Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-7:00pm

2015 Meeting Minutes

2015 Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting:

Sean Burns, Holly Jo Sparks, Kaitlyn Burns, Chris Miller, Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill

Absent: Chelsea Bay Dennis, Jim Dagwell

Guests: Tom Slater, Yuan Shellby, Dan Ecclestone

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:35pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Kaitlyn Burns thanked the member-owners who donated their patronage to SEEDS. 

Tom Slater acknowledged that Oryana is a smoke-free campus but suggests that employees not be allowed to smoke tobacco on the neighbor’s property or anywhere during their shifts. 

Dan shared about his successful diet transformation in response to health problems and encouraged Oryana to actively promote more plant-based diet options.  He also encouraged the Board to watch Cowspiracy, a documentary that explores big agriculture and its impact on the environment.

GM Report – Steve: 

Monthly and Yearly Numbers: Monthly sales were just under $1,290,000.  Monthly sales growth was 7.5%. Yearly sales were about $15.5 million. Annual sales growth was 9.1%, just under the goal of 10%.  Monthly labor to sales percentage was around 25%, above the target of 23% and yearly labor to sales percentage was 22%.  Sales per labor hour was just under $80.  Monthly customer count was up from previous years at over 39,000.  Monthly memberships exceeded 6600.  Member sales were over 72% of total sales.  Monthly market basket was just under $33 which was slightly below budget, partially due to an increase in prepared foods sales.  Monthly member sales were over $880,000. 

Draft Quarterly Numbers: Operating expenses were about 31.5%, below budget of 33.3%.  Total sales were slightly below budget at $3.9 million.  Total cost of sales were about $2.4 million.  Sales growth was about 7%. 

Many member-owners donated their patronage to area organizations including SEEDS, 10 Cents a Meal, ISLAND, MLUI, and Women’s Resource Center. 

Current store projects:  Staff break room remodel, Prepared Foods Improvement Project (increased efficiency, space utilization, and a new layout for the café and hotbar), new nut butter table in bulk, East bathroom remodel (the first one is complete.)

Expansion: The GM is working with a broker and possible collaborators, is looking for site, and continues to consult NCG’s Development Cooperative (DC).

The current issue of Oryana’s Natural Food News contains a third newsletter article from the GM regarding expansion as well as an article from Amy.

Oryana Soyworks is closing this month.  There is a Q&A on the Oryana website to answer member-owner questions.

Oryana continues to collaborate with TART supporters to keep the trail clear. 

Event sponsorships include the Yen Yoga’s Inspired Summit, Norte Youth Cycling, SEEDS, the Bob Russell Resilience Reading Project, the Great Big Giveaway (in collaboration with McLain Cycle), the 2015 Small Farm Conference and Fulfillament.

Industry News: Charlie’s in Frankfort is closing and Oryana is communicating about the future of their long-standing buying club.   Albert’s Organics is a new distributor through UNFI who offers organic products and deals.

The 2015 General Membership Meeting will be at TC Central High School on April 16th at 5pm.

Monitoring Report:

2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting

The GM provided a 2015 business plan called the Oryana Big Picture Playbook.  Included are departmental plans, long-term goals, a yearly budget, sales growth models, financial modeling, performance goals, assumptions, marketing strategies, succession planning and organizational development, information about industry trends, key consumer shifts, the cooperative landscape, peer comparisons and more.  

Motion to accept:        Action: Chris Miller moved.  Holly Jo Sparks seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Board Development Activity:  Competition Intelligence

Lucky’s Market will be opening a 27,000 square foot retail location in the Horizon Outlet Mall in the old Horizon Cinema building.  Their target opening is 2016.  The GM provided an overview of their business practices and product selection and provided examples of how Oryana will remain competitive.  He and the Oryana Leadership team are utilizing competitor studies, monitoring sales from open Lucky’s Markets, and reaching out to other co-ops who have faced direct competition to ensure that Oryana remains competitive while working toward the expansion and vision set forward in Oryana Imagined,2022.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda

February 19, 2015 at Oryana

February 10 = March-April newsletter deadline

Include: general membership meeting story/agenda and candidate statements for April general membership meeting; if applicable, proposed by-laws changes

GMM committee or selected person: Check to make sure all candidates who’ve submitted statements to the newsletter are members in good standing
Monitoring Report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 4th Quarter and full year
Board Development and Educational Activity

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater commented that Marika, Oryana’s former Marketing and Communications Manager, was a valued employee who will be missed.  He requested that the November Board meeting minutes be added to the Board binder at the East entrance.  Tom suggested that Oryana be more robust in their prepared food labeling by providing a rating system for product healthiness.  He criticized the product integrity of ice cream. 

Yuan is grateful for the presentation on Lucky’s Market.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:52pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Sean Burns, Holly Jo Sparks, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Jim Dagwell, Kaitlyn Burns, Chris Miller

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill, Finance Manager: Holly Hall

Absent: Rebecca Teahen

Guests: Tom Slater

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:38pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting are in process for approval. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: The Veterans for Peace published a summary of government spending that shows over 50% of the budget allocated to military and the smallest portion to food and agriculture.  He will show and narrate a video during dinner of Oryana when it was on Randolph Street and of the original soy room.

GM Report – Steve: 

The January Numbers: sales growth was 5%, a slower growth rate than 2013 and below target; sales were around $1.3 million; draft labor to sales was over target at 23.36% and is being monitored; total expenses were about 30% and below target; estimated net was just under 5%.  Comparison to peers: same store sales growth for all NCG coops was 4.8%, though many experienced declining sales due to competition; monthly customer count was up as was market basket size; total memberships are holding steady as are member sales and member sales percentage.  3702 members used their MAD discounts in January. The Leadership Team and Marketing Matters Team are working on ways to increase sales lift. 

Departments are finalizing their 2015 business plans for the Oryana Big Picture Playbook.  With competition coming the Leadership team is watching business and economic trends.  The GM will approve the final 2015 business plan shortly.

Expansion Update: The Acme/Williamsburg survey commissioned by Avenue ISR show some promising results that will be compiled in early March and prompted an article in the Record-Eagle.  Facebook comments regarding the article were very positive.  A Ticker article chronicling the continuing development of Meijer mentioned Oryana. 

Horse Shows by the Bay and the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival are at odds.  MI Local Investment purchased 400 acres in Williamsburg to develop a Hops farm.

OCIPS (Oryana Constant Improvement Process) Projects: new non-slip flooring in the stairwell; drywall in the hallways and conference room; LED lighting in several departments and light orientation correction in the aisles; PFIP (Prepared Foods Improvement Project) in development; Soyworks  has closed and Rosewood tofu is in stock (bulk  and packaged).

Oryana sponsored the annual Small Farm Conference where the GM spoke on a panel about local proteins with Mark Ebel and Evan Smith.  The GM is participating in the newly formed TC Cooperative Alliance to support the coop model.  Oryana is replacing the company van with a red delivery van, soon to be emblazoned with a sharp-looking Oryana logo.  Sandi, the Education & Outreach Coordinator, visited Mill Creek Elementary who, in turn, brought 25 first-graders to shop at Oryana for local produce to cook a meal together. Staff celebrated the Store Manager’s sense of style with the inaugural ‘Eldon Shirt Day.’  Oryana’s merchandising team won the Bulk Foods Retailer of the Year photo contest winner, whose $100 prize was donated to On The Ground.    

Monitoring Report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities 4th Qtr and Full Year

Oryana’s Finance Manager, Holly Hall, presented the financials for the fourth quarter and full year as prepared by her and verified by the CPA.  She provided a comparison to previous years’ data as well as to like-sized NCG Coops. 

Motion to accept:         Action: Holly Jo Sparks moved.  Chelsea Bay Dennis seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.4 Financial Condition and Activities 4th Qtr and Full Year.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Board Development Activity: Patronage

The GM recommends to the Board that Oryana distribute patronage to its member-owners for the third consecutive year. 

Motion to accept:         Action: Jim Dagwell moved.  Chris Miller seconded.

The Board accepted the General Manager’s recommendation to distribute patronage.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

The GM and Finance Manager will meet with the Due Diligence Committee to review the initial investment of $15 per year.

Next Meeting Review: March 19, 2015 

Early March: Publication of March-April newsletter
Early March: Secretary makes sure membership list is pulled 30 days before general membership meeting (March 17)
Post proposed by-laws changes in store (>20 days prior to GMM)
Monitoring Report:  Ends Policies on Economy and Localism
Monitoring Report: 2.7. Emergency GM Succession
Board Development and Educational Activity

Public Input & Discussion:

Board feels candidates would do well to attend meetings prior to the election at the GMM (none have attended thus far) to become familiar with Policy Governance as well as Board process and dynamics.

The Community Grant Committee has reviewed applications and chosen final candidates.   Information about the organizations who will contend for the prize (awarded by member vote) will be published in the March Oryana Natural Food News.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:23pm.


2014 Minutes


The Next Board Meeting

The next meeting is Thursday, May 21

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Oryana

2014 Annual Report








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