October is National Co-op Month

It’s been a busy start to the fall! Here we’ve included the “A Word from our General Manager” as well as some links a roundtable conversation, moderated by Bill Newman, Lloyd participated in though WHMP. And even the radio spot for Co-op Month, we are so excited to share these with you!

Check out our radio spot!

Keep an ear out on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays thoughout October on
WRSI/The River, WHMP Newsradio, & Pure Oldies and Rewind!

And here is the audio for the Roundtable on WHMP we feel so lucky to have participated in, we hope to be able to do more of these sorts of outreach events and collaborations with other local co-ops.

10/12: Live from the River Valley Co-op in Easthampton — our Annual Co-op Show starring Lynn Benander from Co-op Power, Craig Boivin from UMass Five College Credit Union, Jason Carpenter from Downtown Sounds, Larisa Demos from the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives and Flat Iron Coffee House, Lloyd Miller from Old Creamery Co-op and Rochelle Prunty from River Valley Co-op.

A Word From Our General Manager

October is National Co-op month!

And boy, there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate ownership of your friendly neighborhood food co-op, could there? Over here at the Old Creamery Co-op, we kicked off the month with a stellar anniversary party thrown by our ever-toiling board of directors. Spearheaded by former OCC board president Katy Eiseman and bolstered by president Steven Schiff, upwards of 100 members of our community gathered at Pettengill Park here in Cummington to celebrate 10 years of cooperative enterprise. There was live music. There was dancing. There were cookies and pinwheels and pizza; hard cider, craft beer, and coffee. There was community and there was congratulation.

“Communities build co-ops, and co-ops build community.”

These words were recently pointed out to me by Lynn Benander from Co-op power at a roundtable conversation I was fortunate enough to take part in on WHMP. Moderated by Bill Newman, it was a great opportunity to sit with five other cooperative operators and explore the rich differences and common goals inherent to the cooperative model.

(If you didn’t happen to catch the broadcast, you can listen to it at the top of the page.) And in everything we discussed, maybe nothing summed it up more clearly than that simple statement.

Ten years ago, this community came together with a common, united vision. A long-loved food store that serviced a community well removed from our nearest commercial centers found a way to live on through the cooperative efforts of its invested neighbors. Ten years ago, a membership banded together and invested in an enterprise, ensuring that this mission oriented commercial food outlet would continue to operate with its community’s best interests in mind. And for the last ten years, this store has made every effort to amount to more than just the sum of its parts, through investments made by its membership on behalf of themselves, on behalf of their neighbors, and in service of a greater good.

On November 6, we’ll mark the official tenth anniversary of this community driven enterprise. By that date, if our projections are correct, we should also see the official membership of our 1000th member. And on November 6, we’ll take some time to mark the occasion. And then we’ll roll up our sleeves and start working on the next ten years.

Ten years in, and we’re learning every day how better to serve our community, and how better to operate as a cooperative enterprise. Our recent capital campaign really illustrated the love and faith you have in this operation, and your friends and neighbors thank you for it. There will be more opportunities to invest in our collective vision coming your way soon! It truly is our mutual investment in this effort that keeps us strong, keeps us flexible, and ensures that our area is being well and honestly served by their very own neighbors to the best interests of the community itself.

Yours in eternal optimism,