Date: April 14, 2017
To: Just Food Co-op Owners
From: Dirk Peterson, President, Just Food Board of Directors
The Just Food Board of Directors regrets to inform its member-owners that we have received from General Manager Jerry Huddleston his 60 days notice indicating he will be leaving Just Food. Pressing family concerns have arisen that compel the Huddleston’s return to their home state of Arkansas.
Jerry’s letter to the owners is being shared with you today, along with this communication from the Board. Jerry’s last day at Just Food will be June 9.
While this is certainly disappointing news, we understand that family does come first, always, and we honor his decision. Jerry has accomplished many good things since he arrived at Just Food last September, and we will miss him. We are pleased Jerry will be with us until June 9 to help prepare for an orderly transition.
The Board will immediately begin the process of finding our next General Manager. We will keep the co-op’s staff and owners informed of our progress.
April 11, 2017
To: The Membership of Just Food Co-op
From: Jerry Huddleston, General Manager
It breaks my heart to inform the membership of Just Food Co-op that I must tender my resignation, effective June 9, 2017. My wife’s mother, Betty, has been in declining health since Christmas, and can now no longer live by herself. My wife, Kim, and I must therefore return to Northwest Arkansas so that we can offer Betty the 24/7 care she deserves. We will be moving Betty in with us at our house in Fayetteville so she can be near us and be safe. Our only other option was to admit Betty to an assisted living facility, and that idea does not sit well with either of us. Kim and I promised her late father, Fred, that we would take care of Betty when she neared the end of her life, and we intend to keep that promise. We will be moving Kim back to Arkansas by the end of April, and I will return to Northfield by May 1, 2017, to fulfill my 60-day notice to Just Food Co-op.
It is my intention to spend the next 60 days assisting the management and staff of Just Food Co-op in developing our competitive strategy for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2017. I feel, after having listened to many of our co-op’s founders and members, that Just Food Co-op is strongly committed to its core values of justice, community, and cooperation. I have spent much of the past seven months working to ensure that Just Food is a workplace of choice and a workplace of joy. As much as I hate to leave, I am pleased to know I have applied my skills to keep Just Food moving in the right direction.
I want everyone to know that my seven months as the General Manager of Just Food Co-op have been the highlight of my career. I have had such a wonderful experience and have gained more knowledge than I could have imagined. Plus, I have really enjoyed getting to live in such a wonderful community as Northfield. Truth be told, I am going to miss the staff of Just Food Co-op the most. I have been so graciously welcomed into this community, that the thought of leaving so soon makes me sad. I have made many new friends in Minnesota, and I really wish there was a way that I could stay. Life is complicated, as you know, and sometimes it does not play fair. I will miss all of you very much, and am so very grateful for the opportunity (and adventure!) you have allowed me to have in Minnesota.
With a heavy heart,
Jerry Huddleston, General Manager
Just Food Co-op