Report from the GM

by Talia McGuire

Dear Karma members, 

I am hopeful the end is near, that a return to some kind of “normal” is so close. Hearing more and more people are getting vaccinated is the positivity we all need to focus on right now to get us through the home stretch. That, the increasing amount of local vegetables and approaching summer months are what I’ve been hanging onto.  The staff and I have been so happy to see the physical return of some members to the store since receiving their first round of vaccinations. It has been so lovely to see your faces and to have you back at the co-op! What can I say, we’ve missed you! 

If you are returning to the store after some time away, I hope you have noticed the new and improved bulk spice shelf that has a functional stainless steel work surface. The staff and I were very excited about the shelf’s arrival, which came to us from our longstanding supplier of organic bulk herbs and spices, Organic Connections. These kind folks made the shelf and delivered it to us, free of charge. Thank you Organic Connections!  Also, we’ve welcomed more bulk products to the roster! Bulk rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil and coconut milk powder to name a few!

Also, you may have noticed a few changes to the Karma team. Most recently we said goodbye to Richelle, who always made us laugh with their updates on US politics and slick dance moves. We miss you Richelle and hope you are doing well! Stella was recently hired as Richelle’s replacement. Stella is a musician with a degree in sound engineering. Maybe we can record that  Karma album we’ve always wanted to record with Stella’s help! I already have a few members in mind to feature! You know who you are! 😀  Stella is also a handy person, so I will pull on their expertise to help with various building projects. Welcome Stella! 

As you know, over the past year, the Karma team and myself have been working tirelessly to keep the store operating and to continue to provide members with the food you all love and enjoy. It has been an exhausting time for us all, and I am ready and in need of a substantial break. I’d like to inform you all that I will be taking a leave of absence from the co-op from June to the end of September. I leave the store in the very capable hands of the Karma staff. 

Alex Molina, Karma’s Assistant General Manager, will be taking the lead on some of my management duties while I am away, while other staff will be picking up added responsibilities as well. I have total faith that they will succeed and do their very best in holding things steady during my leave. I trust them wholeheartedly. They are the best team a manager could ask for. I am so grateful for all of their skills, energies and endless support. This year may well have broken me if it wasn’t for this incredible, thoughtful bunch. I hope this time offers them growth and opportunity in their new roles which will only benefit Karma and add to our already amazing co-op. You’re ready for this Karma staff! Members, please help support them along the way as I know you will! 

Lastly, thank you so much to Caitlin Smith and Andrea Dawber for being amazingly supportive and understanding employers over these past months. I am so fortunate to have had you two be my sounding boards. You are great listeners and problem solvers. Thank you.

I will be around the store shopping as usual during my leave and hope to be able to have time to catch up with you all then. Until then, be well Karma! Thank you for all your support and love. I will see you at the end of September, hopefully on the other side of this pandemic!  ❤️

Until soon,

Talia McGuire

General Manager