February Honest Slate 2019

Page 1



HWFC’s community newsletter

Published monthly by the Communications Committee to promote transparency, report without bias, and sustain community among Membership • Staff • Management • Governance Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 honestslate@honestweight.coop • https://www.honestweight.coop/

iboard Governance initiative Workshops for owners by Janet Sorell For several months now, the HWFC Board of Directors has been discussing a Governance Development Initiative. A well-rounded and multi-faceted Board needs people of varied backgrounds to share their skills and passion. If every Board member were a finance expert, for example, the Board would lack other skill sets.

While people may think financial knowledge is essential, a competent Board needs

people with varied skill sets: We need legal, financial, human resource and other experts, as well as people with social justice, writing, organizational, and other general skills. We don’t expect every Director to satisfy all the needs of the body as a whole.

We know that more Member-Own-

ers would consider a role in governance, committee work and/or on the Board but feel they do not have relevant or adequate skills to offer. The Governance Development Initiative would help Member-Owners cultivate understanding and aptitude in preparation for Board and committee service by presenting an ongoing series of workshops to nurture governance skills. The Elections and Nominations Committee will offer an interactive and participatory workshop about Board duties—at HWFC and elsewhere—before our April elections. Keep an eye out for their announcement.

Topics we hope to provide include: • Board Service at HWFC • Consensus-Building • Compassionate/Positive Communication • Finance 101 • Law for the BOD/Cooperative Law • Conflict Resolution • Facilitation • Anti-Oppression/Sensitivity Training • Human Resource Basics

Feibruary 2019

Attention All Owners! Be on the lookout for an upcoming workshop on Boards and their function in governance—brought to you by the ENC.

• Greetings This from Honest Slate month ...We hear from a new Staffer (p. 9) and two Member-Owners (p. 8). Keep those comments and suggestions coming!

BUDGET TIME see page 6

See pp. 6 and 8

choose to participate

Which department provides the primary pitstop and endgame for every shopping trip? See page 3. Why don’t we have music in the store, & Who’s a star in HR? See page 9.

•CONTENTS• Env. Comm. Tackles Zero Waste... 2

The Finance Committee has already provided Finance 101 sessions on the HWFC budget at All Staff meetings this past Fall. We hope they’ll offer more for Member-Owners and Staff within the next few months.

Front End, Positive Pitstop! ........ 3

While organized around governance, our hope is that these trainings will also support improved communication and understanding in the whole Co-op community!

Call for Leadership....................... 6

Please contact Member-Owner Coordinator Yevette Buddeau at MemberServices@honestweight.coop if you have an idea for a topic or are willing and able to conduct a session. Owners will be able to attend workshops by answering upcoming emails or posted announcements.

Letters to the Editors................... 8

Coffeehouse News ..................... 3 Digital Dexterity . ........................ 4 Nutrition & Education Survey ..... 5 Budget Sessions Invitation........... 6 Committee Corner ...................... 7 Build HWFC’s Best Future ........... 8 Q&A/Suggestion Box .................. 9 Care to Share?........................... 10 Email: honestslate@honestweight.coop



Honest Slate

Environment Committee tackles Zero Waste At the Jan. 27, 2019 Membership Meeting, Member-Owners overwhelmingly approved an addition to the Honest Weight Statement of Conscience: “We are committed to reducing waste generated at Honest Weight locations and by the products purchased at the Co-op as much as possible, as well as promoting, teaching, and practicing Zero Waste principles.” The Co-op’s Environment Committee, formed in August 2017, has been exploring ways to reduce the amount of waste generated by the Co-op. Over the course of a year, Elaine Hills and I did “walk-through” audits with every department manager. We also met with management to better understand how things work at the Co-op and what constraints and opportunities might exist. We also researched how other coops solve their challenges. In October, the committee put together our findings in a 13-page report to the Board. In the report we made more than 50 recommendations, some big and many small. We continue to work toward implementation. Honest Weight is ahead of the curve in many ways in the way it deals with waste. Our staff has reputedly assembled the biggest bulk department of any co-op in the Northeast! Vegetable waste from the produce department has been picked up to make compost for decades—and for several years we have had a hauler that takes our pre-consumer food waste for composting. The Co-op accepts egg cartons for reuse by small farm egg suppliers, works with a dairy farm that sells milk in deposit bottles, and still accepts plastic grocery bags, which a member owner takes for recycling. Never in its existence has Honest Weight offered new plastic grocery bags, and it gives shoppers an incentive to use reusable shopping bags. The hot bar switched to compostable takeout containers. And so on. But the Co-op also operates in the larger universe. Republic, the second biggest integrated waste services corporation in the U.S., collects the Co-op’s trash and single-stream recycling. These recyclables are sorted at Sierra Processing which is owned

by Tracy Frisch

by Waste Connections, the country’s third largest waste corporation. See Oct. 2018’s Honest Slate, p. 4 [https://issuu.com/honestweightfoodcoop/docs/oct_2018_slate_1004?e=12647281/64936382]; watch for a criti-

February 2019 make waste, we are squandering resources, including energy, and creating greenhouse gases. Very often we’re also adding to pollution. Take the 38 billion single-use water bottles end up in U.S. landfills every year. That’s equivalent to 912 million gallons of oil, so a substantial amount of fossil fuel used up for naught.

cal look at single-stream in a future article. If we were part of a supermarket chain, we’d probably have an in-house service to collect pallet wrap, the plastic film that comes on pallets and cases of product, and some other materials for which it’s hard to find recycling outlets. Some parts of the U.S. have municipal food waste collection, but that’s not yet a reality in the Capital District.

With Zero Waste we must start way before we have to make a decision about how to get rid of stuff we’re ready to discard. So Zero Waste calls on us to set up systems to allow everyone to make far less waste in the first place. Zero Waste requires thoughtful planning and it calls on us to be clear about our values. That’s why the Statement of Conscience matters.

Another factor affecting waste at Honest Weight is the food industry itself. By midcentury, the oceans are predicted to contain more plastic than fish by weight! Much of this plastic originates as food and beverage packaging. And sadly the natural food sector is not exempt.

We might say that Zero Waste is a subversive goal because it struggles against unnecessary consumption. With Zero Waste we rely on reusable items wherever possible and design the system so we don’t fall back on throwaways. For example, if we buy in bulk and bring our own (reusable) containers, we won’t be throwing away plastic bags or end up with plastic tubs to recycle. If reuse were the norm, Americans wouldn’t be consuming disposable cups, plates, plastic utensils or other single-use items. Yet today the U.S. uses more than 100 billion disposable cups per year, and every second of every day, 1,500 plastic water bottles are discarded.

Several surprising statistics illustrate the frightening trends: The amount of plastic manufactured has doubled about every 15 years. One half of all the resins and fibers ever used in making plastics were produced in the last 13 years. And half of plastic manufactured becomes trash in less than a year. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

And did you know that fracked natural gas is spurring a boom in the plastic industry? https://www.energyindepth.org/report-shale-gas-spurring-plastics-manufacturing-growth/ Against this backdrop, the Environment Committee proposed that Honest Weight move toward Zero Waste. Let me take a stab at explaining. Zero Waste is about waste prevention, not “end-of-pipe” waste management. Zero Waste is an aspirational goal meant to inform the whole system – and everyone involved. It’s not about policing shoppers and employees. And it aims to make it very easy for people to participate without confusion. Ideally Zero Waste is not about waste at all, but about waste avoidance. Whenever we

A new opportunity for Memiber-Owners The Environment Committee has begun developing a one-hour workshop on Moving Toward Zero Waste at Honest Weight. We intend to offer it for Member-Owners on a regular basis, perhaps twice monthly. As we are a small committee of five, we are looking for a few more interested people to help lead these workshops; those with background on the topic preferred. Contact environmentcomm@honestweight.coop or call my landline at 518-692-8242. To see our report and recommendations, go to https://www.honestweight.coop/ page/committees-of-the-board-14.html and scroll down to the Environment Committee.

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

Honest Slate

February 2019

the Front End: • First Stop for Friendly Faces • Goalpost for Goodies • Abiding by Cooperative Principles

by Katie Centanni

The Front End hosts the first and last interactions for most Member-Owners and shoppers at the Co-op. We strive to create a positive, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere in hopes that each day is smooth, calm, and fun, and fosters new relationships with people and the healthy products we offer this community. On the Front End we have high expectations for team work, and it’s always an adventure because there are hundreds of people moving through the department—both working and checking out at the point of sale—so keeping the Seven Cooperative Principles in mind to guide our department’s conduct is always necessary.

3 How a Department leader views cooperation: Putting principles into action.

Member Owners at the Co-op get involved because they want to, not because they are required to. That is one of the things that make the Co-op so special. Most people really want to be here and want to do everything they can to ensure the Co-op upholds its principles and continues to succeed. The Seven Cooperative Principles speak to me as a Member Owner and an Employee because they remind me why we all continue to participate in this experiment. I feel my role is to guide Members, Staff, and Customers to work together, listen to one another, and take responsibility to help one another.

The Co-op is a great community resource and the Front End is where people come to get their answers. People often ask questions like: • Where do you recycle batteries? • What are you doing to create a better compost system in Albany? • Do you have a bathroom? • How can I lower my blood sugar naturally? • What should I cook for my vegan niece for dinner? • What do you have that has no salt and is a tasty snack? • Where are the protein bars that have spirulina in them? • What time is it? We do our best to educate ourselves so we can answer these questions for our Members and Shoppers because we are the go-to for so many people and they expect us to know (even though Google would likely give them the same answer just as well). Remembering the Cooperative Principles helps to keep us focused on why we’re here. We do our best to practice kindness, patience, empathy, and understanding, and to keep things in a positive perspective because people really do count on us to be there for them no matter what. Working on the Front End for over 13 years has brought me on a new adventure every single day. No day is the same. The human interactions that I observe and participate in vary widely based on whoever happens to wander into our paradise of local produce, “natural foods,” and local goods, flaunting the best quality imaginable. I am privileged to cooperate with such a passionate, opinionated, mostly caring, eccentric community and feel I am richer for having the opportunity to be a part of this ongoing and fruitful experiment. Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

4 Disclaimer: Be advised that keeping a journal may create a gateway to better self-understanding. Side effects may include heightened perception, deeper insight, and joy. Results may be freely shared without a prescription.

A girl braided her mother’s hair as she and a roomful of fellow participants explored “Gratitude Journaling” at HWFC recently.

Honest Slate

February 2019

January Journaling: An Entry In these fast times of keyboarding, inputting, and texting, the act of writing by hand in a log, diary or journal takes on even greater significance. Journaling can help you feel less bothered, burdened or bombarded by everyday issues.

“Energy is so open to your control once you are aware of it.”

It was Sunday, Jan. 13 and a full house of fifteen adults and two children had gathered for an afternoon of putting pen to paper, heeding feelings and achieving perspective. Attendees settled into their seats as HWFC Education Coordinator Deanna Beyer introduced Ruth Ann Smalley. With an academic background and abundant credentials, Ruth Ann is an author and educator who practices both writing and energy work, setting a serendipitous stage for the subject at hand. The long-time Co-op Member-Owner encourages people to tune in to their intuition and trust their hunches. She describes the connection between journaling and self-awareness to help us “notice the way our own energy … interacts with everything we do, including writing.”

“{Q:} How do you fix an atmosphere that’s off? (A:) Focus on your heart.” “I see writing as an incredible tool for expanding understanding of what you already know and for protection of your own energies,” said the practitioner, listing goal-setting, problem-solving and increased insight among writing’s benefits. Ruth Ann outlined techniques—like keeping an itemized or “bullet” journal—to reduce high expectations or pressure, stressing that the activity is customizable to one’s own needs. Whether stripping away detail or exploring in depth, keeping a log is

Against a backdrop of values & techniques, Ruth Ann detects subtle energy transformation in students.

“a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity tool.” Citing several sources and schools of thought, the instructor shared that journaling can curb negative reactions and energetic depletion. Using simple physical tests, Ruth Ann had volunteers demonstrate muscular responses both before and after writing a few paragraphs expressing personal challenges. The noticeable difference sparked wonder and laughter. Students shared what they gained from the experience, which included techniques showing how journaling can act as a “reset button to change your baselines.” One woman said she now plans to make entries in a small pocket journal instead of becoming annoyed whenever kept waiting. In sum, the class offered a take-away template rather than a tangible product. We left not with finished chapter or verse, but

with the satisfaction of having shared illuminating exercises revealing the real differences that writing can create in our energy. In this neo-digital age of constant electronic stimulation, writing by hand can actually convey comfort by offering our nervous systems some vacation time. Whether you doodle in the margins, pass notes in class, or jot down lists on scrap paper, you are engaging in an eons-old ritual with the power to transform. So while devices store and save infinite data and important documents, it’s also beneficial to flex your fingers the old-fashioned way— whether exploring inner connections or writing down your Honest Weight shopping list. —Carol Ostrow To see a full calendar of free HWFC classes and events, visit https://www.honestweight.coop/page/free-classes-at-the-coop-331.html

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

February 2019

Thoughts on

january Survey


Seasonal eating was

one of the subjects of our December survey. All respondents plan to make seasonal diet modifications, ranging from very subtle for some to some more extensive for others. Heart and belly-warming foods such as stews, soups and root vegetables proved to be staples in the winter and lighter fare including salads and fruits is the preferred choice in the summer. Is there a scientific explanation to why we crave dense comfort foods, higher in carbohydrates and fat in the winter? Some suggest that it is the survival mechanism developed by our early ancestors in times when food was scarce in the winter.

What we know for a fact is that, as part of the mammalian kingdom, maintaining constant body temperature is fundamental to our good health and requires lots of energy—even more so during the winter months. Foods high in complex carbs and good fats break down more slowly and release a longer-lasting steady flow of energy to keep us warm and satiated for longer time spans. Seasonal eating favors locally grown produce and is good for the community, environment, and local economy.

Your feedback about preferred dishes and soups in the Co-op deli, and new suggestions for the menu was forwarded to the deli manager.


Honest Slate

February 2019



Surv ey

s urvey questions:

The NEC (Nutrition and Education Committee) is a standing Committee of the Board and is tasked with providing health and nutritional information as well as producing and maintaining the FPM (Food and Product Manual) https://issuu.com/honestweightfoodcoop/docs/hwfc_fpm_2018. We would like to learn from you how to make it more accessible and user friendly. Please take a few moments to answer the questions below. Your feedback will be instrumental in helping us achieve that goal. If you have a suggestion that is not addressed in this survey please do not hesitate to contact us at: NutritionComm@honestweight.coop Click here to go to February’s nutrition survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KRTX3G9= 1. Are you aware that we have a FPM? YES NO 2. What is your preference for access? Website Printed Booklet 3. Is the information you are seeking easy to locate? YES NO 4. If not how would you improve it? OPEN ANSWER 5. Is the information you are seeking easy to understand? YES NO 6. If not how would you improve it? OPEN ANSWER 7. Does the FPM address all concerns you have regarding products we sell? YES NO 8. If not what would you suggest to make it more comprehensive? OPEN ANSWER

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KRTX3G9= Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

6 From the Board:

Honest Slate

February 2019

A Call for Leadership

As I write this, we are about 90 days away from the next board election. This worries me a little because there will be six seats open. I don’t yet know who is running for re-election and who isn’t, and I have no idea which members, if any, are thinking of running. The composition of the board could change drastically. The current group of seven board members that we have is a group that gets along well, and while we don’t always agree with each other, we always behave respectfully toward each other. This could all change. I know that for most of you, what the Board does is far in the background of your Co-op experience. It doesn’t seem to affect you at all. And that’s true...until it isn’t. It’s similar to the way that national, state, and local elections don’t seem to affect you...until they do. At our Co-op, one person can have a very big impact, and in an uncontested election, bad things can happen.

We are Looking For strong candidates who choose to participate in a community which embraces cooperative principles, shares resources and creates economic fairness in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect for humanity and the earth. So please, think about running for the board. Or if you know another Co-op member who you think would be a good board member, encourage that person to run. And please feel free to contact me or any other board member if you have any questions. Our contact information can be found on the “Board” page of the Co-op’s website.

I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that being on Per our bylaws, a candidate the board is all rainbows can be elected with only & unicorns. As with any 25% of the vote. That means worthwhile endeavor, there that in an uncontested elecare moments of frustration. tion, 7 out of every 10 voters But it can also be a very recould decide not to vote for warding and tremendously a candidate, and that candieducational experience. I date will be elected anyway. hope that you will consider I wish I was talking about a taking this on. If we want theoretical, worst-case scethe Co-op to continue to nario. Unfortunately, our be the great place it’s been Co-op has seen this and to become even kind of thing happen, “I’m not going to … pretend more than it is now, the result of which is that being on the board is some of you will have the seating of Board to step forward and members whose be- all rainbows & unicorns…” help make it happen. havior is completely —Board of Directors President Nate Horwitz photo by Drea Leanza inappropriate for one serving on a governing body of any sort. Thank you for your attention. Perhaps we should be flattered that there are no announced candidates yet, as our Co-op has historically had trouble finding Board candidates during times of calm, but no trouble at all during times of strife or controversy. However, things can change quickly, and it’s important to have good Board members in place at all times.

—Nate Horwitz

choose to participate

in hwfc’s

future See page 8 for related story.

We’re Looking Forward to Hearing from YOU! i t ’s B u dg et time a t h wfc Soon we’ll be exercising our democratic voices and voting on the budget for 2019-2020. For those interested in providing input/suggestions for the upcoming Budget, a series of sessions open to both staff and Member-Owners will be held in the Community Room:

February 14: 6-7:30 PM February 17: 4-5:50 PM February 20: 5-6:30 PM CFO Erin Martin and Finance Committee Members will be present to answer questions and listen to suggestions/input. Editors’ note: February’s Board meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather; hence no decisions were made prior to publishing.

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

COMMITTEE CORNER: Monthly HWFC Meeting Summaries

by Stephanie Conde

This article includes a summary of preliminary committee reports submitted to the Board of Directors for the Feb. 12 Board meeting. See the Board meeting packet for details. Committee reports are available on the HWFC website upon Board approval. Finance - Sales and Fiscal Performance • For the six-month period ending Dec. 31, 2018 (compared to the same period in 2017): sales were up 4.2%, cost of goods was up 3.5%, and profit was up 5.1% (all within budget estimates); total expenses were up 5.4% (1% over budget estimates) • Over the same comparative six-month period, HWFC reduced expenses in the following areas: federal taxes, interest (decreased principal balances on debt and lower interest rates), governance (significantly lower legal fees), administration (reduced audit and legal fees), occupancy (reduced due to in-house floor cleaning), and benefits (reduced Worker’s Comp rates due to an excellent safety record). • Overall, ordinary income increased 3.2% and net income increased 124% in the last six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Governance Review Council (GRC) • The GRC requested permission from the Board to review the draft Procedures Manual [Board Manual]. • Staff will petition Membership to allow a vote to change the Bylaws to increase from two to three, the maximum number of Staff who may sit on the BOD. The GRC will consider the impact of a possible increase. • The GRC discussed the issue of paid labor v. time investment. The Member-Owner Manual gives the BOD the authority to create paid positions, but it does not delineate criteria for the creation or justification of such a position. • The GRC has compiled its 2018 historical documents, to be made available at the HWFC Customer Service Desk. Personnel Committee (PC) • The PC continues revising the disciplinary process in the Employee Manual. • The PC continues editing and finalizing


Honest Slate

February 2019

the Progressive Corrective Action and Discipline document. Committee turnover has slowed the process; new insights and perspectives have been valuable. Communications Committee (CC) • Four committees (NEC, EC, Membership, and Arts) regularly publish items in Honest Slate. The CC encourages all committees to use Honest Slate’s platform. Copy is due on the 25th of each month for the following month’s issue. • Honest Slate provides several dozen hard copies in the slat wall at HWFC’s entrance and in the café. • See Honest Slate signage on the Membership bulletin board and in the Slate for ways to participate. Membership Committee (MC) • Visiting EC members discussed HWFC’s environmental practices (recycling, etc.) at General Membership Meetings. • The MC must host two gatherings per year. Limited MC membership presents challenges to create ways to engage Membership through these gatherings. The MC will write an ad to generate interest, find MC candidates, and to appoint a Member-Owner to the vacant MC Bylaws Panel seat. Elections & Nominations Committee (ENC) • The ENC has selected a “What do Boards do?” workshop facilitator, and requested the Board approve up to 10 hours for the facilitator to prepare and present the workshop and 2 hours for each participating board member. • At their February meeting, the ENC will review and vote on proposed changes to Section 461 of the Bylaws (responsibilities of the ENC). The proposed changes will be submitted to the BOD and Bylaws panel for review and approval, and then to the Membership.

• The ENC urges Member-Owners to help identify potential Board members.

The ENC requested permission from the BOD to review Member-Owner orientation paperwork to identify Member-Owners to contact regarding possible BOD or GRC service. Nutrition and Education Committee (NEC) • A periodontal surgeon suggests SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) be added to HWFC’s banned list. The NEC will work with Management to determine which Co-op products contain SLS and the best way to address this suggestion. • The NEC is considering changes and additions to the Food and Products Manual, including edits and additions to “What We Try to Avoid.” • The NEC generated and submitted their three-question survey to Honest Slate. • The NEC is finalizing its work plan for 2019/2020 to submit for BOD approval. Environment Committee (EC) • The EC explored a number of issues related to reducing waste, including: 1. Contacting other Co-ops (and HWFC’s Food Service Manager) 2. Developing a Sustainability Coordinator job description 3. Appointing two EC members as liaisons to Management 4. Finding a hauler for post-consumer café food waste 5. Creating a Member-Owner workshop on Zero Waste 6. Researching best practices on recycling. • At the January Membership meeting, per an EC proposal, Co-op Member-Owners voted overwhelmingly to add Zero Waste language to the HWFC Statements of Conscience.

Full Committee Reports are routinely posted on the HWFC website once approved by the Board.

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop


Honest Slate

creating hwfc ’ s future As we publish our 6th issue, I believe that the Co-op is on the cusp of positive change. We have a “big” election coming in April with many Board seats up for renewal or replacement. The ENC is planning workshops to educate and engage our membership; meanwhile, the Board President has understandably expressed concern over the potential incoming Board’s makeup. One of the best mantras or memes I’ve ever run across is: “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” It means that dwelling on potential failure does absolutely nothing to improve chances for success. Some believe that it can actually hurt prospects. So, if you believe in creating positive outcomes, keep reading. If praying is asking for good things, then worrying is the opposite. Should we then never worry? Well, that’s a personal decision. “Don’t worry, be happy” goes only so far, and yes, concerns must surface. Is there reason for concern about Honest Weight’s future? Of course! Are concerns valid? Yes! Should we allow them to outweigh our drive and passion for improvement? Absolutely not! I suggest that we consciously minimize our fears and cultivate action—individually and collectively. Unquestionably, we need more involvement from positive and pro-active

Suibmissions Policy We welcome articles & contributions. Maximum length for contributions is 500 words unless otherwise requested. Material is published at the discretion of the Honest Slate team; only signed work is accepted; items are subject to editing for length, grammar and style. Any articles deemed controversial in nature shall be reviewed before publishing. Writers must substantiate claims with facts and avoid inflammatory language. Articles regarded as attacks or otherwise harmful to individuals will be returned to the writer for non-personal rephrasing.


Member-Owners. Otherwise, people without the right skill set or judgment to serve (not judging, of course) may run; people with their own agendas might be elected. A strong Board functions at its best when its Directors consistently place the Co-op’s well-being apart from their own—separate from their egos and personal biases. We need candidates who can rise above fear, abstain from rigidity, relinquish the past, and embrace open-mindedness: qualities that enable better collaboration with each other and with their constituents. I have personally met several newer MOs who bring highly desired skills and perspective to our organization. Their talent and potential, coupled with a genuine desire to work cooperatively, inspires optimism. While Honest Weight needs that collective brilliance and diverse leadership, our regulations state that participation is not mandatory. You choose your own level of involvement—whether working directly on the floor with customers, chopping cheese, filing forms or simply belonging!

Alexis DeLaTorre Susan Flack Tracy Frisch Kim Fujioka

letters to the editors

Two Member-Owners wrote in response to our previous issue.

I just read the [January] Slate. I will refer back to several articles, really great job. I love it. Thanks to all who work so hard on this. —Cathy Holmes

Thank you, Carol, for your heartwarming tribute to Kurt Lehner in Honest Slate’s January edition. Certainly, your friendship with Kurt reflects wonderful memories of honesty and genuine acceptance of each other. I was not surprised at the number of people in the Co-op community who shared your admiration. Kurt was the kind of guy who left you feeling great when you exited his universe. You could argue with him, listen to some imaginative ideas, or laugh as you never had before. He was tolerant and respectful of the diverse opinions. He was kind. He was laid-back (a term he used from the ‘60s.)

So we hope you choose to stay informed about the Co-op and consider the possibility of serving someday. And hope is the opposite of worry. Let’s create our best future, Honest Weight! —Carol Ostrow

Thank you for reminding us of our own loving remembrances that we can hold for a long time about Kurt. May he be at peace without pain. —Audrey Troy

Articles referring to HWFC policies and practices will be referred to the appropriate individual or body prior to publication.

Statement of Purpose:

We will consider unsolicited material including letters to the editors but encourage individuals submit article ideas or outlines before writing. Spontaneously submitted articles are not guaranteed to earn time investment or acceptance for publication and are subject to the same editing practices as assigned work. NOTE: Letters to the Editors are welcome any time and do not require approval. Please contact Honest Slate with questions, comments or suggestions: honestslate@honestweight.coop.


Yevette Buddeau Katie Centanni Stephanie Conde Avery Cotton

February 2019

Alena Gerli Elisa Grimm Elaine Hills Cathy Holmes Nate Horwitz

Carol Ostrow Karen Roth Courtney Semoff Janet Sorell Audrey Troy

Honest Slate is a platform for HWFC Membership, Staff, Management, and Governance: promoting transparency, reporting news without bias, and sustaining community. Articles in Honest Slate are for informational purposes and are not intended to diagnose or treat disease. Opinions expressed in Honest Slate do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Honest Slate or Honest Weight Food Co-op. All contents ©2019 Honest Weight Food Co-op; any material appearing in Honest Slate may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of HWFC.

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

From the Suggestion Box

Don’t see your comment here? Check the bulletin board in the café. Q: I bought two Zen cookies. The first one I ate was fresh + delicious. The second one was stale + hard as a rock. Sell stale cookies ½ price or not at all. One feels cheated! A: We apologize for the unpleasant experience. Sometimes the corners of the pan will produce a cookie that is more “done”. Perhaps that’s what happened with your 2nd cookie. Please ask for a refund for sub-standard baked goods. Q: Please discontinue adding bacon fat and other meat to potatoes on the hot bar. If you do add them, please make sure ingredient is prominently displayed. Many people do not eat meat products for religious reasons. It’s not only vegetarians who are offended by the inclusion of this unnecessary ingredient! A: We strive to label all ingredients in our hot bar offerings.

Q: Compliment: Thank you to Mary Lou in Human Resources! Her knowledge and kindness were incredibly helpful in guiding me through my medical benefits. You can tell she truly cares about her coworkers and loves what she does! Thank you! Mary Lou  Q: Positive Feedback: Mary-Lou is an absolute asset to the Honest Weight community! She rocks at creating a seamless work environment for her coworkers. We’d be lost without her. Thank you, Mary-Lou, you’re an unsung hero!!! —HWFC Employee A: We are extremely fortunate to have Mary Lou in our H.R. department. Her acumen and demeanor contribute to HWFC immeasurably. Thanks for taking the time to let us see your feedback.

Q: Cheese dept: label separate baskets for cow, goat, sheep so customer can go directly to appropriate basket as desired + not waste time picking through all of them. Until it happens—please...[2nd request] A: We separate the regular block-cut cheeses. It is not feasible to place small cuts in separate baskets. We’ll be happy to cut small pieces for you at any time. [Ed. note: Our cheese associates are extremely knowledgeable. Please feel free to ask for help to find what you are looking for.] Q: Fix restroom doors similar to airlines + possibly others: look to show vacant or in use–or a source of light outside when in use. Until it happens please...(2nd request) A: We have been looking for an acceptable way to retrofit our restroom doors with indicators to let people know when the room is occupied. We did order one, but the escutcheon plate was too small. We’ll keep looking.


Q: Email receipts. Not hard copy. Q: Please offer to email folks their receipts. A: We hope to be able to offer the option to email receipts in 2019.

Please identify specific products, brands, or flavors when you request a new item or category.*

 

 

Q &A


Honest Slate

February 2019

Attention Shoppers:

Your comments matter! Q: Remind cashiers to look at + talk to person cashing out! So weird! A: We apologize for the unpleasant experience. Many of our cashiers work only 3 hours per week and we encourage them to be attentive to their task such as scanning and checking for accuracy. Please speak with a manager and let us know if you experience any inappropriate behavior in the future.

Q: Can the bakery try different frostings? Sometimes they’re so pretty and fall so flat on taste.  A: *We would like to know which flavors you would like us to offer. Please speak with a manager. Q: For those who have lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, please don’t have three soups at the soup bar that all contain dairy. A: We try to offer at least one vegan soup at all times. We apologize for the unpleasant experience. Q: Music [is] missing when I shop! I’m a new Member-Owner. I would love piped-in music when I shop! Thank you for considering this. A: Our public address system is not designed to play music. We’re glad to welcome you and are glad to receive your input. Q: Please consider carrying a non-dairy ice cream alternative that doesn’t have coconut milk, for those with nut + dairy allergies. A soy product would be great! Thanks! A: We carry a number of non-dairy, nutfree alternative ice “creams”. Please check the ingredients on Blue Moon, Sambazon, Ciao Bell and certain Talenti flavors. *Is there a particular brand you have in mind? Q: Deli—please consider making the Greek yogurt chicken & Samantha’s mushroom Burgers part of your regular rotation. A: We’re glad to hear that you like those items. We will include them in our rotation. Thanks for taking the time to let us know your preferences. Q: Beets are one of my favorite veggies. I have tried all of the Co-op’s salads/”to-go” food. The “Sesame Beet Salad” is not edible. Tastes so sweet you can’t taste anything else but sugar! A: We apologize for the unpleasant experience. We’re surprised to receive your feedback as that is a popular dish. Thanks for letting us know.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop


Honest Slate

February 2019

Care to Memiber-Owner Announcements & Opportunities


Our recent cooperation at the membership meeting on Jan. 27 was commendable, and we collectively passed the proposed new Statement of Conscience to add to our previous seven statements. Do you have days when you wake up and think about the Co-op and say “What the heck did I get myself into here?” Stay with me here! A quick concept brush-up goes like this: 1. Cooperatives are everywhere. We are part of a greater movement of decentralized, individual-empowering business structures that work for the direct benefit of the collective group and community. There are some commonly held thoughts about co-ops and what we’re co-creating in the world. The International Co-operative Alliance defines a co-op as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise…. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.” (https://www.ica.coop/en/ about-us/international-cooperative-alliance) Although we are not directly affiliated with the ICA, their website can give a refreshing perspective on the big picture of what we’re all doing here: cooperating together at Honest Weight and in the world. 2. There are seven internationally recognized Cooperative Principles. Although we didn’t create them, we have ingrained them into our HWFC identity. They are:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Member Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training, and Information 6. Cooperation among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community

Now here’s where the Jan. 27 vote on our Statements of Conscience comes in. This is cool. We DID write our Statements of Conscience. They’ve developed over time from the ideals and efforts of all of us, through introspection, conversation, exploration, and membership empowerment. With our newest addition from the January

27 vote, they are as follows. We are committed to:

•Our food policy, which reflects buying practices for food and body products with consideration towards moral and ethical production, environmental stewardship, healthy living, and safety. •Helping our community learn more about growing, choosing, preparing, and using natural foods. •Learning and teaching about alternative ways of living that are healthy for ourselves, our community, and our planet.

•Encouraging an environment where ideas and philosophies can be generated, shared, and expressed freely. •Support, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our community. •Providing our customers with knowledgeable staff and a positive shopping environment. •Donating five percent (5%) of our net profits per year to local non-profit organizations. •Reducing waste generated at Honest Weight locations and by Coop-purchased products as much as possible; as well as promoting, teaching, and practicing Zero Waste principles. So, this is what you got yourself into. A truly values-driven organization where we are all working for our mutual benefit. Is there still work to be done? Of course! Stand up and bring your voices and efforts together to do the work we all want to see happen for our staff, membership and environment here at HWFC. Together Interested in Joining we move forward! the HWFC Team as an


Employee? Check Out Our Employment Page

With the January winter storm causing the Co-op to close for safety, we got to see the importance of the new HWFC emergency text alert system in action. If you do Member-Owner or Employee hours in the store and you are not already on the text alert system and would like to be, please email memberservices@honestweight.coop with your name, cell number and cell carrier. Budget time! With the budget being created for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, this is the time to provide feedback about what is going into the budget. Do you have questions, concerns, or priorities you’d like to voice? Please come to one of our budget feedback sessions at the Co-op. The dates are Feb. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 from 4-5:50 p.m., and Feb. 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. All of these budget feedback sessions will be in the Co-op Community Room. Hope to see you there! We’re also barely around the corner from Board Election Season. Are you ready? Have you been pondering running for the Board or do you know someone who has the qualities that you think are important in carrying our cooperative into the future? Start thinking about it now; our participation is what keeps us vibrant and relevant! Think about it, talk about it, and send ideas and inquiries to Yevette at memberservices@honestweight.coop or the Elections and Nominations Committee at electionscomm@honestweight. coop. Are you looking for ways to be involved in Member-Owner time investments in the store? Send all inquiries about opportunities to the department you are interested in; or to memberservices@ honestweight.coop. —Yevette Buddeau, MOC (Member-Owner Coordinator)

Honest Weight Food Co-op • 100 Watervliet Ave. Albany, NY 12206 • 518-482-2667 • https://www.honestweight.coop/ honestslate@honestweight.coop

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.