by Kirsten Lindquist, Employee, Board President
Hello and Happy New Year!
2022 went out with quite a bang! Many native born Humboldtians told me this was one of the scariest earthquakes they had lived through; as a relative newcomer to California (2008), this was definitely the biggest for me. Yes, the giant salmon carved from a single redwood is still hanging in the Arcata store (look up when you are by the cheese area if you haven’t already noticed it.) Early morning staff did a great job of cleaning up the initial mess from the earthquake, but the real loss was a result of the power being out for nearly a day and having to dispose of the perishable products due to federal health regulations. While staff made Herculean efforts to clean up and restock the shelves so that shoppers were able to celebrate the holidays as they desired, lost sales and the products that had to be disposed of in the dumpsters will take a toll on the financial bottom line for the Co-op. To prevent similar future losses, the Co-op is looking into acquiring generators for each store that can fully power refrigeration cases to ensure no product losses due to spoilage.
The Seeds for Change totals for 2022 are in and they are stupendous! Co-op shoppers raised just shy of $120,000 that was donated directly to local nonprofit organizations that members selected. This program is a personal favorite, and I am so proud of how we are able to leverage pennies to help local groups. I hope this number continues to grow in the years to come. Did you know you can add to your donation, in any dollar amount? Just ask your cashier and they can make that happen.
Now that the Arcata store renovations are done and the holidays are over, the Eureka store is getting some upgrades as well. These are mainly happening behind the scenes, the walk-in coolers and the production floors for the deli, meat, and cheese departments are getting redone. While there will be some interruption in service in the Deli and Meat department, the new floors will be safer and healthier, and staff appreciate your patience while the renovations occur.
For those of you with a low member number, it will come as no surprise that the Co-op is turning 50 this year! Yes, 1973 is when the Co-op first incorporated and this year we will be celebrating with a party - sometime during the summer - as well as mini celebrations throughout the year. As the wine manager, I am pleased to announce that we will have a limited-edition sparkling wine, grown and produced in Humboldt, from grapes grown by Pierce Family Farms in Hoopa and made by Trinity River Vineyards. Pierce Family Farms has been supplying produce to the Co-op for 25 years and they started growing wine grapes so that local winemakers could use local grapes. The sparkling wine will feature a special 50th anniversary label and should be available sometime in the late spring or early summer.
Thank you to the staff for all they do and to our shoppers and members for supporting the Co-op!