Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wild Oats reports profit in first quarter of new store

Author: David Fowle, Wild Oats manager, 458-8060

At its annual meeting Wednesday night, the member-owners of Wild Oats Cooperative heard very positive news. Three months after moving from the former Colonial Shopping Center location to the co-op's new building at 320 Main Street, sales have grown 64%; and while management had budgeted for a loss in the quarter, the co-op actually turned a profit - fairly unusual for a start-up operation.

Also reported regarding the last year of operation was the successful member-loan campaign which raised over $200,000 toward the move; The successful town tax abatement for the project approved at last year's town meeting; The successful application for a state Tax Incentive Financing for the project; The receipt of several "green energy" rebates from Massachusetts Electric; and a nearly doubling of store staff.

Unsuccessful this year was the creation of a scratch bakery in the new store, though that is currently undergoing a feasibility study, and the application for a liquor license to sell organic and local beers and wines, which has been dropped. It was also reported that the purchase, construction, and outfitting of the store went substantially over budget, but a re-forecast based on first quarter results shows the ability to carry the increased debt and still turn a small profit in the the first year of operation.

Member comments and suggestions focused primarily on the deli, which has been extremely well received. Hopes for future expansion, ordering options, and catering were discussed and will be developed as capacity expands.

Elected to the Board were incumbents Deborah MacDonald, Paul Park, David Rempell, and Matt Silliman, as well as newcomers Jude Loftus and Rebecca Tucker-Smith.

Looking forward, management and the Board see many opportunities to continue the momentum of the past year and create services and outreach to further enhance our community.


Post a Comment

<< Home