From Cultivate.Coop

Heidely-ho, neighbor.

I'm Lippe, wearer of several hats @ the 4th Street Food Co-op in NYC.
Leave a note on my talk page if ye are so inclined.

To file

My to-do list

  • Product Labeling Systems
    • Spreadsheet based
    • PDF form based
  • Tech
    • Definitions on coop/coll hosting page
    • Tech term page?
    • Paragraph info on coop/coll hosting page

My wants

  • Legal
    • Bylaw "ala carte" list
      • List of various paragraphs, sentences, with plain english explanations of intents, and variations.
    • General licensing discussion re: food display, storage, handling as regards participation in street fairs, buying clubs etc
      • The same, but State by state or municipal specific.
      • Common vocabulary related to these issues. E.g. dept of ag & markets, food handling, etc.
  • Design
    • Logos available for free or for sale from other coops (we had 30 submissions, one winner, surely the runner ups could potentially be taken by another store)
    • Icon sets, for manuals and online use, specific to retail food coops. (Compost, register, etc..)
  • Misc.
    • Mailing list comparison/inspiration page with downloadable html source
    • Data backup software/plan
    • Password management
    • Email account protocols
    • Conflict resolution method
    • Voting methods
    • Proxy voting policies
    • Credit card processor
    • Credit card equipment
    • Finance software reviews/case-studies
    • Cleaning products & equipment
    • Pest control
    • Light bulb types (CFL/LED, color temps per location)


Store Toolbox

Toolbox "shopping list" for creating a store/space toolbox

This was mentioned on the Bushwick-NY list, idea being a printed card w/list to be included in the toolbox.


  • large philips and flat blade
  • small phillips and flat blade
  • claw hammer
  • electric drill (plug in)
  • 1/8" bits
  • 1/4" bits
  • 1/4" masonry
  • circular saw(plug in)
  • adjustable wrench
  • needle nose plier
  • full size plier
  • channel locks
  • bar clamps, c clamps
  • hacksaw


  • jewlers size philips and flat blade
  • rubber mallet
  • drill index
  • fine blade
  • flashlight
  • tool box
  • wire strippers
  • dykes
  • greenlee wire stripper
  • knipex cutter
  • bench vice
  • japanese hand saw
  • locking blade box cutter
  • miter saw

Retail merchandising supplier links

Retail Food Co-op Pest Info


Ordering Party buying club process (via Bushwick)

Served two major functions that are the heart of who and what we are as a coop: Food and Community. Food was discussed and splits bargained for, members new and old cooperated and got to know each other through food interests. And got to understand what goes into the ordering process and how operating cooperatively we meet order minimums and get the food we want and bring prices down for each other, and spent a lot of money in doing so. :) And members checked in with Membership, filled out forms, and paid, and people signed up for distribution slots. While it was quite a bit to prepare for the party --without having gone through the whole process yet so we can't really judge-- it seems to alleviate some stress on various committees: order minimums are met and Sourcing has less judgment calls to make, Membership can check in with the majority of members and take care of business at once instead of emailing everyone and having multiple correspondence, and the workshift manager doesn't have to do NEARLY as much begging. ;) Lot's of minor yet major details got ironed out simply because we were in the same room for a length of time with no meeting agenda controlling discussion.

In bullet point, the Order Party's Awesomeness:

  • Increase community, cooperation
  • Increase food interaction, discussion
  • Increase order quantity and spending per person
  • Order minimums met, decreases sourcing judgment calls
  • Distribution shifts almost filled, decreases email load
  • Membership check in, decreases email load
  • Snacks and home brew hit the spot

At the same time, we missed members that couldn't make it. In our brief informal check in and analysis at the end of the order party, we came up with ideas of how to proceed and improve. We like the ordering party and we want it to continue - doing it every buying club might be a bit much, and it would be super bummer for those that can't make it.

Ideas for improvements and going forward:

  • ordering party every other buying club
  • place initial order in online spreadsheet (remote version of tic marks on price list printouts because this takes so long) -- this way people who can't attend can still order directly from the spreadsheet and help make minimums, even though they'll have much less chance to get what they order -- thought: maybe still have the option to come early and order at the party while people are chilling -- this way people who don't have computer access or who didn't have time to order beforehand can
  • come to ordering party for splits auction, shift sign up, membership check in, snacks, and schmooze
  • monthly featured vendors/items -- possibly rotate which vendors we're ordering from so that we make minimums and get items we wouldn't be able to otherwise. also, members can make a bid to promote an item they particularly want to see ordered by providing info - thru written/visual or announcement, or by bringing a sample of the product/delicious food to share
  • Jack has a great place with an overhead projector and it might be a great place to continue to have ordering parties (better even than our new space ;) ).
  • enter orders into order spreadsheet, which will have formulas to automatically tabulate item retail prices, as we auction. Project this on the wall for all to see.
  • I noticed participating in the auction remotely actually works ok. if you have a close friend, or a non-picky friend, it is easy to rep them in the auction and contact via text. Remote orderers helped fill in splits and were happy to get what they could. might get to be a problem if too many people do this?? the auction took a good hour, I'd say, fyi for possible future remote auction attendees. But was fuckin GREAT in person!
  • maybe this can turn into a monthly potluck?? :)
  • 6:00-6:45 arrivals, set up, snacks, schmoozing, orienting, discussing HOW we are going to do this
  • 6:45-7:00 intro to ordering and auction, Party Schedule projected onto wall -- how cool!
  • 7:00-8:15 ordering - still plenty of schmoozing and eating
  • 8:15-8:25 tally
  • 8:25-9:35 auction
  • 9:35-10:00 membership check in, paperwork (we ended up not having people enter order onto spreadsheet bc so late)
  • 10:00-10:30 informal moving/distro/loom vote discussions and coordinating

Projected Schedule for Reference:

  • 6:00 arrive, schmooze, eat snacks, walk around and read the supplier sheets - SIGN IN WITH THE MEMBERSHIP TABLE - CHECK STATUS
  • 6:30 BFC + Order Party Intro
  • 7:30-8:00 Sourcing Tally - Schmooze, check in with Membership, chill
  • 8:00-8:30 Auction for item minimums - Help fellow members make minimums!
  • 8:30-9:00 submit final receipts - ENTER YOUR ORDER ON THE COMPUTER )

CGIN convos

Cleaning bulk bins

Recommended based on experience

  • Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Grain alcohol and a soft cloth, apply, soak, soapy wash
  • Baking soda mixed with Dawn dish soap to make a thick paste
    Rinse bin to dampen, apply thick layer of the paste to dirty surfaces with a damp sponge.
    Let sit for 20 minutes to an hour
    Scrub with a soaking wet sponge and a lot of elbow grease.
    May take two or three of these treatments.
    Rubber gloves are highly recommended, as paste will dry out skin.
    It might be just as effective, without being as harsh, to use a more naturally-derived dish soap
  • BioKleen Produce Wash

Suggested (without experience, but with comments)

  • High pressure wash (one negative report)
  • Two day white vinegar soak
  • Dawn dishwashing liquid (x3) (one negative report)