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
Memorial Day Hours 7:30 am-6 pm

2015 Meeting Minutes

2015 Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting:

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

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill, Human Development Manager: Wendy Walter

Absent: Chelsea Bay Dennis

Guests: Tom Slater, Jake Bailey, Max Elliott, Chuck Mueller, Brenda McLellan, David Coville, Dan Ecclestone

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:41pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting are in process for approval. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: Requested that paper minutes be made available to members in the Board binder near the East entrance as soon as they are approved.

GM Report – Steve: 

The numbers:  Monthly net sales growth was about 7.17% at just shy of $1.15 million in net sales.  Annual net sales growth has been above peers and budget for several years (except for 2009).  Annual net sales shows a positive trend for the last 10 years.  Year-to-date net income as a percentage of sales is above target at 4.19%.  Labor as a percentage of sales for February was 26.51%.  Sales per labor hour trended similarly to 2013 and was slightly lower than target.  Monthly customer count followed previous years’ trends and increased 4.92% over 2014.  Monthly market basket was slightly higher than last year and is being monitored by the GM and Leadership.  Total memberships are nearly 6800- the target for 2015 is 7000 members.  Sales to the membership are at 78.13%- well above the target of 50% and a positive indicator for expansion as it shows customer loyalty.  Year-to-date member sales in dollars are healthy. Year-to-Date growth is 7% compared to last year’s 12%. 

Store Projects: OCIPS (Oryana Constant Improvement Process):  The upstairs office space remodel is in process.  The Prepared Foods Improvement Project (PFIP) is slated to be complete by Memorial Day: new fixtures, customer and staffsurveys, and the bakery move are all components.

As the winner of the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award, Oryana is providing an orientation for this year’s showcase members.  The GM is also a judge for the 2015 competition.

Oryana’s peanut tofu wrap was featured in the Foodie issue of Grand Traverse Magazine.

The GM shared some trends mined by the Hartman Group and ExpoWest.

Alisha Kuyper has been named the new Oryana Marketing and Communications Manager.  She will begin on March 23.  Marika will still provide some freelance assistance.

Oryana is planning to host a diversity training event taught by ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Claiming/Celebrating Equality.)  The event will be open to staff, Leadership, the Board, and other groups in the  community- SEEDS, Bioneers?

The Shamrock-themed St. Patrick’s Day Savings event was a great success with discounts for shoppers and lots of hoopla.

Oryana is supporting several events, including the TC Birth Expo, the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Smart Commute Week, Empty Bowls and the Leelenau Peninsula Birding Festival.   Oryana and Grain Train both contributed to the 2015 Food & Farming Network Report to the Community.

Monitoring Report:

2.7 Emergency GM Succession

Wendy Walter presented the action plan for the Succession Team (the Store Manager and Human Development Manager, assisted by the Finance Manager) should the GM become incapacitated or unable to perform his duties. 

Motion to accept:         Action: Sean Burns moved.  Holly Jo Sparks seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.7 Emergency GM Succession.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Ends: Economy & Localism

The GM shared the many ways that Oryana contributes to the economy and bolsters local efforts by supporting local producers, co-op collaborations and organizations.

Motion to accept:         Action: Kaitlyn Burns moved.  Holly Jo Sparks seconded.

The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on Ends: Economy & Localism.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Board Development Activity: Guideposts to expansion

Competition Intelligence      

Next Meeting Review:  General Membership Meeting, 5:30 – 8:00 pm

TC Central High School, 1150 Milliken Drive

Required elements –

  • finance report
  • membership report (current membership and previous year’s membership totals)
  • reading/action on previous year’s minutes
  • election of officers (introduce current Board Members and state their terms
  • (Legal Requirement; include call for nominations from the floor)
  • Traditional elements – Make sure to bring a copy of bylaws and election policy
  • General Manager’s state of the co-op speech
  • Staff introductions

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater: Reiterated his former comments regarding tobacco use.

Chuck Mueller: Commended Oryana’s hiring practices by saying that the new, young staff fit the culture very well.  He requested more information about the sustainability markers Oryana is aiming for in regards to expansion

Jake Bailey:  Wanted to know how to convince people to shop at Oryana if they have the perception that prices are higher than competitors.

Chris Miller: Shared that a second location would give Oryana a chance to express its ends in new ways.

Brenda McLellan: Spoke to Oryana’s ample membership benefits and thanked the GM for continuing to communicate about the expansion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:04pm.


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.


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.


2014 Minutes


The Next Board Meeting

The next meeting is Thursday, June 18

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

2014 Annual Report








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