Report from the General Manager – August 2020

Dear Members,

It’s hard to believe we’re already in August! 5 months ago we were scrambling to make shopping at Karma a safe place to shop and work. Since my last store update in May, things have settled somewhat into a new “normal”for us here at the store. We’ve settled into a routine with new cleaning protocols, increased sales and packing orders for people for curbside pick up and delivery. We’ve reworked member labour opportunities so they allow for proper distancing so members can once again actively work at the store. If you haven’t yet, you can sign up for your shifts here!

We’ve begun accepting new members and trial shoppers again! Tell the world! We feel we have the appropriate measures in place to safely spend time talking with new members about our co-op and signing them up to join our community. New members are now able to sign up online to avoid signing up in store, if desired. While orientations continue to be suspended, the Orientation Committee and myself, have been working hard on getting a virtual process in place.  Orientations will be led virtually, complete with a virtual tour of the store! A very big thank you to Dave Bell, Paul DeCampo and Adam Seelig for helping shape this project. We hope to have virtual orientations in place by September. 

Our community continues to be a huge source of encouragement and co-operation. A true testament to the strength of co-ops in the face of adversity. Thank you everyone for your flexibility and support as we navigate through this changing world together.

As orders for curbside pick up and delivery continue to be a reality now and into the foreseeable future, a priority for me has been working on getting an online ordering platform up and ready. This will facilitate ordering on the shopper’s end, who, at the moment, simply email their orders in. With the new platform, members will be able to see product, their costs and any new items that come in. I know the last point will be especially appreciated by those of you who have been ordering online and love local and seasonal produce. With the new platform, you’ll be able to see what new produce is available!  

Most importantly, in response to the murder of George Floyd in May and with encouragement from members, the Karma Board of Directors started the important work of addressing anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, as well as other forms of oppression, in our organization. In June, the Anti-Oppression Committee was created. The first goal of this committee is to “Ensure Karma policies and practices set the organization up to be in opposition to and to do the work of dismantling white supremacy, patriarchy, cis and heteronormativity, settler colonialism, capitalism, ableism, and other forms of oppression deemed relevant by the committee.”  The first order of business for the committee is to work with outside facilitators to complete an anti-oppression audit of all Karma policies and practices. This audit will inform recommendations for change to the Board and management.  As an organization, we have a lot of self reflection to do. I hope that with our new committee in place, we will be able to assess, recognize and address the various types of oppression that exist within our co-op. It is long overdue.  Please see the Committee’s official statement to members here. We will keep you updated on the long journey ahead. Please hold us accountable to our goals.


In solidarity, love and co-operation,


Talia McGuire 

General Manager