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123 N. Hill St
South Bend, IN 46617

574-287-6724

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
July 2018

Frederic Myers

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

July 27, 2018

Attending: Molly Moon, Nick Licina, Danielle Meersman, Judy Shroyer, Fred Myers, Mike Geglio, Charlene Rountree, Myles Robertson, Katie Robbins;

Absent: Chris Hebron, Sarai Godwaldt

Time

Topic

6:30

Member Owner input

  • No visitors

6:31

Minutes of last board meeting reviewed and accepted

6:40

New Store Product (Myles)

  • GM reports that the store is considering carrying raw milk. A provider is available, and customers have requested it. Raw milk is not legal for human consumption. The product is clearly labeled as pet food. Maple City Market stocks the product. However, it is known that some people are likely to use it as a food product for themselves and their families. This is not encouraged by the co-op. Selecting products for sale in the store is entirely an operational, but the GM wanted to alert the board to be aware of the range of possibilities.

  • Some discussion about possibility liability. The co-op and board do not endorse human consumption of raw milk.  The product is clearly labeled. There is nothing to prevent a customer from consuming any product, whether food-based or not.

  • The board appreciated the update from the GM.

6:47

Retreat Planning (Charlene and Molly)

  • MCM and PP will have dinner with Thane on Friday Oct 5; that Friday is Oktoberfest at PPC, and we could invite MCM to have dinner at the co-op store. Charlene will invite them. We can consider paying for their dinners.

  • Thane will meet with MCM Saturday, and PPC Sunday, at Charlene’s house.

  • More planning to follow.

  • Action item: Charlene to invite MCM to SB for Friday night dinner.

6:53

Mortgage Refinancing:

  • Review of co-op dept:

    • $37,000 NDFCU

    • $37,000 Sonya/Gabor

    • member-owner loans due

      • 2019 $22,000

      • 2020 $71,000

      • 2021 $21,000

      • 2022 $2000

      • 2023 $1000

      • 2024 $10,000

  • Potential necessary expenditures include new cooler; the current equipment is around 30 years old, and we have lost food due to outages. A replacement could cost between $20,000 and $40,000

  • NDFCU loan officer said that we could get 70% of the value of the property in an equity loan, or an equity line of credit. If the ceiling of the desired loan is a couple hundred thousand, a drive by assessment is all that is necessary. The cost of an assessment would be $500.

  • Proposals are made to consider multiple options:

    • an equity loan in addition to the mortgage;

    • a slightly higher interest rate for a line of credit in addition to the mortgage

    • Only refinance the mortgage

  • Potential uses for an equity loan include

    • Paying off the some subset of the outstanding loans

    • Buying more efficient and reliable equipment for the store

    • Providing access to funds that would ease flexibility in GM purchasing decisions

  • Consensus that we need to know what the range and costs would be before we can make a decision. Board agrees to approve the cost of a drive by assessment so that informed decisions can be made at the next meeting.

  • Action item: Nick to schedule a drive by assessment with NDFCU

7:25

Cafe Consultant (Katie Robbins)

  • Katie is the kitchen manager. She gave her assessment of the cafe consultant’s inputs so far:

    • Katie is very positive about the consultant. She feels that she and Myles knew sort of what direction they wanted to take the cafe, but did not know how to get there. In addition, she reported that the consultant:

      • brought a number of very useful tools, helped firm up the vision and create a plan

      • guided focus to higher margin product, and to packaging and presentation

      • showed how to cost recipes and how to price items

      • gave recipes and ideas for the deli case

      • Helped build a staffing plan: how to identify staffing needs and how to identify stars among current staff

      • Will provide projections of revenue for the plans PP is developing

      • Deli case contents and appearance will be key

      • Provided tools that help all staff know when to fill the deli case, and how to do so with attractive, nutritious items

      • Providing a tool to assess what is selling and what is making money

      • Providing money on marketing, advertising and packaging

      • Aiming for launch in September/October; may require a re-set of co-op floor space

    • The consultant was on-site for 2 days, and has participated in several calls and emails; he provided very useful input on store layout planning

    • Judy mentioned that she stopped in a co-op cafe in Brooklyn where the consultant had helped, and that although their contract was completed years ago, they still get input from him

  • The board expressed strong interest in progress reports and in previews of pending events and changes, and then hearing about the results. The overall reaction was very positive.

7:44

Cooking demo (Nick)

  • The suggestion has been made that a cooking demo on Market Night would be well received.

  • GM gave details about collaborative planning with a west side organization that would bring multiple food products and food preparation events to market night.

7:46

B1 Financial Report for FY18Q2 (Myles)

  • Sub-policies 1 (sales growth), 3 (Liquidity) and 4 (solvency) performance are out of compliance with store goals

  • Sub-policies 2 (net income) and 5 (ownership) performance are in compliance with goals

    • Sales growth:

      • down by 3% compared to 17Q2, and down 1.7% compared to 18Q1

      • Plan is to focus on the cafe, specifically on grab-and-go items; aiming to increase production of high margin products. Want to increase the margin minus labor (MML). Need to staff up to meet the goals. The changes will begin to have an impact at the end of Q3.

      • Q3 emphasis on CoPos data to track grocery margin goals more closer.

      • Increasing customer service with new front employees.

      • One day a week, Myles and Heather will drive to find and obtain fresh produce from local sources

    • Liquidity:

      • Current ratio is .81 (jeopardy is below 1.25);

      • quick ratio is .03 (jeopardy is below .7)

      • Plan is emergency cost cutting (marketing and advertising efforts are moving in-house; CDS consulting hiatus)

      • Growth of high margin items in cafe

    • Solvency:

      • Debt to equity ratio is 3.2; should be below 3

      • Although the debt to equity ratio is out of compliance, the ratio has been trending down every quarter and getting us closer to compliance

      • In-depth analysis of member-owner loans and capability to save for payments in future years to be delivered to the board in August

      • Q4 membership drive scheduled, with staff training to occur during Q3

  • Board asks for more date-specific measurable goals

  • B1 followed by P&L Budget to Actual summary for Q1 and Q2

    • Well received by board, very clear and concise statement

  • B1 accepted, providing Corrective Action Plans are revised to have dates assigned within 10 days; approved

  • Solar update to be provided to board within a week

8:30

Review tasks and action items

8:38

Meeting adjourns