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friendly WARNING.

I miss the old Co-op.

Now I know what ALL THOSE CAMERAS are for.


So now when and if you shop at the co-op you will be towed as well? Huh. The co-op is getting expensive.

They've gotta pay for the deli somehow.........

Yeah, exactly how "friendly" is that warning?

I suppose one could argue that ANY warning that doesn't involve bloodshed and/or loss of consciouness is "friendly". Not argued by me mind you. Kinda fits right in with the NSA news.

Guess I'm going to have to be more careful about parking in the WFC lot when I'm doing a run to both WFC and MCCU

I believe there is reciprocity with the Ghetto Bank lot.

what if I shop @ the co-op then go to last chance for 2.99 wine? do I cease have parking clearance? In which order do I shop to insure non-towage? I wnat to know who got that note and under what curcumstance

I'm wondering how old this notice is and where you found it. I know that the new lot at the new store is open to all MCCU members as well, so I'm thinking this is a notice from the old store. Background, Starfire?

There's really such a shortage of parking that they need to be spending time monitoring the parking lot?

Is this why everything is so expensive?

I found this note by the new store. 7th Ave East and 4th St., Upper side.

I found it a couple of weeks ago.

This must be why they're getting rid of the senior discount and quite possibly the working member discount as well...

Rokidoke, Starfire. Weird.

This is the problem with Duluth, if you try to do anything positive in this town you get attacked from all sides. Do you expect the co-op to provide free parking for all the Hospital employees?
also, refering to the credit union as the "ghetto bank" doesn't do much for the area either.
and, there is a large shortage of parking at the co-op, compare there lot to that of any other Grocery store in town.

oh you funnies. the coop is so expensive 'cuz sooooomeone has to try and support the fair minded agri & wellness for all living things, that we'all cant live 'true to our ideals' without, eh? give it a few kudos, and keep putting the ching ching where you know it helps. i'll be watching this site for some posities:) i agree the threat tone of the signs is sad, it could be worded like: Yo! Plz donta be a parking in this lot if you not Shopping, ok? Mary's employess, this means you! Going to work out at the 'ol CPF??? Walk from home!!
Aside, an employees car was swiped a few weeks ago from the back lot, now likely on it's way to Chicago, and LOTS of shit goes down in the alley. And the other day I saw a woman pick a proddie off the shelf and the try to return it without a receipt just 5 short minutes later....!
So plz give 'ol WFC a few cheers for deciding to build in the ghetto to serve the community.
shop last chance 1st.

To compare the [insert major grocery chain here] parking lot with the WFC parking lot is a bit asinine, IMHO.

[major grocery chain] services a larger customer base than the WFC does - it only stands to rights that their parking lot would be larger than the WFC.

In fact, when you look at the WFC parking lot, it is actually a lot nicer than a) their old parking lot and b) the [insert major chain here] lots. The farthest spot away from the store is still closer than the farthest spots at [insert major grocery chain here] It is also cleaner, offers carpool parking and with the relatively low curb on the sidewalk makes for easy exiting. ;)

I do have to say that I find the in and out traffic thoroughfare into the aforementioned Ghetto Bank lot or the WFC lot is a lot busier than it used to be and some people drive like idiots and take up the whole driveway when they want to turn out of the lot, but all in all, it's not bad.

As far as the WFC being attacked, well, if you think this is attacking, you definitely are a member of the co-op.

Just a habit to call the Memebrs Cooperative Credit Union the Ghetto Bank. A bank of which I have been a member of for 13 years. I also call the Spur the Ghetto Spur mainly because of Giljunko.

I suppose I should keep the nick names to myself Mr. Brewington.

I am mainly frustrated with the Coop (of which I have been a member of for 13 years or so) because I feel as if something was lost in the move. The feeling of community I enjoyed even in the cramped old quarters seems to have been lost. I hope I can find it again; I hope the Coop can as well.

far as i know, those less-than-friendly warnings are issued only in the employee parking lot out back where all the chubby, smoking nurses park their suv's in the wfc staff lot when the smdc lot is full. guess the extra half-block walk to the street is just too exhausting. while the note lacks a bit of..shall we say co-operation, i know the co-op is host to nearly 130 staffers who need a place to plant their volvos during work. plus, the notes were issued at the old store as well, for whatever its worth...

This series caused me to review the former bitchfest about the co-op. I stand by my comments there.

Sooooo, let me get this straight. To compare parking lots betwee the co-op and other grocery stores is asinine but to compare all other aspects of the the co-op's operation to other grocery stores is fine?

I guess I can understand the feeling of loss for the old co-op. but if that is the issue, address it directly. I'm sure the old co-op would have had cars towed if they had large numbers of non customers/ employees taking up their parking spaces.

I, for one, am very happy
to have an institution like Whole Foods in Duluth . I do not think they are above reproach but I don't see how running off illegally parked vehicles is bad. After all, you have to defend your turf in the ghetto.


definitely a member of the co-op

I've only been once, and not for long. I am not a member and I know nothing about the store. I am the son of a farmer, though, so I have a few questions:

1) Does it buy from local farmers at the back door, or does it only buy from large commercial growers like the better known Whole Foods does?

2) Everyone talks about the selection of foods. Does it have a common rotation of sustainable foods? No use buying strawberries all year round when their season is very short. Anything else is non-sustainable agriculture.

3) Does any of the membership money go directly back to the farmers who provide the goods? A co-op is a member group where suppliers and sellers enter into an exclusive agreement where the supplier agrees to pay a small percentage over average in order to insure the goods are above average produce (originally, it was a group of farmers who banded together to sell grain to the Mercantile because the farmers knew their neighbors wouldn't sell short and destabilize the local economy). Anything else is, in my opinion, Organic Sam's Club.

I don't remember comparing all aspects of the small grocery businesss v. large grocery business - just the parking lot, and in fact, it was you who brought up the comparison in the first place, Don Brewington.

Regarding other issues:

I, for one, have noticed the price increase, less member savings on my grocery slip, and a lack of some things that used to be there.

I agree with Starfire that the camaraderie and sense of community that the old coop had seems to be missing in the new building.

I sense, when I'm there, that it's becoming less of a place like what Tinneka intended when she opened up her basement in 1970 where people shared and shared alike and more of a high-end trendy business for the upper middle class.

For example, the discontinuation of the working member and the senior discounts.

If you read the latest issue of the Garbanzo Gazette, you can read all about it in the Board Report.

It goes like this: "If I can't have the benefit, nobody else should, either."

According to the Board Report, the decisions to stop these discounts stem from requests from other minority groups who want a discount. Not much makes me angry or pisses me off more than minority groups complaining that because another minority group is receiving a benefit, the complainers are being "discriminated" against. So in effect, they're discriminating, which is what they're trying to avoid having done to them! GAH!!!

In a high-end store, you are less likely to see the discounts, because everyone who shops there is in the same socioeconomic class, so there's no need for the discounts.

The author of the article even states that the vision of the board is to continue to do 'what's best for the long-term financial health of WFC.'

It is best for the WFC's financial health to continue to attract the higher socioeconomic class that can afford the increased prices and don't need the discounts - it's not necessarily bad, it's just business.

However, by doing so, I think they're not upholding the spirit of the mission statement of the coop... but that's just my five cents' worth..

Ahhh, co-ops. Co-ops come in all shapes and sizes. Housing co-ops, worker co-ops, farmer co-ops, electric co-ops, etc. Whole Foods Co-op is a consumer co-op, which means that it is owned and democratically controlled by its near 5000 members who make a one-time investment in exchange for voting rights, discounts, and the comfort in knowing they are helping to support the local economy. By definition from the International Cooperative Association, co-ops must be "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise." The membership investment does not go back to the farmers, but is used for the brick and mortar of the business. Standard operational kind of stuff, like new equipment and solar panels, not to pay employee wages, etc. Many members are looking forward to the return of the patronage rebate system, where active members receive a portion of the co-op's profits at the end of the fiscal year, depending on how much they've shopped. It is a nice perk, though most members seem to join to satiate more lofty ideals. As far as the farmers go...the co-op does, indeed, support the local farmers. Big time. The pecking order of the food ordering policy places organic and local right on the top of the list. Especially in the summer, the majority of the produce is locally grown, and in the winter there is a decent share due to some immaculate root cellars in the area. The co-op has the pleasure of knowing the farmers personally, and getting the first tastings of those carrots right out of the ground the same morning, dirt still attached. It's amazing what our local farmers can produce in the northwoods. They are true wizards.

I have my own minor beefs (or tofus, as it were!) with the co-op, but as a member I can tell you that there are very few other local businesses that I feel so proud supporting. The new structure may not be as cozy, but it is just as committed as ever to green living, community efforts, and fighting the agri-giants and biotech bombs that are attempting to strip our rights to good organic food and small-scale, cooperative farming.


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