So, we bet you have all been wondering, “what is up with these renovations?!” Well, we have a rundown of everything that has been going on in a way that isn’t going to sound extremely dry and technical. In the past couple of years, the Co-op has had a lot of changes, and we mean A LOT. Some of those changes have been thanks to our “round-up” for change program, donations from members, the increase in the membership fee, and just an overall increase in shopping (which is awesome, keep coming!). The most recent renovations have been because of a grant and generous donations from members.
The Bulk Bins!
Remember those old bulk bins?! Whoa, what an improvement. I bet most of you have forgotten about them since the new ones are so awesome. They served their purpose all those years, but boy is it nice to have those new ones. Speaking of bulk, we also have those nice, new Fusti containers (the ones that have the soy sauce, oils and balsamic) which are on the bulk liquids cabinet- which is also new!
PJ, our bulk manager
In the past couple of years, we received the new cash registers which have given the employees a more fast and efficient way of ringing people up and being able to look up membership and other important information. The new registers and computer system allowed us to have the “PLU” system. Most of you may be familiar with it because of the five digit numbers you have to get from all of the bulk items. This all makes the flow downstairs run so much more smoothly, and it makes the bookkeeper’s life a lot less hectic (thanks, Ryan!).
The Produce Cooler!
Oh, that tiny little produce cooler in the back of the store, what can we say? It also served its purpose, but we are glad it’s gone. We can now have soo much more produce in a beautifully organized cooler. This gives us more room to buy more produce from local farmers that can go right from the farm to us and then to your home. We get to support more farmers and better supply all of you with more produce. With the new produce cooler came the produce bins which have things like, the peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, etc. and aren’t they beautiful?!
The Meat Freezer!
Bet you forgot about this too. That old chest freezer which housed the meats we carried that you had to dig through to find that one package of chicken you were looking for, we remember. Now look at it! The new freezers again allow us to have so much more products in a nice new freezer that make it easy to find things without getting frostbite. If for some reason you truly miss that meat freezer, it might be down in the basement somewhere.
Those shelves. Did any of them match? Some were wooden, some were metal, some were a mystery. Now look at them! These shelves make the already great products we have to look even more amazing somehow. A bunch of the employees came after the store was closed to assemble these babies and re-organize everything. Speaking of re-organizing, with the new shelves came a planogramming system, which will allow the store to have permanent spots for everything and after that it will NEVER move again. So, thank you for bearing with us, eventually, no products will ever move again.
What an improvement! Remember how everyone was crowded in the one section of the bulk room and couldn’t find anything? Well, now you have so much more room on that beautiful custom made wood counter top. (Thanks, Mr. Yokum!) All of the spices have nice, new jars, which all have the same label, and are much easier to find. And no, we don’t have more spices, they are just so much more organized. Kim LeClaire and a team of SUNY Plattsburgh students re-did the spice section one night after the store was closed. (Thanks, Kim!)
The Prep Room!
This one was way more exciting for us than it is for you. We disassembled our old prep room and a new one was created for us in the bulk room. This gave us some great new equipment and better storage for overstock bulk items. The location of the new prep room also gave the store more room for….
The Walk-in Cooler!
Wow, wow, wow. The new walk-in is pretty much the best. We have so much more space to show our great selection of refrigerated goods. Not only is it great from the outside but the inside is so great. Most of you may not know this, but before the new walk-in cooler was installed we literally had to stumble around in basically the dark, walking sideways trying not to knock anything over just to get some of the overstocks and produce. Now, it’s like we could do yoga in there. (Not really, but it feels that way).
As you, all may have noticed the ongoing construction outside of the store-thanks again for bearing with us on that one. The wait is just about over. Come on, have you seen the outside?! It looks so modern, sleek, and professional. Up next, the awning will be going back up along with totally cool gooseneck lights! Also, the bulk room side of the building will be getting it’s new windows and a great seating area on the inside so you can sit and eat or sip your coffee! I know, the anticipation is killing us too!
So, what’s next?!
Now that the outside of the building is almost complete and the seating area in the bulk room is almost done, we bet you want to know what’s coming right? So, coming in the next year the floors will be re-done, the store will get a much-needed paint job, new lighting, new signage, more new shelving, and overall reorganizing.
It has been an incredible past couple of years and more great changes are coming. Thank you to all of our loyal customers volunteers and members for sharing these great and exciting changes with us, none of this would have been possible without each and every one of you, we can’t wait to continue making wonderful connections and memories with you!