The press release said:
The distribution of profits was possible, said Board of Directors President Debbie Plass, due to “excellent leadership and staff and owner commitment to BriarPatch — in spite of a turbulent economy.”
The BriarPatch Board voted in March to distribute nearly all owner-generated profits to owners, based on store patronage. Depending on how much they spent during 2009, individuals’ dividends ranged from $330 to 1¢.
“BriarPatch owners’ return on investment was excellent, all things considered,” said General Manager Chris Maher. “For an investment of $20 twice a year, owners received a dividend, benefits including shopping trip discounts, and the pride of being part of a network of support and sponsorship benefitting community groups and events.”
The dividend was the first ever for owners of the natural foods grocery store, who received a 5 percent discount on purchases prior to 2009. In December of 2008, the cooperatively-owned business’ elected Board voted unanimously to restructure the discount program.
Speaking for the Board about the decision, Plass said, “The change to an annual dividend brought BriarPatch in line with a cooperative business “best practice” followed by food co-ops our size across the country. We ask for continued support and ideas from our owners so that the Co-op may continue to serve our growing community now and for years to come.”
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