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123 N. Hill St
South Bend, IN 46617


Board Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes are posted to this page roughly a month after each board meeting, because A) the minutes must be prepared by the secretary; and B) the board must approve the minutes at the next board meeting, possibly with corrections.  The minutes are posted after that.

Board Meeting Minutes, March 17, 2016

PPC Admin

Attending: Chris, Eli,  Danielle, Tama, Mike, Molly, Fred, Greg
Absent: Earl, Russ, Nick, Aubrea

Approve minutes from February 18 meeting
minutes approved

Member-owner input opportunity
no member-owners brought topics for discussion

Manager’s Moments
1st Thursdays: Greg suggested that it would be good to have a consistent Board presence in the store on 1st Thursdays.  We could set up an information table for a Board member to sit at and greet customers.  There was general support for the idea.  Mike will set up a Google sheet (here), and Board members can pick times around the lunch hour or after 5:00.
Financial Statements - Profit & Loss: Fiscal year started in January.  Greg described February’s net income as disappointing but not surprising.  He identified 2 points that made February look worse than it really was: 3 payrolls occurred in the month, and there was a large annual  insurance payment.  February is in a slow time of the year anyway, but he was able to point to some positive signs as well: the cafe continues to perform very well, and total income and gross profit are significantly higher than last year at the same time.  
New employee: Tyler Brown, cashier
Greg wants to target the October 7 First Friday, Oktoberfest, as a significant event.  He is asking neighboring businesses to contribute toward the expense of hiring a local polka band for music.  
Purple Porch did not have a great showing for the St Patrick’s Day parade.  We should take more interest.  He suggested that we assign a committee to focus on PPC participation for next year, and that we consider building a float for the parade.  No specific action items came out of this discussion.
Farmer’s Market working group: several suggestions for consideration: 
Greater Board presence on Market Night
Expand the hours, from 4:30 to 7:30
Expand store hours in general, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Saturday; Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Some discussion about when the Board would meet.  If the cafe is not busy, there wouldn’t be a problem continuing to start meetings at 7:30 pm.  Shoppers would be welcome to listen in.  Sensitive topics could be held until after 8:00 pm.
FY16 Budget: Greg presented his new Budget tracking format.  Three columns for each account:
Budget / week (static amount for the year, just the annual budget for each account divided by 52)
Actual average / week
New budget / week (the annual budget per week minus the annual performance divided by the remaining number of weeks).  This column provides the average weekly activity required to meet the annual budget.
Greg says that the weekly changes, good or bad, have real impact on thinking, behavior and motivation.
Discussion about PPC becoming a supply hub for local restaurants. Maple City works this way.  Chefs can spend a lot of time hunting down fresh ingredients, which they would prefer to spend on the day’s menu.  If they can depend on PPC as a supply source, they are willing to pay for that service.  PPC needs to find a backup supplier so that if our inventory stock is low, we have a source to buy from and the restaurants don’t have to worry about supply.  This line of service could increase PPC volumes overall.  If the store reaches $2 million per year in sales, we qualify for access to larger suppliers which leads to better negotiated costs.

Loan status - updates on renegotiating or replacing the NDFCU loan:
Greg called our former NDFCU loan officer, who is now at Lake City.  We will arrange a meeting with him as soon as the financial statements for February are closed.
Mike arranged for a meeting with the NDFCU loan officer: 3:00 pm Monday March 21 at PPC.  Danielle, Greg and Mike will attend
Other banks suggested: Innova and 1st Source
Danielle emailed 4 member-owners whose loan repayments are overdue, and asked them to indicate if they were open to various options (forgiving the loan ; exchanging for store credit; extending the repayment period).  One responded already, and is willing  to extend the loan for another year.  The Board president will sign new loan forms.

Labor Metrics: Greg talked us through a chart of labor metric data that he has developed.  The 3 key performance indicators are trending the desired directions year-to-date.  Labor as a % of sales is dropping steadily, while sales per labor hour and Margin minus labor (the amount of each sale that we keep) are both going up.  Greg pointed out that the trends cannot be allowed to grow too steep even in the desired direction, as that may indicate excessive pressure on the sales staff.
The metrics only measure sales and labor hours, not expenses
Greg is continuing to refine the process
Member growth is a steady 2 people per week this year
Cashiers are not yet being rewarded for signing up new members.  Greg is considering ways to reward the cashier staff as milestones are reached, instead of individual effectiveness.  He wants to foster a team approach.

Movie update: Molly has been consulting with a student, Tessa Claritzio, at Notre Dame to arrange a showing of Polyfaces.  Tessa is president of GreeND, a student club that includes Notre Dame and St Mary’s students.  The event will be in the Andrews Auditorium, in Geddes Hall at the Center for Social Concerns, on Sunday, April 17.
Cost of facility is free; it holds 150+ seats
Cost of the film is either $25 (for DVD rental) or $350 (for HD theater quality).  The auditorium does not have high quality projection equipment, but 3 screens which project simultaneously.
After the screening, we will have a reception in the cafeteria with Cafe Max food, alcohol is not permitted.  
We can develop a student discounted, non-voting annual membership to offer.  Maybe sell t-shirts or food bags also.
Cost of movie: Molly suggested $10.  Mike and Eli think students should get in cheaper, or they may not come.  Eli proposed that we have a ‘suggested’ ticket price, maybe $5, and make it clear that this is a fund raiser.  Some people will pay extra.
Student volunteers will place posters up as well as brochures for table tops in the North and South Dining Halls.  Also GreeND will put up a Facebook event page.  2 volunteers requested from PPC for that evening.  Mike is willing.
Tessa says she has not been to PPC, because she doesn’t have a car or know where PPC is.  Chris pointed out that SB bus route #7 comes as near as ND Avenue and Cedar Street.
We discussed inviting the GreeND club to the store and providing light snacks or something.

Maple City is willing to have us observe a meeting to see how their procedures work.  They are busy in March, but we are invited to their April 25 meeting.
Chris will look for people willing to go; he will email info to coordinate soon

GM review: Chris will email soon looking for volunteers to review the process from last year and put it to practice this year.

Board vacancies
Earl resigned due to family obligations.  Mike will start a Google sheet (here) where Board members can propose replacements
Aubrea resigned due to family obligations.  Rich Garrett is interested, and checking to see if other staff want to be considered.

meeting ends