Posted on 07 / 04 / 2009
I think it is important to support local businesses, as well as foster a sense of community through cooperative markets. I shop regularly at the TPSS Co-op. They have a great selection of raw foods and bulk options. That said, the store is in need of serious improvements. I worked at a co-op in Massachusetts for 6 years before moving down here so I know what I am talking about. A few of the staff members are very helpful, but I have to agree with the other comment that there are many rude staff members. Working at a co-op is about creating a community, and I find it hard to believe that community can be created under a dismissive and self-involved staff. Customer service should be more than a first priority-it should be an essential part of the mission statement. A co-op is nothing without the surrounding community and I am surprised that it has been able to survive for so long. I like to offer ideas for improvement and not just complain. If the co-op board is reading this, please please PLEASE hire/train/monitor your employees to be courteous, patient, and knowledgeable. Knowledge takes time, but a person wouldn't want a job at a natural foods co-op if they weren't interested in the movement. Please avoid nepotism-it has brought down more co-ops/local businesses than I'd like to admit. Every time I have been in the co-op, someone has asked me a question about a product or a brand, thinking that I work there. And I answer. I don't get paid to do it, but it is more important to the big picture that these customers feel welcomed and cared for. Let the staff take the time to really get to know all of the products. It will make a HUGE difference. And while no place is perfect, and all co-ops CERTAINLY have their fair share of inconsistencies and downfalls, it is very important that the board, its members, and the community work to create a friendlier and more helpful environment.
good vegan/vegetarian selection, raw foods, local, organic seedlings
failing at customer service, poor layout, workers needs to know products better