From the GM—May 2020

Dear members,

Thank you to everyone for your support, gratitude, and concern during these unprecedented times. The staff and I are so grateful for all the kind words and acts of support you have extended to us. Most of all, we are grateful for all of your help in keeping our store a safe place to work and shop. Thank you, thank you, for helping us in our efforts. 

Sales continue to be up.  We’re doing our best to keep on top of orders, keeping the store stocked and pristine. We appreciate all of your understanding and flexibility as we adapt to our new situation. Thank you all, for your patience. 

Many of you have reached out to me personally to let me know how you find Karma a safe place to shop these days, commending us in our efforts. It gives me great pride to know that you place so much trust in us and it fulfills me greatly to be able to offer a safe place and great food to our community during this time. ???? 

You may have noticed some new faces at the store! Staffing has changed since the last time I wrote an update. In March, we said goodbye to Laura. We greatly miss Laura’s bubbly spirit and contagious laugh. Recently, Kevin moved on from Karma as well. Kevin has a wealth of knowledge about co-ops, politics and food (all the things we are passionate about at Karma). We miss chatting with him about our favourite topics! Thank you both for all your hard work and best of luck to you both. We miss you.

We’re happy to welcome Eden and Daniel to the Karma team! Eden comes to us with a BA in Environmental Studies.  She loves food and community, so Karma is a natural fit! Daniel is a Karma member in the midst of a PhD in microbiology. What store can say they have a microbiologist on their team? We feel pretty lucky to have his expertise right about now! Welcome Eden and Daniel! We are looking forward to working with you both. 

I’ll leave you with a highlight from my week. Earlier this week, I was thrilled to receive a note from my good friend Loretta McHenry at the London Food Co-op (LFC), who shared with me an article written about the LFC, their response to COVID, and their recent 50th birthday (Happy Birthday LFC!!! ????). While they are practicing social distancing, they are also practicing “distant dancing”. I think this is a great practice that we will have to implement and formalize at Karma, though some Karma members are already practicing this. With all the extra shopping space, some of you have been spotted getting down in the aisles. We want you to know that we fully support this. Staff may even join you! We encourage you to practice distant dancing anytime you are at the store and the feeling strikes. ???? Don’t be shy to get down! ????????????????

Speaking of birthdays, Karma will be 48 on May 16! Happy birthday Karma!!❤️️

Be well, stay safe, stay fed! 

Talia 

General Manager
Karma Co-operative 

From the GM—February 2020

Happy February! The days are getting longer and brighter which means, soon, we will start seeing local greens and start reconnecting with many of our local farmers. 

Over the past couple of months, members of the board and I have been working hard! We’ve been busy building a robust health and safety policy, starting new committees (TBA!), reinvigorating old ones, and starting to think about Karma’s future. If you would like to be part of the magic that is moving Karma forward, please get in touch with either myself (manager@karmacoop.org) or the board (board@karmacoop.org)

I’ve been working with one of Karma’s members on updating Karma’s website. This much needed change will make our site more current and user friendly, as well as better feature our amazing content. And yes, the site will be mobile friendly. ???????????? Thank you to Neil Joyes for working long and hard on this project, which we hope to launch by the end of February. The update is long overdue. I hope you love the changes!

Many of you have been asking about when, and if, Karma will be getting tap on our debit terminals. I’m happy to announce that yes, we will. Very soon! Getting tap will make cashing out a little bit faster. You’re welcome!

You may have noticed a new face at Karma. Kevin Bowman is our newest addition to the Karma team. Kevin has a strong co-op background (currently sitting on the Guelph Campus Co-op board, as well as having established a co-operative board game cafe in Guelph), and he has experience with local and organic foods. Welcome Kevin!

In co-operation,

Talia McGuire
General Manager

From the GM—November 2019

We’re starting to gear up for the holiday season here at Karma, but don’t worry, you won’t even notice until December. ???? The first sign of the holidays for us is our annual shipment of Darn Tough socks, and yes, they have arrived and we will begin putting them out very soon! If you aren’t yet aware of these socks, check them out. They are amazing and make great gifts!  ????

The last couple of months have been big ones for Karma in terms of maintenance expenses. The drain saga of 2019 is one to go down into Karma’s history books. After careful investigative work and an initial dig in our members’ room, a major blockage was located in our neighbour’s front yard. The blockage has been removed and our store is now back to normal. Thank you for your patience as we underwent that work. I would like to say a big thank you to Yuill McGregor, Cathy Tafler, Chair of the Building Committee, her partner Doug Rylett, Mark Tholen, and Paul Dixon for all of their support, time, and expertise during this ordeal. I’d also like to say a big thank you to all the amazing Karma staff who took this big inconvenience in stride. I never heard a single complaint, and we were all able to approach it with a little humour. This made things bearable. Thanks you guys! 

We also just recently had our parking lot repaved. The lot was in a very bad state and was becoming dangerous for those using it. We are glad to have that repair completed. Thanks to Yuill McGregor and crew for working hard to get the lot repaved in the pouring rain. 

This month we will be rolling out the new process for taring container weights! We’re moving to a less wasteful process that won’t require you to print a label or juggle two four-digit numbers in your head! You’ll simply have to record your tare weight, fill up, and bring your filled jars to cash. This change will be happening soon, so stay tuned! 

I am happy to report the 2019 Annual General Meeting was a success. There was so much interest from members to be on the board of directors, that we actually voted! I am thrilled to welcome so many new faces to the board this year. Some have been Karma members for many years (some even with previous Karma board experience), and some are relatively new to the co-op. I am very much looking forward to working with you all in the coming year! 

In staff news, a new collective agreement was successfully negotiated for staff in September. Also, Robbie has been hired to take over the role of Member Records Secretary. Robbie comes to the role with experience as a Member Support Specialist at MEC. Congratulations on your new position at Karma, Robbie! You’ll be great! 

See you around the store!
Talia

Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op
manager@karmacoop.org

Karma’s Annual General Meeting

When: Monday, October 28 6:30pm – 9:30pm (doors and registration at 6:00pm)

Where: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave

What else?: To volunteer to set up or take down for member hours, please contact Reece at agm.arrangements@karmacoop.org. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. AGM packages will be available online and in store by October 15.

A friendly reminder that events are open to all (Karma members, Guest Shoppers, members of the community, family, and friends).

You can find all of the information here.

Yours co-operatively,

Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op
manager@karmacoop.org

 

 

From the GM—May 2019

Dear Karma Members,

Spring means new beginnings! At Karma, this has meant saying farewell to some familiar faces among the staff while saying hello to new ones.

After over 6 years as Karma’s Member Records Secretary, Kirsten Heyerdahl will be leaving her post to move to Japan with her family. We’ll miss you so much Kirsten but are so excited for you! Thank you for keeping all of our records super organized and for going over and above your regular duties when needed. You are one of the team! Best of luck to you and your family in Japan.

Last month we said goodbye to retail associate James Byrne, and this month, we’re also saying goodbye to Leah Klaassen who worked as a retail associate for the past 4 months. Leah is a recent graduate and has found work more related to her field of study. Good luck Leah! We know you’ll be up to big and interesting things!

New to the Karma team are Becky Armstrong, Courtney Den Elzen and Laura Squires! Courtney will be taking on the role of Member Records Secretary. Please be sure to give them a warm welcome when you see them around the store!

The Karma board of directors is also looking to recruit some new faces. Sitting on the board is one of the most meaningful and fulfilling way to contribute to your co-op where you also learn new skills. Please review the position posting if you are interested in contributing in this way.

In store news, we will soon have new scales at the registers which will be able to tare container weights. How will this affect the shopping experience at Karma? It will make it easier! With this new change, the only number you will need to note when buying bulk in your own containers is the tare weight. Weigh your empty container, note the weight on the jar or scrap paper, fill up, cash out. Easy! The days of struggling to remember four-digit codes and tare weights are gone, and, there’s no need to print those destined for landfill labels. Hooray!

I am thrilled to hear all of your positive feedback to email receipts! We’ll keep making changes like these so we can further reduce our waste as an organization and help you to reduce yours!

In co-operation,

Talia McGuire
General Manager

From the GM — April 2019

Though Karma is always a wonderfully happy place, there have been more smiles and cheerful hellos since the spring sun has been shining down. It’s energizing to hear members talking about their plans for this year’s garden and seeing more and more bikes in the parking lot. Spring is here, and we have a lot to look forward to!

As has been the trend these days, we have more bulk plans for the coming months. I hope you enjoy this growing section of our store! We are working hard to offer new products and to make the shopping experience better.

I’m happy to announce that in the very near future, we will be able to offer email receipts! This is a great way to keep records and reduce waste. Did you know that all thermal receipt paper is not recyclable? ???? 

Unfortunately, there is some sad store news. Karma staff member James Byrne will be working his last shift on Sunday, April 28. James has been working at Karma for 5 years. In that time he was our meat, cheese and bulk purchaser, as well as our salesperson extraordinaire! He is off to do an internship in Peterborough as part of his Masters of Climate Change. We will miss you greatly James! You brought such energy and fun to Karma. I hope we will continue to see you around the store. Best of luck and thank you for everything you have brought to Karma!

Yours co-operatively,
Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op
manager@karmacoop.org

From the GM—December 2018

Dear Karma Members,

It’s been a busy time at the store! We’re busy getting ready for the holidays which means getting in some amazing products for you to savour, share, and enjoy for yourself! The Darn Tough Socks are out in full force and the Stollen awaits you! Be sure to check out our holiday hours (below) as we will be open late over the Christmas weekend and open on New Year’s Eve. ????

You know we’ve got everything you need for your holiday entertaining needs, but Karma is also an amazing place to do your holiday gift shopping. We’ve got some amazing beauty care products that your loved ones are sure to enjoy; plenty of accessories and package free gift options for the zero-waster on your list; and of course, an array of delicious edibles for the foodies. We also have gift certificates for the Karma curious on your list! When in doubt, gift your love for your co-op! ❤️

In addition to the holiday excitement, we’ve had some exciting developments in our ever expanding bulk selection. Shea and cocoa butter, Anarres face masks and tub truffles, Alchemy Pickle sauerkraut and kimchi, coconut aminos, and frozen local organic berries and peaches can now all be found in bulk! We also now carry Prairie Boy and Spent Goods bread package free! If there’s something you want to see in our bulk and package free section, let us know! We’re always looking for suggestions. We hope you enjoy!!!

Yours co-operatively,

Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op
manager@karmacoop.org

Holiday Hours
Saturday, December 22 — 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday, December 23 — 9 am – 9 pm
Monday, December 24 — CLOSED
Tuesday, December 25 — CLOSED
Wednesday, December 26 — CLOSED
Thursday, December 27 to Sunday, December 30 — regular hours
Monday, December 31 — 9 am – 7 pm
Tuesday, January 1 — CLOSED

From the GM — November 2018

Dear Karma Members,
I am happy to announce that Karma recruited an almost entirely new Board of Directors at our AGM last month. We have six new officers and two who are returning. While I wasn’t able to be at the AGM to welcome all the new faces, I am thrilled and impressed with the enthusiasm these folks have already brought forward. I am looking forward to working with all of you in the year ahead. Welcome to the Karma Co-op Board!
I also would like to say a very big thank you to the outgoing officers who worked so hard over the last year to keep the Co-op moving forward. There were some big changes to our store over the year, and those wouldn’t have been possible without the energies of everyone on the Board. I enjoyed working with you all so much, and I learned so much over the last year. I will miss you all but look forward to seeing you at the store.
At the store, we are busy getting ready for the holidays! This means, stocking up on holiday ingredients, ordering great products that will make thoughtful gifts, and yes, merchandising the Darn Tough socks. 🙂
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a happy Hanukkah! Hanukkah is early this year and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to extend my warmest wishes. Happy Hanukkah everyone!

From the GM—September 2018

Dear Karma Members,

It’s September! Another summer has flown by. I was rather shocked and not quite ready to see the pumpkins that Tony Neale delivered two weeks ago. “These can’t be real pumpkins… It’s too early,” I thought. But no, the pumpkins are very real and, presumably, delicious. I say presumably because, despite being very fond of pumpkin, I haven’t yet purchased one. Doing so would only actualize the end of summer for me, and I’m just not ready. I’m just not. I don’t often feel that way about the changing of the seasons, and perhaps it’s because so many exciting things that I am proud of happened over the summer months that I’m feeling reluctant to let go.

This summer my long-time dream of new bulk bins was realized; we worked and continue to work hard at increasing Karma’s package free and zero-waste product offerings; we got some great press; I also celebrated my son’s 4th birthday ????. My biggest sense of accomplishment though has come from the membership. Hearing all of your kind words of support and love for the changes have been so meaningful to me. I know I am doing my job and have made the right choices when I hear how happy you all are with what is happening around our store. Nothing makes me happier. Thank you everyone for your support in making these changes a reality. They wouldn’t have been possible without all of you!

I hope you have all had a chance to see the brand new beautiful sign that was mounted at the Follis entrance of Karma Lane. The sign was made possible thanks to two dedicated members who generously donated money for the cause and to a member who kindly gave us permission to mount the sign to their fence. Thank you! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and hope this will bring more walk-by traffic and awareness to our store.

On another note, it has come to my attention that some members thought Karma no longer stocked toilet paper. Rest assured, we do! We have simply moved the product to a nearby shelf to make room for… you guessed it… MORE BULK! ????

Yours co-operatively,

Talia McGuire
General Manager
Karma Co-op
manager@karmacoop.org

From the GM—August 2018

Dear Karma Members,

July was an exciting month for Karma in the news! We were recognized by NOW Magazine as being one of the Best Bulk Stores in Toronto , we were featured in a great article about Toronto co-ops by the Toronto Star and we were nominated as Toronto’s Best Organic Food Store and Best Green Store as part of NOW’s 2018 Reader Choice Awards! We hope you celebrate and share the great news about our co-op!

In the coming weeks, Karma will be participating in Open Streets Toronto to help promote the co-op even more. If you haven’t heard of this amazing event, be sure to check it out! We will also be holding our very first Repair Cafe in September in partnership with the amazing Repair Cafe Toronto! We are still looking for fixers of small household items and electronics, so if you have skills in these areas, please read below for details.

Some of you may have heard about the closing of the storefront of the West End Food Co-op (WEFC). We are incredibly sad about this news, which has shocked the co-op community. Karma worked alongside the WEFC to bring our members together and to showcase and educate the public about the benefits of the co-op model. We will miss working with them and wish the WEFC staff and Board of Directors all the very best in what lies ahead.