New & Now Winter 2018

FEEDING THE HERBIVOROUS ACRES PIGS

We’re proud to partner with Herbivorous Acres, a non-profit farm sanctuary protecting animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Every Thursday, we donate our culled produce from Wedge Lyndale to feed their two pigs, Fox and Zeus. Herbivorous Acres is currently seeking land to house their farm sanctuary within an hour of the Twin Cities. We’ll be rounding up at the register to collect funds for Herbivorous Acres at the Wedge, Linden Hills and Wedge Table in July.

MPS TRUE FOOD TASTE TESTS

The Wedge and Linden Hills Co-op is a proud sponsor of Minneapolis Public School’s True Food Taste Tests, which bring over 18,000 samples of new healthy foods to students at 48 public schools three times a year! In November, the kids tried “Kid Kimchi” made with local vegetables from MPS’s partner farms. In February, our Wedge kitchen will be creating the recipe! Co-op owners are welcome to help serve samples to the kids. Email Kate at kate.seybold@mpls.k12.mn.us for more information.

CO-OP AFFORDABILITY PROJECT OWNER UPDATE

Starting this January, we’re launching a FREE annual renewal process. Once a year, CAP owners will be asked to renew their ownership at the customer service desk by showing proof of eligibility. Your cashier will remind you when you’re up for renewal. Don’t forget, we’ve expanded CAP to Linden Hills, so you now can shop at the Wedge, Wedge Table or Linden Hills Co-op and receive your discount!

Our CAP program reduces the cost barriers to healthful eating by offering a 10% discount to owners with financial need. Wedge and Linden Hills owners currently enrolled in WIC, SNAP, SSDI/SSI, Section 8 Housing, Refugee Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), or Minnesota Care are eligible for the CAP program. Shoppers can join CAP for just $10. Learn more 

FAREWELL AND THANK YOU TO MARI JOHNSON

Thank you to Mari Johnson who retired in December after 8 years as Board Administrator for the Wedge and TCCP Boards. Mari’s extensive co-op, board and leadership experience helped develop a board committed to excellent governance and board culture. Her guidance and insight through elections, major remodel and expansion projects and consolidation have truly strengthened the co-op. We wish Mari the very best in her retirement and extend our sincere thanks for her dedicated service.

CALL FOR OWNERS AT LARGE FOR NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE

The board of directors is looking for owners willing to volunteer as members of the 2018 nominations committee. The nominations committee assists with the solicitation, interviews and selection of highly qualified board candidates for the 2018 election. Experience serving on boards or in human resources is desired.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a brief statement explaining your interest and qualifications to board@tccp.coop  by Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS

The 2018 board meetings will be held the third Tuesday of each month through September.

Jan. 16

Feb. 20

March 20

View 2018 board meeting schedule

WEDGE STORE COUNCIL

The Linden Hills store council seats have been filled, but there are still three seats available on the Wedge/ Wedge Table store council! The core function of the store council is to enhance communication and cooperation between the governing board and owners and to deepen the connections to the greater communities it serves. The Wedge store council will work closely with the ownership committee, marketing team and Linden Hills store council to connect with the surrounding neighborhoods, promote familiarity with the co-op, to listen and learn about community needs, and to encourage new and diverse shoppers and membership.

Interested owners should email outreach@wedge.coop to receive an application. Applications are due Feb. 1.

LINDEN HILLS UNION UPDATE

On Sept. 26, 2017, Linden Hills Co-op workers voted by an overwhelming margin to ratify our first union contract with store management. The three-year agreement went into effect Oct. 1. We are part of a larger unionization movement of food cooperatives in the Midwest; we join the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) along with other Twin Cities Co-ops, including The Wedge, Eastside, and Seward Co-ops.

Seven employees were elected by their co-workers to serve on the bargaining committee for contract negotiations with co-op management. From April to September 2017 — 14 bargaining sessions in total — committee members, Linden Hills management, and UFCW Local 653 officials exchanged a series of proposals and counter-proposals. Over time, we began to reach a tentative agreement on contract language for both economic and non-economic provisions for workers. Most laudable among these were protections for transgender workers, a streamlined system of PTO accrual, and the establishment of a formalized wage scale that saw immediate wage raises for the majority of current Linden Hills union members.

As the national movement for a $15/hour minimum wage makes important gains on a local level (including Minneapolis this summer), our union contract positions Linden Hills Co-op at the forefront of local businesses stepping up to offer workers better wages and accessible benefits. At each increase interval mandated by the minimum-wage ordinance, store management and our union agreed to meet and adjust our wage scale accordingly.

Co-workers elected eight union stewards from our bargaining unit in November. We will undergo a training session with other stewards from Local 653 later this winter. The elected union stewards are the following:

Cyrus Kozub – Produce Dept.

Emily Calhoon – Produce Dept.

Michael Bierlein – Manager on Duty/Front End

Jason Lee – Prepared Foods Dept.

Tracie Lemberg – Health & Body Care Dept.

Robert VanVranken – Grocery Dept.

Jeff Nielsen – Meat Dept.

Mark McGraw – Admin (Scanning Dept.)

Our co-op is stronger with a union. Our union contract ensures our store offers workers fairer wages, secure benefits, and proper training and development. Becoming a union shop is an essential component of creating a workplace encouraging employee longevity, expertise, and community building with our customers, local vendors, and one another as co-workers. Linden Hills Co-op is on this path. We are proud of reaching our first contract with store management. Stay tuned for future updates.

Read Cultivate Winter 2018 articles

View Cultivate Winter 2018 PDF