Welcome to the first message in our new Weekly Bulletin to keep you, our members and shoppers, informed.
Harvest Co-op Board Update 7.29.17

Dear members,

Beginning today, we will be sharing a weekly online and in-store bulletin with updates and news about events happening with Harvest and our community.   There is a great deal going on in our Co-op and the Board and management want to take all the steps we can to keep you informed and aware of our successes and challenges as operate in an incredible competitive environment.

At our July board meeting, a group of members submitted a petition to the Board of Directors requesting a special meeting be called for the purpose of “Rescuing the Harvest Co-op from imminent bankruptcy”.  We appreciate all levels of engagement and commitment and appreciate the increased activism to support Harvest’s future. As we work to on-board our new general manager, secure critical, new loans to keep us afloat and collaborate to execute on our overall turnaround plan, we commit to working quickly to organize the requested meeting ASAP.

Some members are sharing a message that Harvest is facing imminent bankruptcy, and as your board it is our duty to inform and educate.  We do not believe that we are in danger of imminent bankruptcy.  The board commissioned a professional pro forma financial analysis and the models in that analysis do show that while cash remains very low, we should be able to continue operations for the foreseeable future. However, the critical variable is that sales must stabilize or increase. Clearly and simply, if members and non members spend their food dollars elsewhere, the co-op will be unable to compete and therefore unable to survive.

We deeply appreciate our membership’s commitment to our co-op. Our renewed commitment to sharing and discussing our financial position has generated more robust conversations, contributed to a stronger Finance Committee composed of both directors and members and created a more informed membership.

Thank you,

Harvest Operations and Board of Directors

“When times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good, but what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation.”

~ William J. Clinton

Message From the General Manager

Greetings Members and Shoppers,

My name is Brian Peat and I’d like to take an opportunity to introduce myself. I am the new general manager at Harvest Co-op Markets. After over twelve years living in elsewhere, it feels great to be back home in good, old New England and leading the management and staff of our historic Co-op.

At the time I am writing this, I’ve been working at Harvest for just under two weeks and am working diligently to get up to speed on operations, our financial position, and everything Co-op related. I’ve had a great transition with our interim general manager to ensure a smooth and informed transition. Wynston did a wonderful job and we can’t thank her enough.

I realize that we are in an extremely difficult financial position and it is compounded by the fact that we are in our slowest season of the year.  But I am confident that we will be able cooperatively work through this period and emerge on the other side as a stronger business and a more community-oriented co-op.

I am also very happy to report that we’re not alone in turning Harvest around.  We have so much support coming from National Co+op Grocers, other co-ops around New England, our suppliers, and of course, you, our members.  There is no silver bullet that will solve all the issues but we have a great team and a dedicated staff pouring their hearts into our Co-op every day.  

Our financial position is, of course, our number one focus but we will also be working hard to provide outstanding customer service, strengthen our relationship with local food suppliers and increase the amount of food we can offer you that strengthens our local food economy. I am also keen to create opportunities to put ourselves out there in the Boston and Cambridge communities so that we can become the hub our members and communities crave.  

Accomplishing all our objectives will take time but I am excited to be a part of this period in Harvest’s history.

Stay tuned and I will schedule some meet and greet times in our stores in September where I hope to meet many of you and hear what you love about our Co-op and how we can better serve you, our members and shoppers.  As I have the chance to dig in and solidify plans for this turnaround, I will keep you updated through email, the newsletter, and any other methods of communication we can develop.


Brian Peat

General Manager

Harvest Co-op Markets