Meeting Minutes

For our next scheduled general monthly meeting, please see the Meetings page.

To get a full posting of Coop minutes, join our google group.

Committee Meeting | 1/28/13

  • Any recurring cost should be covered by the store running
  • Membership fees increases, grants, events income should be for big capital investments
  • Consider focusing on grants and not on increasing membership fees
  • Prepaid model is a good idea to have more capital in the store
    • You can do an incentive to do it
  • Increasing investment agreement may stop new members  


- table investment talk about increasing membership fee and or investment fees

Didn’t get the notes on the grand
- we need a fiscal sponsor for one of the funds

  • Iman to talk to Buddhist community
  • Make the road
  • Brooklyn bureau
  • ONderdonk house


Capital Projects

  • We need a budget
    • Operating budget
    • Capital budget
  • Wish list of capital improvements
    • Stipulation that if something on that list appears for determined lower percentage of market value that a determined person can make decision without approval
    • $3000 cap for pre approved for bulk bins


Branding

  • Signage
    • Someone will be donating vynal signage
  • More visual appealing flyers that will be more memorable
  • Roll gate
    • making it a community art space, or invite artist an artist to do the roll gate until branding is final
  • In store FAcebook and Twitter sign
  • Committee in store wall
    • Possible magnetic board
    • Polaroid wall with all members
    • Member picks – not high priority


Membership:

  • Role
    • Keeping members involved
    • Working with branding to communicate with members in the store


  1. Polished membership orientation script
  2. Define what each committee does and put it in the store
  3. Raffle
    1. Punch card : $25
    2. For every $100 you can enter the monthly raffle
    3. Raffle is for some donated service

- also mention why it’s important

Outreach

  1. Events main focus
  2. We need a press release -Jess will write it
    1. Film
    2. General release
  3. Flyers that are more like a pamphlet that can explain to them what the coop is
  4. Keeping a list of places that we can re stock with flyers
  5. Member pot lucks with themes
  6. Artist doing stuff with us in the store
  7. Setting dates – maybe 3 month ahead of
  8. Get grad students to do research for us
  9. Incentive to recruit – entry into raffle


Distort:

  1. Mason jars
    1. Someone needs to go pick them from ace
  2. Display for tastings
  3. Images on the bins
  4. Raising non member mark up close to 75% to 100%
  5. Request notebook
  6. Recipe exchange and cookbook swap
    1. And then bring in recipe and send photos
  7. We will accept debit cards

 

Technology:

Sourcing needs budget and have it prioritized

List of exceptions we should make disability, pregnancy, and child care

.

*Coop Meeting Minutes 3/5/2010*

- Department of Agriculture Visit. Because we’re distributing food, we are subject to inspection. Once we apply for the necessary licensee, we will be legally able to sell food to the public and not just to coop members (though no decisions were made on this topic). Some necessary changes to keep things up to code: we can’t process or repackage food, have to keep meat and eggs refrigerated, scoops for bulk goods can’t be kept in buckets, bread must be in individual sleeves.

- Financial Report. $10,200 in bank. Made about $200 last buying club; broke even before that.

- Space Planning. Reviewed autocad plans and blueprints from Standish Lee. Voted that decisions made directly by the following people: Lisa finance; Amanda legal; Kait distribution; Shira overall. With these people agreeing to seek input from membership for what they judge to be major or contentious decisions, and a ceiling of $75 for expenditures, the in-meeting vote is /to allow these Space Makers to take these decisions.

- Institutional Memberships. BFC will negotiate with Kave (because we need to have sanitation access), and reach out to other Loom businesses on the basis of quid pro quo (their work requirement would be waved), with a review process for readjusting terms if there are problems. This will serve as a trial run for partnering with outside businesses. *There was much discussion regarding institutional memberships at this past meeting. For a full account, join our google group for a more detailed outline of the minutes.

- Film Series. Kayla is reaching out to Matt and see if the series is going forward or being canceled. If we don’t hear by 3/8, then we will screen one film (possibly The Take) on 3/28.

Annual Membership Meeting; Board of Directors. Looking for five directors: some who are already committed to BFC as well as outsiders. A significant time or fundraising commitment should be made by board members. Currently involved directors: Gwen Schantz and Cassandra Flechsig, pending their agreement; Shira has reached out to them. Any potential board members should be directed to Sarah Dunn <sarahpelosidunn@gmail.com>.

NYU Coop Leadership Retreat. Kayla’s leadership retreat for NYU coop: Mar 16-18. Would like to use Loom space on Mar 17 (9AM-2PM) & 18 (9AM – noon). Workshops would be open to all interested members. Some sort of project taking an hour or two (eg.painting, tearing up tile) could be done as a quid pro quo. Painting seems like a good option for such a project.

*Vote*: Buying Club / CSA Tier Options. E-vote to be presented in the newsletter.

*Vote*: Indemnify Board Members & Members Who Give Personal Info. Gwen personally cosigned Loom space, and so is liable for BFC’s actions. Should BFC cover her, and directors who take financial losses due to coop activities? Amanda will put together a proper proposal for online vote.

Ordering Party for 3/14 Distro. Party for 3/14 distro is Thursday, 3/8, from 7 – 9PM, at Jack Hornickel’s apartment, 93 Siegel St, Apt 1A. Orders can be emailed to someone who is attending the ordering party- this will be worked out in person or on the google group. Market baskets will also be available through on-line ordering.

*Coop Meeting Minutes 2/6/2012* 

/Recap/.

* In Jan the coop realized that we can’t safely afford a permanent storefront.
The cafe Alizee space, while a great deal rentwise, requires a $12,000 buy
in, which would expose the coop to bankruptcy. The coop has $11,000 in the
bank, and would need $40,000 to start a storefront comfortably.
* In early 2012, then, the coop should make a plan to get to where we /can/
start a storefront. Buying clubs should continue as well.
* There were two potential sites for continuing the buying club: Sylvia’s
garage, and the Loom. Active coop members voted on which to pursue; 69%
voted for the Loom.

/March 5, 2012 meeting agenda/.

* Meeting w/ other CSA organization.
* Determine Board member terms, responsibilities & commitments
o fundraising commitment for board members?
* Manage buying club w/ 2 or 3 people meeting in advance of each club.
o Sourcing head;
o Membership head;
o Distro general manager.
Buying club meetings at beginning of ordering parties, maybe?

_______________________________________________________________________________

Monday Nov 1, 7PM General meeting

in attendance: Amanda, Chrissy, Gloria, Laura, Denis, Shira, a fuzzy friend

held in the cold new store space at 265 and-a-half Irving Ave
==
Schedule for the Lease Signing & Space occupancy, rent  
Because of Charlie illness, Chrissy didn’t receive the lease & rider documents until 11/1 evening, needs a few days to read and review.
Thursday 11/3 - draft lease & rider plus CCC/BFC agreement document link posted to BFC google group. There will be commenting capability for BFC members on all documents.
Monday 11/7 -  comment period over. General meeting monday night in case anyone needs to discuss specific concerns.
Tuesday 11/8 - meeting to discuss any revisions with landlord (Chrissy, Gloria, Gwen), few days to communicate any other changes to BFC group
est 11/15 - lease signed
in the meantime, work is continuing (the landlord needs about 2 more weeks to finish building – sinks, bathroom, etc).  We can also probably do some building during the second half of November, after signing lease but before actual occupancy.
Dec 1 -  begin actual occupancy and paying rent
Action: Chrissy is posting all documents after review.  Gloria, Chrissy and Gwen will meet with Charlie to review and sign the lease.
==
Outreach Communications Strategy  

Chrissy: When we have building days, we should coordinate some press releases and outreach to invite the local news to cover our building out the space. People stories. PR and more membership. Bushwick courier, Ridgewood times, bushwickbk etc. 
Amanda: We should make sure that we are ok by the authorities to sell to public (non members) before doing a lot of press outreach.
Gloria: heard that bushwickbk is down… maybe brooklyn based?  

Action: Amanda is calling the USDA 11/2 to chat about our joint space situation and ask what/ how we can be cleared to be both food distributing and food processing facility. Will report back .

== 

Thanksgiving Distro Update, Food Update  
Laura : Sorry havent arranged this yet, was waiting on space resolution. There may not be turkeys still available, but if there are we can preorder and also have a Market Basket – Cold Cellar Edition 
(winter squash, potatoes, cured onions – things that will keep). Only order from one distributor. Use foodclub.org.  Anyone who orders has to work the distro. Probably do the distro on11/19.  Order close time probably depends on distributor. We may need to send a check to reserve birds.
other thoughts for future- coordinating distribution/ receiving schedules with trash pickup schedule? Checklists for shifts.

Action: Laura is checking with Fingerlakes/ LFFC to see who still has birds left. Will setup and send out distro email blast, coordinate those strings by Thursday 11/3. 

== 

Agreement document between CCC & BFC 
will be drafted by Chrissy and posted Thursday for comments. we talked through various aspects: 
- co-promotion 
- use of equipment
- use of product
- calendar/ scheduling 
- shared expenses 
- cleaning 
- general practices 

Some preview notes: kitchen is used by CCC members only- but there will be cooking hours for people with BFC/ CCC memberships to reserve, besides open community member hours. Rules will be posted (sinks, cleaning, general). CCC will run a weekly tab for BFC produce.  Reserved produce should be labeled. Label everything. Communal calendar – digital and printed/ whiteboard in the space. 3 day notice from both ends for events. 
Sanitizers? Rules and eco friendly solutions. Cleaning schedule and checklist. Time reserved during BFC general meeting for CCC issues. Compost – either on site somehow and eventually to Ecostation farm campus down the street.
==
Siting Team
met last week, and is meeting again Wednesday 11/2 6pm at fireproof.
chrissy:  we should make up a list of things we need (specifics on jars and shelves) -and post it online in case anyone has them to donate or sees a good deal.
==
Shira/ Laura / Denis –  some post meeting discussion about creating a self hosted WordPress site for internal operations (where to post these new agreements, all our rules, new bylaws, shared space calendar, etc ). We could use donated member hosting for now.
———————

Goals for the potential space at Bleecker & Irving, 10/18/2011

Three groups met to check out the 500 square ft Verde-owned storefront at 254 Irving Ave. Each group explained what they’d use the space for & what they’d need, assuming it were cooperatively rented:

Chrissy’s Cooking Club. Wants a community learning center.

  • EBT/WIC
  • need 2 residential ovens & pantry (for classes &c)
  • pull ingredients from coop store, pay for them
  • island counter space (working, up to 10 people — no more than 12, otherwise unwieldy)
  • lessons = general howto, not specific recipes
  • classroom stuff, chalk/erase boards
  • notecards & pens, not printouts (which get thrown away)
  • club has 20 paid members, 800 people on mailing list
  • Chrissy full time, other help from volunteers (5 or 6 consistently)
  • signage out front
  • club in back, walk thru coop’s ingredients (bcs club uses no processed food)
  • Chrissy has most of kitchen ready, donated ovens (must be electric, gas requires venting)

Ecostation. Handles 2 farmers’ markets & 3 city farms; unsure of their time commitment to space.

  • requirements uncertain
  • 3 wkends btwn thanksgiving & xmas, may use adjoining garage space for indoor winter market
  • 80% of their custies on EBT/WIC
    (what is different btwn grocery n farmer’s market?)
    (share EBT machine for all 3 orgs, different accounts?)
  • incubator kitchen (has to be commercial, allowing folks to make marketable grub)
  • teaching food handler course?
    (E Harlem Business Capital Corporation authorized to teach DOH. Talk to them..)

Bushwick Food Coop. Wants a grocery store.

  • 7 days a week eventually
  • 60 members, 20 active in organizing
  • no central authority
  • biweekly buying club
  • 2 days/2 weeks possible next step (Fri/Sat?)
  • move to weekly buying club
  • square footage needed (500?)
  • streamline ordering, especially produce, and aid receiving times
  • $ stability, increase receipts for each buying club
  • allow walkins?
  • office/filing room for receipts etc
  • electric n fridge space/vents
  • secure space when not open
  • storage, appliance, member table &c
  • bulk/dry good storage
  • freezer most important (to make ice for coolers), then fridge
    (does city require ice permits — ie. permits to make ice?!)

Also, Boswyck farms offered to set up a small hydroponic station to grow herbs & produce in the space; we could pay them back over time as those herbs & produce sold:

  • 2 × 8 (2400W lights)
  • set utility cost for its operation (unclear what that would be, but easily separable from other utility costs)

A few other points that came up:

  • With electric appliances, it’d be good to have separate utility meters, at least for the front (coop storefront) & back (cooking club kitchen)
  • Space is on the small side, it’s unlikely Ecostation could fit w/o our expanding into adjacent garaqge
  • Hydroponics setup offered by Boswyck shouldn’t be brought into new space at first because of crowding
  • Should work out a floor plan before entering into negotiations with Charlie Verde, to be sure space is adequate
  • Important to have an exit clause in any lease (don’t want to be on 5 year lease & hemorraging $, with years left to go)

Info to collect. Details needed about potential spaces.

  • Geographic location (address; distance to subway, placement within building),
  • Square footage,
  • Utility cost,
  • Length of stay,
  • Rent,
  • Buildout needed,
  • Insurance cost,
  • Willingness of landlord to sign ‘memorandum of understanding’ (document putting terms of coop’s usage of space into writing),
  • Pictures (of inside & outside),
  • Description.
  • Decide: What traits are must have for a new location? What would be nice, but aren’t dealbreakers?
  • Be less picky (a perfect space isn’t necessary to throw distro),
  • Figure out how much space is needed for distro,
  • Conduct a siting exploration (contact landlords/community organizations like RBSCC directly),
  • Look into rehabbing abandoned/squat structures (homesteading? construction & buildout = free rent?)
  • Allow walk-in shopping,
  • Conduct market research (to learn what members/long-term residents would buy),
  • Partner with other organizations,
  • Be Spanish-bilingual,
  • Specialize: in
    • bulk dry goods?
    • nonperishables?
    • hard-to-find items?
    • spices?

BFC Strategic planning summit meeting 10/5/11 – minutes

location: the Loom main circulation space 

6:50

Shira distributes handouts

Anthony: How do members of BFC typically travel to Fireproof?

Christs: Most people walk or ride their bike. A lot of folks come from outside Bushwick, bedstuy, Brooklyn Heights, etc. DIscussion about whether to stay in Morgantown, go further into Bushwick, how that might change the demongtraphic of membership.

Anthony: Oct 15-16 there’s a 2-day harvest festival. Citylife Wellness is willing to give us a booth at this festival for distribution.

Ikayani: I’m the organizer for the Harvest Fest and have been talking to farms and corresponding with Meris, and we’re offering you free space. The event is from 10 am to midnight on Saturday and from 10 am on Sunday. Our location  is the hub for many spokes, we have great space, please come and take shelter.

Laura: I am volunteering to table that.

The agenda moved to taking a break and time for people to walk around and write on posters: Permanent Location, Outreach and Building Community, FInancial Helath, Dividing Our Work Load.

Finance Snapshot:

Lisa: If you exclude the buying clubs where there’s no expenses, since we didn’t have the data, the profit margin is about 5%, about $2200. I can talk about the model. It has a lot of holes in it and it was done as part of the business committee. (Lisa explains financial data). I estimated that rent at The Loom would ballpark at $1500. That number is a good estimate. The point of this is to prove is if we tighten up– there’s a lot of money that’s leaking out expense-wise– but we should be able to generate enough profit to be building instead of just staying afloat. For instance, delivery fees can be a really high cost. Refrigerators instead of ice. Consolidating sourcing, using the Market Basket idea. Those are my own finger-in-the air ideas.

Laura: We have not been tracking sales of individual items.

Amanda: We need this info for applying to the EBT system.

Lippe: There’s not really a way of accounting for assets, such as registers, buckets, materials. Separate those into capital expenses versus expendables, such as ice, markers, paper, tape, etc. It could help give a little clarity because you could have a business that’s not making a lot of money but it’s got a lot of assets.

Shira:

laura:

moving back to agenda: updates from committees

sourcing committee-

examining report:  orders spiked in spring. march and april

moving from 3 big distributors who have high minimums.

kayla: PRoduce is the category where you need to meet high minimums.  We’ve tried to address this issue with the “market basket” suggestion

lisa: what’s the deliv fee on those?

kayla: abner: 40. Fingerlakes-0.  regional- 25.

KAyla: issues sourcing is running into is with the larger vendors.  Local vendors are easy , often no minimum, often no deliv charge.

lisa:  how about taxes?  Are we paying taxes on these orders?

Kayle: maybe built into product cost?

lisa: is sales tax on the invoice>?

no one knows.

Amanda:  if theres sales tax, we  could be exempt with a sales tax resale certificate, but we have to have that.

k: our prices sometimes don’t match what price was offered and what we end up paying.  TRying to get on top of this with cashier forms.

Chrissie: dates of reports aren’t matching dates of fc.

laura:  date on report should be of the friday before the fc.

chrissie:  are these expenses actual?

lisa: (missed it. Yes I think)

Membership committee

Lisa: alerts have gone down since we’ve started enforcing, people have gone on hold or dropped oout. active has gone up to 49.

mail chimp: there was a big spike from an outreach at robertas

outreach:

alex and justin not present

chrissie: a lot of work was done on business plan and then nothing finished.

IT:

Michael not present.

head of siting committee not present

chrissie suggesting we appoint new people to head these committees from someone in this room.

kayla said yes this need s to be done but we all already have our jobs.

Shira:

outreach update- most of the outreach efforts have been focused on morgantown area. except for maria hernandez parkl presence at farmers market.

Chrissie: calabaza fest outreach? missed it.

We are breaking up into small groups to synthesize suggestions and make actionable proposals.

number of people pin mailing list has been steady increases.

Laura: we’re behind schedule.

New Location

more food scales

bilingual signage

visual store front

bilingual signage

break down what things we have to have vs. what we want to have    needs vs. wants

neighborhood – deeper into bush wick proper

new permanent space then decide if we can have a food truck

not have it in this area, but northwest of flushing.

east williamsburg or skirt the neighborhood – east williamsburg

city life wellness – meeker and frost

the beacon – gates and central, a school

philosophical and values – community based, entire community, not just transients, specialty foods, raw dairy

accept walk ins, more bilingual, access, specializing in non-perishables or specializing in hard to find things,

partner with other organizations to grow faster/ get more resources, do more market research to see what members and new people might want

Action Items

Proper siting explorations – what we could find if we were actually looking?

what do we need vs. what do we want

what’s the minimum we need to run a distro

reach out to landlords who own abandoned property

new siting committee head, or someone to find out what happened to old siting committee head

Chrissie: opening new storefront for her cooking club. might be able to partner. rent-free space so less risk if coop can’t pay.

Can we use Brooklyn Fireproof for next distribution or do we need to find something in the interim

Shira: we can move into open space in Loom

Chrissie: we don’t know, but we shouldn’t bank on it

What’s involved? what do we need to move?

Shira: a truckload

Chrissie: what’s the cost to move for only a little bit?

Shira: we would need insurance and would have to make an agreement/sign it and pay for utilities

Can use it until someone else uses the space?

Shira: we would get a week’s notice if we have to move out. and we’d have the option to rent

question to Chrissie: what are you envisioning for your storefront

Chrissie: education, pantry, kitchen, in order to take EBT and WIC have to have full store, but since she’s a non-profit

Where’s location?

Chrissie: Irving and Bleecker. Owner of Verde giving us space across the street.

Laura: analyze possible locations using wants and needs. location, time scale, not worry about next month’s distribution until we look at these possibilities. moving to the loom would incur expense. do audit in the next week instead of work to do distribution. propose someone look for temporary space while someone looks for permanent place.

What’s time line for Chrissie’s space?

Chrissie: about a month. building bought and paid for, doing build out now. owner would have reciprocal beneficiary reasons to give it free – sell his bread

Proposal: At this point we’re saying we won’t have another distribution until we have another space?

underlying concerns at brooklyn fireproof. we’re not paying.

Shira: can we take a temperature reading? do we have any other proposals

Amanda: Other proposal would be to look into insurance cost and see if we should keep going with distribution

Researched what insurance would be. Told we can’t get a quote until we have a space, square footage, hard to get a quote without concrete plan.

In theory should be pretty low.

Amanda: Right now we have shelves and coolers and buckets. if we have a square footage she will research.

Shira goes over proposals

- siting exploration

- committee head

- keep rolling as usual for 10/19

- research insurance cost and not resume buying club until needs wants list fleshed out

Temperature reading

most people

too much to do to hold next buying club

having to run the club and find a space at the same time feels like too much

Chrissie ends that motion

Question: can we keep stuff at BF or do we have to move it?

LC: can leave it but do eventually have to move it

Chrissie: as an action can someone take on talking to fern about when we have to get stuff out?

LC will take on that responsibility and propose Date to stay until

Get a moving team and moving party

LC who will look into each location?

city life – leigh

beacon – leigh

the loom- shira

chrissie’s storefront -chrissie

city life we’re going to participate int heir fall fest, but it’s not in the neighborhood. free space but we don’t know how much space, insurance, etc.

LC maintain good relationship with everyone even if we don’t end up staying there. not personal if we don’t move in. have to maintain good connections with people who are willing to help us

the beacon – they emailed sylvia

chrissie, when do we want reports by? deadline?

LC 1 week. next wednesday. we will type up list of want and needs to evaluate

Shira: can we send out list

square footage

utilities

cost

restrictions to availability

does space need any work? buildout?

insurance?

open to signing occupancy agreement/memo of understanding – non-liability

pictures if you can do a site visit

windows?

counters?

floor level?

nearest transportion

geographic location

Outreach

Leigh:

3 main things to do for action

-not clear how to define and identify main goals with outreach

few themes

-diversity

-spanish speaking community

-long term member who spend more money on food more regularly

lot of talk of partnering

Action:

decide what we want

decide what we have the infrastructure for/what can we realistically do?

might not be possible to do some of the outreach we’d ideally like to do

part of outreach is marketing – education people about our presence even if they can’t buy

create a tier of different tactics based on ease to difficulty or what the goal is

identify manpower before doing outreach

financial health is also proposing a fundraising campaign so that also goes into reaching out to larger community

Lippy:  not doing same thing if want more people to come to meetings vs. buy food

Kaya: make sure we have infrastructure before we engage in the outreach. partner with existing organizations

Lippy: have to be able to fulfill that promise to put spanish language materials there if there’s no representation inside of governance

LC: i’m hearing one main action is create tier of actions

Not seeing interest from spanish and chinese. gave out flyers to stores, how many days pass till no one remembers? maybe we can target certain stores to put flyers in the window, my experience, no interest

Amanda: i think there’s 2 proposals. one tier structure of activities, two create spanish speaking materials. have to put out there that we’re willing to be inclusive for there to be any interest.

Lippy:  flyers and adding signatures to emails that advertise. qualitatively different. regardless of what you’re working on there are tiny little things that can do

Chrissie:  anecdotally from working at bushwich farmer’s market, the hispanic community is very interested in fresh produce and learning, but we have to be inclusive, and receptive to bringing them in. bush wick has done good job with community. maybe BFC should sit down with them and ask how they built outreach and what we should do. parternship we need to leverage. they’ve been good, and we.

LC: formal proposal

Chrissie: yes, i’ll organize a meeting. facilitate it. bigger discussion. i would propose today do we want to stay /move toward williamsburg or move more into the neighborhood

LC: to me that was expressed in permanent location discussion

Chrissie: are we all committed toward that direction?

Lisa: it’s far for me, i wouldn’t vote it down

Amanda: if moving toward grocery store, less competition here

chrissie: establishment in food desert

Leigh: find someone to be in charge of outreach now

LC find someone to be in charge of drafting tier model. and seems like cassandra is doing this?

Leigh: i can take care of that

LC do we want to put a timeline on drafting this. seems like second priority over location.

Chrissy: timeline — 3 weeks on the outreach?

Kaya: 2-3 weeks

Finance

Chrissy: most important getting EBT/WIC supporting AManda in moving toward accepting them. make getting her the information a priority. we action that as let’s all do it

Amanda: 2 main pièces needed. permits. talk with gwen to see if have that. 2 names of 3 people to go on the form. they are responsible for making sure it’s implemented properly. requires a lot of information

LC one has to be Gwen since she’s bank

Amanda: i’m willing to be one

LC i’m willing to be one

Chrissy: we want to do it. 2nd propose fundraising campaing that can encompass grants, work with outreach, building marketing, and start with big event, maybe roberta’s that cuts across larger community. also like to find an accountant/outside help. engage others to support us. Another common theme was increasing income — amount spent, incentives, cutting off distribution till figured out, cutting out produce, investment fee, one thing we see is people need to spend more. another thing to action: tiered membership. way to value time worked. if work less, more financially responsible for supporting the coop. research ways that can magnifiest. value people’s time as money and getting a financial reward

not sure how practical, but good to go back to people who burnt out and offer them something. get them back.

Chrissy: give people who work the most get no markup. people who work hours get 24% markup, people who don’t work get full markup. not a plan, just ideas.

Lisa: do we have a finance head?

Sylvia: it was alana and elizabeth and then lauren winslow

Shira: absent. not her any more

Lippy: nYC business solutions. met with rep at meeting with quinn’s office. free courses for starting businesses. if anyone has commitment, coop might actually be able to send someone to series of

nyc business solutions

Shira: proposals include fundraising campaign, kickstarter/community campaign/event. do we agree it’s a priority?

responses

LC: this is to me a priority after the space research. that will give us a concrete goal – what people are giving money for. prioritize after location stuff.

Amanda: indiegogo. if you raise less than amount they take higher percentage but you still get money you raised

been involved with kickstarter and if we don’t make it say that someone would donate the difference. kickstarter doesn’t take a percenttage

LC another nyc fundraising site specifically for the city. logistics we can attach to campaign later

Chrissy: proposal is to vote on fundraising campaign after we’ve done the location research

Shira: should we set timeline

Kaya: should see how next months go

amanda: depends on what research says. what do we need to raise

Chrissy: i think we need to know what the space is

Lippy: dangers to collecting money. any goals should include what to do with the money. nothing worse than having $10K and everyone having different ideas of what to do with it.

Shira: idea of tiered membership.

Leigh: liked where she was going

Kaya: much more comprehensive way of documenting work hours. for it, but needs more infrastructure.

Sylvia: different markups sound like they would get complicated

Amanda: i agree, but once we move into a space could figure out markups for different tiers

Chrissy: depending on space we’re in, there might not be a buying club distribution, would be more a store with hours. i think that’s the hope. the concept came from tallahassee coop that did same thing. nonmembers got full markup. card need POS system and register codes. just a concept.

Leigh: i think that would be good if we move to new location especially if we move far out, would bring people in.

shira: not a fan of tiered membership because it puts a value on our time and gives people option of opting out. i think it’s the work we do together that makes us work. the work we do the most important and need th work hours. it’s a staffing issue. although i like the idea of if you really do want this food, pay us a lot of money

Lippy: think it’s great option or model for something more advanced. but during development and growing, might encourage more of what we have, 80/20. breaking back to get stuff for wholesale but learned wasn’t good for anyone. financials in the back end gets so much more complicated, when you’re already suffering with infrastructure challenges.

Hard to do until we move to a place and know the situation. buying club way harder than storefront. table till the future.

Shira: table for further discussion

majority agree

Shira: accountant, consultant, finding experts

Amanda: organization that will offer legal/business services to organizations in need. she can connect us to resources

Shira: we have pro bono

Chrissy: does anyone know why south bronx coop failed? need to look at opening food coop in desert. what are threats? learn from their loss. find someone there to talk to .

LC: send to root cellar.

Lippy: this room full of people never existed there. it was one person and a lot of money. this group is a different situation. i was shocked.

was part of that it wasn’t seen as priority in that community?

Lippy: no, not necessarily

Sylvia: good point about finance classes. i’ve taken a lot of them, but what happened to business plan? a lot of those classes are about that.

Business plan isn’t that fleshed out. I feel like finance is a good place for me to head, i’m doing membership now, but would like to transition. i’ve done a business plan before. but i don’t think the committee got that far.

Shira: business and finance committees separated but maybe recombine?

Leigh: i think it’s good idea to remerge when seems likes lot of people missing

Lisa: i can compile proposals into business plan. siting, outreach, location research, etc.

LC transitions nicely into division of labor

Labor

Jack distro day/time not everyone available during week day. could it be moved? quick answer no, not on weekend because storing food and getting. always something to be thinking about, but not that we can do now. need to find location before we can even think about changing day. important but can’t talk about yet

transparency and organization. technical and human.

technical

-visual map of who’s active. who’s in what committee doing what. diagram. dictionary website web of related words. something flow chart of membership and what they’re doing and contact information. so if at bottom and don’t know who to contact. mix of duties, responsibilities, and contact information. instead of casting a net of emails

-stepping back from using google docs as way of sharing information. hard to keep things up to date. don’t have access, don’t know who changed it. move it to somewhere else. wiki or wordpress.

LC our current site works on wordpress. should it be separate?

Lippy: combed all documents and concluded. lot o minutes, survey data, polls, but big thing is what is causing problems for people. based on people’s friction with the organization that exists. and that will determine where stuff should go

i have no idea what goes on in other committees. one problem is that committee documents exist in silos. not for everyone.

Shria: all the bfc email addresses should be shared on all the documents

Kaya; so many things pass through inbox that i don’t pay attention anymore. i imagine we all have access but don’t get notifications them all

Chrissy: don’t know what’s in it till you open. don’t know if it’s recent

Lippy: this could go into huge conversation. read about exercises. quick basic stuff, 5 minutes, collect stuff, and then digging in

LC that’s an action.

Lippy the action is to solicit feedback from core committee participant as to what their problems are. just asking them. then asking them to fill out wanting sentences. capacities. I can do it. print off cards to do it whenever they want.

LC information needs and wants

Amanda i was frustrated when we cancelled distribution. i’m on the google group but i don’t know what happened. i don’t know what should be open to everyone who doesn’t have bfc email address

Chrissie; that was my fault. you didn’t miss anything. nothing happened.

Jack: human aspect of discussion. based on buying club model, contingent on location, creating an internal role who’s only job or main job is to be in contact with all committee heads. those people are doing it now. too much for the over committed to over commit to. 2 hour. HR rule. point person so if someone’s wondering how the businesss plan’s going, they know who to contact and intermediary

LIGHTS OUT it’s 10pm

want to do a time/work audit where each committee head thinks through what they have to do and how much time it takes/is needed so we can reassess what the work requirements should be. so we know how to ask

Shira: business committee started but not everyone has filled it out. it’s shared. justin generated it

Jack: assigning terms to committee heads. time limits and responsibilities. see in front of you what committing to. held accountable, and time frame to fill those responsibilities. can look forward to being done, but know what and how long. instead of burning out.

Shira: we as financial group outlined some terms. there’s an end in sight. don’t get burned out. terms of agreement. we drafted 8-9 points. 10 including training replacement

Jack: word usage and it’s encouragement

Leigh: we should talk about how many hours are going to be expected for each role.

LC as a job description should include that

Lippy I did that for my role

LC we would like to rename the business committee into steering committee. thinking as governance and guidance, letting them make decisions about how we operate. instead of calling everything committee, call things working groups. formality, but language drives action and belief in action. seems more inclusive. working groups. a lot deal with operational things anyway

Kaya: steering committee. fine with committee making decisions. but steering committee suggests that member of each committee being on it. steering committee would work with heads of each committee.

LC keep finance but dissolve business

we discussed but didn’t come up with concrete ideas. is that too much to put on people? ability to make change more easily.

Chrissy: like idea of committee that can make decisions. most frustrating and wonderful has been we hear everyone’s voice, but sometimes when obvious decisions can’t be made easily. when we get bigger, needs easier. but that comes with terms. if going to give people that control to make decisions, should be outlined what they can decide and terms before

Lippy: never really clear where it originated. seems like murky mixing of responsibilities vs governance. business committee seemed like think tank. that is different than steering committee. problems i see is that there’s too few people in the committee themselves. seems like reaction of we only have one or two in each group need new group to focus

Shira: maybe a steering committee is another name change. identify board members which we’re supposed to have but never voted in. have them be the steering committee and meet once a month. if that needs to change, all agree. open to everyone

Chrissy: we’re going to have to do that for Amanda for EBT even beyond the 3 people.

amanda: possibly

Chrissy: if we need that points us in that direction

Shira: like work groups, but i don’t think all committees

Laura: think they should all be work groups

Lippy: mariposa has an interesting system. work groups and committees. different expectations. work group short term with possible end date. committee is not.

Shira: like a task force

Lisa: clarify that committee scares people away. implies responsibility beyond work hours.

LC when a lot of things just have to do with operational jobs

Shira should we take a temperature reading on work groups. i think we should float the idea when there’s a lull in the google group

LC seems like more actionable to create terms for

Amanda: i have a business question. do we have bylaws

Shira: yes. i think they’re in an email

Amanda: bylaws should set out board of election, officers, president, vp sec treasurer. committee heads are in charge of things but legal aspect

Sylvia: important to have some people who can make decisions. want to make sure those people are really representative of what the coop wants. some people shave taken over, but not really spending money on food, not really representative of what the rest of us are looking for. i enter all the receipts and many people aren’t spending much money. wonder what motivation is

Chrissy: i don’t know if amount of money is direct correlation. i don’t have big orders but i’m invested in seeing the coop succeed. i wouldn’t be able to work in a committee by that standard. income and ability to spend shouldn’t be a deciding factor

Kayla: might be redundant to have both steering committee and board. i’m concerned about steering committee being the most active members. a board should be people who represent the coop, who have been around for a while, more permanent fixture in the community.

Leigh: i agree with chrissy. my orders not always large. i’m involved because i want to see it get to a point where i can be spending more and order a lot.

LC : lot of different reasons why

Lippy: verging onto governance talk. different conversation.

Shira: like idea of steering committee and board being same thing. like not just committee heads but of long term members. people who consistently come to meetings or open to coming more like leigh or jack or amanda

LC make an action item to post our bylaws.

Shira: amanda’s emailing me to remind me

LC make committee heads a 6month position or add terms and figure out what they are in the next week. let’s decide someone here makes sure.

shira: i can type it up.

Chrissy: she can start putting terms in and we can all google group vote oon it.

Shira: didn’t discuss distribution managers. how do we find general manager?

LC some of it addressed in work load discussion. information sharing. making sure rotational committees and documenting. impost in germs and training other people

Amanda: long term but also short term of when we find a space, having person there all the time, head and been trained. maybe table until we have the space and then can assign operational logistic terms/time limits

Shira: action item

number 1 priority siting exploration

outreach – identifying goals

do we have a 2nd or 3rd

Amanda: since we’re canceling 19th distribution should we make it be that committees should meet then instead. identify leaders of committee and people interested in acting on committees.

Shira: didn’t hold committees meeting last month. would that serve purpose

Amanda: up in th fair where it was. if all committees were meeting at this time and space confirmed and do break out groups. don’t think we should wait. capture momentum.

Kayla: if we want to do general meeting, fine, but also need separate meeting and report back

Chrissy: i 2nd that committees should get together before

Kayla: if meeting in next 2 weeks doesn’t include someone who was a committee head, they are not committee head. should be final decision on who is committee head.

Leigh: i think 2 weeks is good time frame.

Shira: question. in lieu of general meeting? first monday of the month

Lisa. Nov 1

Chrissy: by Oct 21st

Kayla then next general meeting everyone report back

Leigh: will roles be before that meeting

LC that’s being drafted in next meeting. will be on the table at committees meeting

Amanda: we have week for site sourcing. if we have information soon and need to make decision, how will that be made? i’m concerned about that.

LC let’s propose to have meeting to address location issue. all committees meeting just to decide location. meeting to make a decision about siting

Amanda: deciding where or putting it to an evoke. after research. a week from today

Shira: after 2 weeks of siting research, week later committee meeting. wed. the 2nd

LC sooner than that

AManda if we have information in a week and make a decision, then could potentially have a buying club nov.2

Shira that’s a lot of work

Amanda: do we want to say we want to have a space

Shira: i understand. wed. 19th have a siting committee.

LC if we have it set this far in advance we can try to have enough information posted online before hand so we can post

Leigh: to clarify. 2 weeks just siting, separate. individual committees decide themselves when to meet.

LC you should post information to group in a week so people can review

Shira: can someone email all committee heads?

LC i can do that. i’m going to also record all things written on big paper. it’s 10:30 so i’m wrapping this up. would like to do a checkout.

Shira: root cellar? some are time sensitive. event at end of month

Chrissy: sean is printing flyers wanted to know if we want to be on the flyer. put it up to the group

Shira: new was hung ho, what do we need to commit

Chrissy; last year 700 people came. great place to speak to them. i’ll confirm if we can just table

Kayla: happy to put our name out there with community, but hard to know what we’re promoting if don’t know what we’re doing

Shira: should have made a decision about location by then.

Chrissy: street vendor thing, pumpkin carving. we’re doing a contest for restaurants and street vendors to do tacos with seasonal ingredients. looking for help in addition to just tabling. i’ll confirm with sean tomorrow

Leigh: in a tough place to committ

Chrissy: get more information and post to google groups

Leigh: if someone wants to spearhead, good

Shira: my experience we should jump on these opportunities. if even one person an should jump on.

LC we know we’re going to exist then. know what we believe in mostly. can talk about when tabling. know we need more membership. city life festival . need to be self actuated things. have to drive them ourselves. not drive on other committees. anything else, other little projects, but self organize, make it happen

LC i’ll do a check of root cellar in email group and post so everyone can share. quick check out. give closure

LC thanks. grateful here and bearing with her. head cold, dizzy, lights off. sorry if facilitation has been scattered and missed you when wanted to talk. feel like we accomplished a lot. absorbed everything on agenda.

Dan: distracted.  glad this happened. positive steps. constructive

Kayla: hopeful after this meeting. very strategic. come in handy later. very smart thanks to laura and everyone

Jack: tired thanks for food. i think doing this instead of buying club was very intelligent. and not doing next buying club is also intelligent. in my short involvement we’ve been flying by seat of pants and that’s not how we’ll get a store front.

Lippey: pretty great. cool to see. strategic. taking the time to do something today to make life easier tomorrow that’s great.  great everyone came and committed whole heartedly. contributed and invested.

Hannah:

Chrissy: glad this came together. lot of work to put it together from people who are already stretched. testament to working as a cooperative. this is the way it should be. all accomplished great things. on a personal note, i’ve taken on another job to pay bills and will be careful not to overextend myself in the future. mindful to that when we start distribution as well, may be pulling back as well. but thank you. i’m here as much as i can be.

Lisa: awesome meeting. a little concerned canceling buying club, but had opposite effect. testament to organization how many people stated to end. strategically important

Sel: Second everyone. great we got stuff in order. sorry i had to be on call for part of meeting. i am willing to take on more coordinating if need that between facilitators of different groups. helping with more communication. keep me in mind.

Sylvia: i missed a lot of middle of meeting so my understanding is we’re here because we have no space and we have no space because we have no money. coop not sustained by people not spending money. not clear exactly how we’re looking for a space but maybe i just missed that part. i’m confused where we’re going honestly and how to sustain a storefront

Amanda to answer question we have a list of free space opportunities so we have options just matter of timing, when available, cost extras, so over next week exploring those and reporting back, then on 19th have another meeting to decide where we’re moving. i’m happy about that. having a space will propel us forward. taking time to set framework. do more and better things

Leigh: thank everyone. I”m pumped that we have a clear track to siting. i feel like we have a clear plan, i know what my tasks are. been concerning me for a while. on a good track. i feel good

Shira: yep. good to clean house, address the issues that have been weighing on the buying club while others happily buy their food. and all supported by toothpicks. sometimes homelessness forces us to reevaluate and become more clear in our purpose and goal and get there in a better more wholesome way. impressed with laura’s stamina. big thank you to her.

BFC GENERAL MONTHLY MEETING 9/12/2011 – MINUTES

Location: Brooklyn Fireproof East backroom

Overview:

  • The Bed-Stuy restoration project is throwing an Oct 1st event that’s a good outreach opportunity.
  • Lippe (lippemfg@gmail.com) needs assistants to organize a workshop on fermentation (run by Sandor Katz); volunteers can contact him directly.
  • Lisa (lriemondy@gmail.com) is looking for people with materials for building shelving, etc.
  • A lightweight October potluck/event is being organized; volunteers should contact info@bushwickfoodcoop.org.
  • Chrissy (chris.m.michaels@gmail.com) is organizing summits on the coop’s future for the 1st week of October. Members with suggestions should contact her. At the meeting, agenda items for summits were proposed:
    1. Membership/Community
      • Permanent location
      • Events
      • EBT
      • Youth outreach
      • Doe fund: ready; willing; able
      • Outreach to realtors
    2. Organization (Internal)
      • Ad hoc staffing model
      • Schedule
      • Work shift cycle — orientation
      • Address fatigue/burnout
      • Weekend hours
      • Info transmission
    3. Accountability (Financial)
      • Snack-packs for Doe fund: ready; willing; able
      • EBT
      • Orientation
      • Info management

Discussion details:

  • Sarah Dunn (meeting facilitator) gave an intro to the “consensus based decision making” she uses to run coop meetings.
  • Finance & Membership report
    • Lisa reports that the coop has just over $9000 as of Aug 31.
    • There are 59 ordering & working members. 9 of those are on alert, and 1 has been suspended.
    • Around 80% of outstanding membership fees have been paid off over the last few buying clubs (so member fee income will drop off soon). A total of $7642 in membership fees has been paid.
  • Buying Club / Distro staffing situation
    • There are not enough regular staffers to run buying clubs, and (a larger problem) no regular distro managers.
    • 1 or 2 distro day managers are needed.
    • Midday shifts are not staffed at all. No regular staff is signed up for 9AM to 5PM shifts, when the buying club receives all its perishables.
    • Chrissy explained what happens during a distro:
      • Producers give us a time slot when they’ll likely deliver (between 9AM and 1PM, for example). Coop makes these slots as early as possible — produce needs to be delivered on buying club day! On delivery, staffers check what’s arrived vs. what’s been ordered; reject spoilage; sign checks for food.
      • During morning shifts: Staffers go out, buy bags of ice, cart them to fireproof; unpack storage area and set up buying club floor; print out invoices for everyone who’s ordered. Invoices are marked up (raw vs. pasteurized dairy; out of stocks; substitutions). Prices are corrected. Extra food’s moved into overstock.
      • During late shifts: Staffers greet members; give them invoices; show them where things are. Members moved through membership table (if they’re on alert) and cashier. Extra food’s moved into overstock. Toward closing, orders are packed for members who haven’t arrived yet; staffers call to remind them.
      • Closing staffers weigh all dry goods & enter amounts into computer; strikes buying club floor & stows in storage area.
      • The busiest time during a buying club day’s unpredictable — it depends on when deliveries & members arrive.
    • Alex suggested solutions for lack of morning staffers: shorter shifts (2 hours, not 4)? Count morning hours as time &½?
    • Distro efficiency. Current buying club setup  as efficient as possible, or close. New POS system will help w/ cashing out & record keeping; new market basket scheme will help setup, sourcing, & cut deliveries. Bulk shelving also may help setup/strike of buying club floor.
    • People with materials for building shelving, etc., should contact Lisa (lriemondy@gmail.com).
    • Possible fixes.
      • Pay someone manage distros, so commitment stronger, on par with $ jobs?
      • Suspend buying club?
      • Take each buying club one-at-a-time?
      • Move into the Loom (semi-permanent space) as soon as possible?
    • Leigh suggested getting full-time intern from americorps. Kristen Pederson (via Gwen) reports that organizations must request americorps staffers in batches of at least 5. May be possible to request via a non-profit sponsor, go in w/ 5 other coops, each to get 1 intern.
    • Gwen suggested that it’s time to be spending some $ to keep the coop moving forward, as current buying club scheme’s not sustainable.
    • Amanda suggested using google apps to improve distro work shift scheduling.
    • Dan suggested switching from Regional Access (a buying club provider) to Ace Natural to save $.
    • Dave suggested feeling out the Doe Fund as a source of buying club labor.
    • Chrissy pointed out that volunteer jobs will always come second to paying jobs, and that a small stipend was probably necessary for distro managers (& maybe sourcing) to keep them in those jobs. It’s good to keep the same people in these key jobs because they’ve already gained valuable experience that isn’t easily transferred.
    • Stipend discussion.
      • A straw poll showed that meeting attendees liked the stipend idea for distro managers.
      • Laura suggested that ½ day distro manager shifts, maybe w/ a 1 hour overlap, would make the distro manager job more attractive.
      • Sarah suggested a quickly checking what $ amount made sense for a distro manager stipend, then putting it to evote. Shira said $10/hour seemed fair. Gwen suggested higher due to all day shift & overtime issues, but other members clarified that stipends were not affected by overtime — just hourly wages.
      • Tom asked how much the coop could afford for stipends. Lisa pointed out that many buying clubs make little or no profit, and that a $10/hour stipend for distro managers would end up costing ~$1000 over 2 months. The coop would need to set benchmarks and plan. Sarah said that, w/ coop’s current organizational problems, doing it by the seat of our pants made the most sense.
    • Jared wondered how outreach could best recruit new members to fill buying club shifts. Alex pointed out that, even w/ a distro manager, the buying club needed to fill morning & day shifts. Chrissy replied that it’s possible to run receiving w/ just a manager, though at least 1 other staffer would be a huge help. The biggest problem w/ buying clubs is lack of distro managers; filling other positions is secondary.
    • Shira proposed to work out the exact $ amounts for stipends by Fri, then put together an evote. Michael asked what would happen if membership rejected a stipend. Sarah replied we could suspend buying club — so evote would be “buying club w/ stipend” vs. “no buying club”.
    • Chrissy proposed voting on a motion to pay Shira a stipend to manage one buying club — the next one — as an emergency measure to keep buying club going next week. Leigh asked what would happen for future buying clubs.
    • Amanda suggested Shira say whether it’s feasible to continue w/ buying club in something like its current form. At the next buying club, staffers could fill members in on future options & answer questions — the membership would then be well informed for an evote.
    • Shira replied that we could continue w/ the present buying club to buy some time; the coop should use that time to plan a move to the coop’s next stage — Loom space?
    • Chrissy suggested the coop offer to sell market baskets to Doe Fund folks, bringing in $ (the Doe Fund building has few nearby groceries, and limited cafeteria fare, so could use a source of produce). Jared added that could be a great community connection.
    • Leigh suggested skipping 1 buying club & using those 2 weeks for planning.
    • Goals for the future. Brainstorming:
      • Open a storefront, a full-time grocery store.
      • Increase lifestyle diversity: most current coop members are transients who’ll live in Bushwick  for a few years, and are clustered around Morgantown. Bringing long-term residents and the Spanish-speaking community would greatly increase membership.
      • Policy changes to increase work hours:
        • disallow banking hours?
        • no household memberships?
        • no CSA next year (competes w/ buying club)?
        • remove overstock purchase limit?
        • operate buying club w/o managers somehow?
        • more dedicated committee heads?
    • Jared suggested a Loom space would allow us to run weekly buying clubs (4 per month) and partner w/ other food businesses based there, bringing more members in.
    • Gwen pointed out that she grocery shops weekly and so spends ½ her food budget at Hana Natural by the Jefferson stop; she’d rather spend that money at the buying club, and would be able to if we ran it weekly. Weekly buying clubs could double the coop’s income. Moving to a permanent space would thus be an investment in the business.
    • Shira explained that, if we move to a  free space at the Loom, we’d have to be ready to swap spaces or vacate at a week’s notice. It would be a useful stepping stone, though.
    • Chrissy agreed, saying that a space would help in partnering w/ other groups. For example, Chrissy’s Cooking Club could partner with a coop w/ a permanent space and a good track record; this’d offset the coop’s rent and remove risk (they’d buy all our overstock at cost, for example). The coop would then have a 501(c)3 partner… but our logistical problems need to be solved first.
    • Lisa broke down a likely scenario for a move to the Loom space; 100 regularly shopping members would bring the coop to a break even point, assuming we’d have to start paying rent after a few months. If her assumptions hold — a bimonthly buying club; starting w/ 50 ordering members; average orders of $60 — the coop would begin to break even 8 months after the move, and would have spent $4500 to $5000 by that time.
    • Denis suggested that the empty distro shifts (w/ no regularly scheduled workers) could be filled on an ad hoc basis for each buying club. Lisa suggested a big online schedule, or a large calendar behind the buying club’s membership table, could be used to organize that.
    • Chrissy suggested “touring” new members through the various distro & committee jobs, letting the undecided see what’s available and decide what they’re interested in.
    • Amanda volunteered to figure out how the buying club can accept EBT/food stamps. Chrissy agreed, explaining that close to 70% of the Bushwick Farmer’s Market sales came from EBT and food stamps! It’d also increase the coop’s community involvement.
    • Michael suggested that running buying clubs on weekends would be very helpful for filling work shifts.
    • Sarah read two anonymous mails, one asking for a weekend distro day (it was pointed out that only running buying clubs on Saturdays conflicts w/ the Jewish sabbath) and one asking that the coop run a green cart or food truck to increase food distribution hours. She also suggested that the coop’s moves should be incremental, rather than our trying for one big push.
    • Lippe pointed out that the 4th St Coop in Manhattan had been in crisis mode for a long time — while it sold food, the organization’s health was neglected, leading to member fatigue and burnout. It’s important that we look after the Bushwick Coop’s health, given our past pattern of having a few dedicated members putting in hundreds of volunteer hours before burning out and vanishing.
    • Shira pointed out that the coop doesn’t transfer knowledge to new members well; suggested regularly running a new member orientation (as opposed to the new member Q&A before monthly general meetings). Requiring new members to attend this orientation would help them understand where the coop is & manage expectations.
    • Gwen suggested reaching out to existing members w/ events like the summer 2010 BBQ, possibly throwing a low maintenance one this October.
    • High pricing is an issue for some buying club stock (almond butter) but not for everything (bulk dry goods). Dan pointed out that there are tricks to getting good provider prices: negotiations; buying in bulk.
    • Outreach discussion.
      • Lippe explained that Cassandra had just finished an “exit survey” for the coop’s inactive members.
      • Michael suggested outreach at the building owner/realtor level — they’d use the coop as a selling point for new tenants, maybe pass them some info.
      • Jared pointed out that the website was a bit disorganized, suggested adding several sections & making it bilingual to attract new members. Lippe replied that we should consider the return on investment for any website work.
      • Chrissy suggested collecting demographic info for coop members (how long they expected to stay in Bushwick). She pointed out that permanent memberships would be less attractive for 1 year transients than for lifelong residents.
      • Gwen volunteered to assemble a flyer etc. for an October potluck; volunteers interested in putting the event together should contact info@bushwickfoodcoop.org. Someone pointed out that Maria Hernandez park sometimes hosts loud revival meetings, which could interfere w/ any events there — Community Board 4 knows when such events are scheduled.
      • Lippe volunteered to work up outreach docs.
      • Jared volunteered to talk about the coop at the Presentation Party Night this coming Sunday, will talk to Meris about it.
    • Chrissy changed her motion to put the buying club on hold for two weeks to strategize. Michael, Denis, & Shira pointed out that w/o a plan for those two weeks, the wider membership would likely not participate. A series of summits was suggested.
  • Votes

    • These possibilities were voted on:
      1. Have a buying club on Sep 21st, paying distro manager a stipend.
      2. No buying club on Sep 21st. Have summits next week instead.
      3. No buying club on Oct 5th. Have summits the 1st week of October instead.
    • Results: buying club w/ stipend on Sep 21st. No buying club Oct 5th, w/ summits that week instead.
    • Chrissy (chris.m.michaels@gmail.com) will organize the summits for the 1st week of October; members with input on summits should contact her.

BFC Monthly Committees Meeting

September 7, 2011:  7:30 – 9:30pm:  Brooklyn Fireproof

Attendance
7-9:45 = 2.75 hours for all
Shira Shaham, Michael Mandecki, Lisa Riemondy, Julia VanTieghem, Laura Cline, Sarah Dunn, Ellie Irons, Chrissy Michaels

o) Meeting overview 7:30-7:32 [Sarah Dunn]
i) Introductions/Check In  7:32-7:40
ii) Submit additional agenda items  7:40-7:43
iii) Financial & Membership report (straight numbers) 7:43-7:48
Unofficial balance $11,620.10 (as of 8/10)
Membership fees $7,617
Inventory = $1,378.88
8/10 buying club:  $1,765.05 (sales) – $1,695.33 (expenses) = $69.72 (profit); $30 membership fees
7/27 buying club:  $1,945.70 (sales) – $2,101.39 (expenses) = -$155.69 (profit); $130 membership fees
ACTIVE 47; ALERT 11; SUSPENDED-ALERT 1 = 59 ordering/working members
(79 ordering/working members as of 8/1/2011)
HOUSEHOLD 3; INSTITUTIONAL 1;
HOLD 56; CSA ONLY 38; OVERSTOCK 135; TRIAL 34;
CANCELED 11; SUSPENDED-INACTIVE 33

overstock only orders on distro day averages 4-10 members

iv) Committee reports  – as needed  7:48-8:15
(1-3 min per committee, as needed.  table longer discussions.)

  • IT:  [Michael] Jef and Mike would like to take on POS system as their next project
  • Sourcing: [Laura C, Kayla] lost a member, Johnny, but gained a member for vegan sourcing; recent buying club showed a need for standard protocol and job pass off
  • Finance: [Lauren W, Silvia] no protocol in place for cash collected on distribution day.  NEED COMMITTEE HEAD
  • Membership: [Julia, Lisa]  emailing new members regardless of whether they are placing orders; considering reducing emailing for Alert members.  Could be a result of processes are not documented, either committee heads need to be more involved in reaching out to members, or the work needed and protocol needs to be documented.  Are 4 hours too many? – tabled to discussion items
  • Outreach/PR: [Meris]

- This weekend we’ll be back at the Bwick Farmers Market after a couple weeks off due to inability to staff the table. Only 2 regular outreach/tabling staff and a couple other who help now and then.

- Improving the tabling display with jars of dried beans, food product displays. Sam will help Meris put together a “press kit” binder with info on vendors, photos of distro days and products, info on the Coop itself, etc that people can page through.

- Looking into Oct events. Gluten free/vegan tasting event in discussion items. Coalition for the Improvement of Bed Stuy contacted us about an event on 10/1, not sure worth staff time to expand to Bed Stuy. Mia will present at general membership mtg on coop members staffing Bushwick EcoStation’s Calabaza Fest 10/29.

  • Buying Club Distribution: [Chrissy, Ellie, Shira]  Ellie is stepping down, with no one to replace her; we have no distribution manager between 9a – 5p (discussion item)
  • Siting/Facilities: [Justin L] Matt moved away and is no longer involved in siting
  • Business: [Justin, Alex]  planning to meet in September regarding further coop research in the local area and business development
  • CSA [Maggie]
  • Legal: [...] Need Committee Head!!

v) Discussion  8:15-9:10

  • Distribution:
  • THE FUTURE OF THE BUYING CLUB (no early/midday managers available.  no midday staff.)  5pm is the earliest Chrissy can be there, and she prefers 7pm, so looking for people between the hours of 9 and 7; morning shift is easier to schedule than afternoon
  • Immediate Options:
  • Make Distribution Manager a paid position – would create continuity between distributions  should discuss with business committee regarding how this would be approached if we were a store. could potentially be a current member, some sort of incentive to make it worth doing distro over a job
  • Move Buying Club to Saturday issue is with distribution, distributors don’t deliver on weekends and BFP not necessarily available on weekends.  suggestions for Sunday as well.  Roadblock is refrigeration.  Should we invest in other things like moving to the Loom, invest in refrigeration etc.  Noted that the cost to plug in fridge is probably less than or equal to the cost of ice on Wednesdays.
  • Train regulars to take over train leaders for each part of the day, but it doesn’t work right now b/c we don’t have workers committed to the midday session. continuity is lost, handoff is an issue, but the knowledge is dissemenated, and their would be backup people if we didn’t have a disro manager.  this is how distro day originated, it was moved away from due to the handoff issue, so this would need to be corrected if we were to adopt this model.  Could be an issue that a little mistake in receiving, for instance, could be very risky financially.  Should be more training happening, as often as possible.  Share information as you do things.
  • Another option – is to shrink the distro hours and shrink the goods available.  Order from fewer distributors.  Market basket system is supposed to address some of this, but not all of it.  We are just barely meeting minimums, and overstock is risky. Suspect shrinking to one distributor would reduce our costs, primarily delivery charge.
  • CSA issue coming up again, are we competing with ourselves?
  • The original idea of the buying club was to accumulate profits, at this point we are occasionally losing money, occasionally making money and losing staff.  Posited that we should close the buying club and redistribute resources to work on a plan to work towards the coop.  Another option would be to run smaller, product specific, self organized, buying clubs.  Issue with that is the fragmentation would lead to absolute dissolution.
  • Interest in exploring other models exists.  What are our goals?  Voting with our dollars, and how do we make our dollars more powerful.  Buying club is helpful for educating us about how to run an actual store, but for it to be feasible we will need a lot more members.  Noted here that work requirement is a big hindrance because the immediate return is not worth the hours required.  If we double or triple membership, we could cut hours.  We need a system that can thrive even with turnover.  Essentially we need more diverse membership to create a sustainable organization, location seems to be a weakness.  Williamsburg suggested for socioeconomic diversity, people are putting down roots in those neighborhood, buying real estate, etc.  Things that cultivate a more permanent community.  Eligible for rent money through NYC Fresh if we increase EBT outreach.  There also a lot of long term residents in the heart of Bushwick.
  • If we decide to close buying club, we need a set timeline for people to look forward to.
  • We need to look at the number of hours it actually takes to run the coop
  • Total lack of policy organization, perhaps we should aim more for a social collaboration to build accountability to eachother.  Harkens to opening of Park Slope where all the members got together once a week to place an order together.
  • Who are we serving?  Ourselves?  The Bushwick Community?  Low Income community?  We are not actually serving any of these groups at this point, need to refocus around this.
  • JUST to run distribution requires 12 people’s 4 hour shifts, so 24 members per 4 weeks.  This assumes people are only working their minimum requirement.  This past distribution only 26 people ordered.  This allows us to barely keep buying club operational, with no excess resources for long term planning.
  • Suggested that we schedule an Emergency meeting, send out email blast.  Google group is not effective.
  • Vote for either emergency meeting for Thursday, email blast to membership, triage for 9/21 distro, pay someone, Saturday, the Loom
  • need distinct numerical goals to be included in the email blast
  • Voted positively to take emergency measures to notify membership regarding 9/21 buying club staffing issues
  • 2 emails to be sent out – one for our current situation to all members (Shira); the second to our entire email list regarding the future of the coop, and a call to attend the general meeting to be a part of the discussion (Sarah)
  • Request Richie to add a reminder to join the google group to the newsletter ( do this for the LT discussion email as well)
  • Plan for brainstorm/strategizing session
  • Causes/Long Term Solutions:
  • lack money to pay dedicated staff (no fundraising, grantwriting or investment fees)
  • recruitment — 2 month gap in email entry, are flyers being kept up in all obvious and less obvious spots?
  • lack of dedicated staff with spare time, long term commitment to neighborhood — need to recruit long term residents and make community partners, need to make the buying club accessible to low income household (EBT, Spanish) or sell them on the long term goal of a food coop instead of the buying club
  • location & membership demographics
  • creating online infrastructure that allows for high turnover
  • Does the Buying Club help or hinder us in reaching our long term goal of a grocery store?  In what ways?  Would we like to continue with our strategy of fly-by-the-seat-of-pants, take-what-opportunities-may-come, buying-club-to-grocery-store stepping stone approach?  Or is there a better strategy?
  • Remove dry goods from foodclub.org ordering
  • Update on shelving
  • Update on Market Basket system
  • Update on POS
  • Hurricane relief – donations at distro/ links in newsletter
  • Siting
  • Are we still trying to move to Loom  (INSERT FOOD COOP HERE project)
  • Sourcing/Events
  • Gluten free/vegan tasting event for early october

vi) Decide items to vote on at September 13 General Meeting  9:10-9:30
vii) check out/meeting feedback
Clean up. Respect BFP.

——-

BFC General Monthly Meeting

August 1st, 2011:  7:00 – 9:00pm:  Brooklyn Fireproof

I)                    Introductions  7:30-7:40

II)                  Submit additional agenda items  7:40-7:43

III)                Quick update on BFC presentation to Vito Lopez’s townhall meeting

IV)                Financial & membership report (different from committee reports — straight numbers) 7:43-7:47

-bank acct balance as of 7/14/11: $11,548.18  [-$7,457 mbrshp = $4,091.18]

-no inventory numbers. inventory not properly done! (probably ~ $2000)

-7/27 distro:  $1,857.82 (sales) – $2,078.64 (expenses) = -$220/82 (loss)

-7/13 distro:  $1,909.16 (sales) – $2,076.27 (expenses) = -$167.11 (loss)

-6/29 distro:  $1,943.95 (sales) – $1,981.19 (expenses) = -$37.24 (loss)

-6/15 distro:  $1,969.74 (sales) – $1,631.26 (expenses) = $338.48 (profit)

-Membership Numbers:

-Membership Fees Collected (not including 7/27 distro):  $7,457

-Membership Statistics:

-Active: 48                           -Alert: 20                             -Cancelled: 4-CSA Only: 38                           -Hold: 59                              -Household: 3-Institutional: 1                     -Overstock: 130                         -PSFC: 8

-Suspended-alert: 11     -Suspended-inactive: 26               -Trial: 34

-Volunteer: 23

- Ordering Numbers:

  1. 7/13: 40 (and 6 overstock)
  2. 7/27: 33 (and 4 overstock)

ii.      Discussion about expiration of non perishables, questions around if inventory is accurate
iii.      Questions circulating about loss/how that relates to inventory, hunch is that we’re buying more bulk items and non perishables
iv.      Per Chrissy,  last distro there was a lot of produce that wasn’t picked up, so we took a hit there
v.      Membership numbers – questions about what a volunteer actual is, someone who has volunteered in the past or is a permanent volunteer
vi.      Trial membership – historic program Shira recommended Merris look into it for the outreach committee; we did get a good number of members out of the trial program
vii.      Matt Lorenz update on Vito Lopez townhall meeting.  Vito Lopez is a democratic assemblyman for the Ridgewood/Bushwick area.  Matt tabled at the last townhall meeting, half Spanish speakers, some who speak no English.  At the meeting, seemed like no one in the group knew what a cooperative was.  Interest post talk was sparse.  Questions around whether Carribean goods would be stocked, many have attended the farmer’s market, many were attuned to cost per quality of produce.  Do we do EBT was another question.  Received about half a dozen signatures.  Sold 4 buttons!  Overall, it was a good experience.  We should continue to do this type of outreach work.  Language barriers not only Spanish/English, but also inherent in the presentation (words like cooperative, local etc.)  Need to work more on making our literature bilingual friendly.  Need visual materials for presenting to help explain the coop.  We need Spanish speakers who speak similarly to Bushwick residents.

V)   Items for Discussion 7:47-8:30

    1. Business Committee Proposal:Sarah noted that the committee heads discussed this last week and had a lengthy discussion ultimately ending in support of the biz committee
      1. Review of current Profit/Loss issues – not meeting minimums, distribution issues and mismarking
      2. Proposal entails overarching plan with 4 main principal for the next 6-8 months, would ideally like to have support to move forth on the overall goals, with details to be worked out amongst committees
        1. POS system – used to manage inventory and sales, financial reporting,

-          standardizes checkout  process, should be easier to train cashiers;

-          Manageable remotely, will be helpful for sourcing and distro as prices changes occur etc

-          Cost is ~$100 mos:  $30 – $50 for web application plus a dedicated 3G hotspot for ~$50 that can service 5 different connections (Chrissy mentions clear hotspot, says it works wonderfully)

-          Question regarding what’s being ordered/purchased – sourcing worked closely with biz committee about trying to move towards inventory based system.  POS system will track this for us.  Comment from distro mgr, Chrissy:  she recommends a computer donation or purchase, would help distribution tremendously

  1. Eliminating a la carte produce – cites study by Justin that as membership increases and sourcing expands options, we are actually losing money/sales because we aren’t meeting minimums.  Solution:  market basket program, would be an array of vegetables – consistently the same poundage, people would pay according to what they receive (item and weight).  Number of people ordering dictates the amount of baskets we can offer.  One issue is allergies, are we excluding ppl w/ allergies.  Biz committee portends that this will streamline the distribution process.  Question raised about why we can’t simply have fewer items,

-          This proposal is an attempt to move towards a revenue/profit generating model which will allow us to move into a location and take on the expenses involved in retail space

-          When this came up at the committee meeting, Maggie mentioned that the natural progression of the CSA is to ultimately incorporate into the coop

-          Clarification – market basket would be the only option, a la carte would no longer be an option

-          Biz committee worked with sourcing to develop this

-          Possible it would not allow for a direct relationship with farmer, like a CSA, but it would allow for more flexibility – no large upfront cost, week to week option to buy

-          Distribution manager chimes in to say she loves this idea b/c it streamlines the process, allows them to avoid common questions such as which produce is which, thinks it makes a lot of sense in the hopes of getting to a storefront.  Suggests classes of produce to establish expectations of what a market basket would consist of (ex. Vegetable basket, greens basket, fruit basket, etc.); could have  veggie swap table

-          Point that as an individual it makes sense, because we’re still supporting small community agriculture including bk distributors like the Grange etc, encourages cooperation (swapping, cooperative values, long term goals).  Also this preps people to move towards the coop and the CSA working together more closely

-          Reiteration that this might be a necessary business decision in order to grow and the market basket is a short term solution to help us organize in preparation for growth

  1. Reduce Distro Hours – reduce distro to 4 hrs instead of 6 hrs; distro mgr says it makes sense to reduce the time distro is open, but will compound workload without a clear checkout system. 3-4 is a dead hour, but we need to be open for the receiving hours (9a – 3p) 1 hr – 1.5 hr spend moving and sorting bulk bins is a total waste of time, a modular system would be a huge win, and would allow us to reduce distribution staff greatly.  Overall idea here – makes sense to reduce distro hours to 4 hrs, but needs to go hand in hand with other process improvements such as modular bins and checkout procedures,
  2. Move to the Loom – or any space really, the sooner we can have a space the sooner we can improve operations (receiving orders, storage, increased opportunities to sell such as organic boxed goods, non perishables, which could allow us to be open more hours); concern about whether we’d be competing with any existing Loom vendors (Country Market specifically)

-          CCC would like ultimately like to partner

-          Issue with Loom being Morgantown, not Bushwick and not being community oriented enough.  Could alienate local ‘Bushwickians’, some members expressed preference to reach out more to the community with a space less alienating. Counter point is that our current membership is within a 5 block radius, for instance the Broadway space came up against a lot of resistance due to location

ii.      No 8/24 buying club

    1. Concerns  about closing for one week, two people raised concerns about skipping a week as representative of a larger issue, also issues with whether we are reliable to shoppers, currently we’re half staffed for the 8/24 distro; Chrissy suggests piloting the market basket program on 8/24; suggested to email foodclub group to get a head count
    1. Shira mentioned closing for 2 mos last winter, didn’t necessarily lose traction and accomplished a lot outside of distro; we also nearly doubled the buying club in the months following the closure
    2. Shira volunteered to email foodclub; proposed to phrase the polling question to guage interest, and what does that mean, threshold for having a buying club, suggested that we want 25 orderers
    3. Ideas circulating regarding keeping open for non perishables and dry goods, possibly with the market basket, hybrid model
    4. Temperature check shows overwhelmingly that people want to try to make the buying club happen, going to take temperature check to see interest via email and via distribution, to see whether there are ~25 people interested.
  1.                                                             iii.      CCC Proposal
    1. Main goal of CCC is to shift people from eating processed food to eating all natural from scratch meals; do this in a variety of ways – food production tours, workshops in home, dinner party workshops, farmers market outreach
    2. Mission is to Learn, Share and Experience the art of all natural from scratch cooking – facilitate the community
    3. Teach basic skills, creative exploration, and about ingredients.  Use whole foods, cook slow way, try to reduce waste, maximize ingredient usage
    4. Incorporated as a not for profit in February 2011, will be a 501c3 by year end
    5. Current events:  live cooking and demos at Bwick Farmers Market on Saturdays; live cooking and demos at Brownsville Farmers Market; work with CB4 to plan August “Stop the Violence, Healthy Lifestyle” event
    6. Future programs:  do food demos with Boswyck Farms hydroponic systems, ultimately would like to have a storefront location with cooking, nutritional, and grocery-shopping support for community
    7. Being considered as the caterer for CB4 events and currently have quite a few community partners ex. Garden of Eve, Slow Food, Bushwick Farmers market an dmore
    8. Feedback from EBT and WIC families is they don’t have time, so CCC is try to teach them how to cook multiple meals at once
    9. Future Growth:  within 1 year expand free outreach programs; to do this they are actively seeking funding and grants to raise at least $125k, looking to open a store front or partner with an existing/ new store front to offer cooking lessons.  Storefront would be a community kitchen, they want people to feel like people are in their home when they are in cooking class.  Want these spaces to be setup with a full pantry and fridge; this is explicitly not a commercial kitchen or incubator kitchen.  It is a space to share a kitchen in the community
    10. Co-op partnership: want community membership status; want the ability to buy at cost without markup for cooking club purposes; would proudly rep the coop as the source of their food; opportunity for CCC to be an outreach arm of the coop
    11. Question about what CCC’s membership involves, this is still in the works – the goal is to host workshops that you can stop in at for free, then sell the leftovers of the workshop, for instance canned goods at a canning demonstration; currently membership costs $5 a mos, can attend a limited amount of events before you have to become a member
    12. Currently have over 600 members on their mailing lists

-          Proposal to grant CCC community member status – all members present voted positively for this, it passes as it is not a change of policy, simply an added member

iv.      Block Party and Tabling Feedback

    1. It was awesome, 40 ppl added to the mailing list, email sent to invite those to check out distro; a lot of questions about do you have a storefront, will you have one, if so, when?

    v.      8/14 Event plan update – tabled to email as Maggie isn’t present

VI)  Items for Vote 8:30-8:45:

i)                    Business committee proposal – Is the biz committed supported to do further research around POS system, and can we implement the market basket system?

i.      POS system PASSED TO EVOTE with support of members in attendance
ii.      Market basket – voting on whether to send the market basket to e-vote with the understanding that this is a trial program in the attempt to aid in operational growth – PASSED TO EVOTE

ii)                  No 8/24 buying club – taking temperature check via e-vote 

VII)  Schedule next month’s meeting  8:45-8:46: 

committee meeting 8/29; gen membership meeting on 9/12

BFC Monthly Committees Meeting

July 25th, 2011:  7:30 – 9:30pm:  Brooklyn Fireproof

o) Meeting overview  [Sarah Dunn]
i) Introductions/Check In  7:30-7:40
ii) Submit additional agenda items  7:40-7:43
iii) Financial & Membership report (straight numbers) 7:43-7:48
Unofficial balance $9,471.91
Membership fees $7,450
42 active members, 34 alert, 14 suspended but still somewhat active (totaling up to 90 people who are working/ordering), 25 suspended who have basically canceled, 58 hold, 4 canceled. Average of 40 people ordering per buying club
iv) Committee reports  – as needed  7:48-8:15
(1-3 min per committee, as needed.  table longer discussions.)

  • IT:  [Michael]

- Michael not here, not much to report, but will try to come next week

  • Sourcing: [Laura C, Kayla]

- Someone is taking on vegan and gluten free sourcing – now have staff for one person each in sourcing handling meat, vegetarian, vegan
- Still working out technical issues with spreadsheets and software
- Also working out making sure everyone has the correct spreadsheet in sourcing and distro and having up to date prices on site. Improving spreadsheets for distro day to make it easier

  • Finance: [Lauren W, Silvia, Lisa
  • Membership: [Julia, Lisa, Shira]

- Shira handed off leadership to Lisa and Julia as co-heads.
- The new available committee work spreadsheet – no one has gotten any work inquiries from it yet. :-(

  • Outreach/PR: [Alex, Meris, Maggie]

-Meris organized tabling at Roberta’s block party event. About 30 people signed up for email list.. Sold a very small amount of merchandise. Good for building public awareness. Spoke to a lot of people who didn’t realize there was a Bushwick Coop and want to know basics like how does it work and where is it located, how to I join, cost, etc.
- 8/14 event: Maggie is heading. Booking bands, screenprinting and cooking demonstration at Brooklyn Fireproof. Want to prepare informational materials. Working out timing – possibly starting clothing swap at 5 and bands at 7, ending at 11. Will develop flyer and promotional plan after finalizing bands and food.
- Matt attending Assemblyman meeting in Bushwick to talk about coop.

  • Buying Club Distribution: [Chrissy, Ellie, Shira]

- Ending half hour earlier at 8:30 is working well – ended on time, managed to sell a lot of overstock.
- There was a big communication breakdown between sourcing and suppliers this week – lacking produce, had wrong prices, etc.
- Distribution suffering from lack of manpower – having difficulty filling distro shifts.

  • Siting/Facilities: [Matt, Justin L]

- Going to have a siting meeting this Wed to brainstorm siting.

  • Legal: [...]

- Legal needs: Research RD, insurance, food safety, food handler
- Justin visited the Loom and took pictures that he will post on the google group. The available spaces have changed, but there is still space available. He got utilities information.

  • Business: [Justin, Alex]

- Business committee met twice this month to work on numbers and came to general conclusion that things aren’t moving in a positive direction. Trying to make decisions that will make a significant improvement to the way we operate and achieve our goals.

  • CSA [Maggie]

- CSA is moving more smoothly, including shared storage space, now that CSA is in communication with distro workers on distro day.
- There are 52 CSA members this year. TBD how many are coop vs non-coop members.

v) Discussion  8:15-9:10

  • CCC Marriage Proposal

- Chrissy’s Cooking Club – nonprofit started to help teach people to cook. She tables at the Bushwick Farmers Market and is a licensed food handler. Chrissy sees us as an ally and wants to propose a formal partnership. Wants to be the educational and practical hands-on arm of the coop. She wants overstock and to share space. She will make a more formal proposal at next week’s general memership meeting and we can vote after that.

  • Bushwick Farmer’s Market — as community partner not institutional member (no fee/no markup/work for splitting bulk with us and taking overstock off our hands)

- They want to split bulk orders with us, which would give us more purchasing power and serve more of the community. Don’t charge them membership fee or work requirement or markup. Set up a “Community Partner” membership agreement/status. Or we could identify them as a vendor. Generally positive consensus.
- Lippe recommends balancing having exceptions to membership status categories vs having too many specific membership categories.
- Alex doesn’t think it’s a legal issue to have them sign a different membership form. They went in on orders of vegetables this week as a test case.
- Opens up option for other community partners, like local soup kitchens. But would just make us a drop off point for several orgs, something to discuss in the future.
- We only have one institutional member, Bushwick Community HS, which has not kept their membership active.

  • Distributing Shira’s tasks (Goodbye, Shira!…sort of)

- Need people to be backup on distro day like Shira has been doing, since she will no longer be available.
- Do we need membership tablers on site?
- Need someone to be distro shift scheduler – would make sense for it to be one of the distro day managers, but if they don’t have time, then someone else who is dedicated. Maybe someone who has worked distro?
- Shira won’t be as responsive to emails, need to realize we can’t rely on Shira for intercommittee communications.
- We may schedule a separate meeting to discuss how to distribute Shira’s tasks.
- We need more freely available and organized documentation of work descriptions.
- Lippe has a the 4th street coop organizational structure wiki he can share – lists people, roles, links to work descriptions, videos, etc
- Before we write a wiki, we need to be serious about deciding on positions that we need.
- Shira will send an email to distro workers to give them an FYI about openings when she leaves
- There is an issue with a few people doing most of the work, and most people not fulfilling the minimum requirement
- How can we engage people besides emailing? People aren’t responding to emails.
- We don’t have enough entry level positions to make easy entry into coop work fulfillment.
- Streamline to more bare bones to decrease work needed and also break tasks into more manageable shifts.

  • 8/24 Buying Club half staffed

- Will vote on next week
- Would not accrue work hours for those 2 wks
- Will discuss and vote at next meeting
- Poll ordering members?

  • Business Committee Recomendations for Growth

- Seems like we are losing money – we have less in bank account today than a few months ago when we had $10k. But it is only the last few buying clubs that have been well documented. A year and a half of prior financial paperwork that they have pulled information from as best as they could, but there is information missing on overstock, spoilage, etc.

  • Standardize Checkout and Inventory w/POS System

- Everytime products come in from a distributor, it goes into inventory, every time you make a sale, it removes an item from inventory. There is online software available for ~$30. All the prices will be in the system. Sourcing would be able to make all the pricing adjustments and distro would just need to access them. Small expense that would make checkout system more accessible and faster. We are losing money at the register because they aren’t charging correct prices.
- Would give reports on what’s selling and what’s not.
- Will give us electronic transactions for what people actually bought rather than print out invoices with notes that takes people time to type up for data tracking later.
- Bronx Coop said POS system did not work for them.
- 4th Street Coop has been operating for a long time without POS system. They have 75% attrition.
- Lippe will look at the POS systems and give his recommendation as someone who has experience with cash registers.
- Don’t have to sign a long term contract, will be a monthly subscription that we could cancel.
- Decided to present and discuss at the general member meeting next week and decide whether to vote on this.
- WIll make a bulleted list of information about the POS system to present.

  • Introduce Market Basket Program for Distro

- Switch to buy vegetables more like a CSA share rather than a la carte. You would pick up your bag already prepacked and preweighed. Different options are 50 people sign up for a $18-20 veggie baskets. 15 people paying $18-25, fewer varieties of vegetables available. This would solve the issue of us posting prices and items that are no longer available, people not getting produce they wanted because we didn’t meet ordering minimums/overstock/etc and would cut down on overstock. Could not exist in conjunction with vegetables a la carte. Looked at it also for dairy, meat, vegan/vegetarian – but it makes the most sense only for produce.
- Not having enough stuff to buy is one thing affecting membership growth and retention.
- Could consider having a greens market basket, a roots market basket, etc so there is still a level of choice
- Check it out at http://www.bit.ly/bfcveggiebasket
- Decided to present and discuss at the general member meeting next week and decide whether to vote on this.

  • Reduce Distro Hours/Volunteers

- Can we do distro in 4 hours with 4 people? We maybe could if we did the market basket and POS checkout system
- If we cut distro hours in half, we’d be able to have distro every week, even if one of those weeks is dry goods only.

  • Move to the Loom

- If we had our own physical space it would: provide place to build community, store more dry goods, cereals, pasta, sauces and other non-perishables; would reduce distro day labor hours; central place for information, have an office computer to do work; all invoices, information, merchandise, items would be in one place; opportunity to operate more days with more inventory and selection.
- But the Loom is in flux, we could move in and then have to move spaces. there has been empty space there consistently over the 5 months.
- We will be taking on cost of heating, light, electricity, and eventually rent
- Would be a business risk, but could be healthy for growth
- Deli at the Loom spends $1k/mo – they have two fridges, ATM, freezer, videogame,, but we would have a lighter carbon footprint. Heating will be the biggest expense. We would probably use $2 per operating hour not including heating.
8/14 event to use Overstock food?
- Maggie will organize to order food through the coop to be used to make food to sell food
- She will ask BFP if they are cool with us selling food

Meeting Minutes

BFC General Monthly meeting
July 5, 2011 Brooklyn Fireproof

We have 9739 dollars in the bank account. We have 38 active members 31 members on alert. 69 members in total. 69 Actively ordering member. Down from a few months ago. Suspended members because of work and 23 volunteers

Survey of members who are no longer active. So 3 months ago there were 3 suspended people. It really has to do with people not doing hours.

A portion of the suspended people are those who stopped being involve with the coop without telling us. Shooting an email and finding out why people will do it. Are phone calls intrusive. It really depends on the person. It would be interesting to know if there was a way to know to keep those people. Is there q mechanism to keep them. Then we get into a different model of coop. We could in theory change it, but it would be against our model. If we are losing a third of our membership in 3 months… we should revisit why we are losing membership at the same meeting. It’s important t0 point out, that over that time we have gotten much more strict. Any other questions or comments? How many members total? About 400 people we keep track of
IT Committee –  (later) Issues with how the website looks. Sort of primitive. Since I accept who signs up. Our new member rate is really low.  Talk about Wiki. Talk about data form where people got signed up.
Sourcing – Since the last committee meeting, I have put together a task flow document for what everyone is oding in sourcing. Modeled off the membership teams workflow. So we are now clear of the many people working in sourcing. Lisa in membership has been helping update the ordering spread sheet and clean it up. Many of our issues are fixed. Still have to update the database. Regional access finally told us that there are a bunch of things we can’t even put on our list that can’t be delivered on Wednesday. I would suggest we postpone the bulk ordering thing until we get this limited list. There will likely be lots of things out of stock. We just turned a bunch of stuff away at distribution. The full book order was hard to get it. Receive a packages on Tuesdays. Anything that comes in UPS we need to get on Tuesday.S omeone needs to be available Tuesdays of distro-week.
  • We need the url for the spreadsheet. We take the inventory every time.Who is the person to send that to? Sourcing committee
Finance – not here
Membership – We need people to help member status emails. Workshift coordinator. That person could create a form for the committess to work out. That information needs to be communicated to general membership via google group website and newsletter.  In the meantime if you create one excel spreadsheet in google docs, that might be a way to do that. Communicate to all committees. Hey deliquents what can you do?
Outreach – Alex is supposed to be the person announcing. Tabling and flyering. We have an event coordinator. We are asking about taking the head of events. It is useful to coordinate that. Film screening or casual potluck. We have spoken about how to bring the Coop together. Maybe we can make Fireproof have a happy hour. We have done this at members houses. Bushwick Foursquare League. Contact Castle Braid about what sort of thing we could do
Distribution update – Distribution is going well. We have been distributing food. Buying with overstock and bulk without a membership. Five times may be too much. But I think 2 or 3 times brought a lot of people in last week. Channels of communication need to be clear because we are getting food to the actual people. The new flow has been working well for people like it.  Charging for bags is a plus and is  a new option. Only a penny a bag.  Color coding for dairy has been changed and has been going really well. We have been doing different color categories. I know there was one week where people’s meat and dairy was labeled and then one week that didn’t happen, but it was initially a good idea.  We had an issue with meat one week where they were ordered in pounds instead of portions.
  • Second scale is also working.
  • We have also started to have a second cashier station, so the line moves faster at peak times.
  • Color coding system for now.
  • Last couple of buying clubs we have been having overstocking fiascos. The overstock numbers are on the spreadsheet. Doesn’t correspond with what is actually coming in
  • Too much overstock essentially and at the last minute
  • We will do it off the main spreadsheet next week.
  • Fatmer’s Market possibilities: If we have an outreach table at the Farmer’s Market, can we bring it to us. If we are going to have a table there? Need a licensed food protection handler for that.
  • Something talked about at Distro last week was sending out a message on facebook or twitter and advertise what we have. Send it a little earlier. Send it at 6 or 7. We don’t want people coming after 9. Wrapping up orders at 8 would be good. FI they come late, they just pick up and go away.
  • Anyone reprogram the registers soon? And/or recode the register
  • We also need spice jars. It needs its own set up. Do we want a shelf? I think baking soda and spices should be bulk things. How about Spice Jars?
Sighting – Matt has been responding to Distro’s needs and trying to fix the scale and what not. There is some discussion on building shelving for the bulk bins.
Legal – Anyone want to be involved with that? For distribution. We should always have Food Protection Handler for each distro day. Have to go through a course either rin person or online. The chapters are easy. Then take it in person $24. In person $100
Needs to be a new distro manager, but actually 3 because it is a 13 hour day.
CSA – Issues with CSA – aside from sighting. Flyers are necessary

What to do with leftover food and not just to the kitchen
Try to give to different pantries soup kitchens and all that sort of stuff. Law about unpackaged food
Saturday cooking club. Chrissy’s cooking club. Chrissy makes food and sells it and then we give out recipes and learn how to cook food. All local sources and businesses and all that sort of stuff.
Giving recipes also to Alex. Gave him a bunch of recipes form Chrissy’s blog. He has just been behind and swamped, but he has been working.
How many paid members 207 people have paid towards membership.Discussion

Business discussed ideas to help the flow of distribution. Get feedback on this.

  1. Pack orders form the get go
    1. Increases work hours. Vastly reduce waits
    2. The shopping aspect is kind of nice. Community thing happens
    3. While it would definitely be quicker there are sanitary issues. Also I (Max) brought up waiting on line being the big issue
    4. There’s a point at the end of the day. Towards the end of the night we can start packing things up.
    5. Modification is just package people’s refrigerated items and is really simple. That is something that often gets mixed up anyway. Any extra items can be put into overstock. Better than the coolers. Then if that works might move to produce.
    6. Second Weigh Station as a second cashier at the next distro day.
      1. Issue is record keeping
      2. Start programming the register
      3. Just get the context. Just catch revenue that is all through the cracks.
      4. The recording is important, but the issue is faster moving check out.
      5. You don’t know when the rush of people is going to be. Is it the same time every day? It is person based. The person with the complicated order is the big issue 5 or 6 is also a good issue
      6. Try to reduce the pick up hours in general. Night time hour reduction is important.
      7. Vote on extra cash box and signed name and we don’t want to lose money?
        1. Cash box is updated

Brooklyn Fireproof – Difficult encounter and miscommunication. Ned to be aware that the ownership is in a different place than the barstaff. Anything we can do? Storage room and food are the big issues. We need to know our prerogatives with the storage room. Need to talk to both owner and barstaff and wrapping up is a big concern. They will come in at 8. According to the Fireproof calendar, only supposed to be there at 9. Booking people until 9. Winter wasn’t as much of an issue. Summer is more of an issue a lot 9 pm shows. They were aware that we were cleaning up at 9 and the next group comes in at 10. They are just frustrated. I would be happy to change the distro time to 8:30. Might be helpfult o say why we close at 8:30. Explain why. Shorten the distribution. We should bend to accommodate them because that is how they make money. Their original argument was 9. Bar and studio are not the same ownership/management. We have been putting up having a written agreement brought up. We don’t want to pay rent, etc. We are getting a lot. Must have some sort of agreement. We need notice, etc. it is a worthy cost to have. Another meeting with Berg and Leslie and then have all of this voiced. At that meeting we can say we want to discuss what is going on.  They are getting some share of this. New CSA crates. Food storage is a big issue. Can’t have any vegetable matter in any way at all. Leftover bulk bags and we put them in coolers. We have to come up with a written agreement. They are not going to do it. It will just be a good thing. WE have to put crates in a specific area.

The Loom update – Free Loom space. 3 unoccupied storefronts at the Loom. One faces Porter, One facing Flushing and one facing Thames. They would sign something as much as a week’s notice if they get someone. If we have refrigeration that becomes a possibility. We would need to have insurance. Need to sign an agreement with them and all that stuff.  Thames is not as desirable because of fumes and so on. We can also move from one or another. Huge space facing Knickerbocker. Gorgeous space for a real grocery. The café folk have it. She doesn’t need all of it. Half the space if she is willing to share it. Since we are both squatting there it may be ok.

  • Storefront would be great. The reason that we haver a specific demographic is that we don’t have a store front. You have to know about the coop. Spanish speaking population. They are just not in this community. If there were a storefront. It is through a fluke that we find out about these things.
  • We can afford to try it out. Finance is the fiscal policy vote of the $5500 is membership fees and the rest is profits. Without a good accounting system in place, I am scared of us rolling on in the way that w ehave been. Must clean up and tighten the system. Close up loops. Storefront on Knickerbocker is great. Don’t have to be a full store. Still be limited but we can have bulk good and spices and have some of the other stuff there full time. A couple of open hour days. Visible advertising and bring in a diverse community. Cooler system until we are sure we have the money to pay for utilities.
  • Don’t need a refrigerator all the time.
  • Loom is an awesome thing to consider. Personal thing is numbers put to everything. We must price everything. Pros – Cons – Costs to the Loom. All electric condo. Water, heater, fridge, Must validate the numbers. Justin is going to do that
  • Two things – location is important. Would technically take us out of Bushwick to be at the Loom. The Loom is not the venue for local people. That being said, it is a phenomenal space in our community. Second thing is that the cooking club that I found and run. Hoping to do a cooking workshop space. Partnership possibility to help split utilities. Give the space a little more life. No Buying club then lessons.
  • Discussed ideas for summer event.
BFC Committees Meeting
June 27, 2011 Brooklyn Fireproof

Finance: $9,739.00, last buying club sales 1969.74, expenses 1568.45,  profit 401.29

Membership: Active members 96, on-alert ?, Need more person-power.

Sourcing: Met two weeks ago, need help managing source spreadsheets.

IT: Not represented

Siting: Working on signs and other aesthetic and organization of Distro Day.  We need a new Distro Day afternoon manager.  Possibility of 3 managers instead of 2.

Outreach/PR: Not represented

Legal: No committee head, we need one, suggestions?

CSA:  Running smoothly!

Discussion

  • Tracking of financial data of great importance to many committees.  Who, what, how, when, and what is not being sold.  We need to schedule a meeting with Business, IT, Sourcing, Membership and Finance to unify our flow of information and make it shared with all committees.  Google spreadsheets has had some updates recently, maybe we can spreadsheets there.  Begin process through emailing a list of needs and sharing of any data each committee holds before a physical meeting.
  • Call for estimate of operational costs for inclusion in Membership Equity vote
  • Use of Iphone app for accepting credit cards
    • Creates another stream of income to integrate
    • Someone has to have an Iphone at Distro Day at all times
    • Credit Cards increased sales at 4th St.
  • EBT – most would like to see the coop have it.
    • Reports on Intercoop Google group has complained that acquiring the system is a long bureaucratic process.
  • Sarah the facilitator.  Worked as a facilitator for a coop at her university and other organizations.
    • She can offer her services to facilitate or conduct training.  She is available after 7pm.
    • She could begin at the next General Meeting all present gave her the smiley faced thumbs up emoticon, that’s a yes vote.
  • Decision making policy needs to be written up.  It is still not clear to the majority of those at the meeting of committees.
    • An admin position could help.  Someone who archives and knows the results of policy votes and has procedural knowledge.
  • Discussion of capping work hours owed for suspended members
    • Park Slope does not cap number of work hours until the owing member puts their membership on hold.
    • The number of shoppers at the last Distro Day was the lowest of the year.  We need more shoppers.
    • Found this was actually discussed and decided on last meeting.  Membership will talk to those few this pertains to directly
  • Household policy has been informally to allow one membership per household.
    • Membership feels each member of the house needs to work hours, but that charging $50 per household member may make membership prohibitive.
    • Is this an issue yet?  What are our needs in relation to person-power that we currently have.
      • Justin and Shira will try to calculate our person hour needs for each committee.
  • Barry the Tempeh guy wants to order through the coop.  What is our policy for institutions ordering through us?  What if they only want overstock?
    • What would their membership fee be?  Hours?
    • Currently, the institution has to be a member and pay the $50.  Work hours are decided on case to case basis.

Agenda for July 5th

  • To be facilitated by Sarah Dunn
  • Discuss pre-packing pickup options for Distro Day
  • Call for ideas for a Summer Event.  Who wants to organize?
  • Discuss household membership policy
BFC General Monthly Meeting
May 2nd, 2011:  7:00 – 9:00pm: Brooklyn Fireproof
Finance Report – Not known how to do
  • Membership Report – Being done now. Counts form 15 days ago. First time went through and cleaned up member statuses. Keeping those up to date. As of April 14th 42 Active members 15 alert 7 suspended 3 canceled 37 on hold. 137 have ever ordered from the buy in club.
    • 35 Trial only
    • Overstock only people 107 people
    • 3 household members officially
    • ? Volunteered.
    • 7 Park Slope Food Coop Volunteers
    • 45 members are CSA members
    • 22 CSA members + Food from Buy In
    • Ordering membership is 92 people
    • Whole Family? – Getting a count a nice round number. 370 or so people in our database.
  • Committees
    • Sourcing – For 2 buy-in clubs. Can’t tell if there is a difference. A couple of spread sheet issues. Which spreadsheet. The same one that keeps getting passed around. The one that goes to food club and the w2ebsite. Some formulas are not working such as “new items.” Anything that we can do in sourcing in general
      • In the descriptions only has the first part of the description. Only a line. Need to talk to Mike. The more button has not been working. We can make abbreviations. We don’t need to spell out the word every time.
      • If you like or need an item. Suggestions being used? Some things have been added. Do you want something physical. Form next to the email sign up at distribution maybe a big thing on the wall
    • Membership – is up like 12 members. Updating work hours regularly. Lots of different reasons. People putting in 20 hours every hour two weeks. something for everyone. Membership meet this Thursday. A lot of people can make it. A two pronged meeting like this one. Always need help!
      • Membership tabler shifts at distribution. Make sure to get the word out there at distribution. Put big signage and bright colors that people check in with membership every time.
      • The distributor was not great at the last distribution meeting and that should be discussed. Good to see who owed what. One person is good and another is bad. Because of the computer we were using. Know which columns to read and update. No notes were made on the file. Computer wasn’t working too well
      • Good for membership table to have physical contact with membership and provide direct feedback. Technology kinks at the table. Check marks. Chasier knows to check for that. The bale was in a line.
    • Outreach PR – Christine Emmanuelle and Maris are doing the table. Putting together a schedule to work with the Bushwick farmer’s market and a few other places. Max and Gloria will be contacted for Castle Braid tabling
      • Social Justice – Alex has gone to many meetings.
    • Buying Club and Distribution – not sure what to do. None of us want to make that decision. What to do with Perishables at the end of the night. How much have we had over the last two buying clubs. We end up having a lot of left over ordered stuff. Lable people’s names on things. Meat comes way bigger also. A lot of people opt out buying so much. We don’t know what to do with it. Sell it to ourselves at half price. Holding people accountable for that? Lots of mistakes? Get data entry to the membership table and the status emails sent out. Who is in charge of that? We are discussing that Thursday at the membership meeting. Will that be conveyed? Is there a way of getting an alert? If you don’t get an email from us that’s good! Would I be prevented from actually ordering? Log onto the food club website under admina nd suspend a user at any time. if that is something you want ot employ, making a technical action disabling them from ordering. We have not made the decision to suspend people yet. In specific meat issues. and things like that. Last time we asked if anyone at the bar wanted it if they wanted it and they don’t have authority to do it. The owner and chef are interested in getting overstock. Reduced member for that. Matt will talk to them. Encourage them to become an institutional member.
    • Barter situation
    • Siting – Nothing really. License sell food retail to the public. Honestly not clear. Limited to congregation club and fraternal organization. Something to find out. Call health department
    • New Legal committee head.
    • Business – Justin and Alex have meeting to recap which we can expand on later, but for the most part. The coop is an organically growing thing and to try to put that in business terms is difficult. If anyone hasn’t sent in their suggested hours. We need to handle the hour submission better. Storage space is the next logical thing. We need to figure out how to pay for or barter with. Need to store food overnight take delivery on different days . That is our Achilles Heel right now. In order to have refrigeration. Doesn’t need to be here.
  • Grant Writing – 501c3 – More educational programming. We are also connected with the local school district. In terms of grant writing. We need the story and the founding Foundations need a story and who they are representing. One of the compelling things is our zip code. Our zip codes are great for using help NYC department of health. Adopt – a – Bodega program. That’s going to matter. need a picture of our membership. Tell a different story between what we see and what our make up. We have to create a template for that. As detailed a picture of membership as possible. Know that you are growing. Have all the numbers. Talk about exponential growth, etc. We are going to have a meeting. Exactly what we need and then have a meeting. This is exactlyw hat we need, flush out the story. Get people’s schedules get emailed responses. In terms of story telling. Does it help to tell the story of the connection of supporting local and regional small farmers. It’s definitely the issue of becoming a more fully integrated version of where we are at. I like the idea of getting someone’s lives better. Just good to have and that is how we should be. Try to flex those muscles. Must be representative of where we come from.
  • Further Operations Discussion
    • Website – Kim designs her own website. she did have that conversation. It’s not open source. we can’t go in and change it. Gave her everyone’s names including yours and so she wants to put that team together and see what happens. Alex will be there with any initiative with this community. They need to be the forefront runners. We are all wearing many hats
    • 2/3rds vote – most of the people part of that? Questions on policy or the membership we put it to the vote. Anyone with good standing or on hold gets an invite to put in their vote. Linked up to email addresses they are sent to and it is only for the people who are participating. We got at least 53 votes and 92 to 3. A few concerns. As we move forward, our explanations should be plain and simple. there can be options to it but make it as accessible as option. 2/3rds hopefully both online and in person. take from the membership database.
    • Parental Leave – How long do we want to give parental leave – A year for PS Food Coop. Year for one parent or you can split it between both. If someone has a child and needs to go on parental leave, but still have benefits. Work exempt. How does that work with our current household accounts? What if each person is a member – Move that conversation to the membership meeting to make more straightforward options
    • Voting closed last Friday. At this point, we are going to operate under 2/3rds vote
    • Overstock Limits – Right now we are keeping track of those purchases. 5 items for now. Start enforcing that. People who are on hold can technically purchase overstock. Same with suspended. Quite a few names onhold just purchasing overstock and have purchased overstock a few times already. Is the main question should we limit it and to if so what? Don’t want people taking advantage of the coop without giving back. 5 distribution days. We want a pool of people to sell overstock too. Some of the extra stuff is going to Dan as a head chef.
    • Low income – $15 for membership – not legal. To be a cooperative in NYS minimum share has to be $50! $5 Over three months. Make it equal across the board. We could make it accessible with a minimum fee over time. Add $2 in every fee that we cost
      • Do we gain equity from our membership fees. Currently our membership fees are non-refundable. Because of our payment system, that does give some wiggle room. We have a fairly transient group in general. Maybe we should be able to opt out. Transfer or change it.
      • Does investment fee count as a share?
      • Our most ideal member would be someone who keeps up with their work and is trained in somehting and keeps doing it. So they are not on hold or suspension or going away. The transient nature is not ideal from a data standpoint. If everyone pulled out about at the same time, it would collapse. $7000 in the bank. Who should have the equity. Sort of like a trust. Maybe not long term membership instead of some sort of short term investment. Invest fees in the coop or not.
        • Decided – have an actual finance report. Alex will forefront getting accurate data on our finacnces
    • CSA – Meeting about siting. The owner of Brooklyn Fire Proof said ok to have here. 33 members now. Start the 2nd week in June. Going to be completely outside. Late in teh season we have to decide whether we want a CSA or not. Is there an orientation meeting or a group meet up and probably have it at Brooklyn Fire Proof. There is a lot of stuff happening with that.
———–
General Meeting.

Skipped Committee Reports
     Finance Policy
          Social Equity. We need to work towards this goal. I have some suggestions about his tonight. None is going up to vote and can have its own meeting in the future
Mark up 24% – goes to Coop Bank Account – Are we charging too much? General feeling was we needed the money since we are in growth. Could we survey the community and find out what sort of things and what price would we be willing to pay for it? Grants are also going to be necessary. Foundations will give overhead. There are some ways. Grantscan be given for overhead. how much would we have to mark it down.
Thinking about economic equity. Thinking about food stamp program you get $50 a week for food. Possibly cutting it in 1/2. Prices are too high in general partially because of the buy in club. If anything is not there. It might be a bolume issue. We need to find the cheapest ways to get food as well. The question of volume is an issue. we are very small. The problem is we need to meet minimums. The distributors we are accessing currently, how much do we get from them? Export reports from Food Club. A lot of our distributors have very small minimum. The distributors are not going to give us a much better price. The prices seem pretty stacked as presented. They may not charge us that much less.
Should we think about other sourcing options. Everyone has rooftops and the ability to supply us with groceries. Look into a seed program. Bring in your seed program and provide your own produce. With regards to food stamp programs, There is an NYC program for using those food stamps at green markets. we may be able to access that. however, Access to Information connecting with community organizations who are connected to that audience. There are a lot community work that needs to be done.  When talking about Social Equity, not just fiscal equity but being informed. Those both seem to be the two archetypes of what we are dealing with.
Many can’t afford Whole Food or Park slope Food coop, We have issues such as the fact that we don’t support everything. The site/geography are also big factors.
The goal is an actual storefront. What do we have to show someone who is not familiar with the Coop system? Need to find a way to articulate the benefits to that family. It will be a struggle.
Cost argument is a political issue as well. Many health costs, local grower costs and things like that. Also an issue of transparency. Get it out there in our literature.
1/3rd of the people at the honey stand were educated or had an inkling of what ti takes to be eating healthy. We can tap into the educated portion of the workforce
How can we help make a broken system (nationally) better.
More purchasing power over a few items. Let people buy off of our products in bulk. Order at a reduced price? What do we think? 5% mark up or something for that?
Some way to display actual cost as opposed to mark up. Order things that are not an option.
Decide 12% on Bulk orders. Whatever a minimum order is. Incredibly explicit.
Specialty items are something we excel in. What if for bulk ordering for items not in our product sheet. If you can arrange a bulk order however you want to define that. You have to supply everything yourself. Find other sources. Who is the market for that? We don’t reward between the individual members and the sources.
Can  we do a vote for 12% mark up on bulk orders excluding meat and dairy will go to online vote

BFC General Monthly Meeting

April 4, 2011:  7:00 – 9:00pm: Brooklyn Fireproof
Erica to take meeting minutes. Pass around sign in sheet [Erica]
i) Introductions
ii) Submit additional agenda items
iii) Financial & membership report (different from committee reports — straight numbers)
-finance report to be emailed to google group later
-80-90 active members right now
-51 people ordering for 4/6– down from 58 for the last buying club (possibly due to early closing of ordering)
-6 new people ordering this time, 10 last time and 8 the time before
-up from 35 people in 12/2010

iv) Committee reports

  • IT:  [Michael] : No report
  • Sourcing: [Heather D, Kayla]
    • there was a distribution meeting last week to go over operations
    • In the process of transferring duties to new people because Heather is going away
    • Sourcing is ordering food for buying club and talking to distributors to fiure out what is feasible for them to deliver to us
    • needs: research to find vendors, put items into product list and what should be available week to week, update foodclub.org buying club system, tallying orders when they come in,  ordering from distributors to make sure they get here on time
    • needs another person to help work on this committee: more researchers, someone to enter the order into foodclub.org, someone to update the website, blog, and food ordering page
  • Finance: [Alana, Elizabeth, Silvia]
    • Finance is entering in receipts and depositing checks and cash
    • They need help with business plan duties
    • Finance needs a new committee head
    • Needs 2 data entry people Thu-Sun after buying club
    • Needs help with fundraising and grant writing
  • Membership: [Shira, Jesse, Lauren R]
    • some CSA members now ordering regularly
    • need help scheduling shifts, writing and sending emails
    • need lots of help!
    • need help with data entry and emails and website updating
  • Outreach/PR: [Alex, Jessica]
    • Got a new member with experience working with unions and rights activist groups
        • canvassing and phone banks
    • Talking about where outreach scope is
    • Went to Brooklyn Food Coalition meeting in march at the health department
      • talking about how to bring food from upstate downstate
        • farmers looking for a way to target low-income and families so as not to compete with whole foods/larger distributors etc
    • need to figure out what we want to do- build a community ourselves vs marketing to demographics that may not be already interested in organic foods etc- work on educational outreach
      • talk about economic outreach
    • what is our role in bringing organic food to all vs those already interested?
    • have bloggers- need to develop that
    • chrissy’s cooking club teaming up with Bushwick community high school doing a cooking demonstration from 4-6 at the distribution day
    • also tabling is laura braslow’s arts in Bushwick
    • compost?
    • in order to lead an event, just talk to alex or other involved members
    • tabling  and flyering next month
    • Christine Emanuele will make a flickr page
    • product reviews would be really cool email them to outreach@bushwickfoodcoop.org
  • Buying Club Distribution: [Ellie]
    • distribution is the Wednesday when everyone gets their food: distribution has some new roles
      • need a driver to pick up from Williamsburg and maybe union square?
      • need someone to stay at the membership table: need someone to stay with the list before people check out
      • take pictures at this buying club for the website
      • would be cool to have a BFC historian
  • Siting/Facilities: [Matt, Justin L]
    • Broadway space is still interested
      • will bring it up to code- put in sinks, bathrooms etc
      • budget wouldn’t be a big issue
      • would have to sign a contract etc
    • siting scopes out potential spaces
    • looking for an owner with a cheap or free lease and then after the first year things might change, allow us to get momentum
    • keep your eyes open for places that are for rent- location important but off the beaten path might be okay
    • $1.50-2/sq ft, need sinks w/at least 2 basins etc
    • can get away with some things others can’t because we’re a food coop
    • not actually for profit but not 501c3 same as condo bylaws.  can make money but everyone would want the money to go back in to the coop
    • would we want to do prepared food in a storefront? chicken salad sandwiches etc?
    • would need some food prep areas to cut up cheese and tofu and bag spices etc.
    • met with architect about rooftop garden- meeting on Thursday about design scope
      • something to be open to but maybe not the time to start a new venture when we still need people to do our basic tasks
    • management doesn’t use computers but sent addresses of residents w/o their names- should we do it face-to-face/door-to-door
    • Brooklyn fireproof:
      • we have been in this space since November- closet belongs to artist studios, meeting room belongs to the café- used to rent that closet out for money (used to be full of stuff)
      • CSA is every week- we need to draw up an agreement for the use of the space in the closet ($200/month- possible barter deal could be worked out- whole closet to him is worth 600) – and another for the use of the meeting room
      • chairs not guaranteed etc
      • would like some hold harmless agreements even if we use the space for free- wants liability fixed
        • should talk to chris
      • talk to café manager about a shut down list
        • use dishwasher to wash scoops?
      • siting could build something and then they have a storage shed out in the back alley
      • would be good for committee heads to meet with burr and bring a CSA person and business- would be good to build a direct connection with the ownership
      • could give leftovers  from CSA to BFP
      • meris could maybe rent a room
  • Legal: [Elizabeth]
    • need a new legal committee head
  • Business: [Justin, Alex]
    • business committee met- talked about a lot of different things
      • went to a lot of different meetings
    • getting a baseline for what our operations are now
    • usually would be board of directors and exec dir and then other people working
    • ideally we will have a board of directors that represent the people we are trying to reach, reps from farmers etc- people we’re dealing with on all spectrums
  • CSA [Maggie]
    • CSA is open- click on CSA- link will take you to the CSA website- to garden of eve where you can sign up for the CSA- pick up location for CSA will announced
    • fee this year is 15 instead of 10- can count towards membership and fully paid members will get their CSA fee refunded

v) Agenda items

  • Proposal for New Meeting Structure [Alex]
    • first step to new structure: executive board- committee heads meet once a month and then the general membership meets and makes decision rather than listening to people talk
      • board meetings would be open
      • a space where people who want to be involved and people who know whats going on can get together and discuss things
      • goal of these meetings would be to build the agenda for the general meetings
      • rep from each committee to be there
  • Proposal for Ad Hoc Committee of BFC restructuring
    • explore the different models and then email everyone about it
    • discuss it at next meeting
    • write up very specific models of what are
  • Proposal for Membership Voting Model [Alex]
    • most cooperatives work on a voting system
    • 2/3 vote of active and alert members
      • people w/o computers we call
      • people w/ email write emails and then tally them
    • current bylaws do not entail anything – as loose as possible
    • need to figure out how to make decisions
    • could we vote on consensus instead of yes/no? bring consensus structure into our general operations?  have people go through facilitator training
      • voting have strong agreement, neutral, agree, disagree
        • can’t pass until no one strongly disagrees
    • send out an email with a deadline to vote
      • if you can’t make the meeting your vote should still count
    • you vote online or at the meeting
    • should be able to get a vote from everyone
    • all votes should be publicized in advance and you can relay your opinion and vote to be presented at a meeting
      • problem with voting online is that there isn’t much of a forum for discussion except for google groups
    • do online survey with the final vote at an actual meeting
    • do as much online discussion as possible
    • distro-day written surveys- makes it convenient
    • issue for the lawyers?
    • there used to be votes at all the meetings
    • Park Slope- formed a committee on the way animals are treated in development of products- a lot is overseen by employees, follow robert’s law, handouts at every meeting to explain how to do things such as propose agenda items, wrote up a flyer about the topic, discussion, then a vote
      • park slope has general monthly meeting- one had 250 people then the next was at 100
        • at a local synagogue
    • direct consensus or robert’s model
    • superinovlved people make lots of small decisions everyday but still try to get people involved
    • resolution vs act: resolve to do something at meetings, enact something through email model
    • voting on what we already have would be great
    • hard to get involved as a new member
    • meeting before the general meeting: 7-8 directors etc, 8-9 general meeting instead of 7-9 general meeting
    • nothing is closed but we don’t want the general meeting to be an inside track
    • orientation should be separate
      • bring people up to speed on what’s happening
    • interim use of robert’s law: standard congressional rules, anyone can put something on the agenda and it will come down to a vote, decide on a percentage?
    • Having trouble enforcing people to meet membership requirements- should we enforce those rules more?
      • a deficit of 8 or more hours you need to work before you can order again
          • 3 email and 1 phone call policy – respond to emails and report hours
            • suspended means if you’re worried just talk to us and be open
            • illness and exemption policies you have to tell
      • need to organize tasks better and then people can sign up to do different tasks
      • people need more direction to get work done
      • trying to update work form
      • cleaning up committee contact info
    • do an email poll to active approved members- take a vote on robert’s law with info on what is robert’s law
  • BFC Mission Statement, Social Justice, and Economic Barriers [Alex]
    • thinking about ways to access and reach out to the community
    • do we want to create a storefront or to provide organic safe good food to the community
    • social justice lit in our mission statement and website-  are we the org to do it? structurally things we might want to discuss changing
    • food we offer isn’t as cheap as it could be
    • could eliminate membership fees to a dollar
    • should we do a household clause?
    • a lot of opportunity here
    • current markup is 24%
    • could have a tip jar, kickstarter account, could remove 80% of costs
    • could reach out to faith based groups
  • Rooftop Garden possibility with Pre Post in Greenpoint

vi) Schedule next month’s meeting 8:25-8:27

  • proposed: May 2nd : start the general meeting at 8pm and committee heads meeting at 7pm

vii) Brief announcements  8:27-8:30
viii) Committee break out sessions   8:30-9:00

Voted on and passed:
-3 emails and 1 phone call to warn before account is suspended when someone is behind on work hours
-Temporary use of Robert’s Rules of Order starting next meeting until other method decided on or Robert’s Rules is made official
-Restructured meeting: focused committee head meeting first followed by a general monthly meeting
-Work hour forgiveness cap is now 8 hours

BFC General Monthly Meeting
March 7, 2011
7:00 – 9:00pm
Brooklyn Fireproof East backroom
i) Introductions
ii) Submit additional agenda items
iii) Financial & membership report
iv) Committee reports

  • IT:  [Michael] (?)
  • Sourcing: [Rachel, Heather D]  (?)
  • Finance: [Alana, Elizabeth, Silvia] (?)
  • Membership: [Shira, Jesse]  (?)
  • Outreach: [Isabel, Anne, Cassandra]  upcoming events (chili? cookoff), screening series recap –COMMITTEE HEAD NEEDED
  • Buying Club Distribution: [Ellie]  ()
  • Siting/Facilities: [Matt, Justin L] ()
  • Legal: [Elizabeth]
  • PR: [Alex]  New website outline, Events and Cross Promotions

v) Agenda items

  • Broadway+Dekalb site analysis
    • Shira: Poll Results
    • Justin: Proposals
    • Alex: Strategies
  • 319 Scholes
  • Business Plan
  • Passwords and personal information
  • Possible new committee: Business
  • Possible new position: store/general manager
  • Vokashi compost system presentation at 3/23 distro day [laura c]

iii) Financial & membership report
FINANCE: $7000 in bank account – first 3 of film series each brought
in 150, last one brought in
less
-       30% profit on feb 9th buying club
-       trying to streamline what happens at the end of every buying club,
having purchases documented correctly, keeping track of things because
we’re a business
-       want to program codes for products into register to keep track of
buying patterns
MEMBERSHIP: the last buying club increased orders by 6-
-each of the last buying clubs had 10 new members
-incorporating lots of new help in data entry

iv) Committee reports

SOURCING: some new sourcing members, looking for people available for
doing sourcing work on Tuesdays: starting around noon and going on
into the evening- the earlier the better

OUTREACH:
-about 40 people came to each screening
-chili cookoff postponed- one suggestion is iron chef style
competition from a csa box –
shira can get people in touch with Ann to help out
-need outreach committee head
-go to school and city events
-re-combine outreach and pr (Alex)

DISTRIBUTION:  distribution seems to be going well- some overstock
from people who didn’t know they ordered

SITING: drawn up a space, still talking with the owners, sent a survey
to them, they aren’t adept with tech-> might take a while, looking
into budget and logistics
site at broadway and dekalb (1086 broadway), site on scholes- by
messerole stop on L

PR: Working on a blog system and website, sent out updated web
outline, every committee will get its own updateable page, recipes,
news + events- ideally everyone can post events and news items to
display on the main page, all will link to twitter and facebook
accounts, working with 5 or 6 blog writers. Still some technical
hurdles to get through before new site
Trying to get a weekly donation-based Saturday yoga brunch at BFP with
brunch special, looking for freelance yoga instructors
BFP wants events 10 times a week- 1 per day and night etc, to be more
of a community center, offering food and services
NY eco station w/ Sean is in talks with BFP to do a roof garden here-
we could do cross-promotion there
We could do a work hours exchange with ecostation, bike coop down the
street, etc
(Ecostation NY=secret farm, Bushwick Farmers’ Market)

CSA UPDATE: Garden of Eve will start welcoming members now- getting
everything in order- looking to team up with BFC for the space- do CSA
pickup and drop-off simultaneously with buying club? no space inside
-  CSA outside?  figuring out location right now
use leftover food to make a weekly community dinner?
-help from impact?

v) Agenda items
1086 BROADWAY:
-Possible location across from Goodbye Blue Monday
-534 sq ft space
-Free until we can afford to pay rent
-Space: a room, door, a small window, garage door

Poll results: According to poll there would be a ¼ increase in
membership, 12% increase in purchasing, but most people live off the L
OPTIONS:
-stay here (BFP) look for other options
-move buying club
-start storefront
If they won’t build the space up to code, we shouldn’t move in- we
can’t afford to do renovations

Graduated timeline for starting a storefront:
-move buying club to every week, 2 days a week every week, then every
two days
-threshold for 2 days a week, every week needs 200 active members
which is 3x what we have now
-building owners see a need for their tenants and their area to have
an organic natural food store- raises value of area residential
properties
most of the people who buy on a regular basis are 6-7 blocks from BFP
= 1 hour RT walking
markets important- will gain and lose markets depending on location
fledgling bed-stuy coop that we could possibly join forces with
we aren’t starting a business but looking to have a stable location
(with a window)
a lot more people would join if it were a store
should have bicycle delivery
bike coop has cargo bikes w/extended frames
free delivery to elderly, disabled etc
acquire one- use for advertising
-need to focus on first step: turn this into a 2 day/wk buying club on
the weekends
-refrigeration is a next step
Friday delivery for Saturday buying club?
how long would it be until the space was ready? – could probably be
done quickly
they want a response (something started?) by May
outreach to tenants there to help us get started
should partner with the bed-stuy coop people
be careful not to grow too quickly
-took park slope 5 years to get their first space

-So. Bronx food coop had to shut down after just a few years- but
they didn’t have the membership

319 SCHOLES:
2 spaces about the same size as this room
10-12 ft garage door, skylight, a few blocks from BFP, the street is
kind of shady
a space to “borrow time” but not for long term use
big space but limited time-wise
shared free space- if he isn’t doing a(n art) show
no storage space
not a storefront option
CSA space?

BFP: BFC can’t store perishables, storing too much stuff at BFP?
-Can we find a way to store crates outdoors?
-We need to be clear (on paper) with what we need and when we need it
-need to move popcorn machine
-should we offer to straighten up storage room?

BUSINESS PLAN:
From invoices: the more shoppers we have, the less $ people are
spending
-averaging $300-400 per buying club
Hard to read profits b/c of upfront costs- we are selling bulk goods
that were paid for at previous buying clubs
Proposed: Business Committee to pull together an executive summary- to
go beyond # crunching
-projections
-markets
-goals and micro-goals
Would be helpful if each committee had forms of reporting (to be
posted publicly online):
-balance sheets for finance
-documentation of publicity mentions
-membership activity
-ordering tallies
Full disclosure of everything, go above board, greater transparency
Grant writing committee? Will be possible once we have a written
business plan
Do a kickstarter campaign for financing

Possible new position: store/general manager:
-Someone to do distro day as a store manager/a whole operation: 1
liaison to BFP rather than 3
-Post it on the website as a position (could Ellie do it- need
someone to take her position)
-Need new manager for afternoon Distro- day: 3:15-10:30:
involves troubleshooting and acting as membership person during those
hours

Christy redesigned info fliers- Shira will post for online discussion

Passwords and personal information: discussion postponed to next
month’s meeting.

Vokashi compost system presentation at 3/23 distro day:
-Laura will be in touch with Vokashi about doing a demo/having a
table 3/23
-members could individually subscribe/do compost drop-off at distro
days
-we could sell their kits at the buying club

Announcements
•     City council hearing FoodWorks plan report: There was a public
hearing with Christine Quinn regarding food sourcing and
regulations:
o       regulations for food packaging and waste
•     JustFood CSA conference report
o       there were panels on local foods, CSAs, farmers
•     There will be a rally on March 30 in Albany – No Farms No Food Rally
& Lobby Day: about local foods and run by American Farmland Trust
o       NY is behind PA and NJ in farmland protection
o       Post about this on the website
o       Buses will leave from Union Sq in the morning and return to NYC
after rally
•     Possibility of donating leftover food from buying club/CSA to ampleharvest.org: they connect gardeners to food pantries.

Next month’s meeting will be April 4 at 7pm

Meeting Minutes

BFC General Monthly Meeting
January 10, 2011
7:00 – 9:00pm
Brooklyn Fireproof East backroom

Agenda
Assign note taking
Pass around sign in sheet
i) Introductions  7:00-7:10
ii) Submit additional agenda items  7:10-7:15
iii) Financial report, membership report (different from committee reports — straight numbers)  7:15-7:25
iv) Committee reports  – anything more than brief moved to agenda discussion  7:25-8:05 (~5min per committee)

  • IT: new ordering system
  • Sourcing:  new sources, new ordering system – how it changes things, bulk items not on order form? — take inventory
  • Financ: new ordering system – how it changes things, headway on grantwriting and fundraising, Taxes for 2010
  • Membership:  new membership database, new policies, help needed to email new (and old) members and match their skills with committees, input data from forms
  • Outreach:  upcoming events, Winter Film Series, Bushwick School for Social Justice health fair, tabling kit, orientation
  • Buying Club Distribution: What went well, what didn’t, what’s needed for 1/26, ie printer, bags, shopping baskets, labor, paper copies of forms, etc
  • Siting/Facilities
  • PR – head needed
  • Legal – committee head needed

v) Agenda items  8:05-8:35

  • Business Planning follow up
  • Representation at the NYC Food Coop Alliance
  • Seed Library
  • Meeting Coordinator

vi) Schedule next month’s meeting 8:35-8:40  [proposed: Feb 7]

vii) Brief announcements  8:40-8:45

  • Intercoop meeting with Christine Quinn Jan 20th – need representation

VIII) COMMITTEE break out sessions   8:45-9:00

BFC General Monthly Meeting
February 7, 2011
7:00 – 9:00pm
Brooklyn Fireproof

Laura C to take meeting minutes
Pass around sign in sheet [Laura C]
i) Introductions  7:00-7:10
Heather
Michael mandecki
Maggie
Callie
Lee conte
Lauren
Alana (finance)
Alex
Dan – financing, storefront
Justin
Gwen
Mary
Anne – outreach
Joelle
Shira – membership, emails
Andrew
Isabel
Elizabeth

ii) Submit additional agenda items  7:10-7:15

iii) Financial report, membership report (different from committee reports — straight numbers)  7:15-7:25
Alana: Our account $7,500 – 5,000
Shira: 800 people on our mailing list, 200 people have signed a membership form, 100 have paid fees, about 50 active members in the buying club. Over the past 2 months we have gained maybe 10 new members in this last buying club.
Michael/ IT: New software. We are working out the workflow from an it perspective. Theres no help, no submit button.  Jeff who is helping with the database.

quick review about the process: we have a buying club every 2 weeks, submit orders online between wednesday and sat 10am.
If you didn’t order in this next buying club,

If you don’t have a username, please sign up to create one and Michael will approve you.

The new system is searchable. Should we create a user guide/ instructions for the new buying club system?
Gwen: I only got one or two emails with questions about the new ordering system.
Alana:

email sourcing@bushwickfoodcoop.org if you want to order a different quantity than whats listed

who gets the IT email? We should figure that out.

We should compile a master password list. (Heather)

iv) Committee reports  – anything more than brief moved to agenda discussion  7:25-8:05
(~5min per committee)
•    IT:  [Michael] (ordering system)
•    Sourcing: [Rachel, Heather D]  (new sources, ordering system)

This will be our first buying club from Alberts organics, and regional access. And we have seeds! from a locally grown seed company. Also on Wednesday we will have samples from the Brooklyn Salsa company. Sourcing meetings are happening on an ad hoc basis. Rachel is looking for someone to take over some of her work.
Shira: is it possible for the descriptions of the items to be more thorough?
Heather: we put as much info as we have on the website.
M: we are limited to 120 characters on the buying club website.
H: Everything we are ordering is organic.
S: It would be nice to have a sourcing page on the website.

Callie would be interested in writing the “featured food” on the blog to help the buying club.
Alex – is there allergy information?  Heather will look into it.
alex-  under the dairy section, do we have an option for non-raw milk?
Heather – we do have a source for organic pasteurized milk.
Discussion about Abner – as opposed to another raw milk supplier
uddermilk -  realmilk.com has a list of national suppliers, they are a NY raw milk distributor.
We will look into pasteurized milk for the next buying club
what is the sourcing criteria – organic, local, price, fair trade.
the coffee – we get one kind of coffee because we need to buy enough in bulk. so probably only one kind of coffee at a time. But if we expand our membership base/ have a storefront we can get more options. Maybe we can rotate the coffee options.

•    Finance: [Alana, Elizabeth, Silvia] (ordering system, Feb film series, headway on grantwriting and fundraising, Taxes for 2010)

Gwen: a tax update – we got our taxes done by submitting our bank statement to the IRS. normally you would submit a financial record with receipts. we need to develop a better system to keep track of our receipts.
alana: I have been keeping track of receipts in a big spreadsheet. We will come to this next buying club to check on the system for storing receipts.
G: we have a bank account at the Brooklyn federal cooperative union. We usually write checks directly to the suppliers on the distribution day.
Its been kind of scattered with miscellaneous receipts (for people buying equipment).
Alana: part of last year was experimenting with different methods
Silvia: we should be entering the numbers at the end of each day/ after each buying club distribution day.
Gwen: we need a very clear record of the expenses and income for taxes (next time)
We should decide what is the bare minimum of information in the spreadsheet for recordkeeping.
Alana: now that we have a more consistent system with the register we will be able to set up a better system.
We keep record of the purchase orders.
Would we use quickbooks?
A: we have our system of spreadsheets set up with formulas online
G: the system is really so simple we don’t need quickbooks

When is a good time for finance people to stop by the buying club – between 8 and 10pm.
Rachel will train on cash register. We could rotate finance people responsible for being at the close of each buying club.

Report- total orders have ranged $1000- $2000 per buying club.  From June 2010 until now we have had 17000 dollars in orders, our expenses15000, average $44 profit. as high as $300, as low as -$343.  Ranged from -19% to %20 – averages to 3.4% profit. so at least we are keeping up with inflation.

variable weights are a problem. we lost money on turkeys.

•    Membership: [Shira, Jesse]  (new membership database, help needed to email new (and old) members and match their skills with committees, input data from forms)

the new membership database has not been good to work with, but good to be able to email everyone at once. Our records are more accurate. Membership needs help with data entry. Record keeping for member activities and information, work hours. Its a lot of emailing to coordinate this work. It would be nice for someone to take on the newsletter writing. And the “rulemaking” for membership. Such as- the rule about overstock: $5 for every time someone purchases overstock without being a member (which counts toward that persons membership fee.) This buying club will enact this rule for the first time.
When you order from the buying club you have to be a member.
We are using vTiger CRM for the membership database. It isn’t easy to use, and needs to be easier to use so a lot of people can help run it.
M: it seems like a lot more work managing the numbers for overstock people.

Question – on the register, do we mark whether paid / non paid member?

•    Outreach: [Isabel, Cassandra]  (upcoming events, Winter Film Series, Bushwick School for Social Justice health fair, tabling kit, orientation)

film series under way -  1st screening success 38 people covered  costs
garland next – osca nom. – fracking -

we are in talks with NE kingdom about doing a BBQ chili slapdown – we sell tickets, they sell beer, we get celebrity chefs in the area to compete. part of the proceeds go to benefit a local school

anne-

isabel – raffles, we are in talks with big tree bottles

we are open to ideas of other businesses who want to support us in some way, its mutually beneficial.

there was a reporter at the last screening ! asking why is this happening, people making coops everywhere.

feedback from the last screening: maybe we need a moderator or a list of questions for the speaker.

and sean for discussion on the 17th.

•    Buying Club Distribution: [Ellie]  (looking for a new afternoon distro day manager) We have one! Lauren

•    Siting/Facilities: [Matt, Justin L] (possible sites search)
Its difficult to find something when we don’t know
we have 2 local developers interested in what we are doing. They will be coming by on wednesday to see what its all about. (brothers David )

•    Legal: [Elizabeth]

v) Agenda items  8:05-8:25
•    Business Planning update, numbers needed! [Justin, Elizabeth, Alana, Silvia, Shira]

The stepping stone plan – buying club, then maybe move to a 2 day buying club after we have facilities. (ie friday delivery, friday, saturday distro), from there a full store. Full financial
We probably need 200-300 active members to maintain a storefront.
Isabel – get some local businesses to act as sustaining sponsors? to help pad the membership $
Justin – grants are an option.
For each of these steps we need a detailed marketing plan to get to each goal. Each committee needs to envision the data for each step (e.g. sourcing, how many products, how much space)

We figured out our mission, who we are, and who our market is. From a business  marketing standpoint it might be good to focus on the type of people who are here in this room. (even though the goal is to get greater bushwick) from a resources standpoint, we
Shira- trying to get the park slope food coop to open branches ? to use their existing resources.
we would have to figure out the answers to the who/ mission first.
for the business plan – each committee head has to give
from a membership, how many crossover memberships do we have? how many of their members live around here?
we should have a nice business plan to present to PSFC
startup costs for each stage, who do we serve at each stage
there will be emails with questions for committee heads to create this business plan.
Can we pay someone to be a GM of the coop, to coordinate with the distro day & committee heads.

•    PR – New PR position — discussion: Alex Jones – new member volunteer! [Alex] – coordinate with Outreach
Alex! he works in film, used to be a web developer and db designer. Enjoys marketing! PR – marketing and customer service. 2 things to get started on: #1 – the website- unifying all the information that we have! get all our databases in line, the ordering, membership db. to know where the people are coming from, to be able to define our region. where are we hitting, where are we not. in order to focus paper campaigns to get new members. #2 – open up a publishing arm of the website- get a few people to write on topics of interest to the member body, to have a huge online presence. to make better use of web, social networking exposure. theres a lot of free things we can do first to get better web exposure.
He needs – information from the other committee.
Like building a digital storefront. Shira has people interested in helping out.

•    Email blast discussion — frequency, subject headings

We send out 2 emails per month. Shira – in addition to send out a blast about the screenings.
Sent a reminder email on Friday to order – it helped significantly.

Alana – I’d rather have 2 short emails instead of one long one.

Michael – we shouldn’t be fearing spamming at this point.

The reminder email is good, as long as there is information, short and to the point. We should send reminders, send events info.

•    cross-promote other orgs that help us on our website, such Claudia Joseph’s Permaculture Exchange. Maybe we create a column called Events on the BFC Home page that people can check out. It’s good PR and community building all around. [Isabel]
Would it make sense to join forces with cobble hill – good case study for the business plan because they don’t have the member bas to support the storefront?

call – maybe sharing vendors with other nearby csa/ coop

working with a buying club/ working with a storefront.

I: can we cross post links with other organizations on our website.
michael – we have a link section.

•    what happened with the last buying club
•    working with Park Slope food coop (elizabeth)

vi) Schedule next month’s meeting 8:25-8:27
•    proposed: March 7

vii) Brief announcements  8:27-8:30
•    Intercoop meeting with Christine Quinn Jan 20th – how did it go?

they went around, each group said a little about who/ where they were. quinn was mostly celebrating food coops. most interesting thing- she talked about a grocery store that is going bankrupt and the city council is going to bail them out. so they are willing to spend billions of dollars to keep a local grocery store from closing. a conventional grocery store.

basically everyone was saying they needed money. not really any list of needs/ demands from the city council.

VIII) COMMITTEE break out sessions   8:30-9:00
•    committees schedule meetings with new people and for current task items

Meeting Minutes 1/10/2011

Attendance: Shira Shaham, Aysu Kirac, Renee Peperone, Julia Kim, Nicholas Lifell, Michael Femia, Michael Mandecki, Cara Baker, Justin Losh, Denis DerSarkisian, Ellie Iron, Heather Dewey-Hagburg, Alana Aylward, Gwen Schantz, Laura Cline, Bry Wheatley, Matt Lorenz, Elizabeth Diamond

Discussion:

  • Shira reported that we’re now giving work credit for meeting attendance. (This meeting was well attended.)
  • Next buying club will be on 1/26.
  • Finance
    • Committee has been inactive for a few months. Likely have ~$3000 in bank.
    • Need to set money goals & draw up business plan. Regular cash flow (from consistent buying club revenues) and some amount of savings needed to get a storefront.
    • Volunteers needed: grant writers, bookkeepers, accountants, or anyone willing to do some data entry. Contact Alana (alana.aylward@gmail.com) or Elizabeth (diamond.elizabeth@gmail.com).
    • Committee will meet sometime in January.
  • Membership
    • Coop has ~150 members; 43 are “active” (that is, have ordered within the last 4 buying clubs). Mailing list has ~800 subscribers.
    • A new membership database has been set up! This means that all membership info is kept in one place; before it had been spread out in several lists.
    • New membership policies were set in the last newsletter (subject line contained The Bushwick Food Coop Tribune.)
    • Membership could use help emailing members who need to do something, like “you need to fill out a membership form to order from the buying club”—contact Shira (shirashaham@yahoo.com) to volunteer.
  • IT
    • Michael, Heather, Rachel, & Jeff have assembled a new ordering system, which should be launched by 1/22, in time for the next buying club! It’s based on something called “foodclub.org” and will make tallying buying club orders much less labor intensive. Instructions will be sent out when it’s ready for use.
    • Committee will meet sometime in January.
  • Sourcing
    • Albert’s Organics is a new buying club supplier! This’ll allow more variety and an expanded produce selection. It may be possible to piggyback on another organization’s Albert’s order, so reducing buying club minimums.
    • The buying club will start tracking & limiting overstock-only purchases (so nonmembers can’t show up every buying club just to grab overstock).
    • Selections for local suppliers are welcome from all; local businesses are especially good candidates. Contact Rachel (rachel@racheldevlin.com) or Heather (heather@deweyhagborg.com).
  • Outreach
    • Film series every Thursday in February at Brooklyn Fireproof East! Each film will feature a related speaker, a tasting, food for sale, and happy hour specials. The lineup:
      1. Dirt! The Movie, with a presentation on permaculture.
      2. Gasland, with a presentation on agriculture in the Catskills and hydrofracking.
      3. To be determined—some film that’ll help reach out and diversify the coop membership base, related to social or food justice. The Garden is one possibility. Partner with el Puente? Shira to get in touch.
      4. Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers. This screening will also give props to the hardcore volunteers who’ve spent many hours keeping the buying club & coop going.
    • Seeking sponsors for these events (to allow ticket giveaways, etc.)
    • Graphics team is working on an ad for the Park Slope coop newsletter.
    • Making presentations at Health Fair & Bushwick School for Social Justice.
    • Want to assemble a tabling kit for coop outreach at farmer’s markets, etc.
    • PR head wanted.
    • Help’s needed to run the Feb screenings, and for other outreach tasks. Contact Isabel (isadurni@gmail.com) or Renee (octopup@ymail.com) to volunteer.
  • Buying Club Distribution
    • Planning to set up coop laptop/printer for next buying club on 1/26.
    • Shift workers need to be comfortable with new cash register—two register workers? Last buying club understaffed, so lacked greeter & bagger.
    • EBT would be good for buying club, but very expensive. Seek sponsor to donate an EBT terminal? Request will be posted to google group.
    • Need volunteers for distribution day! 1/26 and every other Wednesday following. Receiving is 9:30–10AM; pick up is 3–9PM.
  • Siting & Facilities
    • Coop is looking around for a place, but must be cheap or free due to inconsistent cash flow.
    • A provisional site is OK; possibly exchange construction/buildout for rent.
    • Will not sign a lease until enough cash has been saved.
    • Inspection for any storefront is apparently very strict & difficult.
    • Building related skills wanted, contact Matt (matt@theexperiment.org).
  • Legal
    • Elizabeth volunteered to be new committee head.
    • Lawyers think coop’s OK for now—incorporated; liability all set.
    • Need to revise structure for future voting/decision making. Should committees dictate policies relating to things they know about? When should a vote be called? Too many votes mean members will start ignoring them, but good to get member approval for big decisions.
    • Committee needs to set Policies & Procedures meeting.
  • CSA
    • Not much interest in taking over operations for 2011. Garden of Eve owner may run it herself?
    • Maybe turn Garden of Eve into a buying club supplier instead.
    • CSA advantages:
      1. Better price per pound,
      2. Financial support to farm,
      3. Broadens range of coop and may attract new members.
    • Collaboration with 38 Wilson coop possible—someone to reach out to them?
    • Vote on CSA: can facilitate partnerships with local orgs that want CSA, help coop get into other demographics. Buying club may be pricing out lower income residents. (To be continued online)
    • CSA head needed! Gets free CSA share!
    • CSA meeting needed—Heather to spearhead?
  • Seed Library
    • A place in the Hudson Valley will supply seeds to coop. Coop will keep stock of seeds that’ll be for sale at the buying club. Sourcing will handle an email blast or informational message.
  • Business Plan
    • At 12/2010 meeting, Christine Rico of Park Slope coop offered to help compile our biz plan.
    • Possible future steps:
      1. Weekly buying club,
      2. 2 days/week (back to back, eg. Wed & Thu),
      3. More hours, or move to a dedicated space,
      4. Full time coop, will likely require a full time general manager—paid, or Americorps volunteer.
    • Interested in participating? Contact Gwen (info@bushwickfoodcoop.org), Alana (alana.aylward@gmail.com), or Elizabeth (diamond.elizabeth@gmail.com).
  • Intercoop Meeting
    • 1/20 meeting will be attended by Christine Quinn, the city council speaker. Coops are working on a list of requests for her.
    • The more members that can attend, the better! Contact Gwen (info@bushwickfoodcoop.org) for more info.
  • Social Event
    • Suggestions were made for coop-organized social events:
      1. Buying club happy hour (during distro day),
      2. Before/after film screenings,
      3. Individual tastings,
      4. Warm weather BBQs,
      5. Farm trips,
      6. Concession/tabling at shows, events, etc.
    • Next meeting will be Monday, February 2nd.

Bushwick Food Coop Monthly Planning Meeting

12-6-10 @ Brooklyn Fireproof

No minutes were taken at this meeting.  If you’d like to take meeting minutes, please email workshift@bushwickfoodcoop.org, or just show up and volunteer.

Briefly, discussed were: the new ordering system IT is putting in, a new membership database more advanced than google excel!!  to keep track of members, payments, work hours, etc, and NOT LOSE new email addresses.  Both of these are extreme time saving devices in the long run and allow us to run the coop and buying club more efficiently.  In discussion with business consultant Christine, it became apparent our need for outreach, education, new members, and more structure to internal operating procedures.  Also discussed was our long term goals and business plan to build up to a storefront.  The goal is to move the buying club to operate weekly as soon as membership and involvement (aka volunteer labor) allows, and then to 2 days per week (ideally Fri and Sat), and then (by this time we’d have a storefront) multiple days a week, adding hours as we can.  We want to hire a paid employee to take care of day to day operations and obtain use of a store front as soon as we are financially able to do so.  This means a lot of financial preparation — fund raising and grant writing.

Bushwick Food Coop Monthly Planning Meeting

BFC Meeting Minutes 11-1-10

Attendees: Matt, Heather, Gwen (note-taker), Annie

Location: BBQ (RBSSC office was closed)

Discussion:

- Heather gave summation of last meeting

- Rachel and Heather have taken over Buying Club management from Mara and Hannah since last meeting, are focusing on optimizing the efficiency of the operation and figuring out how to sub-divide the workload so that more delegation can occur

- We need to improve workshifts management and better utilize new members. Annie is relatively new and she mentioned that she signed up for a couple of work shifts through the order form but never was contacted about working. She also mentioned that new members who want to participate in committees should be given small tasks or group projects when they’re just starting out, because being handed a bigger project to take on alone can be daunting.

- A main goal for the short term is to complete the database and automated ordering/shopping cart system on the website so that buying club operation takes less time. Matt is going to reach out to a friend who has relevant IT experience, but the IT committee needs management and staff in addition to Michael, who has been doing a great job. We need at least 2-3 regular IT committee members who can program and build e-commerce functionality for the site. It might be worth investing a small sum in order to pay an intern a stipend to help make this happen. Gwen is going to write to Joe Holtz at the Park Slope Food Coop to find out who manages their website/database and to see if we could borrow them.

- The buying club is moving to a new space at Brooklyn Fireproof for the winter. It’s an indoors location where we can also hold film nights and other events.

- Film nights: Cassandra already scheduled a film night for November 18th, and at the meeting we discussed having another month-long “film series” (maybe in February again?). Heather suggested playing the movie “Gas Land” and inviting the film makers to participate in the event. We also talked about getting more revenue from the film nights by selling something in addition to popcorn, baked goods and t-shirts. Making tote bags is one option, and also selling hot cider or some other drink that is not served at the bar. We could also have a raffle at each film night.

- Tote bags: Annie is going to look into tote bag options, comparing prices and green materials/printing. Isabel is also looking into this so they will be communicating about it.

- Setting goals: We discussed the need to set a few goals for the season (need to set dates and numerical goals but this is a rough outline):

1. Raising a set sum of money that will enable us to rent, equip and move into a permanent indoor location

2. Get our systems to an adequate level of efficiency and our working membership to a high enough level of participation so that we can move into a permanent indoor location and operate a store for several days a week.

3. Find an adequate, low-rent indoor commercial space where we can move in and start operating a grocery store.

- Voting Results: we’re not sure where things stand with regards to our last online vote. Shira is expected to present the results this week.

- Isabelle wrote in and noted that she has a new local chocolate brand for us to try.Chocolate!!

9/13/2010

Location: Churrascaria on Wyckoff
Attendance: Hannah Elnan, Renee, Matt, Michael Mandecki, Jag, Steve, Tasha, Patrick, Katie, Cassandra, Shira
Secretary: Shira

Agenda:
1) Introductions
2) Committee Updates
3) Buying Club operations

*action items in {}


2) Committee Updates

IT – Michael: Drupal based, uncatchablefish.com playing with it, needs polish — need volunteers for graphic design, site testing

Siting – Matt: goal is to open doors as grocery for the community – affordable access to nutritional foods.  working with land owners, churches.
Hannah – we have access to Bushwick IMPACT through November 17.  Do we want to continue the Buying Club through winter?
Shira – we can always crash at the Loom for the cold months! {Shira – ask manager Israel about storage and starting when can we use the space}
Cassandra – Yoga benefit to coincide with buying club pickup, if at Loom.
Hannah – Eric (driver) idea: find abondoned lot, put shipping container there we could operate out of, and put in garden, …  any free lots?  cheap used shipping containers – $1000?  Crane to deliver install – increase cost.  Possible lots: Hart and Central..  {Keep eyes open for abandoned lots!!! Talk to owners/people.}
Matt – Trees not trash.  Have agreement on paper.
Jag – Community Garden on Jefferson btw Irving and Knickerbocker.  Talk to Super, the super of the garden.
{Cassandra – email RBSCC about space}
Michael – Jefferson btw Central and Evergreen across from the verizon space.
Matt – look up history of lot
Cassandra – Can we store stuff at Bushwick IMPACT through the winter?  {Matt to ask}
Requirements for space – distro space 500sf, storage space, electricity, bathroom and running water would be great.  permanent space 500-1000sf, store front on street.
Hannah – other option is to close down in winter.  reduced availability of local produce. {survey – interest in winter buying club – Shira to include in voting items}
possible bars to have buying club – Goodbye Blue Monday, Tandem, bar being opened that Cassandra knows

Outreach – Cassandra.  Designing fliers, posting fliers, talking to people in the neighborhood.  Katie and Jag – interested in helping.  Meeting next week.
Local Food Swap!
Table 2-8 this sat at willoughby street fair?

Hannah – Sourcing meeting tomorrrow for choosing items for order!!
Vermont Soap Organics – free samples!


3) Buying Club:

mini-agenda:
-Overstock issues – running out of certain items and people not getting what they ordered, or having items left over that we couldn’t sell at the end of the night and the coop loses money.  How do we fix this???  Is the “shopping” format working where people pick out their own items and weigh them, or should we go back to the format where the workers presort everything and have it ready for the members when they come to pick up (I know this was a lot of work)…
-We need more members and more orders!  The more orders we get, the more items we can carry and the cheaper these items will be!
-Winter – where should we move to or should we shut down for the colder months?
-Mobile Coop Idea (bus/truck)
-EBT
- voting items

Hannah- read emails from others:
Annie Spencers email containing the following points:

  1. Lower     our buying club mark up so that more people see it as a good option for buying their food.
  2. Streamline the buying club into jobs that are easily handled by volunteers in 3     – 4 hour work shifts with minimal to no crying.
  3. Promote the Coop! Make more friends in the neighborhood and throughout     North Brooklyn. Get ourselves in the newspaper.
  4. Get some donations and other forms of free money. Hold fundraising events.  Don’t treat the member base as the fundraising base, since members are already feeling pretty taped by the joining fee and the work requirements.

Dan: liked Annie’s email and suggested scaled markups.
Terri: liaise with Brooklyn Food Coalition.  wants to stay open for the winter.  {Hannah to ask Terri if she wants to liaise}
Hannah Zingre: probs with overstock.  member shopping format not working.  meat not priced right.  weigh at beginning.  wants to stay open for the cooler months.
Isabelle: incentives for building membership – money off order or free t-shirt if bring in new member. Institutions sponsoring membership for employees and paying membership fees for them; have tasting of buying club offerings at Little Skips, or Yummus Hummus, or the place next door he manages, etc
Gwen: Have to spend money by end of year, collect receipts, and make presentation.

Online ordering makes it difficult to reach a lot of the Spanish-speaking community
Don’t change our practices so dramatically until we get feedback.  Remain steady, boldly state who we are and what we do! – Renee

Shira – shared voting items on google doc

Hannah – mobile coop idea recap.  biodiesal bus.
no permits for next 6 years. .. but we’re members only, not open to public.  talk to Just Food. {Katie to talk to Just Food.  Hannah to send Katie email.}

BFC Monthly Planning Meeting

8.9.2010

In attendance: Mara, Shira, Hannah, Michael, Sarah, Cassandra, Martine, plus

Secretary: Martine

  1. Watermelon giveaway (Mara)
    1. Mara proposed a watermelon giveaway as a promo for BFC; there’s a deal on watermelons (750 lbs for about $230),
      1. i.     we could put stickers on the watermelons and hand them out at a Buying Club
      2. ii.     we’d need to have an updated flyer in Spanish and English, and have a Spanish speaker at the event
  2. there was some debate over whether we should sell the watermelons cheap or give them away; we decided that it’s worth giving them away and using the event to draw people in who wouldn’t necessarily buy them, especially if we can get some press out of it
  3. Hannah will talk to Lancaster to find out how long the deal will last so we can figure out when we could do this
  4. IT Committee update
    1. Michael gave an update on where we are with moving to the new drupal site and posed some questions to the group about how we want the site to function:
      1. i.     Forums: we’ll have CSA, buying club and misc forums
        1. anyone can join but they are required to register and create an account
    2. ii.     Permissions: we’ll assign usernames to people who register based on their first name and some numbers; this is to avoid any political/inappropriate names
    3. iii.     Email accounts: we’ll create names for each member of the BFC to make it more personal as opposed to our current generic email addresses
    4. iv.     Blog
      1. the opening page content should have intro about the Coop and latest posts, calendar with upcoming events, recipes (currently on the CSA section)
    5. v.     E-Commerce module
      1. Elizabeth is learning how to use the module so she can manage purchases for the buying club
      2. Launch date for the ordering system is TBD
    6. vi.     Spanish translations – it would be nice to have basic parts of the site in Spanish, but we probably don’t have the volunteer resources to translate everything.
      1. Also, flyers and in-person communication are still the best way to get the word out to the Spanish-speaking Bushwickers, since many don’t have internet access
  5. the site is being temporarily hosted on Michael’s server: uncatchablefish.com
  6. we need people with Drupal experience to help with site who can help manage different sections of it
  7. Finance Committee update
    1. we’ve been making about $200/buying club, on average.
      1. i.     the past 3 buying clubs we made money, and broke even at the BBQ/farmers market where we were really short on volunteers (so that’s good news)
      2. ii.     there was one case where someone ordered $80 of food and didn’t show up – we were able to sell off most of her order.
        1. this provoked conversation about how to enforce orders made through the buying club, since we can’t currently collect credit card info.
        2. à we’ll add a note to the buying club emails that says you’re responsible for your order and we’ll invoice you if you don’t show
  8. we have around $6,000 in the bank
    1. i.     received the $2,5000 grant, a portion of that went towards buying coolers, tents for the buying club
  9. financial priorities are to make enough money to get a store front for coop and to promote the BFC, but it seems like at this rate we won’t have enough money for a store front for a long, long time
  10. Volunteer / Outreach committee update
    1. work hours sign up form was sent out to google group, everyone should sign up for work hours
    2. there’s also a work hours reporting form on the workshift page – everyone should report their volunteer hours
    3. discussion around creating comprehensive list of volunteer needs
      1. i.     committee heads would need to update regularly with tasks they need help with, but this has been difficult to get reporting
  11. Cassandra mentioned that when she included volunteer opportunities in the monthly email, she got a few responses
  12. Membership committee update
    1. there was a missing list with about 200 names of people that signed up about a month ago – Elizabeth will look for it to see if they were added to the spreadsheet with all the members or not
    2. our current “Database” is a google spreadsheet with contact info for the general mailing list
      1. i.     we’re going to merge the membership and general lists into one google spreadsheet so all the names are in one place
      2. Outreach committee update
        1. we need to create flyers farther in advance of outreach events
        2. yoga classes have been difficult to get volunteers there and attendance has been low (the past few have had only 1 or 2 people in addition to the teacher and the BFC member)
        3. it’s a lot of effort to organize and low return, lots of people are away for the summer à we’ll finish out the August classes and then pick this back up again in the fall
        4. Buying Club update
          1. Hannah: we need someone to pick up the food from 4thst this week
            1. i.     Joe (guy with delivery company) offered, but doesn’t want to pay membership feed à as long as he is delivering for free he can order w/o paying membership fee
            2. ii.     long term we should explore institutional memberships
  13. we’re starting to charge for the bio bags ($0.20)
  14. sourcing: the committee is going to keep the dry good, meat and dairy the same and just vary produce

BFC Monthly Planning

July 12, 2010

Secretary: Shira

Committee Updates:

Outreach:

Sunday Scene – the next 3 Sundays

- Knickerbocker in front of Maria Hernandez Park – tabling

- New member tabling – Arinina

- RBSCC wants cooking demo!! Or just bring already cooked food with recipe and Spanish translation.  RBSCC to bring relevant Spanish reading materials. (basil + cuc water, mint tea, black bean brownies…?)

Make the Road New York – this Thursday

- Michael will take overstock from Wed (get from Elizabeth Diamond and Laura Veit closing) and bring it to Make the Road on Thurs

- Presentation at weekly organizing meeting

- We want to work together to do a community needs assessment, and with their youth volunteers

- Donna requests feedback on Thursday

Outreach tabling at buying club/CSA

- need bilingual tablist 3-8pm

- meeting with Bushwick IMPACT in a couple weeks so we’re on the same page

- we’ll see how it goes this Wed with flyers

Shira to forward new flyers to Cassandra  (Word doc preferred)

Kristin Peterson can print/copy flyers and another person

Shira proposes to separate out Outreach/Tabling from Fundraising/Events

Shirts – keep at Bushwick IMPACT.  Use ideas:

- Sell at buying club.

- Have buying club members wear them on their shifts.

- $3 or free with membership.

- Make into bags (Christine).

Finance and IT:

(Michael reporting)

Renee forwarding Michael contact of potential new PSFC IT worker.  There is also another new worker interested in helping.

More IT help is needed – at least one person who knows exactly what to do and how to do it.

Cassandra to start email about getting detailed description of IT needs btw her, Michael, and Christine to post on the website, Facebook and the general email list.

Buying Club receipts are being created with Microsoft Word mail merge.

Even with 24% markup (some items), we’re making under our 20% goal.  There are a number of reasons, each week it’s something different.  We need to check with Elizabeth as to what we’re actually making.

EBT – request application, fill it out.  Finance and Legal to work with Patrick of RBSCC (Office of Economic Development).  BFC needs to meet EBT’s requirements.  Patrick to send Michael additional information.

Facilities:

Facilities: dedicated committee head needed

- job description needs to be written and posted

Electrician – Renee has contact info

Wishlist –  put on website (Renee to forward to Shira)

Pop-up tents EZ-up, blue

Will get reimbursed

Freecycle, Craig’s List

Sourcing:

Distribution Day leader/status  NEEDED

Job Description needs to be written and posted.

Working getting to source cheaper goods

Membership:

Cassandra suggested we survey past buying club participants on order changes.

– who wants to make poll?

- Concerns with impatience with orders changed or not filled.

- Perhaps not put order changes on receipt.

general emails. Twice a month.  change wording in email sign up.

“Summer” membership – free!  Only if people approach us, and they have to do extra hours.

Institutional membership:

- Partnership for coop – services exchange
- legally just one person needs to be a working member

- work out piecemeal with each potential institutional member

- try out in a couple of buying clubs

Request to keep free trial order for first timers.

- Hard to keep track of unless we have someone devoted to keeping this up to date.

- Double check status spreadsheet against checks.

- Have up to date membership list for buying club.

Voting Items:

- Institutional Membership

- Require fees at first order

- “summer internships”

Shira to send out email requesting items to vote on.  Shira started a google doc for voting items.

Put something controversial on vote à increase membership fee payment

Voting open to paid to members only.

Next Meeting:

RBSCC ok.

Monday August 2nd.

Might be across the street.

MEETING MINUTES

Bushwick Food Coop

Monthly Planning Meeting

June 7, 2010

Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council Office, 184 Wyckoff Ave

Facilitator: Cassandra F.

Secretary: Gwen S.

Committee Updates

- Outreach

Recent activities include tabling during Bushwick Open Studios and a film night at V Ultra lounge. We are no longer going to work with V Ultra Lounge, and we need a banner or better sign for tabling. There is an upcoming tacos/gardens tour, as well as a Salsa dance event this month at Bushwick Starr. The outreach committee has also been looking into having a monthly free yoga class at Chez Bushwick.

- Legal

Chris St. John is away but wrote an update on the google group: http://groups.google.com/group/bushwickfoodcoop/browse_thread/thread/a461c24279d5e4a0, the folks at RBSCC said they could help us look at permits and set us up with SNAP (food stamps).

- IT

Sara and Adam met to create a database schema. Sourcing committee has been looking into getting buying lcub software. Google Checkout is not working for us (they won’t let us sell stuff with cash through their site), so we need a better alternative shopping cart program.

- Finance

The committee is trying to figure out an alternative to Google Checkout. There is a possible $1k grant from Chez Bushwick that we are going to apply for.

- Membership

Votes will have to be held on the following issues:

  1. When members will be required to work
  2. When members will be required to pay for their membership
  3. Whether the monthly meeting will be a board meeting (that is open to all) or a membership meeting

All coop email addresses need to have the title “bushwick food coop” instead of “outreach”, etc. Work shift info needs to be more streamlined and accessible on the website, as well as in printed version at the CSA/Buying club

- Siting

We have a temporary home (with storage) at Bushwick IMPACT on Central ave and Melrose.

- CSA

The CSA for 2010 is launching this week at Bushwick IMPACT, and there are 60 shares sold.

- Buying Club

The Buying Club is on hold temporarily because of the google checkout shutdown. There are a few main areas where the BC needs support:

  1. Workshift manager
  2. Membership manager (to keep track of who is a paid, non-paid member)
  3. Distribution day leaders, with training, and enough volunteers to fill all shifts
  4. Siting/facilities support
  5. SNAP acceptance (food stamps) and low-income membership options
  6. Online order and payment software

It was also suggested that we offer childcare at the buying club, and that the buying club description on the website is more clear.


Bushwick Food Coop – Monthly Meeting – May 3, 2010

Committee Updates

Buy-In Club/Sourcing

-First buy-in club order/pick-up completed

-A lot of items did not meet minimums, we have overstock and will sell it at the next pick-up

-We could not order from Regional Access the second time b/c we didn’t meet minimum

-38 ordered the first time, 27 ordered the second time

-Understanding the Buy-in Club à Can we create some educational materials to explain exactly what the buy-in club is and how it works.  Orientations, informational meetings, video?

-Buy-in club hours à scale back?  Sourcing will email out new hours

-We need to close the voting to decide on membership rules, buy-in club rules (do you have to be a paid member etc..)

-Need to do more research on prices & quantities

-Can we have a feature online that will show how much of each item has been ordered,can we show pictures to represent how much of an item you will get

Siting

-Emailed Bushwick Impact about using their yard, they seem interested

-We are looking for a permanent home, 200-300 SF minimum, Weds 9am-9:30pm with flexibility  & we want to be able to store a lock-in cabinet, access to a bathroom, & fridge on premise (we have one, timer allows it to just be on when buy-in club is        operating)

-Cathedral of Joy is out – the church board didn’t like that we are not a non-profit org

-Knock on church doors – look into other churches that have space

-We should prepare a media-kit to explain who we are and how we work, define cooperative corporation, each committee can explain what they do/work-on – Paige can put stuff together once we have all the information ready

IT

-Working on creating a membership database

-working on moving from googlegroups to a forum

-Need someone who can build a database from a schema – SEQUEL, forum, need someone who knows PHP, we’ll get in touch with PSFC through Joe Holtz to find someone who can do this

-Martine will create a post on craigslist and idealist to look for a web developer

Membership

-Paid members – at least 50, more have signed up just before buy-in club

-Waiting for outcome of vote to figure out if you have to be a paid member to vote or to

Derek (special guest)

-Works with non-traditional businesses/groups that are mission-driven

-The most important thing is the functioning of the community group, need to develop a  long fuse for the process of getting the bricks & mortar together as this can take a long time, especially in the city – building the organization is more important than building the space

-Dynes Farms à meat vendor they use for Cobble Hill CSA, also get eggs, cheese, etc…

-Churches are a great resource, tend to have underutilized space

-Can offer his services –build-out (green building), siting – relationships with real estate, he would be happy to work with us and answer any questions etc…

-How much money should we have before we jump into paying for a space? Revenue is more important than cash in the bank – we need to show reliable cash flow & financial solvency

Outreach

-Sara & Cassandra presented at Bushwick High School at Parent Leadership conference, positive response, the school may offer their space for a meeting

-Want to do a yoga class, looking for a space and a teacher(s) – send possible spaces/teachers to Cassandra, Chez Bushwick; Mats? Tell people to bring mats; Yoga to the People for donated mats/teachers, schools, churches

-Salsa Event – there’s a studio that can be rented, but it’s $25/hour – get a sponsor for each hour; Somewhere with a bar?  Large enough space (1500 SF), sound system needed, dates – last two Thursdays in June (17th & 24th)

-BBQ wrap-up – it was fun, made $500 ($1000, split with Farmers Market) à Lessons –  Food was too cheap, movie at end didn’t really work out – let’s have another bbq

-Next Film Screening – FOODMATTERS at V Ultra Lounge (may 19th) and Backyard clean- up & gardening workshop at Bushwick Impact (May 22nd)

-KT at bike shop – will do a class on fixing your bike

-Adam Schwartz, does Bushwick tours, interested in doing a bike tour (taco tour)

-High school event, a lot of questions about nutrition, possibly do cooking demonstration, get someone who does these at the PSFC, Just Food, we need a space to do these demonstrations – we could get chefs that we know to participate, have  nutritionists come talk (Young works at a hospital and knows nutritionists that could speak)

Finance

-We have realized that the larger grants etc… aren’t suited for us right now

-Keep doing things like citizen’s committee etc…

-Price adjustments based on costs compared to other places & to compensate for think that are more expensive

-Coordinate with sourcing and focus on financial goals & pricing

-Our role is to coordinate the money coming in and out from different things, spreadsheet of money in & out

Legal

-Interim bylaws have been  finalized

-Looking at insurance

-Food safety regulations (applicable once we are storing food longer term)

-We have a temporary Board of Directors, need to vote a permanent Board

-Need to close-out the voting, May 14th

-Discuss being a 501(c)3 rather than a cooperative corporation à difficulties w/grants, needing a fiscal sponsor, fundraising differences

CSA

-Over the limit of shares, there is a waiting list

-There is a school interested in getting shares

-Would like to add a calendar to the website, include work hours/tasks people can be  involved in so people can sign-up for times

Meetings!

-Proposal for a monthly board meeting to go over specific committee issues, set meetings etc… and use outreach events to communicate with new members and get them involved in committees – have a quick info blurb at start/end of these events to  get more people involved

-Board meetings will remain open, but have faq or short structured intro to coop at outreach events – give people small entry points/ways to get involved at these events so  they can actually get involved, and follow-up with people

-Everyone needs to do a better job of being welcoming to new members, talk to people at events rather than just interacting amongst themselves

-Add FAQs section to Coop Website

-Location – do we want to keep having meetings in other places?  We need places other  than the office.

-Next Meeting – June 7th (Possibly at Little Skip’s, Myrtle & Willoughby)

Announcement – Opening of Bushwick Farmer’s Market – May 26th!!!

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes
April 6, 2010
109 Ingraham St., Brooklyn NY

I.  Miscellaneous: Could we send out reminders for meetings and events
a week, rather than several days, in advance?; a majority voted to use
google forums to vote on upcoming issues

II.  Committee Updates
1.  IT: call for new members, write to Sara i@bushwickfoodcoop.org;
need people with skills in LAMP, Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP programming
and web development/design;  need to move Google group to new forum,
expand web-site to bilingual, create member database that connects to
original web-site;  next IT meeting is Tuesday April 13th 5:30PM to
7:30PM on 26 Broadway, NY, NY

2.  Membership: we only have 16 paid members; let’s have a membership
drive in order to raise money; should we be paid members in order to
vote?; do we need to be members to be part of the buying club?; we may
need an additional deposit of $50 for buying club membership…should
that be in addition to the BFC membership fee?; we need to send a
welcome e-mail to new e-mail contacts; Christine is going to help with
membership and sending welcome e-mails

3.CSA: there are 40 people signed up at the moment; we have the
ability to accommodate 50 full shares; we’ll probably end up with 80
people signed up, as half shares; there’s a core group meeting on
Thursday at 7:30PM at Mara’s house; need to solidify a location for
CSA pick up/drop off; offering veggies, eggs and fruit; last date for
sign up is May 1st

4.  Facilities: Cathedral of Joy, located on George St. And Central
Ave. is equidistant from the J and the L; we’re able to try out this
space on a trial basis; how long can we use it as a trial space?;
could we make a rough “trial lease agreement” until the end of
November to accommodate the CSA?; what kind of renovations does
Cathedral of Joy expect from us?; a lot of groups have approached
Cathedral of Joy to use their space and they’ve said no to everyone
except for us; how long can we go without having a key?; until what
hour will we have access to the bathroom?; Life Café is nearby for
bathroom, or Cassandra’s; what permits would we need and how much $
will we need to spend on making a wall and a door

5.  Legal: conference call last month on temporary bylaws; we decided
to do a plurality vote for chairs of the board with a 30% threshold;
decided we need 2 people to sign checks for over $500

6.  Outreach: El Puente event with high school kids fabricating raised
beds; El Puente admins approached us about facilitating lectures on
healthy eating; Cassandra presented at the Bushwick High School for
Social Justice during a health fair; we can present at their Parent
Leadership Conference Saturday April 24th; movie  Wednesday, April
7…we need help with this; speaker at movie night coming from Dept.
Of Health and Mental Heigene speaking about trying to get more healthy
food in Bodegas; Health Fair in Bed-Stuy Saturday April 10th…need
volunteers; partnering with Bushwick Farmer’s Market for Earth Day;
NEED VOLUNTEERS

7.  Finance: have $3500 in bank account; government funding is bigger
than we are…we need 25K in the bank before we can get a big grant;
need to go for smaller grants; we’re partnering with Cathedral of Joy;
there’s a fundraising web-site www.kickstarter.com where you can put
up your project proposal and set a goal of how much money we need; a
PSFC member is helping us set up a 3 year business plan

8.  Sourcing: hopefully launching the buying club this week; need to
vote on food survey within next couple of days (among other voting
items); could we all fill in an order form by this Sunday?; must have
everyone’s orders by Thursday April 15th; first pick up would be
Wednesday April 21st; need a site from 10AM to 10PM for drop off and
pick up; we are not ordering through other coops because no one is
going to pick up the food with their own personal vehicles

III.  Volunteers from PSFC…what to do with them?; are we going to
have the committee heads’ e-mails on the BFC web-site?; need a
committees page on the site

IV. Next meeting May 3rd; Elizabeth Diamond is secretary for next
meeting

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes
March 1, 2010

I.  Announcement: It’s our 1 year anniversary!!  Paige, Caitlin, Gwen
and Chris have been with the BFC since the first meeting in March
2009; we now have a mailing list of 500 people!!

II.  Committee Updates
1.  IT: Patrick Groneman is resigning as leader of this
committee…Sarah Shapiro voted as committee head; Patrick of Bushwick
Senior Citizen’s Council has volunteered to help translate our web-
site into Spanish

2.  Membership:  we added about 40 new contacts to our outreach list
through last month’s events; we still need a database for members

3.  Outreach: Tandem film night was a success, mostly as an outreach
event; made $200 (after $150 payment for “Food Inc.”);  let’s continue
with screenings!; might show “Crude” (about drilling for oil in the
Amazon) in late March; Chez Bushwick has offered the use of their
space for our film nights, where we could also sell alcohol to make
more money; we may purchase “What’s On Your Plate?”, which has a
Spanish version; where are we going to post on the internet or flyer
when we have future events?; may have a BBQ in the backyard at the
Velo Bike Shop on Dekalb in the spring; may have outdoor movie
screenings at Linden-Bushwick Garden:  Logo Contest is finally
closed…have between 20 and 30 submissions…how are we going to
vote?; Mara will post them on the blog and then we’ll figure out how
to vote; Intercoop meeting happens every 2nd Monday of the
month…next meeting’s agenda is political leveraging; Elizabeth
Diamond has volunteered to go to the next meeting; we should also have
a BFC rep at the Brooklyn Food Coalition meeting each month, for which
Annie has volunteered

4.  Siting: we’ve come up with 5 potential spaces for buying club food
pick-up (hand-out with pictures was passed around); we’ll vote on a
space at a siting committee meeting

5.  Finance: submitting a letter of interest to get a grant of up to
$10,000; looking at grants; we have about $1000 in our bank account;
the Citizen’s Committee for NYC grant has not come through, but we can
only use the money for building out a space

6.  Sourcing: if we order through UNFI, we have to order through 4th
St. Food Coop because they have a store front…we would need to pick
it up immediately; UNFI will only sell to one buying club in the
metropolitan area; why are we not using Regional Access?;  let’s set a
goal for ordering by April 1; could we have an online buying system?;
let’s get in touch with Kalabash Food Coop to see how they’ve been
running their buying club

7.  CSA: sign-up has begun; can do it via the BFC web-site

8.  Legal: guest Lathan and Walkins lawyers Greg and Ken + Ted from
Urban Justice League; we are close to being incorporated (within next
day or two); about to create by-laws…we’ll need a group to help
create them and then bring them to the group to vote on; which comes
first, by-laws or business plans?…it’s simultaneous; by-laws are
legally binding; Q and A with lawyers; perhaps we should adopt a set
of by-laws for the interim between having our concrete by-laws;
Urban Justice League will help us deal with a lease agreement; Lathan
and Walkins will help us with our by-laws

III.  Moving meeting location?
–perhaps we should meet at a place where we can continue meeting
afterward, rather than having to leave immediately
–Tandem?

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes
February 1, 2010

I.  Committee Updates

a.  IT: met last month and concluded that we’re only going to
translate the posts into Spanish and the permanent text on the same
page as the English; in the future we’ll have the entire site doubled
in Spanish; forums are in the works; membership database is in the
works; will be including e-mail addresses for each committee head on
the site

b.  Finance: report on intercoop meeting last month…Bronx coop are
having a hard time maintaining their space with only 250 members, have
blown through $90K in two years; we need to get someone to help us
make a business plan; Alana will contact New School; Caitlin has
contacted Columbia; Elizabeth contacted NYC; Gwen wants to take a
field trip to Hunts Point in the Bronx and the Bronx Food Coop; we
have $3500 in the bank (we think); 35 to 45% mark up is standard for
most coops

c.  Membership: our lawyers have told us to stop collecting money and
issuing membership agreements until we’re incorporated

d.  Sourcing: no updates; CSA season is coming up…who wants to be
the coordinator for that?…not a one person job; continuing the CSA
when we have a physical store is a good idea

e.  Outreach: movie night happening every Tuesday this month at Tandem
236 Troutman St.; each movie night has a theme and the film makers are
coming to speak; 1st night = Chez Bushwick, 2nd night = family night
w/ Bushwick Impact, 3rd night = farmer night (w/ farmers and community
gardeners), 4th night = policy night co-hosted with Bushwick Farmer’s
Market and Brooklyn Food Coalition; we made t-shirts to sell; we need
to promote these nights on Nonsense NYC, Showpaper and burning man e-
mails lists; future bike shine?; institutional members…have
restaurants been approached about being members of the food coop?;
south bronx have supplemented their income by selling wholesale to
companies in the community

f.  Siting/Facilities: we can’t do anything until we’re incorporated;
talking about getting a free space; we’ve been in dialogue with the
Verdes family who would want a minimum year long lease requiring a
deposit at $2 a square foot; Matt owns a building on 1013 Willoughby
Ave. between Central and Evergreen Ave….the downstairs garage space
is a crude garage that’s zoned for commercial, 1400 square foot space,
including 3 office spaces, offering $1 a square foot for 500 square
feet, would be exclusive domain for the BFC, could use it for meetings
and CSA drop off, can’t put in commercial coolers, Build It Green has
offered free materials for us, could be our home for the near term–not
long term b/c there isn’t the infrastructure available, no heat,
bathroom available, Matt’s number is 718.497.0417 if you want to check
it out, will need to get a tenant by March 1st

g.  Legal: we’re very close to incorporating; temp board members need
to have signatures notarized on the incorporation document; 9AM
incorporation signatures at Our Bank with notary


Bushwick Food Coop Meeting January 4th, 2010
109 Ingraham St., Brooklyn NY

I.  Random Discussion: we need a press kit we can hand to
journalists;  Matt’s girlfriend might be able to make one pretty
quickly; should we do a video for the coop?–English and Spanish;
perhaps we could film it at Park Slope Food Coop

II.  Committee Updates:
1.  IT: forum is in testing mode and is open to public in reading
mode, go to forums.bushwickfoodcoop.org; IT people have been test-
posting on there; IT people have enjoyed the format…voting is easy
to do; Gwen thinks some font sizes could be changed

2.  Finance: Zena of South Bronx with MBA is sharing her business plan
at the intercoop meeting next week; we’re going to contact New School,
NYU, Columbia, Brooklyn College, and Yale business schools to find a
grad student or group of students who will work on a plan with us/for
us; is an investment fee too complicated for us to charge right now?;
we have $2500 from the citizen’s committee plus $600 already existing
in the account; could we use the Brownfields project research when
applying for grants?; we should meet with Diana Reyna to ask for
funding; fundraisers…a concert at Surreal Estate?; bar on
Knickerbocker may be an option; Tandem is open to hosting a fundraiser
there…would have to be on a weekday; could be beneficiary of
Saturday donation yoga class at Green Fitness Studio; Sunday January
10th at 5PM fundraiser meeting at Gwen’s house; partnering with non-
profits to get grants through them??  Ridgewood Bushwick Senior
Citizen’s Council gets lots of money and like what we are doing; look
into the Bushwick Farmer’s Market (which is a non-profit) for
partnering

3.  Sourcing: looking at suppliers with low minimums; Lancaster
Farmer’s Association looks good; Angelo’s are going to meet with
sourcing group soon; need to make list of people with cars

4.  Legal: still working on incorporation; will have more official
news at next meeting; are there very specific services we are looking
to provide other than food?; Chris will post what he’s sending to the
lawyers re: our incorporation and we need to comment on it at
googlegroups

5.  Membership: we need to set up rules for how and when to use
mailing list and where we can find it;  we must use with discretion so
that people don’t tired of us

6.  Outreach: El Puente (Three Kings) event on January 10th; we need
to translate the web-site (or parts of the web-site) into Spanish;
Caitlin will run an ad in the Linewaiter’s Gazette at PSFC to get some
workers to help us with legal and business tasks, as well as
translating the web-site and mission statement into Spanish; need to
schedule a Spanish language meeting

III.  Siting: let’s have a temporary siting committee; Matt met again
with Charlie Verde & Sons who own the spaces on Irving Street and have
been awarded a $40,000 grant that they want to allot toward fixing the
raw space at 265 Irving St. (between Bleeker and Menahan); we could
really shape the space; should we really push for more money to get
the space, or should we get a free space; Ridgewood Bushwick Center;
Ridgewood Masonic Temple; perhaps we should start small and without
commitment?; do we really need running water or heat if we’re going to
be open for 6 hours?; churches and community centers; there is a
clergy council in Brooklyn…let’s tap into it; perhaps a garage
wouldn’t be a negative shopping experience


Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes
December 7, 2009 7PM

I.  Store Venue Update (by Matt)
–looked at a place and drafted a lease, but have decided to wait until
we’re incorporated; landlord Charlie wants to cooperate with us to get
grants for improvements; space for rent is on Irving between Bleeker
and Menahan; Charlie is willing to lower rent and build things for us;
Charlie has two spaces available, one small renovated one and another
larger space that needs more work; $2/square foot rent, the going rate
for commercial space/ $1000 month rent/ $15,000 a year; do we want a
higher traffic avenue like Knickerbocker, or does it really matter if
we are more off the beaten track?; if you see a commercial spot, feel
free to check it out or contact Matt or Gwen about checking it out

II. Committee Updates
–IT: were testing out forums to replace google group; within a week
the new forum will be available for everyone to use; building a
membership database

–Finance: working on fund raising ideas…want to do a show/series of
shows and sell baked goods and a film series; need to set a goal for
fund raising; finance and sourcing need to set up a meeting to discern
this; sourcing has been working on a budget for food (perishables/non-
perishables) and for the future store furnishings; looking into
insurance, but we need a lease before we can get quotes; need to get
grants after we get incorporated; we have a donate page on our web-
site..please donate!; Citizens Committee of NYC is giving us a $3000
grant; we have $664.21 in our bank account…pay your membership
dues!!!

–Sourcing: first order total would probably cost $2000 for a week’s
worth of non-perishable food for 50 people (conservatively), based on
the ; need to figure out mark-up needs, which would help us figure out
how much $ we need to get started; how much food can we store?; need
to meet with finance!; which wins? Most organic vs. most local?…we
need to survey this out…price is an issue too; we could set up a
“standards committee” or parcel out this job to some sourcing
committee members; do we want to eliminate trans-national products, as
the 4th St. Food Coop has?; Rachel Devlin’s cafe/juice bar is looking
to order with the BFC

–Outreach: working on a concert benefit the 1st weekend in February;
monthly movie series…movies that deal with food/sustainability/
documentary series; Lumin House on 5th st. is looking to screen
movies; what can we do to work with the Spanish-speaking community of
Bushwick…we should outreach through churches; we’re basically
planning on doing more Spanish outreach once we open the coop’s doors;
would like to work with Bushwick Impact; there will be a Bushwick
Impact meeting on Wednesday December 9, 6PM, 1405 Bushwick Ave., St.
Thomas Episcopal Church…they’ll be discussing/ trying to identify
vacant/under-used sites in Bushwick…Raul is the organizer and we
need to speak with him; we could call all of our spanish speaking
contacts and have a spanish speaking meeting…let’s do it!!; we need
someone to be the facebook page coordinator

–Membership: thank you for paying!  Your membership means nothing
right now!!; working on the concept of an institutional membership
idea, although it might not be legal; will need to come up with some
member rules in the future

–Legal: we have official pro bono representation with a team of 4
lawyers in mid-town Manhattan, the Lathan and Walkins firm; they will
be working with us exclusively to get incorporated, then to put our by-
laws together; E.T.A. for incorporation is February 1st; we need to
vote on a bunch of issues; we can file under the membership
cooperative corporation or a general cooperative corporation; are we
going to be a business or not-for-profit?…dividend sharing vs.
public ownership where the profit gets rolled into the coop; we will
not be eligible for 501C3 grants either way b/c we’re opening a
business and most grants require 501C3 status; non-profits’ assets are
given to the government when they die; we need a board of directors in
order to incorporate…minimum of 5 people, drawn from “us”, can also
be community members with outreach capabilities, but need to meet semi-
regularly and cannot neglect their duties; need to set up nomination
process; need to decide on our legal name to be filed with the state
(inc, ltd., corp); do we need a DBA?; we have a mission statement; we
need a list of activities that we are going to do as a coop…anything
other than selling food?; voted to be a membership cooperative and
have all profits reinvested into the coop; voted to legally be named
“Bushwick Food Cooperative Incorporated”; we created a temporary board
of directors for 3 months who will serve until we vote on a longer-
standing board of directors March 1st : Caitlin Jemison, Matt Lorenz,
Hannah Elman, Cassandra Flechsig, Gwen Schantz, Patrick Groneman, Adam
Varga, with Rachel Devlin as an alternate; will cost $145 to
incorporate

Miscellaneous
–Elizabeth, Caitlin and Alana are going to the intercoop meeting
–Cassandra is going to the community meeting at St. Thomas Church
–Shira and Caitlin from Bushwick Impact are going to the NY
Cooperative Conference
–logo contest…deadline is next week

Next meeting is January 4th 7PM at 109 Ingraham St., Brooklyn NY

Bushwick Food Coop

Meeting Minutes 11/2/2009

Facilitator: Mara Belzer

Attendees: Adam Varga, Lippe, Elizabeth Diamond, Jennifer Witcher, Karim Tabbaa, Laura Cline, Ellie Irons, Dan Phiffer, Christine Jackson, Hannah Elnan, Jaymes Dec, Piama Habibullah, Sara Shapiro, Dan Birn, Gwen Schantz, Biana Fay, Matt Lorenz, Vicky Mayer, Denis DerSarkisian, Mara Belzer, Paige Newman

Discussion:

-          Storefront Locations, Gwen has been looking at a storefront on Irving Ave, has a kitchen, bathroom and store room, a few members will meet with landlords in coming week to learn more, see space

-          CSA Announcements,  Mara is organizing the winter CSA, which involves monthly shares being picked up in Williamsburg and brought to Bushwick. Looking for people with cars (and we all decided that we should keep a list of people with cars and drivers licenses for sourcing purposes, too)

-          Grant Opportunities – We are waiting to hear back from the NYC Citizens Committee about a $3,000 grant that we applied for in September, and we are also part of a grant proposal that the New York City Intercoop Group is submitting to the USDA. Anyone who wants to help look for more grant opportunities is welcome to write in to the google group and volunteer for this.

-          Institutional Membership – we discussed how the coop could be open to “institutional members” like schools, churches, restaurants, etc. Lippe mentioned that it might not be legal for them to be official “members”, but maybe we could have a wholesale wing for partnerships like this.

-          Winter Party – we will organize a party just for coop members (for fun), as well as a fundraiser party that’s open to the public. Matt , Vicky, Biana and Mara have volunteered to work on this and look into locations for a fundraiser (including Tandem, BK Fireproof, Nutroaster, Surrealistate). Mara also is looking into having a screening of King Corn, and Lippe’s friend wrote and play the music from that film so we could have an event that brings these elements together.

-          Committee Updates –

  • IT – forum is live, but needs to be tested
  • Sourcing – we’ll do a weekly order through 4th street, someone will have to pick up (in car – need car owners’ list), not sure about weekly order $$ amt
  • Outreach – not tabling lately, logo contest is underway NEEDS MORE PROMOTION
  • Finance – need to hold meeting, write budget, find pro-bono accountant
  • Membership – needs to meet and prioritize tasks, needs database for member tracking
  • Legal – our pro-bono lawyer is almost available (law firm just vetted us)

-          Next Meeting – December 7, 7:00pm, HOPEFULLY AT OUR NEW STORE SPACE!!

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes
October 5, 2009
109 Ingraham St.

I.  Joe Holtz (general coordinator at Parks Slope Food Coop)…PSFC
history: four months of planning before food ordering; got food stamp
authorization; bank account; basically did things legally as they came
up; rent was $10 week in community center space; had large group of
committed core group to start up; started with no membership fee and
no membership investment (believes this was a mistake); put out
financial statement weekly; 2 years without work requirement;
ORGANIZATION; EXCITEMENT ABOUT FOOD; should set up an agenda committee
to decide monthly meeting agenda; 63 employees; 6 general
coordinators; personnel committee hires general coordinators, who hire
everyone else; 1 employee to every 250 working members; general
meeting is part of board meeting
work requirement was “4″ hours (3:15) every four weeks; first
membership fee was $3
“The furthest you can get from having customers, the better”; avoid
“putting a price on work”; lowest prices of any food coop in the
nation;

II.  Committee Updates
a) IT (Patrick): working on database system; setting up new discussion
forum (voted for project management additionally)
b) Finance (Sylvia): bank account is open…Gwen Schantz, Rachel
Devlin, Christopher St. John are signers; we’ve submitted several
grants; PSFC may put together a fund to grant money to start up coops
c) Legal (Chris): came up with a membership agreement; came up with
bylaws and will be posting a version on the forum/google group to vote
on at the next meeting
d) Sourcing (Hannah): sent out survey (56 people answered) and chose
50 items to price check/source for first order; will order enough for
50 people; need membership fee before ordering; most people voted $50
per individual and 4 hours of work every month; came up with criteria
for suppliers and will post it
e) Outreach (Cassandra):  flyer for logo contest; December 1st is
deadline for contest, then will vote at meeting?; Capitol B arts
collective is interested in helping us find a space and in setting up
monthly fund raisers; there’s a donation button the web-site now that
links to a paypal account
f) Membership: we still need a head for this committee
perhaps we should have a steering committee

III.  Flushing Farms update…(by Gwen and Rachel)
Flushing Farms is a corner property that we’re trying to get in and
sell food; we would like to move our stuff into there; Jeff the owner
is having financial difficulty and may be looking to sell the
property; Rachel Devlin and Gwen have spoken with him about leasing
it; don’t stop looking for other spaces; we’ve offered him $200-$250
per month and Jeff would order café food at cost with us, split the
electric bill; month to month lease

IV.  Reviewed membership proposal as written by Gwen
–members voted yes on members only shopping, with exception of special
occasions such as outreach events; 4 hours of work each 4 weeks; one-
time $50 non-refundable membership fee; individual membership as
opposed to

V.  Next meeting: Monday, November 2nd 7PM 109 Ingraham St. Or
(Flatbush Farms)!!
–Moving date for Sophia’s garage stuff?

VI.  Breaking into groups

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes 8/03/2009

I.  Last meeting’s minutes

II.  Overview of Bushwick Food Coop progress and structure

III.  Committee Updates
a.  Sourcing: Paige Newman: need to communicate with finance and
membership committees on how to order/money and how much to order;
Sophia researched the beans and meat and did not know what quantities
to ask for; discussed sending request for food preferences again

b.  Outreach: Cassandra:  tabling like crazy…Maria Hernandez Park,
Broadway Farmer’s Market, Knickerbocker block party; need help tabling
at Linden St. Farmer’s Market Wed. 10-6PM and   Maria Hernandez Park
Sat. 9 to 3PM every week; Rachel found a chalk board to use as our
sign;  we store our tabling materials in Sophia’s garage…Sophia,
Mike White, Caitlin, Mike Pfaff have keys and can be contacted to open
the garage if you want to table somewhere and need the supplies; were
planning a block party on September 27th on Greene St., ran into
technical difficulties and will not be able to do it; Rachel Devlin
has been meeting regularly with Diana Reyna; Rachel will begin process
of applying for another event in Maria Hernandez Park in September;
Cassandra has arranged for us to table at the Back to School Party at
Maria Hernandez Park on August 30th; need to put something on web-site
for PSFC members to reference; logo contest in future?

c.  Legal: Chris:  must get charter and bylaws together NOW; most
important thing to do as a collective group; these rules will
determine how we function and how we’re going to grow as a coop;  had
intercoop legal meeting with lawyers answering our legal questions;
it’s tedious to change bylaws and we are advised to start broad,
leaving room for flexibility; we need the rule framework to solve
future disputes; we need a lawyer to look at our bylaws and charter
before we submit them to the city; we have access to pro bono lawyers;
Sophia and Gwen know some lawyers who can help;  incorporation is
absolutely part of our goal; must be incorporated for grants; must pay
federal taxes on incorporation every year; incorporation under New
York State Cooperative Incorporation Law vs. 501 C3 as non-profit;
latter is more expensive with more hoops to jump through and the only
benefit is that we would be more likely to get grants; recommended
that we merge with another C3 if we want to be incorporated as such;
what is a bylaw vs. a policy; we can file as a corporation without
doing the bylaws first, but all legal advice has pointed toward making
our bylaws first

d.  IT/Web: Gwen: thinking of moving away from google groups; Michael
O’Neil volunteered to be on IT committee and is a coder!; Patrick
Groneman was not present; what do we want on our future web-site?

e.  Membership: Sophia: proposal…working member (weekly shifts) pays
$50/year and gets 15% off price of food; non-working members pay $80 a
year and get 15% off; low-income members and non-members pay half of
the related fees; non-member students and seniors get 8% discount; all
member vs. mixed membership; we need to post this proposal on google
group; need a temporary membership structure for now to start ordering
and we can build on that for the future; membership issues are not
part of bylaws; experimentation is key; fee should cover all costs
associated with individual member (insurance, membership cards, etc.);
could we have a system where everyone pays what they want and they get
a certain amount back in food and the other portion goes to membership
dues

f.  Finance:  Sylvia is the confirmed head of this committee;  we need
to vote on whether or not to open a bank account without being
incorporated; other option is to operate with cash; we need to move
faster; Libby mentioned that finance ends up working with most
committees; need to meet and make a list of costs; Libby can give us
the 4th St. state of account; $150 to incorporate; Gwen and others met
with a woman to try to get a grant that’s due August 12th; some
smaller groups of NYC organizations have offered money, but we need to
have detailed submissions of what we need it for

IV.  Reading of Mission Statement
a.  changes as follows:  “ethical”…eliminate all products owned by
multi-nationals; democratically “operated”; “member owned”
b.  we took a consensus vote here, approving the new mission
statement, and will post online for those who were not here
c.  how should we vote in the future?

V.  Next meeting
–Tuesday 1st at 7PM; Paige has volunteered her office space, but must
double check on this; East Williamsburg Art Center near Morgan L stop

…………………………………………………………….

Meeting Minutes 07-06-09

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes July 6, 2009

A.  Established Secretary: Caitlin Jemison; Alternate Secretary:
Rachel Devlin
–secretary  records meeting minutes, posts them to the google group,
sends them out via mass e-mail, and brings a hard copy to following
meeting for ease of review

B.  Reviewed Mission Statement/About Us
–agreed that it’s a great start; minor changes must be made to avoid
redundancy and clear up the meaning of “consensus”
–please review and suggest changes on google group

C.  Discussed Guidelines/Bylaws
–agreed that creating bylaws is a necessary step for becoming
incorporated
–committees are encouraged to come up with suggestions
–the main responsibility will lie with the legal committee who will
use other coops’ bylaws for reference, and write a set of bylaws which
will be discussed and voted upon at a meeting

D.  Discussed Membership Dues
–decided that responsibility lies with membership and finance
committees, and their input will be voted upon at a meeting

E.  Reviewed Coop Structure (with help of chart provided by Gwen)
–decided that we are not ready to form a storefront hunting committee,
although it could be positive to build relationship with local
landlords for the future; possible candidates for this are Sylvia and
Mike White; in the meantime, please post your findings to the google
group
–decided we are too small to need a steering committee as of yet;
steering committee would write up agendas and generally help with
organization; candidates for this committee are Gwen Schantz, Caitlin
Jemison and Mike White
–voted committee coordinators as follows:
Sourcing: Paige Newman; Legal: Michael Pfaff-Shalmiyev; IT/Web:
Patrick Groneman; Finance: undecided…Sylvia or Mike White;
Membership: Sophia Shalmiyev: Outreach: Cassandra Flechsig
–e-mail addresses of committee coordinators will be posted on web-site
so that new members can get in touch to find out how they can help

F.  Discussed Meeting with district council member Diana Reyna
(Reported by Gwen, Sophia and Cassandra)
–Diana Reyna is enthusiastic about the BFC and wants to possibly meet
a half hour each week with us; should we set up a temporary committee
for this and the block party(below)?
–Would like to apply to have a block party on Greene St. btwn.
Bushwick Ave and Evergreen Ave. sometime in September; must apply for
permit; would like to paint BFC logo on Sophia’s garage
–Goverment-Owned Properties:  putting the coop in a government owned
property is a great way to get money; $1 million in grants to fix up
space or $100,000 to fund educational programs; in addition, the
Robinhood Foundation will match any government grants pertaining to
the promotion of healthy food in poor neighborhoods up to $100 million
–the biggest community organizers in this neighborhood are the
churches, so we should start communicating with them

G.  Committee Updates
–Membership:  newly formed

–Outreach: block party, idea of logo contest, painting Sophia’s grate,
possible meeting with all community leaders in the neighborhood

–Sourcing: 3 catalogs for local(ish) distributors are in Sophia’s
garage filing cabinet and anyone can have a look if they want;
planning on experimenting for the first few orders and will order from
many smaller vendors the first time; need money and better internal
structure/bylaws to get started with ordering; Sophia’s garage is all
set up to receive deliveries

–Legal: Chris spoke with a lawyer and got information on the steps to
becoming incorporated

–IT: Patrick Groneman is the new web-developer and administrator (no
longer Chris); would like money to create an official web-site; would
like money to move us from google groups to a better organized group
meeting site on the internet

–Finance: Brooklyn Cooperative Bank has approved us for a bank
account…all we need is a letter from the board of directors
authorizing up to four people access to the account, then those people
need to take their SS cards and go to the bank in person to open the
account; Note: members agreed this would be a fast way to open a bank
account, but maybe it’s safer to get incorporated first so that
individuals are not held accountable for the bank account
–need to work on getting grants once we get a bank account

…………………………………………………………….
Meeting Minutes 06-01-09
Attendees-Sylvia, Mike, Sophia, Gwen, Caitlin, Chris, Cassandra, Dan. (Paige and Mike W. couldn’t make it
1. Members viewed agenda and introduced themselves. New member-Dan, orders dry goods for the 4th street coop. Lives in a commune on Thames with 54 people. They may be interested in coop. can do formal outreach there. Need to add new member to email list. Streamline/organize list.
2. Who is going to the coop starting classes? Listserve will be created to encompass all the food coop start ups. This monthly seminar is a priority!
3. Mission statement—people will look at other coop webpages and submit their ideas before the next meeting. Write an email to all and bring the whole lot to discuss at meeting.
4. Getting non-profit status is more difficult than we thought. Need more education/need bylaws/structure/mission statement. Do we go with a bank, credit union, or just keep money in a lock box?
5. Management structure? Core members/President/Committees. We need to have consensus on this and have a better name then government. The word Guidelines instead of rules sounded better, as did Best Practice, and Code of Ethics for management and members…How do unions word this?
6. Need an Oversight Committee to deal with legal and moral issues, as well as non-profit status.
7. Committees—How will they work/function? Money decisions need to be checked in about with the whole group, other decisions are up to the committee. They will later report, but checking in and consensus will slow down progress. Outreach can email fliers and ideas to group for support.
8. Outreach—send a letter through the Park Slope food coop to all the Bushwick members saying they can get their shifts fulfilled by joining us. Have a basic flier to send out. What will go into a “welcome” letter or an outreach letter. Need Newsletter!
8. We have fridges from Sophia and Caitlin. The garage is clean and ready. We have shelving, a table for weighing/storing, and need to order. !Bins may be donated from the 4th street coop!!! Need a scale still….
9. Cassandra speaks spanish Yeah! Yip Yip! Mike P. some spanish too.
10. Committees need to meet once a week. People can join whatever committees and go to what ever meetings they want out of curiosity or with ideas.
11. Please post whenever you have a meeting scheduled so others can come. can post meeting outcome, but take minutes to report back to group at monthly meeting.
12. Gwen will post master email/contact list.
13. Next meeting…First Monday of the month at 8:30 at Mike and Sophia’s. General meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month from now on!!!
14. Committees are as follows so far:
Outreach: Gwen, Caitlin, Cassandra, Chris and Mike W. (website)
Legal and Finance: Chris and Mike
Sourcing and Ordering: Sophia and Caitlin…Dan said he can contribute sometimes and Paige may be interested
Equipment and Maintanance: Nina, Mike W. and Sophia
…………………………………………………………….
Meeting Minutes 05-08-09
May 8th, 2009 – the Bushwick food coop met informally to make signs and flyers in preparation for the May 9th Bushwick Grows Together event.

…………………………………………………………….

Meeting Minutes 04-18-09

(Sent out by Caitlin)

Hi all, the following are the meeting minutes from our meeting earlier today.
Also, please note that the next meeting will take place again at 955 Bushwick Ave. (ring ground floor bell) at 6:30PM on Friday May 8th.
We will also be preparing for our “stand” at the Bushwick Grows Together community fair the following day.
Hope you can all make it.
Thanks!

Bushwick Food Coop Meeting Minutes 4/18/2009

CSA
–is Bushwick Starr a more likely location than Sophia’s garage?  Silvia will speak to them
–deadline is May 7th; Gwen is working on getting the word out
–CSA maybe separate from BFC? (Locationally, or organizationally, or both?)
–Garden of Eve’s only drop off date on Wednesdays from 1 to 2 PM might be unrealistic for us

Bushwick Grows Together Fair: Saturday May 9th
–we’re going to represent there
–Nina has a folding table to use
–Caitlin will provide rocks for wind factor
–we’re meeting at 955 Bushwick Ave. on Friday the 8th, 6:30 PM  to make signs and flyers

Networking
–can only start ordering if we have more people
–possibility of write ups in local news papers/magazines: Nina knows local papers, Sophia suggest Edible Brooklyn, we can write something for the Park Slope Food Coop’s “Linewaiter’s Gazette”
–set up a facebook page for Bushwick Food Coop (we didn’t decide who would do that)
–Caitlin is go-between with the Park Slope Food Coop, and we can send a letter out for free through them (to all their Bushwick residents who are members and may want to work with us)
–our website is up and running and we have an e-mail address that is automatically forwarded to Chris (bushwickfoodcoop.com; info@bushwickfoodcoop.com)
–must get our mission statement and flyer together by Friday the 8th
–we’re making a “networking/outreach” discussion topic on Google group

Ordering Dry Goods
–would like to order soon
–need to figure out what to order and who should be in charge of what
–use Google group to further discuss
–Sophia is having her garage sale soon to clear her garage for BFC storage
–should we buddy up with Kalabash Food Coop to order things?  Caitlin and/or Gwen will ask

Money
–Caitlin is going to a meeting at the Park Slope Food Coop about start up funds for coops
–we decided we are too fresh to ask for membership fees as of yet; would like to start ordering first and have something to offer people for their money
–we decided we would all chip in money to buy food storage items (including fridge) and a scale…[side note: if we can get a thousand bucks start up money, we won’t have to use our personal money, and I heard that the government is giving out grants for food coops]

Miscellaneous
–secretarial duties will rotate each meeting (for writing and sending out the minutes)
–people are interested in raw dairy
–we are awesome

………………………………………………………………………..

Meeting Minutes 03-28- 09

…NOTES…

New Person – Karen Pinto – kganinpinto7@gmail.com – works at Chez Bushwick (admin/systems), Dancer

Caitlin’s overview of Park Slope food coop – 1971, Mongoose community center – Joe Holtz is the contact, willing to help us out and give suppliers contact info (Caitlin already has list and info on getting barrels) – membership fee helps to filter out people who aren’t totally on board

Design, web, mural  – local arts community – Paige is on it

Needs – rodent and roach-proof the garage food-grade barrels

Decide on “investment fee” and membership cost

FOOD: Putting everything up on google group for us to discuss/vote on

MEAT 8 O’clock Ranch – CSA

Garden of Eve – Veg, Fruit, Eggs, Cut flowers – 30 shares for Bushwick pick up

Make the Road – Mexican veg – find out if they’re over capacity

-putting everything on google group so we can get a vote

Coffee – Crop to cup vs. stump town vs. Gorilla

Need to get garage cleaned out (Sophia and Michael will have garage sale, coop members are happy to help out) – fridge, electricity

Next meeting April 18 Caitlin’s house 4:30 pm

TASKS -

-Caitlin talking to garden of eve finding out all options

- Mike white – make “meat” “dairy” “coffee” “tea” categories on the google group

- Karen – Talk to chez bushwick about possible connections/collaboration

- Make flyer before May 9th event (English/Spanish)

- Caitlin is interested in manning the table for the food coop at the May 9th event

-Google group needs docs, calendar

- Paige – contact Rachel Devlin and arts stuff

- Niina, working on fridge

……………………………………………………………………..

Meeting Minutes 03-07-09

Location: Sophia and Mike’s House, 923 Bushwick Ave

Participants:

Gwen Schantz (non profit/environment/food)

Christopher St. John (media/journalism)

Sophia Shalmiyev (art therapist/mom)

Paige Newman (trend forecasting/marketing)

Niina Pollari (writer/craigslist trawler)

Mike Pfaff (set carpenter/dad)

Michael White (non profit/crime victims treatment/web/outreach)

Caitlin Jemison (musician/vocalist)

General Meeting Discussion:

-          Long-term goal is to establish a conventional, store-front food cooperative

-          Short-term goal is to have a buying club where members can get good food cheap

-          Mike and Sophia’s garage can serve as the near-term food storage facility (thanks, guys!)

Needs:

-          Establish a non-profit and get a bank account

-          Set up website to facilitate outreach (bushwickfoodcoop.org)

-          Reach out to existing community organizations and make connections with our neighbors, recruit more members

-          Freezer/fridge, food containers/storage bins and scale for weighing bulk goods

-          Food! (figure out what we want to start with, buy it, eat it)

Tasks:

Gwen – outreach to other coops/meet with Make the Road

Christopher – Website development

Sophia – get in touch with Just Food/meet with Make the Road

Paige – reach out to arts community/find muralist/put together “top ten” food list

Niina – keep an eye out on Craig’s List for freezers and scales (preferably free ones)

Mike P. – talk to old timer friend from Olympia, get advice, learn what to do/not to do

Michael W. – Website development

Caitlin – talk to Park Slope Coop about sourcing (for food and health and beauty products)

Next Meeting:

NEED TO FIGURE THIS OUT!! – First weekend in April? Gwen and Chris would like to offer their place as the venue.