Dear Community Member,
Over the last 40 years Deep Roots Market has gone through many changes. Like many food cooperatives we started as a buying club focused on pooling resources to buy food products and produce at fair prices. As our owners and customers became interested in natural and organic products, Deep Roots served their needs. Other retailers noticed. Now there are many more options for organic products. A trip to a Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Bestway, online, or a local convenience store, shows that they are selling more and more of the same items that cooperatives have specialized in over the last 20 years. Kroger/Harris Teeter is now the largest buyer of natural and organic products in the USA! It’s great that all of us through Deep Roots Market were part of a successful change to how we in the USA shop for groceries.
This change has had an impact on our store – over the last year our sales have been flat. As a result we cannot keep thinking of ourselves as the regional provider for organic products – there are just too many other convenient options. We are not alone in this – it’s a conundrum for most food cooperatives; nationally sales at organic food coops are down for the last 2 years.
Over the past year the Board of Directors has wrestled with this reality and asked, “What is the focus of Deep Roots?” As a Board we’ve looked at many ideas and realized that Deep Roots is well placed to be part of rebuilding a resilient, sustainable, local economy. For grocery cooperatives this means thinking local at many different levels.
The first important step is to think about our neighbors. When we moved downtown we highlighted how the store would provide an option not only for existing customers and owners but also for those who lived nearby – becoming their neighborhood full service grocer. We think being a neighborhood store is very important to our future. Neighborhood stores reduce the need for travel, are more supportive of their customer needs, and reflect consumer’s growing desire for shorter “as needed” trips to local stores. We believe that expanding our selection of products to include more local and regionally sourced products, and a wide variety of more affordable options - in addition to our organic offerings - will make us a place that meets everyday grocery needs. We are not alone in this. Other cooperatives like the People’s Food Cooperative (http://www.pfc.coop) and Renaissance Community Cooperative (http://renaissancecoop.com) are part of this, and some, like Hanover (http://coopfoodstore.coop), were always there.
The second part of this local focus is that Deep Roots will make all of our purchasing commitments with a “local first” lens. Not just in the products we sell to our customers but also the products and services we buy – from our distributors to our accountant. Deep Roots is making sure it is part of the movement to build local community wealth. We will prioritize returning our customers’ and owners’ dollars here in our community. This may mean that we replace some existing products from national or international providers with products from regional and local farmers, producers, or distributors.
We at the Board believe that Responsibly Building Local is the most important thing that we as a cooperative can be engaged in. The Board has created a new vision statement that articulates the story we are working to make Deep Roots a part of. We hope that you want to be a part of this story.
Sincerely The Deep Roots Board
Board of Deep Roots Market Vision Statement
Deep Roots Market is a member-owned co-operative dedicated to the principle that by working together and pooling our resources we can provide our community with an economically sustainable, locally owned and independent full-service grocer that meets the every day needs of its customers with a commitment to locally and regionally sourced goods and services at fair prices.
Our mission is to serve the immediate neighborhood and others within the region by:
Because of Deep Roots Market:
Our Commitment to Customers
Hello Deep Roots co-op owners, I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!
As 2015 comes to a close, your Board of Directors wants to update you on the status of our co-op grocery store. It’s been quite a year, and while there have been some difficult issues we’ve faced, we are looking forward to 2016 as a transformative year for Deep Roots Market.
The good news: Sales are turning around and over the course of the year we’ve seen steady and consistent sales growth of about 3%. Our expenses are better controlled and inline with other grocery co-ops of our size. Our cash reserves are slowly increasing toward a goal of having about 10 days operating expenses on hand by the end of 2016.
Some difficult news: Part of the financing of our downtown store was done through unsecured loans made by some of our owners. The first of these loans was due to be paid starting in January of 2016. Our key institutional lenders have authorization rights for these payments. Based on our financial status they will not authorize us to begin making these payments at this time.
We value all of our owners, and are especially grateful to those who lent the co-op funds to help open our wonderful downtown store. While the Board and management is committed to meeting all of our loan obligations, we cannot determine when we will begin making payments to our owner lenders.
We appreciate all of you who supported the co-op financially and will continue to work diligently to improve the financial standing of Deep Roots Market.
How can each of you help? The single best way to support your co-op now is to shop in our beautiful store!
Right now we are seeing about 4,000 transactions each week. If each of those transactions added just one dollar, this would drive our sales up significantly and make a big impact on our bottom line.
With the holidays approaching, please consider picking up some of your meal items from our deli! They can provide a range of holiday dinner items as well as desserts, already cooked or ready to be finished at your home. They have delicious options that can save you a lot of time through the busy holidays.
If you haven’t stopped by for lunch or dinner, come on in and bring a friend. The deli is regularly offering delicious chicken and fish entrees, vegetarian and vegan options, soups and chilis and more. Our salad bar is stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits.
Earlier I mentioned that we believe 2016 will be a transformative year for the Deep Roots Market co-op. The grocery industry across the country is experiencing major changes. Shopping habits are changing and people are looking for different kinds of products. Natural and organic items are far more widely available now than they were 30 years ago when Deep Roots was dreamt up on the Guilford College campus. We must respond to these changes in ways that respect our values, adhere to the 7 international cooperative principles, and meet our revenue needs.
In twenty years we want Deep Roots to be a vibrant, economically sustainable hub of our community. We believe Deep Roots is on track to achieve those goals, and exceed them.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like to get coffee or tea at the co-op some day.
In cooperation, Dave Reed President, Deep Roots Market Board of Directors
firstname.lastname@example.org (336) 638-1449
Quarterly Financial Reporting
Deep Roots Market Financial Reports As part of the Board's commitment to improving communications with our owners, we have begun the process of making available summary financial documents for Deep Roots Market. While owners are more than welcome to discuss with the Board any of the finances in detail, we hope these summary financials will help you understand the operation of your grocery store. The 3rd Quarter Profit and Loss (P&L) statement measures Deep Root Market's sales and expenses for July to September 2015. The function of a P&L statement is to total all sources of revenue and subtract all expenses related to the revenue. The 3rd Quarter Balance Sheet summarizes Deep Root Market's assets, liabilities and owners' equity as of September 2015.
You will find a copy of a summary of the 2015 3rd Quarter Profit and Loss and 3rd Quarter Balance sheet at this location or below.
Changes to Discount Program As of January 1st, 2016
We are making some changes to the discount programs offered at Deep Roots Market.
Upcoming Events & Sales
January 5th - Board Meeting, Deep Roots Market, 6pm January is Owner Appreciation Month
April is Owner Appreciation Month