Michael Pursell
Board Vice President

As we head into this winter season, it feels very much like a time of transition at Just Food. For one thing, we’re celebrating Just Food’s 15th Birthday on December 15–our golden birthday, I suppose. This feels like a big milestone as we prepare to break ground on the Co-op’s expansion, which will involve the replacement of lots of Just Food’s original critical infrastructure. That means we’re very literally setting aside a large piece of the Co-op’s history so far and are preparing to outfit the store for another fifteen years of success, so it’s very much the end of a chapter.


On the Board, it also feels like we’re stepping into a new era. In 2019, we had five positions to fill for the second year in a row, which means the Board has undergone a complete turnover from just two years ago. Among those departing Directors, we are saying a grateful and reluctant goodbye at the end of the year to Penny Hilleman, who has maxed out her term limit by serving for the past 8 years on the Just Food Board of Directors (including four of those as either Vice President or President). If you see Penny, please join us in thanking her for her long and dedicated service to the Co-op.


This year we tried something new with our Annual Meeting and our October Harvest Fest, with the idea that we could combine these events into one big, seamless outdoor celebration at the store. While both events were a success, the unseasonably cold weather didn’t exactly cooperate with our vision and drove meeting attendees inside to huddle over hot soup while we counted ballots. Still, we got the election done and are pleased to welcome one new Board member, Pat Neily, for a three-year term–though as a former General Manager of Just Food, he’s no stranger to the Co-op. And we’re also thrilled to have current Board members Tim Braulick and Dick Bodman rejoining us next year for three year terms. If you think you might be interested in contributing to Just Food by serving on the Board of Directors yourself, there’s still an opportunity. Because of a shortage of candidates on this year’s ballot, we are in the unique position to appoint two new Directors for one year terms in 2020. Please join us at one of our monthly meetings or get in touch with us if you’d like to be one of them!


Even if you’re not quite ready to serve on the Board, we hope you’ll think about how you can invest and participate in this next chapter for the Co-op. Over the past fifteen years, Just Food has become such a stable and unequivocally positive presence in the Northfield community that it’s easy for newer members like me to take it for granted and forget how hard the founding cooperators had to fight to make it happen. As we lay groundwork for the next fifteen years, we need to recapture some of that scrappy founding spirit and remember that Just Food is more than just a store; it’s a community. Your time, your ideas, your financial investments, and of course your continued patronage all mean so much to our Co-op.


Thanks & Happy Holidays!