East End Food Co-op, Vancouver’s only cooperatively owned grocery store, is seeking members of the community to join our Board of Directors.
Operating since 1975 and open as a storefront on Commercial Drive for over 30 years, the Co-op sells healthy, organic, fair traded and locally sourced food to members and non-members and employs over ten unionized staff.
We are looking for people who want to make a difference in Vancouver’s retail food industry, who want to see food dollars remain in the community and who believe the future of food production and distribution lies in the cooperative model.
Skills, experience and knowledge in financial planning, human resources, law, digital marketing and strategic planning are especially welcome as are individuals with connections and affiliations to communities and groups with similar values.
At the last Annual General Meeting in 2019, the membership set a direction for transformation and expansion of the Co-op to meet the demands of the rapidly changing retail food market. Since then, the Co-op hired a new General Manager, streamlined and modernized purchasing, focused personnel and brought in a marketing and member engagement professional. We are proud to report that the Co-op is on the path to regained profitability.
The Co-op has attracted a number of important allies in its quest to become a significant alternative to the five corporate giants who control 80% of the grocery sales in BC. Vancity Credit Union has provided grants and loans that have allowed us to do in-depth market studies, search for potential sites for expansion as well as providing ongoing advice. Peninsula Co-op, mostly based on Vancouver Island, has explored bringing our two Co-ops together in some fashion. Our unionized staff, represented by Unifor Local 3000, negotiated a short term “survival agreement” that helped us weather the immediate crisis. Our members responded to a call for reinvestments with a purchase of over $18,000 in additional shares and donations. Even our landlord froze our rent for a year.
Board members are expected to attend monthly Board meetings as well as participating in a standing committee. In general, Board members spend between eight and twelve hours per month on board work, including meetings and “homework” between meetings. If you have any questions or just want to talk about the Co-op, feel free to contact our board chair Graham Anderson at email@example.com.
If you are interested, please complete the attached form and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before Sept 23rd.
Thank you again for your support of the EEFC.