Fiscal Year 2016, which ended on June 30, proved to be very challenging for our co-op. Building a new store is a tremendous amount of work, and many staff hours went into getting our East 7th store up and running. While we are very pleased with the store, we have work to do to build sales. Furthermore, as projected, we ended the fiscal year with a loss. As a result, we will not be distributing a patronage dividend this year.
While we did not have a profitable past year, we did have other incredibly important successes:
- Our sales grew to $31,600,705, a 13 percent increase over the prior year.
- 2,372 new members joined the co-op, and 79 percent of our business was done with member-owners.
- We purchased $8,584,013 from 142 local producers and Minnesota-owned companies—wonderful businesses like Schultz Family Farms, Great Harvest Bakery, and Hoch Orchards.
- We raised $115,343 in donations for our Positive Change program, benefiting 12 different area nonprofits, including Dream of Wild Health, Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate, Growing West Side, and Frogtown Farm, among others.
- We added 48 jobs and, at the end of the fiscal year, had 255 employees. Our staff is the foundation of our success. We are committed to offering a competitive wage-and-benefit package and pay St. Paul’s living wage to eligible employees. At the end of June, 70.5 percent of staff were full-time. 100 percent of those eligible, 63 percent of total staff, were at or above St. Paul’s living wage of $12.85.