We’ve increased our wages! Here’s why.

We’re a community owned neighborhood grocery store.  We believe that our co-op owners deserve a phenomenal store to shop in.  Our community owned store competes effectively with some of the nation’s best grocers, thanks to the efforts, intention and leadership of our staff.

In February, the Board of Directors was reviewing my report on Wages and Compensation and asked me to respond to the Living Wage Certification program created by the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ).  This direction sparked 9 months of research, design, vetting and discussion and culminated this week in the roll out of our overhauled wage scale.  We’re proud to reward our front line staff with an $11.24 per hour starting wage, good benefits, and wage reviews every 6 months. This is an increase of $2.24 over what we were paying just a week ago.  The increase has been and will be paid for by productivity increases; more money paid to fewer people.  I am also proud that the Management Team unanimously approved this plan.  The overhaul includes no increase for any manager and pegs our salaries to the 25th percentile of the market while pegging our front line staff wages to the 90th percentile of the market.

Our BIG Direction is our plan to create a world that reflects our values; to build a thriving co-op economy, to ensure access to local and sustainable food, to share knowledge and generosity, and to foster a sustainable environment.  Our primary strategy for this is more co-ops in more communities.  But as we expand and grow, we must provide win-win-win partnerships among our key stakeholders, with fair prices for customers, fair wages to staff and fair prices for farmers.  This wage scale overhaul is just the first step.  We hope that you will continue the conversation with us about how we can continue to improve on all three fronts.

In this season of giving thanks, we your staff remain grateful for providing us with such a wonderful business to work in and for.