Exercise 1- Green Marketing (Willy Street Co-op)

Exercise 1- Green Marketing (Willy Street Co-op) - Michelle...

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Michelle Riesenfeld Section 304 3/14/12 Exercise #1 Green Marketing: Willy Street Co-op As I approached the Willy Street Co-op and entered through the sliding doors, I automatically knew that my experience here would be like none I had ever had at a market before. The first order of business that I wanted to cover was speaking to a representative who could personally speak to me about the Co-op and about what it offers the community. I was introduced to Co-op services assistant, Liz Hawley, who generously and politely sat with me at a table by the children’s play area. While my first question to Liz of, “What exactly is a co-op?” may seem unsophisticated, it was one that truly made me understand the type of place that I was sitting in. She explained to me that here at the Willy Street Co-op, their mission is to be “an economically and environmentally sustainable, cooperatively owned grocery business that serves the needs of its owners and employees.” In other words, she emphasized the idea that at a Co-op, members of the community purchase the goods of local and organic suppliers, and become shareowners of the Co-op in the process. This reflects the ownership structure of the store, which is that ownership is achieved by purchasing a Fair Share. Liz went on to explain that each customer’s Fair Share is their individual capital investment in their Co-op, very similar to an individual’s share of stock in a company. However unlike other companies, at Willy Street, each person can only have one Fair Share so everyone is given equal purchasing power, as well as the power to vote on decisions that the Co-op has to make because at the store, being an owner means participating in activities that are offered by the Co-op.
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These activities include being apart of committees and elections that allow customers to “protect and enhance their investment,” as well as activities such as participating in a rain-garden that “collects and filters rain and snow melt and filters it using native plants.” Furthermore, customers are encouraged to get involved in the store’s mission by receiving a discount on products if they travel to the store by bike through the bicycle benefits program. This program is aimed at rewarding people for riding bicycles as a mode of transportation that supports cleaner air, personal health and “pedaling energy” to develop a more sustainable community. Therefore, the Willy Street Co-op serves as a microcosm of a greater democratic society. Instead of having a major supermarket operator own the market, like many of the markets that I go to at home have, the Willy
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Exercise 1- Green Marketing (Willy Street Co-op) - Michelle...

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