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Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of...
Your Board

The Co-op Story: Putting People and the Community First

Board Beet
By Your Board on July 13, 2015

Most of us know that Outpost is a cooperative (co-op) but many do not know what that actually means. 

In short, co-ops use a business model that puts people and community before profit. To ensure this, we hold ourselves accountable through democratic principles. We also measure our success by monitoring our actions against policies designed to highlight whether or not we have achieved our goals; all of which make a difference in the communities we are a part of.  More about coops can be found on our website. 

Knowing how Outpost is different from other stores in our community is an important concept to understand. Even though other stores in the Milwaukee area offer “low prices”, “organics”, or “local” products they often do not adhere to the same high standards that co-ops do; they do not support or value our community the same way that Outpost does. 

Whenever you visit any business (not just grocery) ask yourself the following questions:

· What are their policies regarding food products they carry? Here are Outpost's.

· Does this business pay its workers a living wage?  We do. And we aspire to improve our workers' benefits even more.

· Can I trust this establishment to make ethical business decisions? Check out our mission.

· Would their CEO be held accountable if they valued money over people? As a board, we are elected by Outpost owners to represent their needs and viewpoints.

· What are they doing to actively support the community in which they do business? We are owned by our community, and we give back every day.

The good news is that through BOTH our words and actions, Outpost is able to provide affirmative answers to all of these questions. 

The bad news is that many businesses cannot say yes and they continue to take more market share away from businesses that do. 

That means we need to make a conscious effort to spend our dollars at places that match our values. We need to ask questions, demand more accountability, and tell our friends and family the co-op story so they too can make educated buying decisions.

Do you believe in the concept of putting people and community before profit?

How does that play out in where you decide to shop?

Doug Spencer

Board Secretary


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