On Tuesday, July 7, a group of about 35 Abundance Cooperative Market shareholders attended a special meeting at Swiftwater Brewery on Mount Hope Avenue in Rochester. The gathering was organized by the Linkage Committee of the Abundance Board of Directors as a way of sharing–and developing–the Abundance Ends Policy, a document that summarizes the co-op’s most basic goals.
New Store, New Directions
The Ends Policy is much like a mission statement. While the Board routinely reviews its policies from time to time, the co-op’s new beginning in the South Wedge is an especially auspicious moment to take a close look at this basic statement of goals and principles.
Following pizza and beverages, the meeting began with updates about the move from the General Manager and the Board of Directors. Attendees then broke into groups to do brainstorming activities around how well (or not) the current Ends Policy fits what purposes shareholders hope to see Abundance serve in the South Wedge.
The Co-op Difference
Co-ops like Abundance are unique from conventional business models because of events like the one that took place on Tuesday. Owners–who are people right in the community–take part in the decisions about the store’s direction. These conversations, which include many different and sometimes conflicting viewpoints, are a key dimension of how a cooperative business can work.