiddles again. Why? An objective report might have made sense. But what do we get? Immediately, the sobbing violins: “signs of hurt and frustration” “wounds still healing” “struggle to understand” “how they acted” “uncooperatively” “mending relationships” “the feeling she received”…. One thing I’ll say for the article is that it successfully conveys the junior high atmosphere that isolates “the uncooperative” and closes ranks around the homecoming queen.

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Where's the news July 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

A real news story here might answer these questions.
Why does the GM have a marketing/PR person who can’t let a dead story lie? (This does nothing but harm to the co-op.)
Why does the BOD have a GM who would let this story be retold? (I am sure she will claim “I had no previous knowledge.” But you know now what Alexa has done and I, for one, want to know what you plan to do about it.)
How much money does ONF spend each month for advertising in the “Free Weekly”? (Is the real purpose for this story found in the statement “follow the money”?)

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Joshua July 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I would like to point that I was interviewed and quoted substantially in this article in my capacity as President of the Board. I also encouraged every Board member to make themselves available. The decision to write, research, and publish this article was entirely that of TFW. Yes, I can see how it reads as sympathetic toward the employees who chose not to work June 11. But that was the choice of the author.

I would also like to point out that reports and financials absolutely are available to every Owner, just as all the minutes are published once approved by the Board and the regularly scheduled meetings are open to the Owners. Contact the Board or management and we will arrange for you to access reports and financial information. Also please note that the petitions against Board members referenced by some above were dismissed by vote of the Board June 26.

As many of you have done already, I encourage all the Owners of the co-op to attend Board meetings, email us your questions and concerns, and meet with Alysen, which she has offered to do with all Owners that would like to. The Board will also be hosting a Financial Forum September 12. I look forward to seeing y’all at Owner’s Appreciation day tomorrow, at the next Board meeting, and around town as we work together to move our cooperative forward.

Joshua

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Lisa Godfrey July 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Joshua, you say that the financials are available to every owner upon request. About how long do you think it will take to honor a request? I’m asking because board members, due to their fiduciary responsibilities to the coop, and who should have instant access, have had to wait up to three weeks.
As far as sending you my questions and concerns, you lost your credibility the first time I sent you my questions and concerns. You replied back that no action to rehire Ms. Land in the near future and then within a day or two you did just that.

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Wally West July 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

It’s interesting to see how fickle people can be. Has anyone bothered to compare prices at Harps? Their natural food section is grossly inflated compared to the prices at ONF. Only at ONF do you see people supporting local products to help out local economy and not to mention the support we give to our local farmers. You won’t see that at Whole Foods or Harps. The issues run deeper than what people perceive and they think that folks at ONF are sitting atop a pile of money laughing maliciously. That is not the case. Everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it’s wrong. I stand by your right to do so. But please, don’t be so venomous. You can have a different opinion and still be respectful. Let logic and reason back into your life.

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Owner Appreciation July 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm

“the employees who chose not to work June 11″

Oh, so that’s how it was. Not a strike, a boycott, or a lockout. Not a bunch of managers with the workers they control, blocking members and other shoppers from the entrance to the store. Not managers sounding off on local television news saying they’d keep the store shut down till they got what they wanted.

Just employees choosing not to work.

Fooled me.

Reply to this comment
NB July 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Why has Alysen run ONF in such a way that approx. $2 million has accumulated in the bank (as a result of $60,000 per month in net profits) while she ignores constant pleas from Owners to lower prices?

The bylaws say ONF’s primary mission is to provide health food at the lowest possible price to it’s members. Co-operatives are not supposed to accumulate this kind of profit – they are supposed to keep prices down in order to best serve their membership. (Claims that ONF prices are in line with those of Whole Foods is just making my case).

You see, we know about the thousands of specials that United (ONF’s distributor) runs every month and we know very well that ONF passes along very few of those savings to us. Instead Alysen marks everything up, banks the profit, and spends our money irresponsibly (for example building a $400,000 foyer on the front of the store).

We are aware that the reported $300,000 prepayment penalty is a gross under- estimate. It will in reality be more like $500,000.(won’t it, Alexa?)

Northwest Arkansas has a very low wage scale. Arkansas ranks #1 in the nation in child hunger. Yet ONF’s prices are higher than co-ops in most large cities with much higher wage scales.

Management and Staff get substantial discounts which makes shopping at ONF more affordable for them. Are they completely without empathy for the burden high food prices put on the rest of us?

Why is it more important for Alysen and her managers to accumulate so much money rather than see members served by reducing prices in a truly substantial way?

Would the job be just too boring without having all our money sloshing around to play with?

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Wally West July 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Where are you people getting your misinformation from? Do none of you see the correlation of paying off the building to lowering prices? Once the building is paid off, THEN they can start lowering the prices. Also, you are buying NATURAL and ORGANIC food. So yeah, the prices will reflect that. If you want to spend bottom dollar on your food, then go to Walmart and buy the Great Value brand of “food”. You will be happy to know that in doing so, you will help out China. ONF is a business. Businesses have to make money if they want to stay open. I have the utmost faith in the staff at ONF that they are working with the owner’s best interests in mind. I’ve never seen a more empathetic group of employees than at ONF. They have to make a living too. If you don’t have an informed opinion please do everyone a favor and remain quite. You don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re doing nothing but smearing your own filth. Doing that you only make yourself look incredibly silly. ONF is a great store and I hope it’s around for another 40 years.

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Where's the news July 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

The ‘misinformation’ you allude to is probably your problem since you seem to believe that it is proper for a co-op to overcharge until they amass nearly $2,000,000, including owners equity. Then to have management 1) decide that the mortgage was more important than the business plans which have regularly been approved by the board, 2) determine that owners should not be asked or informed before the decision, and 3) try to keep the board from getting professional advice before making the decision, are more examples of tne avoidance of the co-op principles.

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curiouser July 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

during the last board meeting i attended in may, board member hank kaminsky directly asked then-interim manager mike anzalone if substantially lowering food prices was part of the plan in the works and mike clearly said, “no”.

i just went to onf’s website and the may board meeting minutes have not yet been posted so unfortunately i can’t reference that exchange in writing (assuming their discussion made it into the minutes) or i would.

hank would remember though…if you see him at the farmers’ market tomorrow, you could ask him.

Reply to this comment
Lisa Godfrey July 14, 2012 at 1:07 am

Dear Moderator:
Who is moderating this? I have responses further up in the post that are still waiting for approval. If replying to a particular comment,as I did above, the post doesn’t go to the end of the comment list; it posts just beneath the other person’s comment….sitting…waiting to be ok’d by the moderator.

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Wally West July 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

The money was made over the course of a few years. The owner equity isn’t a part of that. There hasn’t been any “overcharging” that’s been going on. Have you even paid attention to everything else in the world? Have you not noticed that EVERYTHING is becoming more expensive. The prices in the store is figured by an equation that is distributed evenly with the products. Anyone with an inkling of knowledge on mortgages will know that if you pay things off entirely, they can’t price gouge you with monthly payments that include interest. Paying off the building will in effect get prices down throughout the store. If you can have a little patience and trust your co-op, you will see prices decrease in the near future. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about so I’m not going to attempt to justify your clearly shallow point of view, Mr. News. Think what you want to and keep your nearsighted thoughts. I would imagine your cup is half empty isn’t it?

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