Shaping Our Future

Everyone is Welcome at the Grain Train! You don’t need to be a member/owner to shop our stores, dine at our cafe, or be a part of the Grain Train community. We love having you here and appreciate your business. We love our member/owners, too. One of the really cool things about our member/owners is that some of them become a part of our Board of Directors and help to shape the future of the Grain Train. Since we are taking applications for candidates RIGHT NOW, we thought you might like to know more about what membership/ownership looks like—

First off, we are a Natural Food Cooperative. That means that rather than being owned by one person, we have roughly 2,500 active (active means they shopped in 2019) member/owners. As a member/owner there are some perks for sure:

  • 10% off your entire purchases one day each month. You pick the day and it’s your Member/Owner Day all day. And if you find you forgot something on your first trip, just stop back by that same day and grab it and you still get your discount
  • 10% off EVERY DAY at the Grain Train Market Cafe
  • Patronage Rebates where the Board redistributes profits to our member/owners in relation to their purchases
  • Discounts on items you order in bulk or by the case
  • Your right to vote in our annual election
  • The opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors

As a cooperative, we have a bit of a different business model that we follow. Check out this article on the 7 Cooperative Principles if you want to know more. The second principle, Democratic Member Control, is very relevant to us right now as we head into our annual General Membership Meeting and Board Election to be held April 26. Our Board of Directors oversees the long-term vision of the Grain Train. The Board is elected by the co-op's owners to represent them in carrying the cooperative forward into the future. They use the Policy Governance model to hold the General Manager accountable for the organization's performance and ensure that the cooperative remains fiscally healthy while focusing on providing visionary leadership for the future. We are sharing all this with you in hopes that YOU might like to be a part shaping that future and consider running as a candidate. 2021 will be our 50th year here at the Grain Train and having strong visionary leadership is more important now than ever.

If you would like to be a part of shaping the future of the Grain Train, the first step is becoming a member/owner. You get all the perks noted earlier and we can set you up with an easy $25 every 6-months payment plan. You will be able to vote in our election on April 26, and be well on your way to making a difference. And, if you are thinking you might just be one of those people interested in becoming a Board director, once you become a member/owner, you can apply to become a candidate right here. As we said earlier, there is no pressure to become a member/owner. We like you just the way you are! The thing is, we are really excited about being a co-op. We know there are some really great things in store for our future and we want to make sure that YOU know about the opportunities there are for being a part of shaping where we go next.

Until next week, see you at the stores and the Cafe!

February 27, 2020 by Mindy Taylor
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