PFC Member Board Newsletter, January 25, 2024

ABOUT: The Board of Directors are elected by PFC members to represent them in setting policy and ensure the financial well-being of the Co-op.

Member-owners are encouraged to participate in the Co-op’s decision-making process and to attend monthly board meetings. Time is set aside for public comments at the start of each meeting. Have a topic you would like the board to consider? The deadline for member requested agenda items is two weeks before the scheduled meeting. Contact president@peoplesfood.coopfor more information. Our board generally meets on the third Wednesday of the month (subject as always to occasional one-time shifts to accommodate events).

Have a comment to share with us, contact any of the directors.

The Board meets February 21, the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Join the virtual meeting!

We love members to attend! Please bring ideas, comments, & constructive criticism. The meeting’s agenda will be posted here the weekend before.


Wednesday Community Dinners in the PFC Cafe
Wednesdays from 5pm-7pm

Co-op Coffee Convos (C^3) in the PFC Cafe
Saturday, January 27, from 10am-12pm

Sunday Afternoon Writing Cafe at the PFC
Sundays from 3pm-4:30pm, beginning on February 4

Conner Levy.
Vice President, Board of Directors
Dear People’s Food Co-op Community,

As Pat Zabawa our treasurer pointed out in the last quarter’s board newsletter, our co-op has suffered due to new shopping trends. Talking to fellow co-opmembers and community leaders, they speak fondly of the PFC as a pillar of the downtown community but also state there must be a shift in the PFC of new energy and vigor to reclaim its place as a downtown Ann Arbor staple. We as a board are heeding the call to
reinvigorate the PFC and need your participation.

The board heard your desire for increased community events and has taken action. We had our first “Meet your Farmer” event on November 5th where Beverly Ruesink of Needle-Lane Farms shared her story and engaged in a Q&A with the audience about her sustainable practices and the future of farming in Michigan. If you were
unable to attend I encourage you to read the early December edition of Groundcover News where the “Meet your Farmer” event at the PFC was featured in a food access article. In addition, we had our first Co-op Coffee Convos (C^3) event on the Saturday of the A2 Artoberfest where members of the board had free coffee and cider with patrons. So far our actions are paying off. While the PFC has a difficult path to financial wellbeing, we have made strides this past quarter with increased shopping to close the income-expense gap. I encourage members to participate in our community events and provide feedback on how they can be improved.

Looking ahead, the board has heard members’ feedback and are focused on bringing the community into the PFC store and cafe through increased hours, events and accessibility.

I know many used to enjoy a beverage at the cafe after a morning at the farmers market and we are happy to announce that the PFC Cafe is now open on Saturdays. In addition, the store is now open an hour later (9PM) everyday for your after work and school shopping. PFC Cafe Wednesday dinners began on January 10th. Please come and enjoy a high quality, reasonably priced meal in the Cafe or pick it up for a family dinner. Our newest community event – Sunday Afternoon Writing – will commence on February 4th (see below for more details).

We understand that parking around the co-op can be difficult, especially if you only need to pop in for a couple minutes to pick up a missing spice for a recipe, a coffee, or a Wednesday night hot meal. Our board President Susan Randall worked with the city to install an additional 15 minute loading zone spot in front of the store, increasing accessibility for a quick Co-op stop.

In conclusion, the journey ahead for the People’s Food Co-op is filled with both challenge and promise. We can not do it alone. Your continued support, feedback and participation are vital as we heed the call not just to sustain, but also enrich our beloved cooperative. As a community we have the power to shape the future of the PFC into a thriving, inclusive space that reflects our shared values and meets our collective needs. Join us at our upcoming Co-op Coffee Convos or simply drop by the store to see the changes and contribute to the vibrant future we are building together. Let’s keep the spirit of cooperation and community alive for generations to come.

Best Regards,
Conner Levy
Vice President, Board of Directors

Carving out time to write amidst the hustle of everyday life can be a challenge. If you’re starting the year with an intention to create more space for writing, Emma Rodseth and Laurin Wolf welcome you to join them in the friendly, community-based atmosphere of the People’s Food Co-op Cafe. This time is designed to hold space for wherever your writing process leads you. You can come with a work in progress, an empty journal page, or an idea you’d like to explore.

We’ll meet each Sunday between February 4 and March 10 from 3pm-4:30pm in the PFC Cafe. Come for one session or all six. Drop in for a bit, or stay for the full 90 minutes. You can email with questions. All are welcome, and we’re ALL writers.

Colleen Crawley. Co-op Member Since: 2001; board member since February 2023
What You’ll Find in My Cart: At breakfast it’s Greek yogurt, granola, fruit and Chai tea latte; for dinner it’s often avocados, Omena black beans, Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Frontera salsa and Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory corn chips and tortillas.

Why I Love the Co-op: The staff at PFC are knowledgeable and helpful – and very friendly! They are always ready to answer my questions or find someone else who can, and they do it with a smile. From the minute my cart hits the produce aisle, I feel like the staff are tuned in and ready to respond, or they are proactively asking “Can I help you find something?” That friendliness runs throughout the store, and the cashiers are particularly delightful – I’ve even been serenaded with song on occasion! Singing may not happen often, but on every trip to the People’s Food Co-op, there is at least one staff member that leaves me smiling and thankful that I shop here.

What I’ve Learned from Serving on the Co-op Board: I’ve come to understand Policy Governance, which is how the PFC Board operates. In this model, Angie, our General Manager, is able to focus on the day to day business of running the co-op, particularly staffing and sales. The Board is then focused on the policies, leadership, vision and bigger picture items. At our monthly meetings, the GM and Board come together to check in on where we’re at and where we are headed. Although there was a learning curve for me to get familiar with Policy Governance, there’s a useful “Board Member 101” manual and some terrific fellow Board members to help guide this Co-op to greatness!

Want to learn more about joining the PFC board? Email or attend an upcoming event!

Are you passionate about small businesses? Local commerce? Food justice? Do you enjoy working with other people? Problem solving? Learning new things? Are you interested in being part of the next chapter of a long-time Ann Arbor institution seeking change? The People’s Food Co-op is seeking individuals to join its board of directors. The PFC board is a group of curious, caring, and collaborative people who are motivated by the co-op’s mission as a not-for-profit, democratically run grocery store. What led us to the board varies, but we’re united by a shared belief in the value that PFC offers and by a commitment to see it continue to evolve in the future. We also have a lot of fun together and learn from one another.

We welcome interested individuals with all backgrounds and perspectives, and are specifically interested in candidates who have experience with strategic thinking, change management, finance, policy governance, and passion for local food and local economies. A few nuts and bolts to consider: we meet formally once a month as a full board via Zoom, and committees schedule their own meetings approximately once a month. Board terms are three years in length.

Want to learn more? Email and we’ll reply to set up an informal informational conversation (at Cafe Verde or over Zoom) to answer your questions and share more about the election process. We look forward to connecting with you!

Angie Voiles
Hi, my name is Angie and I’ve been lucky enough to be trusted to be the General Manager of our food co-op for the past 5-ish years.

I’ve written many times in my GM letters about how very much our co-op means to me, and how much I believe it means to our community. And I’ve also written about what our co-op needs from our community to survive and thrive- for you, the community, to support the co-op by shopping here.

We’ve been working very hard to be the place you want to shop and support! We have an incredible staff that works every day to make your experience connective and fulfilling.
We’re innovating:  finding new local vendors, sourcing delightful new products, making delicious new recipes, improving and changing how we support and show up for our community.

But to be financially sustainable (which facilitates all our other sustainably efforts) we need you to shop!

What would entice you to spend even just a little more of your grocery budget at PFC? What would cause you to make an extra trip a week, or month? Please let us know by filling out this one question survey or filling out a comment card in the store.

I love this co-op, and I hope and think you do too. To keep this miraculous, revolutionary, and special thing alive we all need to invest in its present to ensure its future.

Thank you for taking the time to interact, support, and engage with me on this mighty task of keeping our co-op vibrant and viable!

With all my gratitude for your support,