May 2023 Newsletter

⭠ Next Update | View All | Last Update ⭢


The Mushroom Messenger

KCG Monthly Newsletter: May 2023

Bringing you monthly news of the Kennett Community Grocer, a growing Food Co-op committed to local food, community, and culture.

Hello to our Member-Owners and Friends!

In this edition: Membership growing, recap of Jon Steinman event, and May Co-op Box.



Numbers are growing! Our joint presentation in April with the Kennett Collaborative was a real boost. The more people see KCG and member-owners circulating in the community and at community events, the more likely they are to join. Keep the momentum going! Volunteer to help raise awareness and remember the personal challenge to each of us to recruit neighbors and friends.

To volunteer, fill out the form on the KCG website or send an email to info@kennettcommunity


At our April 10 Board Meeting, according to our By-Laws, we elected Henry Schlimme to the Board to replace Christopher Johnson’s vacated seat. Henry’s application to the Board will be put forward to a full vote by the membership in the next election cycle in November 2023. We also accepted the resignation of Kris Gibbons. We currently have an open seat on the Board for anyone who is interested in serving. Please email us at [email protected] if you have interest in becoming a KCG Board member.

The Board discussed the site selection process, an effort that will be headed by our Business Advisory Committee. The first step in the process is to identify a commercial realtor who will work with us to search for the best location in accordance with our Market Study/Sales Forecast. This effort will be ongoing over the next year. We will be communicating this process with all member-owners over the next several months, and we commit to securing your input.

Our action teams are focused on the business processes for the emerging store. The Outreach Team plans to travel to Bethlehem to meet with the Board President of the Bethlehem Food Co-op and discuss the steps that steadily moved them beyond a membership of 300 to now over 1300. We will tour their building site and get information on how they obtained grants and conducted a successful capital campaign. One of the values of cooperative businesses is that they help each other succeed. We are very fortunate to have a great deal of support from neighboring eastern Pennsylvania food co-ops. Look for a report on that visit next month.
Sunday, May 21, 12 pm: Order deadline for May KCG Co-op Box. May's Co-op Box includes Locust Hollow Young and Spicy Sheep cheese spread, Northstar Orchard Apple Butter, Grass Fed Beef from The Farm at Cochranville (ground beef, 1lb), along with Flying Plow's glorious produce.


Saturday, May 27, 10 am-12pm: Co-op box pick up. Friends Meeting House at 125 W. Sickle Street in Kennett Square
Pre-Order Your Co-op Box

Jon Steinman, KCG Event April 13, 2023

Thank you to everyone who attended the talk on April 13 with Jon Steinman. Steinman’s enthusiasm is infectious, and his strategies provide important guidance. You can see his talk – or relive it if you were there – in the video below. We had a great deal of positive feedback, perhaps the most important being that member-owners are now using the term “we” and “our” a lot more. Yes, this is our store and not a place vulnerable to the needs of corporate shareholders or corporate entities with little to no experience in the grocery business who think they can capitalize on the profits. Think of Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods   they are learning the hard way and are evolving their approach but often not in ways that benefit food consumers or local producers.

Steinman’s research emphasizes the difference between co-ops and corporate grocery chains that are vulnerable to forces beyond their control. At least seven chains in the United States experienced store closures in 2022 and many continue to be at risk to mergers, acquisitions and closures which disrupt the lives of people in affected communities. Meanwhile, food cooperatives across the United States have held steady for the most part and have not been vulnerable to the issues affecting corporate grocery chains. See more of Steinman’s talking points on the website for his book Grocery Store.

In advising the grocery business in 2023, consulting service McKinsey & Company offers the warning that the grocery business is “volatile” due to continued challenges in supply chains, labor shortages, e-commerce and rising inflation. At the same time, McKinsey & Company says consumers want healthier food offerings, attention to sustainability in packaging, and good maintenance of the store. In addition, people want a store with good technological capability for pre-ordering, comparing prices, and flexibility at the point of payment. Thoughtful shoppers know the benefits of having experienced workers with fair labor standards and of investing in food ecosystems.

This sort of experience and value is what a member-owned food cooperative can offer. Kennett Community Grocer is your store, my fellow food ambassadors. Let’s keep our focus on making it happen!

Jon Steinman, introduced by Edie Burkey at the April 13, 2023 Speaker Event sponsored by KCG and Kennett Collaborative at the 1st Presbyteian Church of Kennett Square, PA
Copyright © 2023 Kennett Community Grocer, All rights reserved.

⭠ Next Update | View All | Last Update ⭢