I hate this place! I stopped by the other day looking for tofu and they had none. NONE. What kind of coop doesn't have tofu? The woman behind the counter was just like, "Yeah, we ran out. We should get some more tomorrow." Yeah, thanks for nothing. I moved from a town a fraction the size of Syracuse and the coop here is so much worse than the one I knew in my old location!
If these guys seriously want to thrive and grow they'd do the following:
*Do what it takes to make sure they have common staples (like tofu) available
*Make a note of if when customers ask for something not in stock or not carried by the coop and then make a point of carrying it in the future
*Publicize in-store events with posters *in the store* and through their list-serv ("customer" or "coop appreciation days" don't count because people wanting to do regular shopping avoid these days like the plague, since they assume the already cramped coop will be even more crowded)
***Learn how to be professional in responding to suggestions and criticism (ex. don't take it personally when someone suggests you move to a larger space - even if you don't mean it, simply thank the person for their suggestion and say you'll take it into consideration - this isn't lying, it's called "tact.")
*If having extra bodies around trying to earn store credit just isn't practical then simply drop the program. Don't say you offer this program and then not respond when people try to join up. Likewise, if letting people order special items out of your supplier catalog is too much of a pain drop that too (instead of hiding the catalog in a corner and hemming and hawing when a customer needs help placing an order). Big point: Don't go at things half-assed.
*Visit other coops and get ideas for what does and doesn't work well *from a customer's point of view.*
*Remember you sell groceries, not ideas. It's all well and good to support local farmers and the community, but this means absolutely nothing if your produce is rotten, your store poorly stocked, and your facilities difficult to navigate. You can't eat "coop principles," and if you don't even have tofu in stock your customers might as well shop at Wegmans.