The Road to Our Capital Campaign
I’m naturally a huge planner: I plan out my day, week, and month ahead of time and rely on checklists to keep me on track. Over the years, I’ve learned that no matter how much you plan, big projects always seem to take much longer than you first think. This is true of a pretty exciting project that is currently the focus of my work at the moment: the 2019 Capital Campaign.
For those of you who were not at the annual meeting in November, let me catch you up to speed. At the annual meeting on November 2, not only was the year summarized and celebrated, but our 2019 Capital Campaign initiative was formally announced. This campaign will finance a small remodel project to revamp our deli service line, expand deli seating, and build a vestibule to make the shopping experience more comfortable for customers.
So how exactly did we get here?
The truth of the matter is that we’ve taken many steps to get to where we are today, starting with the owner engagement activity at last year’s Annual Meeting. After that, we conducted a Customer Survey in early 2018. This report provided valuable information on our shopper demographics, shopping patterns, shopper satisfaction, and general comments. The survey also gave us insight on what we could improve, according to our customers: price, product selection, better seating, and more convenient location. In February 2018, a team from National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) came to the store to assess store operations and our financial business systems. We received excellent feedback and recommendations on four key areas of focus; building cash, developing a culture of service, restructuring the food service department, and completing minor layout modifications to expand deli seating.
Our 2019 Business Plan is based on this gathered information and was formally presented to the Open Harvest Board of Directors in June. The board approved a preliminary campaign amount of $170,000 in August, so that the planning phases of the campaign and the remodel could begin. Since then a Capital Campaign committee was formed, chaired by Director Aaron Druery, and incremental progress has been made. We’re excited to finally get to the point where we can share more detailed information with owners and customers!
The bottom line: we need to reinvest in our current location so that we can continue to build profitability and work on a five-year strategic plan. We are off to a great start with the new bylaws that were passed in November. Next steps will take place in January, with important changes to consider in our articles of incorporation. Owners can expect a special meeting notice and proposed article changes in their mailbox after the first of the year.
We need your help in making this campaign and remodel project a reality! If you are an owner, please consider attending our upcoming Fin MOO (yes, it’s a real thing) to learn more about investment opportunities!