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
Open Memorial Day 7:30am-6:00pm

2015 Meeting Minutes

2016 Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting:

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

Absent: Rebecca Teahen

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Admin Assistant: Gabby Hill, Marketing & Communications Manager: Stephanie Mathewson, Finance Manager: Holly Hall

Special Guest: Dave Blackburn, National Cooperative Grocers’ Development Cooperative

Guests: Yuan Shellby, Ed Dunlap, Jake Bailey, Mary Mooney Nachazel, Richard Vegh, Joe Connolly

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:34pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to perpetual calendar.  Monitoring Report 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting was deferred until the February meeting.

Public Input: 

Jake Bailey: Requested that the Board grant time for him to identify a means for providing a livable wage for staff. 

Board President response: As wage is an operations issue, the GM has systems in place to receive staff feedback.  Last month’s Monitoring Reports covered this topic thoroughly and the GM’s interpretation of 2.3 Staff Treatment, 2.8 Compensation and Benefits, and Model Workplace, were accepted by the Board.

Chelsea Bay Dennis: The fourth Fulfillament is January 28th.  Oryana is sponsoring and Steve is presenting!

Juan Shellby: Invited the Board and members to an open house at the Community Center on Cherry Bend Rd.

Joe Connolly: Starting a new recycling business for electronics.

GM Report – Steve 

December Draft Numbers: $1.42 million in sales, 13.79% growth, year-to-date below budget, 40,251 monthly customer count, member sales percentage 68.5%, total memberships 7,005 (hit target of 7000 members on New Year’s Eve), member sales $975,302.  3,798 Members used their MAD discounts, an increase from September. 

Oryana Constant Improvement Projects/ Strategic Initiatives: Price Aware, Efficient Meetings, Open Book Management, and a rebranding project is underway. 

The GM was elected to TC Chamber Board of Directors.  Oryana purchased $3,011,612 of locally produced goods (within 100 miles of the co-op) in 2015. 

Lucky’s Market plans to open its Traverse City location by fall of 2016, according to their Facebook page.

Oryana for Good, presented by Stephanie Mathewson: Mill Creek Elementary students followed up an outreach event at their school with an Oryana shopping trip and store tour.  The Outreach Coordinator has done several events at area schools and organizations, including a presentation on savvy shopping at the Disability Network.  Oryana hosted Pathfinder students who chose to spend MLK Day collecting donations for Father Fred, Goodwill, and Leelanau Baby Pantry; Oryana will also donate the January pantry box to these organizations.  Oryana participated again in the Downtown TC Chili Cook-off event. Kudos on social media for demo recipes.  Upcoming events: 2/12 Homeless Awareness Day, 2/21 Hit the Tart Trail.

Committee Report Outs 

Recruitment and Nomination Committee

Chuck presented the 2016 Board Candidate packet.  It is available on the Oryana webpage or through Customer Service.  Candidates no longer submit a 350 word bio, but answer 5 questions for inclusion in the March/April newsletter (due by January 29th.)  Chuck also proposed that the Board table to meet prospective candidates.

GMM Committee

The GMM is scheduled for April 21st at TC Central.  Stephanie is working on the 2015 Annual Report.

Treasurer Report-Out: Board Budget

Jim recommends that the Board Budget remain the same as 2015.  A peer comparison shows that Oryana’s budget allocation of .22% for Board development and activities (CCMA, CBl01) is reasonable.   

Miller Proposed Bylaw Change: Article V: Section 1B, requiring that Board Members maintain active memberships for the duration of their terms.  He will propose verbiage for inclusion in GMM materials for the Oryana membership’s vote.

Board Development Activity:  Competition

The GM presented a comprehensive overview of current and future competitors and shared how Oryana Management and staff are employing strategic initiatives to remain competitive.

Next Meeting Review:  February 18, 2016 in the Oryana Meeting Room

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 and 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting
Board Development and Educational Activity

The meeting was adjourned at 7:33pm.

The Board entered closed session at 7:39pm for an update on expansion plans.



Present at the meeting: Amy Tennis, Kaitlyn Burns, Chuck Mueller, Sean Burns, Chris Miller, Rebecca Teahen

Absent: Chelsea Bay Dennis, Holly Jo Sparks, Jim Dagwell

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance; Admin Assistant: Gabby Hill; Marketing & Communications Manager; Stephanie Mathewson Finance Manager; Holly Hall

Guests: Yuan Shellby, Ed Dunlap, Jake Bailey, Blythe Webster, Tom Slater, Eric Braverman, Mary Mooney Nachazel, Laura Cavender

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:34pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to perpetual calendar.  Monitoring Report 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting was deferred until the March meeting.

Public Input: 

Jake Bailey: Shared how the cooperative’s staff pulled together during this morning’s power outage.

Tom Slater: Attended and taped NMEAC’s Solar conference and gifted the Board a video copy of the conference.  He shared his history with solar and encouraged the Board to embrace it as an efficiency update for this and any future stores.

Yuan Shellby: Shared her new business card.  Invited everyone to two upcoming events.

GM Report – Steve 

Oryana’s annual sales were over $16 million.  Comparison to peers shows Oryana is doing very well.  Many co-ops in the Central Corridor are experiencing slow or negative growth due to expansions or increased competition.  Overall Central Corridor growth experienced a decline between March of 2015 and September of 2015 but is beginning a positive trend at 2.5% for December.  2,925 Members have used their MAD discounts as of February 24th.  February sales growth is at 14.73%.  Year-to-date growth is at 4%.

Member and staff feedback on the halting of the second store project was largely positive.  Refunds for member loan investors were sent with interest.  Dan Kelly was great to work with through the whole process. 

The Boardman Lake Trail Loop is moving forward! This work would complete a loop around the lake. This would make the trail MUCH more popular which would only help us as the trailhead. We’re part of the input session and will continue to support.

The Boardman Avenue project is again under review and the city is determining feasibility.  Oryana met with Cone Drive to discuss splitting the cost of adding sidewalks between the two businesses to increase walkability to the store.  This could relieve some parking congestion and traffic through the neighborhood.  Oryana participates in the Old Towne Neighborhood meetings in the interest of being a good neighbor. 

Stephanie and Steve also plugged Oryana and gave a pitch for Oryana to be a part of TC’s downtown boundaries. The DTCA puts on great events, promos, and has a great new website – all for a reasonable price to belong. We already have good partnerships downtown, this would just strengthen. Downtown employees could be given a discount at Oryana to drive business. The partnership would also include usage of the Downtown Gift Certificates here.

Oryana’s power was out this morning for several hours. Traverse City Light and Power was great and redirected power to us.  Staff were patient and helpful in getting perishables into the walk-in.  All protocols were followed.

Oryana Constant Improvement Projects and Oryana Strategic Initiatives (OCIPS/OSI): the process is becoming more refined as the GM develops a philosophy for each, allowing the teams to interpret (like policy governance.)  A few of the projects and strategic initiatives in the works:

Effective Communications: Keeping staff informed, engaged and knowledgeable.
Oryana Refreshed: Brand Refresh to standardize voice, colors, fonts, etc.; visual Implementation will focus on fixtures and the ‘feel’ of the store; and efficiency updates like assessing the heat reclamation from refrigeration units and more.
Double Up Food Bucks: a program only being used in MI, currently at Farmers Markets, accessible with a Bridge Card. If you buy MI grown produce your dollar is doubled. This amps up the healthy fresh food.  A couple of Detroit stores have piloted the program and we have been asked to be one of the pilots up north.
Attic: completely reorganized and now storing backstock from strategic purchases
Prepared Foods Improvement Project Phase 3: implemented a green salad program and more programs being developed
Price Aware: setting variable margins to pass on deals to members while remaining viable
Competition Intelligence:  Fresh Thyme continues to open stores in Detroit.  Lucky’s Market slated to open fourth quarter. Costco submitted a zoning request and plans to begin construction during the summer.

Oryana for Good: Stephanie Mathewson

Another Mill Creek class shopped at Oryana after Sandi did an outreach event, teaching about healthy foods.  Sandi & Laura tabled at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference.  Oryana hosted a Wings of Wonder hawk release at the TART Trailhead.  The ‘Hit the TART Trail’ Event on Sunday was too warm for the sled dogs to give rides but everyone had fun.  The event featured fat tire bikes from McLain’s, snowshoes, treats, etc.  Oryana donated 2% of sales ($800) to Goodwill for Homeless Awareness Day on Feb 12th.  New collaborations with TBA Credit Union.  And vote for Oryana in the TC Record-Eagle Red Hot Best Competition: “Barista” and “Mom-and Pop Grocery Store” categories.  Oryana donated to the Great Lake’s Children’s Museum, Greenspire, Courtade Elementary, Elk Rapids Schools, Yen Yoga’s Inspired Summit, Women’s Winter Tour, and Child and Family Services of NW Michigan.

Monitoring Report – Holly Hall

Draft numbers.  Jeff Wood, CPA

2.4 Financial Condition & Activities 4th Quarter and Year End

4th Quarter

Sales were slower than budgeted (5.3%) but higher than peers. Gross profit exceeded goal, partly due to increased prepared foods sales.  Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 37.13%.  Labor expense was higher than target for the quarter (year-end bonus, staff discount reallocated.)  Total operating expenses were slightly over budget for the quarter for the first time this year, and was partly due to changing the way depreciation is classified (this may change for internal reporting) and expansion-related costs.  Net income by quarter was down to 2.64%.

Year End

Net income as a percentage of net sales was 4.61%; growth at 5.7%; below target but above peer group; gross margin exceeded goal; labor as a percentage of sales was lower than target; general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales continues to fall under budget and this quarter is below 2014 (more capital improvement projects are being classified as assets; net income was 4.6% which was well above peers and budget.  Holly presented the budget vs actual schedule, balance sheet, a breakdown of capital projects, the statement of cash flows, statement of patrons’ equity, financial ratios compared to NCG benchmarks and prior years. Of note, Member Loans were not returned until 2016 and are reflected in the 2015 financials.


The GM recommends to the Board that Oryana distribute patronage to its member-owners for the fourth consecutive year, pending the Board’s review and approval of the final year-end financial.

Proposed Bylaw Change Article V Section 1

After review by Oryana’s CDS Consultant and attorney, Miller suggests that the following verbiage be added to the Board Policies instead:

4.7 Board Members’ Code of Conduct

3.  All Board members must be voting members in good standing (meeting the criteria of Article III, Section IV) for at least a period of 30 days prior to the date of election and throughout the member’s term, unless otherwise provided by Board policy.  A Board member will not be considered in good standing if the member is more than 30 days past due on any membership payment or fee required by the Board of Directors, unless otherwise provided by Board policy.  If the Board determines that a Board member does not meet the Qualifications in Article IV the Board member will be deemed to have resigned the member’s Board position.

Motion to accept:        Action: Kaitlyn moved.  Rebecca seconded.

The Board accepted the change to 4.7 of the Policies.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Board Development Activity:  Competition: Costco vs Sam’s Club

The GM presented a comparison of Costco and Sam’s Club.

Next Meeting Review:  March 17, 2016 in the Oryana Meeting Room

Monitoring Reports: 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting, 2.7. Emergency GM Succession and Ends Policies on Economy and Localism
Board Development and Educational Activity: Price Aware

Public Input & Discussion:

Eric Braverman: Asked if Oryana comparison shops and provided examples of his findings.

Tom Slater: Shared the 1994 Traverse City Development Plan (2000 revision) and Oryana’s original development plan.  He proposed making Oryana’s 10th Street location a remote location and build a larger central development off of Four Mile Rd.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:56pm.


Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Jim Dagwell, Chuck Mueller, Chris Miller, Chelsea Bay Dennis

Absent: Holly Jo Sparks, Kaitlyn Burns, Sean Burns

Oryana: Steve Nance, General Manager; Eldon Horner, Store Manager; Wendy Walter, Human Development Manager; Stephanie Mathewson, Marketing & Communications Manager; Gabby Hill, Admin Assistant

Guests: Blythe Webster, Yuan Shellby, Mary Mooney Nachazel

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:34pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting, Monitoring Report 2.4 Financial Condition & Activities- 4th Qtr. and Full Year, and Patronage were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Yuan Shellby: April 15th is the Open House for The Art of Wellness from 5pm-8pm.

Chelsea Bay Dennis: The podcast of Steve’s Fulfillament speech is now available on the Conscious Entrepreneur’s Facebook page.  The next one is scheduled for May 4th.

GM Report – Steve 

February net sales were up 14% from last year (2016 was a MAD month and 2015 was not) at over $1.3 million.  Sales growth year to date through February was 4.5%.  Customer count increased compared to last year and so did market basket, even though Prepared Foods contributes to smaller sales per checkout.  Memberships increased to 7, 016 and member sales were above January but a smaller percentage of net sales due to the difference in MAD months from 2015 to 2016. 

The Boardman Lake Projects are combining (Eighth Street Corridor, West Boardman Lake District, and Boardman Lake Trail) under Jean Derenzy and Oryana is part of the conversation.  Oryana and Cone Drive are partnering to fund a sidewalk from Cone Drive to 10th St.

Competition: Whole Foods’ 365 small store format launching in May on the west coast. Meijer is expanding into the Twin Cities. They are bringing in more organics and getting more aggressive with their organic pricing.  Costco: lease in process and they are aggressively planning to rezone and break ground in early summer.

Steve is a judge again this year for the TC Chamber Small Business Competition. 

Oryana will be closed for Easter.

Board voting started Tuesday.  There is a rigorous communication plan to keep membership aware of and engaged in the election.

Oryana for Good: Stephanie Mathewson 

Oryana hosted an Italian Cooking Class in which many staff participated.  Oryana sponsored a showing of ‘In Defense of Food’ with the Food & Farming Network at the Dennos Museum.  Sandi spoke on a panel afterward and the EMOE team provided snacks.  Other sponsorships/donations: TC Chamber Small Business of the Year 2016, Eastern Elementary, the TC Family Expo, Moth, Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology, and the TC Chamber Small Business Celebration.

Monitoring Reports

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, the cooperative landscape, peer comparisons and more.  Because of the changes with the expansion plans and announced competition, the business plan needed revamping.  New to the planning process are philosophies created by the GM for Department Managers to interpret.  The GM presented an example of Price Aware, one of the Strategic Initiatives.  Department Managers meet weekly for to review business planning, marketing strategies, and Oryana Refreshed.   

2.7 Emergency GM Succession – Eldon Horner

The GM has a ‘Support Team’ that includes Eldon Horner, Wendy Walter, Holly Hall, Stephanie Mathewson, and Heather Neitzke.  The Support Team meets with the GM bi-weekly to review organizational strategies.  Should Oryana experience the sudden loss of GM services, Store Operations would be run by Eldon, administrative duties and departments would be managed by Wendy, and organizational decisions would be discussed with the Support Team.  Leadership Team and Support Team Meetings would continue and one or both members of the Interim Team would attend Board Meetings and fulfill obligations to the Board.  Gabby would support communications. 

Eldon shared his history with cooperatives in Indiana as a Board Member then Grocery Manager.  He started at Oryana as the Assistant Grocery Manager, was promoted to Grocery Manager, and then transitioned to his current Store Manager position four years ago.  He continues his professional development by completing NCG Trainings (Retail Basics), attending NCG Conferences and Rising Stars, and completing ServSafe Food Production Manager Certification and OSHA Training (Safety Committee.)  The GM is the Designated Representative (DR) for NCG and Eldon is the Promotions Liaison.  He is responsible for building an SOP repository for the whole store.  He and Wendy are leads on the Succession Planning and Organizational Development (SPOD) strategic initiative to build an infrastructure that supports organizational growth.

Policy Language 2.7 Review: No changes to the language. 

Chris Miller reviewed the policy language.  The Board discussed why the GM is responsible for his emergency succession.  The GM oversees all staff and creates the Leadership Team and the Board’s role is approving the compliance report on 2.7.  The Board will revisit the process for GM succession planning as one of its primary responsibilities.  The first step is to reach out to CDS and communicate with the Interim Team.  The Interim GMs would fulfill obligations of the GM but they are still employees of the coop, not of the Board. 

Motion to accept:        Action: Chuck moved.  Dags seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on

2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting, 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: Dags moved.  Rebecca seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on

Ends- Economy & Localism.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

General Membership Meeting
April 21, 2016 from 5:30 – 8:00pm
at 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: N/A

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15pm.

The Board entered closed session to discuss expansion plans at 7:22pm.


April General Membership Meeting - Unapproved until 2017 GMM

Steve thanked Membership for attending the meeting and acknowledged the Kitchen staff, EMOE department, other Staff and the current Board for all their hard work organizing this event. 

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 6:05pm and welcomed the members on behalf of the Board.  Amy commended Oryana.  She discussed how the Board spent the year preparing for a possible expansion.  Amy introduced her fellow Board members.  She announced that there are no changes to bylaws this year. 

Candidates Statements:  Amy thanked the Board members whose term is up: Jim Dagwell, Kaitlyn Burns, Holly Jo Sparks and herself.  Amy called for any Board nominations from the floor: there were none.  Board candidates introduced themselves and spoke to the membership about why they wish to serve on the Board and their personal strengths.  Candidates present were Jim Dagwell, Kaitlyn Burns, Holly Jo Sparks, Blythe Webster and Ed Dunlap.  Eric Braverman was absent but submitted a statement which Amy read on his behalf.  Amy thanked the candidates for their statements and wished them luck. 

Review and Approval of 2015 Minutes: Amy called attention to the 2015 minutes distributed on each table and called for a vote to approve.  The membership unanimously voted to approve.  A link to the minutes was also included in the latest Oryana E-News.

Treasurer's Report:  Jim Dagwell, Board Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee, presented the Treasurer's Report and called attention to the printed copy distributed at each table.  Jim asked for motion to approve the 2015 Treasurer's report.  Membership voted to approve.

Annual Report: The Oryana Leadership Team

The Oryana Leadership Team introduced themselves and shared their history with cooperatives and present roles in the organization, highlighting statistics from the 2015 Annual Report to membership (both distributed on each table and linked to in the latest Oryana E-Newsletter.)  Present were Elizabeth Hamilton (Prepared Foods Manager), Holly Hall (Finance Manager), Gabby Hill (Sustainability Coordinator), Wendy Walter (Human Development Manager), Eldon Horner (Store Manager), Gabe Eriksen (Grocery Operations Manager), Crystal Turner (Wellness Manager), Stephanie Mathewson (Marketing and Communications Manager) and Sandi MacArthur (Education/Outreach Coordinator).  Not present were Chris Jacobs (Produce Manager), Lori Korb (Front End Manager) or Heather Neitzke (IT/POS Coordinator). 

State of the Co-op Address

Steve Nance, General Manager, shared the history of Oryana, starting in 1973 with the original buying club who divvied up goods in a shed on 15th St, through two Front Street locations, then to the building on West Front Street where Bay Bread is, and onto the current location purchased from Brown Lumber in 1996.  The current location expanded in 2006.

We are still the largest food cooperative in Michigan.

Competition is here and more is coming.  Lucky’s Market and Costco plan to open next year.

Oryana is prepared to compete and continues to focus on price, people and place and doing more good in the community to sustain our mission of more healthy happy people.

For the fourth consecutive year the GM recommended distributing patronage to members.  The Board approved the recommendation at the March Board meeting and checks have been mailed. 

Oryana Refreshed 2016:

Rebrand: Stephanie Mathewson

Stephanie shared the organic evolution of the Oryana logo since its origination and acknowledged Oryana’s strong brand recognition in the community, despite many name and logo variations.  She explained that Oryana’s brand is about authentically sharing who we are.  Oryana will reclaim the name Oryana Community Co-op.  Oryana’s new look will rely heavily on local photography, a family of colors inspired by our region, and fresh fonts, logos and food-puns.

Refresh:  Steve Nance

Oryana hasn’t experienced a refresh since the expansion over 10 years ago- much longer than the recommended length of time for retailers.  We will be utilizing the new branding standards and bringing in colors.  Grocery will get new shelving and be reset, the Front End and Customer Service counter will be replaced and reset, the Café counter will be finished, the Solar will be reviewed, and the exterior south wall will get efficient windows and a new roof and siding. 

Remodel: Steve Nance

To improve the shopping experience, Oryana plans to expand the building out to the West by about 700 square feet.  This would provide more Café seating, allow the hot bar, bakery case and coffee to move out of the flow of shopping traffic, and increase sales floor space for growing Grocery sub-departments like meat and cheese. 

More Oryana means more co-op community, local producers, cooperative economy, jobs, money stays local, more Oryana for Good!

Board Q & A: 

What are you doing about parking?

Oryana has expanded hours to spread out shoppers, and currently incentivizes carpooling and alternative transportation to relieve parking lot congestion.  We are looking into the possibility of diagonal parking on Lake Ave and recovering some of the lost parking on Tenth Street. 

Why not make every day senior day?

Discount programs, like senior day, are always under review to provide the most benefit to the most member-owners at a safe cost to the co-op.  In an effort to be fair to all member-owners and to relieve congestion, senior discounts and others may change.

Are you going to make sushi?

Oryana does not have any plans to make sushi at this time.

How far will you blacktop at the end of 10th Street?  Will it take care of the potholes?

We call the large pothole Lake Oryana and it has been a challenge each year to fill and keep it filled.  The blacktop would extend all the way to the grass at the TART Trailhead and solve that problem.

Have you considered a food truck in the parking lot to relieve congestion?

Oryana has considered a food truck, but they are very labor intensive.  Prepared Foods is already a business within a business and a food truck would be a very complicated endeavor.  

Are you thinking about a salad bar?

Based on the space and labor a salad bar requires, as well as the results of a 2015 Survey, Oryana will not have a salad bar at this time.  Made-to-order salads are available in the Café and grab-and-go case and a burrito program is in development.

Can you explain the balance sheet- do we own the building or have a mortgage? 

Oryana owns the Tenth Street property.  The mortgage balloons in 2017 but the balance is down to $500,000.  Phase 1 can be paid with income, phase 2 can be paid with cash.  Oryana does not lease property.

Can you tell me more about staff benefits and 401ks? 

Oryana provides three options for health care coverage for part-time and full-time staff and makes 401k contribution available to full-time employees. 

Any chance of buying the blue house across from the Café? 

Oryana has approached the owners when ‘For Sale’ signs were posted on the property.  Steve has spoken to the City about turning the lot into a pocket parking lot for staff or shoppers with a privacy wall for the neighbors, but there are no plans at this time as they are currently not interested in selling. 

Warren thanks shoppers and staff for their patience with the TBAISD workers and Oryana for providing the work experience.


The following members were elected to the Oryana Board of Directors for the four open seats:

Kaitlyn Burns        114

Holly Jo Sparks    131

Jim Dagwell          120

Blythe Webster    116


Eric Braverman    56

Ed Dunlap             49

Steve thanked Amy for her 8 years of service on the Oryana Board of Directors and wished her the best in her future endeavors.

Raffle Winners were drawn and announced.

Public Input:

Sally Van Vleck- Two events coming up at the Neahtawanta Inn.  Cooking with Ali Lopez and Nonviolent Communications.   Visit www.nrec.org/events  for more information.

Yuan Shellby- Invited members to attend an Open House at the old Arts campus (10781 E. Cherrybend Rd at M-22) that recurs the third Friday of every month. 

Sandi- Oryana is hosting Carol Bell, MS RD at the Traverse City District Library on May 12 at 6:30 for a Food as Medicine lecture.

David Bisbee- Encouraged Oryana to carry organic Liberte yogurt; the Reed City company is creating 40 new union jobs.

Amy read a quote that about caring.  She thanked membership for the opportunity to serve as Board President and adjourned the meeting at 8:16pm.



Present at the meeting: Kaitlyn Burns, Chuck Mueller, Sean Burns, Chris Miller, Rebecca Teahen, Holly Jo Sparks, Jim “Dags” Dagwell, Blythe Webster

Absent: Chelsea Bay Dennis

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance; Admin Assistant: Gabby Hill; Marketing & Communications Manager: Stephanie Mathewson

Guests: Yuan Shellby, Ed Dunlap, Tom Slater, Laura Cavender

Welcome:  Rebecca convened the meeting at 5:32pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting (March) were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to perpetual calendar. 

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: Distributed NMC magazines and pointed out a description of diets.  He spoke of the difference between dietary labeling and lifestyle labeling, as vegan is a lifestyle.

Yuan Shellby: Her practice has been accepted into the TAPS program; tomorrow from 2-4pm is the first event.  She distributed flyers for a fundraising event Saturday, May 21st.

Ed Dunlap: Offered his support to the Board as a volunteer resource.

Election of Officers


President: Rebecca and Dags

Vice President: Kaitlyn and Holly Jo

Secretary: Sean and Holly Jo

Treasurer: Dags


President: Rebecca (tie vote; RPS Policy utilized)

Vice President: Kaitlyn

Secretary: Sean

Treasurer: Dags

Committee Charters

Financial Due Diligence Committee: Removed Ad Hoc.  Members remain the same. 
Board Education Committee: Rebecca added as Lead, added Blythe.
Owner Engagement Committee: removed Amy, added Chuck.
Recruitment/Nomination Committee: Chuck added as Lead.

The Board reached consensus on all changes.  Committee Charters are revised annually.

Board Development Activity:  Courageous Leadership video by Dave Olson, NCG

GM Report – Steve 

Monthly sales at $1,311, 115, growth of 2.54% over last year.  YTD is 3.78%.  Monthly customer count 41,486 vs yearly target of 485k (year).  Market basket is lower at $31.60 due to more Prepared Foods sales.  Memberships at 7,000 total.  Member sales at $871,994, 66.51% as a total percentage of total sales.  May MAD- Member sales up to 68.72% and yesterday’s $75k, brings May sales up to 7.21%.  Same number of days as last year and last MAY was MAD but not day-to-day comparisons.
Memorial Day hours are 7:30am-6pm.  Summer hours kick off the following Sunday.
Oryana’s new Grocery Manager is Jonny Cutler.  He’s been with Oryana for 10 years and he’s worked in grocery stores since he was 12.  Lots of on-boarding and training (internal and external.)
Envision Eighth Street Charrette (all week, Steve and Stephanie hosted tables at the public input meetings) - residents favor 3 lanes- final input Friday.  West Boardman Lake District (options A-D), Boardman Lake Trail.  Boardman Lake TART Trail Loop & West Boardman Lake District Project are going forward.
Competition Intelligence:

Lucky’s Market and Kroger deal:

Lucky’s gets cash, buying power, and a new scale of support
Kroger gets “Sprouts fighter” and access to new market areas
Lucky’s Horizon location will likely be built out by January 2017
Going in to Minneapolis.   

Fresh Market closing 13 stores in 4 states. 
Whole Foods leases 6 more 365 stores including Akron, Toledo, and Bloomington which were intended to be Whole Foods.
Edson Farms refreshed their store and branding and has programs we can’t pursue under MDA.
Costco zoning was approved and can build out in 125 days- possibly opening in January 2017

Oryana will continue to focus on people, price and place.  Management is watching labor and investing in the store, community and staff.
Business Planning meetings are held weekly to discuss philosophies and strategies that will increase efficiencies and reduce costs to the co-op.
Consultants coming in from NCG to assess product offerings and the possibility of bringing in national organic brands so members have a greater variety of choices. 
ELFCO put out a notification to members about aggressive competition, requesting support.
Oryana Refreshed: Working on layout and paint colors, the café expansion, unified signage- both sale and directional, farmer and producer profiles. 

Oryana for Good: Stephanie Mathewson

We are peoples’ #happyplace!  The GMM had 260+ attendees.  The Earth Day TART Trail Clean-up had 37 attendees.  Cooking classes, especially the fermentation classes are a success- 3 scheduled so far.  113 attendees at the outreach event with Carol Bell (Sandi organized). Luise wrote an editorial in the Record Eagle championing co-ops as socially conscious entities. 

Sponsorships/donations: TBAISD, Michael’s Place, Big Brothers Big Sisters, NMC Canticum Novum, Run the Ridge 5k, Project Chiapas, Crosshatch, Small Business of the Year, TC Cooperative Preschool, Fulfillament..  Norte, Smart Commute Week, Veterans for Peace.

Upcoming events: Sales and Sampling Cookout at Oryana this Saturday 1-3 with the Vegan Roadie, Earthworks samples and Food for Thought.  Tabling at the Northlake Adventure Event at Hull Park from 11-3.  And we are sponsors of the Get Local event at Little Fleet Saturday from 3-10pm.

Monitoring Report – 2.4 Financial Condition & Activities 1st Quarter 2016

Presented by Steve Nance; prepared by Holly Hall

Quarterly numbers: sales at $3,832,645, growth of 2.95% over 2015.  Gross margin is above target at 37.34% (cost of sales was under budget of 63% combined with slowing growth).  Labor as a percentage of sales was 25.87% (a lot more PTO was earned by employees than taken during the quarter).  Total General and Administrative Expenses were 9.85% (DC payment offset lower costs).  Net Income by quarter was $40,853 and as a percentage of sales was 1.07%.  In summary- watch labor, watch expenses, and pay attention to discounting.  Steve presented the budget vs actual schedule, balance sheet, a breakdown of capital projects, the statement of cash flows, statement of patrons’ equity, financial ratios compared to NCG benchmarks and prior years.   It was noted that Oryana was slightly below NCG benchmark growth by .5%, however, Oryana is overall exceeding peer benchmark averages which are representative of all co-ops in NCG, not just like-sized co-ops.   The Board accepted Oryana’s 2.5% growth for first quarter as showing compliance.  Steve shared an assessment of assets, a yearly growth comparison year-to-date, and a yearly comparison of Oryana’s cash position. 

Oryana is in the process of hiring a new Finance Manager.  Holly Hall has left to support another amazing local organization. Holly was instrumental to the Acme expansion process and to developing systems and tools for day-to-day operations.  Our Finance Assistant, Aurora Heiges, Steve, and our CPA are maintaining financials until a new Manager is named.

Motion to accept:        Action: Dags moved.  Holly Jo seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on

2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Quarter.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Next Meeting Review: June 16th from 5:30-8pm in the Oryana Meeting Room

-    June 10 = July-August newsletter deadline

-    Board Development and Educational Activity

-   Committee Report Out: Owner Engagement Committee

-    Monitoring Report: 2.9. Communication and Support to the Board

-    Monitoring Report: 2.6. Asset Protection

The Board agreed that the current schedule for meetings (third Thursday of the month from 5:30-8pm) should stand.

Public Input & Discussion:

Yuan Shellby: Tomorrow is the monthly open house at the Old Arts Campus on M-22 from 5-8pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36pm.

The Board entered closed session for an overview of mergers and acquisitions.



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The Next Board Meeting

The next meeting is
Thursday, June 16, 5:30 pm
at Oryana