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-9:00pm


2015 Meeting Minutes

2015 Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting:

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

Absent: Sean Burns, Rebecca Teahen

Oryana: General Manager: Steve Nance; Marketing & Communications Manager: Alisha Kuyper

Guests: Yuan Shellby, Phil & Jill Kiteley

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:37.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email.  Chuck would like their committee to meet.

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Yuan: Is opening a new location, The Art of Wellness, PLLC – Sutton’s Bay

Board Development Activity: 

Bill Palladino of Taste the Local Difference gave the Board and guests a tour of the Cherry Capital Foods building and the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub. He spoke to the initial idea of locating the Food Hub at Building 50 at Grand Traverse Commons, and the decision to look elsewhere due to the expense and condition of the buildings. Cherry Capital purchased the old Glacier Dome on Barlow Street. The Cherry Capital building houses Cherry Capital offices and distribution, and the GT Food Shed Alliance leases space for the Food Hub which has contracted with Taste the Local Difference (TLD) as an operations agent.  TLD will work with new food business start-ups to help them market their products and prepare them for distribution. Steve talked about the Food Shed Alliance and Bill discussed creating the structure in our community to sustain a shared infrastructure. Amy talked about having a space at Cherry Capital from the beginning with the Michigan Hop Alliance.

GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers: Monthly sales were almost $1.4 million with growth at 4.2%.  Year-to-date sales growth is about 5.2%.  The monthly customer count was over 43,000.  The monthly market basket was about $32.00- in part due to the increase in Prepared Foods purchases.  Member sales were around $926,000 and accounted for over 66.6% of sales.  Labor as a percentage of net sales was around 23.68%.  Sales per labor hour were $76.41.

Members donated a total of $1,391.05 in patronage this year to Food Rescue, ISLAND, SEEDS and 10 Cents a Meal.

Oryana continues to provide value and excitement for its shoppers through Double Ad Days when both Co+op Deals flyers for the month can be shopped on the same day and Flash Sales on Sunday from 6-9pm.

The Cooperative Grocer Network, a resource database for co-operatives, hired a new Executive Director and will be launching their new website later this year. 

Walmart began charging its suppliers slotting fees as their costs mounted.

The GM attended the kick-off meeting for the Michigan Good Food Fund.  This loan and grant fund provides support for value-added producers, such as Providence Farm, who spoke at the meeting.

The GM met with Oran Hesterman (President & CEO).  Double Up Food Bucks will run a pilot program in 3 grocery stores, making 15 Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables eligible for the benefit and Oryana may be a coop pilot.

Oryana showcased a lot of Local this month and the GM was interviewed for a piece on Local written by the Record-Eagle.

Oryana Constant Improvement Process (OCIP):

The final phase of the Prepared Foods Improvement Project (PFIP) was completed this month.  Installed were a new hot bar, bakery cases, Café sandwich counter, Combi ovens and blast chiller.  The Bakery moved into the old Soy room. 
The Annex now has Oryana signage. 
The bike racks at the East entrance were repainted.  There is a new bike rack at the South entrance outside of Produce.

The GM gave a high-level overview of the phases on the path to expansion.

Oryana received the 2015 Civic Beautification Award from the Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City, recognizing the landscaping around the store.

Oryana For Good: Oryana supported over a dozen organizations and events this month, including the Cherry Festival, Earthwork’s Family Weekend, and an Oryana Kids Cooking Class.  Coming up: The Colantha Walker Dairy Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, and the Archipelago Project.

Monitoring Reports – Alisha:

Ends Policies on Wellness & Education

Wellness: Because of Oryana, our community has direct access to solutions that contribute to health and wellness.
Education: Because of Oryana, our community has opportunities to learn about cooperative economics and the interconnectivity between healthful trends, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

Alisha presented a PowerPoint from the Education Marketing Outreach and Events (EMOE) team that provided metrics and detailed how the Oryana Team supports these Ends.

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

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    Wellness and Education.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Next Meeting: August 20, 2015; 5:30-8pm at Oryana

August 10 = September-October newsletter deadline
Monitoring Report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 2nd Quarter
Board Development and Educational Activity
Develop Board budget for next year

Public Input & Discussion:

Yuan Shellby:  The Art of Wellness, PLLC is going to be part of the Leelanau Studios, home of GTRAC, is there a potential tie, old Norris Elementary, community hub and is a / 501C3 project by an anonymous donor. Lease space is affordable, more than half the tenants. Leelanustudios.org.

Chuck: Suggested deciding upon a Board Educational Activity for August.  Steve confirmed that there will be a Board Engagement discussion– likely on Capital Campaign

Chelsea: Asked if Oryana is sponsoring any of the film festival movies this year.  Steve replied that Oryana found it to be more impactful to be able to participate through donations to Kids Fest and the Volunteer Party.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:41pm.

The Board entered a closed session for an expansion update at 7:43pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Jim “Dags” Dagwell, Chuck Mueller, Chris Miller, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Kaitlyn Burns, Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns

Absent: Holly Jo Sparks

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

Guests: Tom Slater, Paul Nowak

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:36pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: The July meeting will tentatively be held at the GT Food Hub on Barlow Street.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: Spoke to the standards for organic certification and Joel Salatin’s book Everything I Want to do is Illegal. Tom encourages Oryana to be specialists when it comes to choosing products.

GM Report – Steve: 

May MAD sales were about $1.4 million with growth of about 12%.  Year-to-date growth is about 5.4% which is below target but above our peer group.  The reduced cost of goods can be attributed to staff taking advantage of deals and promotional buying at shows etc.. in order to pass along lower prices to members/shoppers.  Member sales were healthy at 70% as May saw a record 3,907 members utilizing their MAD discounts.  Market basket was slightly down due to higher Prepared Foods sales.

The Prepared Foods Improvement Project continues with newly installed combi ovens and a blast chiller to increase efficiency and product consistency and enhance staff work experience.  The Lake Street Café will have new fixtures installed on June 22 and will be closed on June 23.  Oryana will provide free coffee to shoppers from 7:30am until 10am or until it runs out and the Goodwill Industries food truck will be parked outside the South entrance to sell food made with many Oryana ingredients.

Oryana for Good:

Hagerty Insurance provided $5000 worth of matching funds to donate to the local organizations of Oryana’s choice, including SEEDS, Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, Grow Benzie, On the Ground, Groundwork, ISLAND, TART Trails and Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

The GM presented the 2015 Small Business of the Year Award to Pine Hill Nursery, an Oryana Community Partner.
Oryana is a sponsor of The Quest.  This year’s focus is local food and food systems. Earthwork Collective Musicians and their students will perform a free concert on July 2 at Milliken Auditorium.
Oryana hosted over 300 for the Smart Commute Week Friday awards breakfast.

The GM shared an overview of this month’s industry trends.

Traverse City Commissioners support the TART Trail.

Monitoring Report:

2.6 Asset Protection

Motion to accept:     Action: Kaitlyn moved.  Sean Burns seconded.

                                 The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on

                                 2.6 Asset Protection.

                                 The Board reached consensus.

Chris Miller reviewed the language of Policy 2.6; no changes are suggested.

2.9 Communication and Support of the Board

Motion to accept:     Action: Rebecca moved.  Chuck Mueller seconded.

                                 The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on

                                 2.9 Communication and Support of the Board.

                                 The Board reached consensus.

Rebecca reviewed the language of Policy 2.9.  The Board discussed the policy and changes were made, as noted in the Policies Change Register.

Committee Report Out 

Owner Engagement Committee

Kaitlyn Burns, Committee Lead, discussed the committee meeting held on June 16 with the GM and Marketing and Communications Manager.  Discussed were ways in which to engage membership regarding the expansion and a member finance campaign.  

Board Development Activity:  CCMA 2015 in Boise, Idaho

The GM, Chuck, Sean, Dags and Chris Miller shared their takeaways from the CCMA conference.  Session topics included: recruitment of board members, member loans versus donations as funding, leasing versus owning real estate in an expansion, the efficacy of Boards and viewing members as owners.  The conference was focused more on operations this year than prior years as the Natural and Organics channel have become more mainstream.  Attendees agreed that the networking aspect was very valuable.

Next Meeting Review: July 16, 2015

Early July: Publication of July-August newsletter- Chelsea will contribute.
Board Development and Educational Activity
Monitoring Report:  Ends Policies on Wellness and Education

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater: Tom shared that he will no longer be attending Board meetings.

Amy: Amy shared that Oryana is to be named a Munson Community Health Hero.  The announcement will be made to the general public shortly.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:37pm.

The Board entered a closed session for an expansion update at 7:42pm.



Present at the meeting:

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

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance; Admin Assistant: Gabby Hill; Finance Manager: Holly Hall

Guests: Pete Danly, Jake Bailey, Yuan Jules Shellby, Tom Slater, Max Elliot

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:36pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the March meeting were approved by email.  Minutes from the April GMM are posted and will be voted upon by membership at next year’s GMM. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: Spoke to the commitment of members and their influence on the governing body.  He would like to see a ‘member at large’ participate in board committees as a way to have more opportunities available to the general membership.

Jake Bailey: Shared his interest in igniting member enthusiasm to set us apart from competition.

Chelsea Bay Dennis: Clarified the line between Staff and Board function in regards to creating functions, events and communications with members.

Yuan Jules Shellby: Grateful for Board Meetings and the simplicity of becoming a member.

GM Report – Steve Nance: 

The Numbers: 1st Qtr. NCG Benchmarks- 5% increase in sales (slower than last year); Oryana is out-performing other co-ops.  April sales growth was negative (MAD was April last year); May month-to-date growth is around 11.6%; MAD usage to-date: 2,432.

The MAD approach has been decided and communicated to members for 2015 and is set for the months of September and December.  MAD is not a set program and will be reviewed for next year.  The goal is to serve the most members in the fairest way possible and it must make sense for the coop.

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer hours on Sundays.

The GM attended the NCG Spring Meeting in San Diego.  Highlights included a substantial focus on how coops remain viable, keep the mid-level consumer engaged, and the need to grow in the face of ever increasing competition.  Some NCG changes to support coops in the changing landscape includes-Launching Study Groups (GM is part of Farmers type Markets), assigning coops to NCG reps, based on size, implementation of a Central Corridor support team with experts on fresh and prepared foods, and the negotiations of the UNFI contract to help bring better pricing. The GM also attended the Central Corridor NCG Meeting in Minneapolis which was focused on thriving in a competitive environment, the Joint Liability Fund which fosters accountability amongst peers and cooperation among cooperatives, discussing the risk matrixes, and the anticipated changes to the industry in the next 3-5 years.  The GM met with the Great Lakes Coops to discuss how to remain competitive- joint training, produce deals, Fair Harvest, and more.

Wheatsville Co-op was featured in Progressive Grocer.

The GM facilitated new board member orientation with Chuck on May 7th.  Chuck and Holly Jo attended CBL101 (a training for new Board members) hosted by CDS in Mt. Pleasant and spoke to their experience.

The frequent Oryana collaborator, Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI), changed their name to Groundwork: Center for Resilient Communities.

Monitoring trends & competition:

Whole Foods plans to introduce smaller format, lower-priced grocery stores.
Fresh Thyme plans 10+ Michigan locations. 

Oryana plans to remain competitive through Hoopla, promotions, The Amazing Oryana Experience, top store conditioning, advertising, operational excellence, growing to provide more local jobs, more local food, more cooperative economy and a stronger community asset, Board Member Engagement (operations can support,) and the Oryana Constant Improvement Process (OCIPS).  The Prepared Foods Improvement Project (PFIP) is slated for this summer and will reset both the Bakery and the Café.

For the third consecutive year, Oryana has partnered with Right Brain Brewery to craft a special Oryale for sale at the coop.

Bob Wildfong, long-time member and employee, passed away.

Oryana sponsored the Iron Chef Jr Competition, Earth Day North, and more.

Coming Up: CCMA Boise, Small Business Award Ceremony (The GM is announcing the 2015 Winner), and an ERACCE Workshop this fall- date TBD.

Monitoring Report: Holly Hall, Oryana Finance Manager

2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Qtr.

$3.7 million in net sales, growth at 5%; below target but above peer group; gross margin exceeded goal; labor as a percentage of sales was higher than target (adjusted to accommodate staff discount); operating expenses were below budget; net income was 5.11% which was over our target of 3.5% .  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.

Motion to accept:       Action: Jim Dagwell moved.  Sean Burns seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Qtr.  The Board reached consensus.

Officer Election: The Board reached consensus to continue with the same officers.  They are as follows:

Amy Tennis, President

Rebecca Teahen, Vice President

Sean Burns, Secretary

Jim Dagwell, Treasurer

Committee Assignments and Members: Chris Miller and Chuck Mueller were added to the Recruitment/Nomination Committee.

Dates, Location and Time of Board Meetings: The Board reached consensus to continue with the same dates, times and location of Board Meetings.

Next Meeting Review: June 18, 2015, 5:30-8pm in the Oryana Conference 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
Reminder: Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference, Discuss In-store campaigning by Board Candidates

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater: Mentioned that he is grateful for the articles that Oryana’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Sandi McArthur, publishes in Grand Traverse Family.

Yuan Jules Shellby: Attended a conference at which Oryana’s logo on her banner was well-recognized by others.

Chelsea Bay Dennis: The People & the Olive is free for streaming online this weekend- purchase using the #Davisnation code.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:55pm.  The Board entered a closed meeting for an expansion update and the results of the Acme Study at 8:00pm.


April GMM- Unapproved Minutes

Oryana General Membership Meeting - April 16, 2015

Unapproved Minutes

Board Members present: Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns, Jim Dagwell, Chris Miller, Kaitlyn Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Holly Jo Sparks

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 6:35pm 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:  Thanks to Board members whose term is up: Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis and Chris Miller.  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 Maxwell Elliot, Jake Bailey, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Sean Burns, Rebecca Teahen, David Coville, Chuck Mueller, Brenda McLellan and Tara Ziegler.  Candidates Chris Miller and Neil Goodman did not speak.  Amy thanked the candidates for their statements and wished them luck. 

Review and Approval of 2014 Minutes: Sean called attention to the 2014 minutes distributed on each table, gave the highlights and called for a vote to approve.  The membership unanimously voted to approve.

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.  Amy asked for motion to approve the 2014 Treasurer's report.  Membership unanimously voted to approve. Lois GoLightly requested the previous year’s minutes and treasurer’s report go in the newsletter the month prior to the meeting.

State of the Co-op Address:  Steve

The 2014 Numbers: Annual Net Sales: $15,573,750; Annual Growth 9% (vs 10% and 16%); Operating Expenses were less than budget; Net Income was 4.77%; Assets $5, 365,404; Liabilities $1,426,273 (mortgage, etc); Oryana has $3.76 for each dollar owed.  Annual Net Sales exceeded peer group and was about at budget.  Net Income as a percentage of Net Sales was 4.77%.   A comparison of Assets and Liaibilities to member equity shows that Oryana has a strong balance sheet. 

The 2015 Year-to-date Numbers: Growth is slower this year with a 5.2% rate compared to 11% for 1st quarter last year.  Net Income as a percentage of Net Sales is about 4.19%.

Oryana is the largest co-op in Michigan and is in the large group in National Cooperative Grocers.  For the third consecutive year the GM recommended distributing $106,000 in patronage to members.  The Board approved the recommendation at the February Board meeting and checks have been mailed. 

Oryana for Good:

Participated in a number of collaborations this year with the Great Lakes cooperatives, local cooperatives and organizations, the Goodwill Farm to Freezer program, and many more.
Donated to and sponsored many local events and efforts that support the Ends policies outlined by the Board.
Oryana Culture: 134 staff members; 65 full-time and 69 part-time staff are eligible for healthcare.  Over 1,130 hours of Staff Development provided through Oryana University.  Leadership and other staff volunteer at local organizations and charities.
6,710 Member Owners
28,900 pounds of fresh food donated to Food Rescue
Beans for Bags donations were $2,340
Purchased over $1.6 million in products from 128 local farmers and producers
First annual Farm Tour at Sweeter Song Farm in Cedar
22 Cooking classes (400 participants)
14 Outreach events (514 attendees)
80 Classroom visits (2,945 children)
33 Store health tours (94 participants)
346 In-store demos (26,500 samples)

In 2014 Oryana won the Hagerty Small Business of the Year Award as well as the Traverse City State Bank’s Caught Thriving Award.  Both awards honored the co-op’s unique contribution to the community as a local, growing and financially stable business.

New at the Co-op:

Store Improvements: LED lighting throughout the store, remodeled bathrooms, bulk nut butter table, landscaping, orchard bins in Produce
Leaders: Holly Hall, Finance Manager; Alisha Kuyper, Marketing and Communications Manager
Offices: The Annex
Delivery van- The Red Tomato

What’s Ahead?

Changes coming to Prepared Foods: new fixtures for the grab-and-go area and hot bar.  Also, more bakery!
Competition preparation
Expansion: Oryana Imagined 2022 Summary, Feasibility Phase- (Board Alignment, Staff and Organizational Development, Confirming the need, Financials, Site Options, Decisions – Board),
More Oryana means more-

Coop community, local producers, cooperative economy, jobs, money stays local, more Oryana for Good!

 Board Q & A: 

Lois GoLightly spoke to the history of cooperatives, cooperatives in Sweden and how important member involvement is to the success of the future of cooperatives.  Lois suggested changing the terms to 3 years each with a limit of 3 consecutive terms per Board member, with the option to return after one term not serving. 
Member spoke about local investing and wondered if members will be able to loan money or invest in the coop’s expansion.

Steve: Member loans are a possibility.  The GM   serves on Boards promoting community resilience and local investing (As Local As Possible, Bay Bucks)

Member Tom wants to know when labeling and nutritional information will be available on our Prepared Foods.

Steve: This is on the radar of the Prepared Foods Manager.  The store’s current software has the capability but does not provide consistent results.

Member Nadia (this is her 15th year attending- she’s 15) shared that it’s a great feeling to be a part of the Oryana community at such a young age and requested that next year members bring young ones to the meeting because they’ll want to be part of this too.
Member requested more information on how patronage amounts are determined.
Collaborations with Munson or other businesses?  Food Truck?

Steve: OI, 2022 visions those types of collaborations, but the second location is taking priority right now.

Community Grant Recipient:  The 2014 Community Grant Recipient was The TC Community Garden at the Historic Barns Park at the State Hospital. Alex Campbell shared about the progress of the enterprise- new irrigation, Seeds installed a deer-proof gate.  They are at capacity for plots this year but hope to expand by another 1/3 next year. 

The Greenspire School and The Human Nature School tied for the 2015 Oryana Community Grant.  Recipients thanked the membership and spoke to their intentions for the grant money.


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

Chelsea Bay Dennis 144

Rebecca Teahen 137

Sean Burns 130

Chris Miller 126

Chuck Mueller 111

Other votes included:

Jacob Bailey 101

Maxwell Elliot 59

Brenda McLellan 50

Tara Ziegler 44

David Covill 38

Neil Goodman 35

Public Input: N/A

Amy adjourned the meeting at 8:07pm.



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, August 20, 5:30 pm
at Oryana

2014 Annual Report








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