Co-op Sees Community as Key to Survival

The co-op is moving quickly to follow-up on suggestions made by Cabin Johners at the Sept. 26 Cabin John Citizens Association meeting. “For the holidays, we will be stocking a variety of new items, setting up displays that provide dinner and entertaining suggestions and stepping up our email and Facebook presence,” says Manager Helen Atkocious, who spoke at the meeting along with her assistant Mary Jaeger. Among the products they will be offering in the coming weeks are German chocolates and advent calendars, specialty baked goods, and 2019 datebooks and calendars.

“If we can get more CJ residents to check out the co-op, they will see that we offer a lot of competitively-priced groceries, beer and wine and maybe we can save them a trip to stores that are 20 minutes away,” noted Atkocious at an Oct. 4 follow-up meeting. Right now, customers spend an average of $25 per shopping trip, using the co-op more like a convenience store than their local grocer. To encourage more shopping by CJers and to say thank-you for the ongoing community support, the co-op is offering Village News subscribers 5 percent off one shopping trip during the month of November. (See the co-op ad in the printed newsletter.)

Among the challenges voiced during the CJCA meeting was the lack of parking during the lunchtime hours. Even though the landlord has posted 30-minute parking signs in front of the store, restaurant patrons and others frequently leave their cars in those spots for an hour or more. The CJCA passed a motion to send a letter to the Co-op’s landlord asking that a number of parking spots be dedicated to Co-op shoppers during peak business hours.

In 2019, the co-op plans to look at ways it might implement additional community suggestions including having customers pre-order fish or chicken for pick-up on specified afternoons, establishing discount days, and creating a members’ rewards program for frequent shoppers.

 

By Susan Shipp

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