Welcome from the Co-op Voice Editors: “It Takes a Village”

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It Takes a Village
Image by Carol Coogan

We know the phrase is a cliché, and those of us who are old enough know who borrowed it from the African continent and used it in her book. But we’re appropriating its meaning for our own purposes, as we begin the New Year and approach the one year anniversary of our publication. It’s this simple: to create a stronger, more vibrant Co-op village, we need shareholders, staff members, vendors and shoppers alike to continue sharing their voices in our pages.

We want to hear from those who work in the Co-op, from the amazing Plants Department (spend a little time in their company, the next time you’ve got the winter blues!) to the bustling Deli and Front End Departments. We want to hear from our customers (what’s in YOUR shopping cart? What isn’t, and why?). We want to hear from Management, Marketing, and Finance, too! We want the voices of people who have been here for decades, as well as those who have just joined. In keeping with our intergenerational spirit, we want to hear from young and older, from people from all neighborhoods, cultures and walks of life. Tell us what you like. Tell us what you don’t like!

The more voices we can include, the more our newsletter will represent the rich diversity we share as a community. This month, for example, to deepen the conversation, we publish very different Letters to the Editor in response to Susan Fiehl’s December opinion piece, which explained her position on the recent presidential election. We present the sixth in a series of shopper surveys, asking for your input. We’re creating a column called It Happened at the Co-op!, kicked off by a story shared with us by one of our long-time cashiers, Gay Malin (thanks for the inspiration, Gay!). It’s a touching story of kindness between customers in her check-out line this past holiday.

Do you have an anecdote you’d like to share for this column? We also appreciate questions, reactions, and suggestions. We invite you to pitch ideas for poems, short-short fiction, comic strips, artwork and the like.

Do you have a tradition you’d like to share with us? Traditions are made at the Co-op, and we want to hear about yours. For example, each year Donna and her daughter have given each other the beautiful We’Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Women calendar, a gift they’ve purchased from the Co-op for the past 11 years. They’ve saved every one of them and pretty soon, the calendars are going to circle around and be able to be used again! Traditions like these help us turn over a new page.

To spark your interest, here’s a smattering of possible offerings for next month’s issue: why flossing may be a waste of time, food insecurity, a kiosk in the store to check food allergens, the status of the Co-op satellite in the Empire State Plaza, and perhaps the entheogenic dimensions of chocolate – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Thanks for reading, and, in advance, thanks for taking the time to let us hear from you.

The Co-op Voice Editors: Bob, Donna, and Paula