Daily’s Fresh New Look

Dear Friends of Daily,

If you’ve stopped into the store recently then you might have noticed some changes at Daily. By moving some furniture around and getting rid of some old bulky shelves we’ve made room. Room to dream:


“Dreams? I have many. I dream of castles made of new kinds of canned veggies and soups and broths that fortify me and my people for the cold weather approaching. And in the hills and valleys that separate these castles I dream of new varieties of cereal and food bars that frolic and dance like baby centaurs and satyrs with pan flutes playing fluttering melodies while sipping on our new varieties of organic and sustainably harvested wines. I dream that beautiful and terrifying robots will grind your peanut and almond butter for you fresh, upon your request. these are some of my dreams. thank you for listening.”

-Jim (Buyer for Daily)

While some of these dreams will be on a distant horizon, others will come true within the coming weeks.

A huge thanks to our tireless staff for their long hours, endless creativity and fantastic attitudes, always. Our space is and will likely continue to be a beautiful work in progress. Stop in and tell us what ya think!



New Store Hours at Daily

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Starting in September 9am – 9pm Every Day

Autumn is just around this corner, and with it many new and exciting changes at Daily. Have no fear, we will be keeping you informed along the way. The biggest change is new operating hours starting in September.

At 5 PM on Tuesday, September, 2nd, Daily will close for a bit of a makeover. When we re-open on Thursday, September 4th we will herald in our new hours — 9am to 9pm every day.  As we grow and improve, it has become ever more challenging to stretch our staff over current operating hours. Though we are all fond of the longer hours, we have finally reached the conclusion that Daily needs to focus on quality over quantity regarding open hours and how best to serve our owners and customers.

We appreciate your continued support and promise to make every hour we are open an hour to serve you better.

Mr. Wood’s Eggs

Dale and Linda Wood supply Daily Groceries Co-op with up to 15 dozen Grade AA eggs a week. Egg sizes are large and extra large.
2014_05_HangOutFarm 1768The Woods live on the farm that Wood grew up on in Bowersville, GA. The land has been in his family for over 100 years. 

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“When I was a child my mother had what was called yard chickens and I really enjoyed gathering eggs and watching the hens raise their chicks,” Wood said.

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Wood and his wife and business partner, Linda, a school teacher, have approximately 75 hens in production and 20 young pullets that will start laying in Fall 2014. Breeds currently in production on Wood’s Farm are Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Ameraucanas, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Cuckoo Marans, and Golden Comets. Wood’s chickens have an outdoor space of 2 acres and a red barn, 60 by 72 feet, where they have feed, water, nest boxes and roosting space. Hens are never confined. They are fed an all grain feed that has no antibiotics or hormones.
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“Our future plans are to one day produce our own feed from local grains,” Wood said.
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The Woods clean, grade and refrigerate their eggs in a basement room in their house prior to delivery. Wood Farm eggs are also available on Athens Locally Grown.

Greetings Cooperators

It’s Andy Dixon here. As you may have heard, I am moving on from my post as Grocery Manager at Daily. andyBetween two tours of duty as a manager and two terms on the Board of Directors, I’ve put in a decade of work here. I’m proud of and amazed by the changes that have taken place in that time.

I’ve seen the Coop grow from less than $500,000 a year in sales when I first worked as co-manager in 2001, to what is expected to be over $1.2 million in 2014. Even in the expanding health food industry, that’s a boatload of growth – all in the same cozy space, the familiar aisles in which I’m sure I’ve walked hundreds and hundreds of miles. The reason the coop has been able to grow so much is the same reason that I’ve spent a chunk of my adult life and so much of my energy here – there’s something truly beautiful and transformative about the collective effort of good-hearted people in pursuit of a noble goal.

Because I’ve been close enough to the day-to-day process, when I look at all the changes in the coop, I can see the work of specific people – all the folks I’ve gotten to know over the past 14 years. It makes what is already a charming and unique store all the more beautiful to my eyes. We take turns applying our skills and energy to build something that can be safely carried forward by the next set of hands. The coop as it stands now is comprised of the work of everyone up till today, from crucial founding members like Angie Grass and Michael Wegner, to working members under the old system, to the hundreds of paid employees and unpaid board members over the last 21 years. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in and equally thrilled to see it go on without me.

It’s exciting (and a comfort) to me to know that Daily’s general manager Andrea Malloy, with the help of a solid management team and board, will continue to build on the great things that we’ve accomplished in the last three years. She has made some hard decisions in order to move Daily toward the vision of being a viable financial force, a job creator, and boon to the local economy. She has done yeoman’s work and I respect her for it.

I leave the grocery buying in the capable hands of Jim McCarren, who has a good deal of relevant experience and a clear enthusiasm to be at Daily. To paraphrase a certain rapper, he seems “hungry, like a younger me,” and I think getting some fresh legs in the game will really help the coop. Also, he has a mustache, and that is cool.

As for me, I’ll be working part-time at Heirloom (a great restaurant that focuses on local and organic food), and taking some time to work on material for my band’s next album. I hope to do some hardcore maxing and relaxing – catching up on all the books I’ve bought at Avid, coming up with dumb jokes. I’ve also got my eye on returning to school in fall 2015 to get my Master’s in social work.

It’s been an honor and genuine fun to work with all of y’all, and I want to thank you for the opportunity. Daily is an astounding jewel, a rare egg, and more than anything it is a community – a collective of awesome folks greater than the sum of its parts.

I’ve learned and grown so much from my encounters and experiences here. I’ve become more confident and comfortable with myself, hopefully more kind, certainly more loving in my heart. I’ll miss seeing y’all – customers, owner-members and coworkers – every day, but I look forward to being an interested owner-member and of course a frequent shopper. Seriously, who beats our produce? Anyway… I love y’all.


Since this isn’t goodbye – more like “zipzop, catch you on the flippity-flop” – I’ll close by saying

Long live Daily – Excelsior!


Clarke Middle Farm to table

 photo 4 Have you heard about the farm to table restaurant at Clarke Middle School? In March of this year Wick Pritchard became an Americorps VISTA volunteer – just three months later, with a grant from Athens Area Community Foundation and support from Dr. David Berle via the UGA office of Service Learning – the program was underway. We’re photo 2 (2)truly impressed with what community cooperation and a few good folks can accomplish in such a small period of time.

Today, the Clarke Middle Ecology Corps program is Athens’ first student-run farm to table restaurant. Middle school students grow produce in the school garden and prepare end-of-the-week meals for the public in the school kitchen.  Hugh Acheson’s restaurants provided guest chef support throughout the five weeks – and Hugh himself worked with the students for the photo 4 (2)final week. Additionally, Daily Groceries donated groceries for the final week and some of our staff were lucky enough to attend!

Check out that Menu! Such a nice treat! The program has plans to continue into the school, moving into an after-school program and serving dinner. We’re wishing out young chefs all the best! Thanks for the delicious meal!

“Trabajo y Union!” (Work and unity) ~ Arizmendi

matthewOur resident cooperative enthusiast (and owner-member coordinator) Matthew Epperson recently had a chance to travel to Spain and learn from the workers at the Mondragon Cooperatives – we asked him to share with us some of what he learned:

-          The Mondragon Co-operative Corporation (MCC) is a complex of 110 co-ops with revenues of 18 Billion Euros and the 7th largest Spanish company. Located in the Basque region of Spain – the modern cooperative movement began in 1956 in an area that was desperately poor as a solution to the poverty. Today, the Basque region has some of the lowest unemployment in Spain – despite the currently economic climate.

-          Job security is of the highest priority to the cooperatives and Mondragon promotes a culture of unity. For example, Fagor, one of the oldest companies, founded in 1956, recently collapsed! Although this was a huge shake up, it was not catastrophic for the workers – true to co-op form, its 1800 workers are in the process of being relocated to the other cooperatives in the collective.   Though this mean less hours for all – members are committed to making the cooperatives more beneficial to all workers.  This was inspiring! Many workers spoke of this “relocation program” as so vital to their social welfare system. Workers in other plants described Fagor’s workers were coming into their plants, but rather than this being cause for resentment, it was a reminder of how the system looks out for the employment of everyone.

-          At Mondragon, there are no fat cats at the top being paid over 300 times as much as the workers (the United States National average – CEO to worker). Instead there are agreed-upon (by democratic vote) wage ratios between executive work and field or factory work which earns a minimum wage. These ratios range from 3:1 to 9:1 in different cooperatives and average 5:1. Theoretically, this means that the general manager of an average Mondragon cooperative earns no more than 5 times as much as the lowest paid worker in his/her cooperative. However, because many of the jobs are specialized – thus classified at higher wage levels, the ratio is even smaller.

finance,industry-          There is no such thing as redundant in Mondragon, and firings are so seldom it’s probably startling when it happens. The general philosophy is that boosts in efficiency in the factories are to be sought wherever possible, with no fear that that will mean putting oneself or your neighbor out of a job. People are the reason the machines are working, and people can and will be the masters of those machines, not the other way around. If there were no more car parts to be made or inspected by hand, then the workers would just focus on better governance and education, more intellectual tasks.

-          Employees volunteer up to 15 hours a month to be a part of different councils (such as the social and governing council). This is where the workers display their voice in guiding the organizations they work for.

-          The social council, in particular, is devoted to representing workers rights (working conditions, pay, hours, grievances), whereas the governing council is how workers are represented as owners.

-          Elegantly, every worker has a chance at being a member and thus given a vote in the ultimate decision making body of the co-ops, known as the general assembly (GA).

-          The GA elects the governing council (board of directors), social council and watchdogs (internal auditors), and everyone (no matter their position) is eligible to run for these positions.

-          While this council work always mattered to them, it was during the 2008 financial crisis that it especially mattered who was on the social council –

o   for example: the co-ops were discussing wage cuts and hours cuts just to stay alive, and that meant trusting your social council to represent you as a worker in those big questions. Work was cut to 20 out of 30 days in the month for quite a while. Meetings were attended by crying and shouting — it was intense! But these were people working for themselves, and thus they had every motivation to make even the hard choices, and did their best to do so fairly.

-          Women have historically been less represented in the councils and on the shop floors but that is gradually changing. One woman we spoke with said she encountered a lot of skepticism that she was up to the manual labor, but she was given the chance and she proved herself. Doubt doesn’t follow her any longer. The men realize some machine tasks are just better for women anyway, particularly around hand-eye and quality control areas.

Visit Mondragon Cooperatives, and watch a lecture by Economics professor Richard Wolff on Mondragon.


Thanks Matthew!

New Offerings from the Daily Deli will make your Summer Super Tasty


Our Deli Manager, Drew


Our Deli Manager, Drew, recently attended a co-op conference where he talked business and swapped recipes with food co-ops from all over the country… Check out our newest offerings!

Thai Peanut Curry Sandwich

We’re taking our popular new Thai Coconut Curry Hummus, and making a sammie with peanut butter, cucumber, sprouts, and a little soy sauce-based dressing.

Tuscan Tuna Salad

Responsibly harvested, dolphin-safe yellowfin tuna, with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. We’ll have that by itself and also as a sammie on Luna ciabatta bread.

Sumi Salad

An Asian-style slaw with almonds and sesame.

Golden Beet and Kale Salad

A kale salad with shredded golden beets, carrots, green onions, bell pepper, and hemp seeds– tossed and dressed with a tahini vinaigrette.


Yummy kale goodness close up!


Our Matthew is Pursuing Co-operative Higher Education!


Matthew and his girlfriend, Lindsey

I was in North Carolina attending a conference with the Daily board when I first heard about a co-operative master’s degree program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was instantly interested and compelled to learn more. Can you really learn that in an academic setting? What would it be like? I had just heard Tom Webb, former director of the Master’s of Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions (MMCCU) program, giving a YouTube presentation on the differences between the co-operative business model and the investor-owned company alternative, and how the challenges facing the world (technology, environment, income distribution and more) could be simultaneously addressed by co-ops. Webb was positively an inspiring speaker to me, and opened the door to a possibility I had not previously considered. I had just graduated from UGA and thought I would pursue higher education if the right opportunity presented itself, and present itself it did.

I decided to do a little research. The program is primarily an online correspondence degree so I wouldn’t have to move away from Athens, or Daily, to attend. Success! And I would get the chance to visit Nova Scotia! Plus, during my second year (this year) I would get the chance to tour the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation in the Basque area of Spain! It would take three years (though there is now a two year option), and I could see that there was some financial assistance available… I was prepared to take the plunge. I submitted my application, contacted my references, waited about a month and then the news came – I got in!

Since beginning the program I’ve been to Canada for orientation and was delighted to meet some of my future instructors, my fellow classmates, and briefly tour Nova Scotia which was breathtaking to see. Through the program I’ve learn co-operative history, governance, finance, marketing, globalization and business strategy. It turned out the curriculum of a business administration degree could be co-operativized such that management skills were being taught from the co-op perspective. Where one would teach profit maximization, the MMCCU program teaches triple-profit maximization (people, planet, and profit) that benefits all stakeholders who are meaningfully involved in a co-op or credit union, from suppliers to customers to members to employees and even future generations.

Many people wonder what it’s like learning primarily online, and I’m glad to say it’s been both rewarding and accommodating. My cohort of eight students are primarily from Canada (one other fellow from the Seward Community Co-op in Minneapolis), including Vancouver and British Columbia and work in mutual insurance (The Co-operators) and credit unions (Vancity) which have assets in excess of C$10 billion! Our locations, ages, sectors and experience all vary widely but we are united by our common co-operative values and principles – not to mention grades! We write papers together and routinely discuss homework readings and depend on one another’s thoughtful feedback to make the grade and really understand the concepts fundamental to a successful co-op.

I’m happy to say as well that more and more US students are enrolling in MMCCU, and some alumni have already put their knowledge to good use, like at Seward where General Manager Sean Doyle initiated a Co-operative Scorecard program to help them evaluate their multiple bottom lines with input from multiple stakeholders, all due in part to learning about the process through MMCCU.

My final project will be a capstone paper that in some meaningful and practical way will benefit Daily Groceries. I look forward to deciding on my topic (yikes, only a year left!) and researching it before turning it into something enduring for Daily. Already my knowledge of things like open book management and leveraging social media is helping me day to day here at Daily and the future is looking brighter all the time!

The 2013 cohort, including yours truly.

The 2013 cohort, including yours truly.

Great News from the Grocery Department!

Great news on the grocery front! Daily will now be receiving an additional delivery from our main grocery distributor, UNFI, every Saturday morning. This should help us keep the shelves fully stocked 7 days a week, and allow us to somewhat reduce the size of our Monday and Thursday deliveries, which will free up space in the aisles on those mornings.

It’s a good example of what customers’ continued support of the coop’s growth can do. Our recent surge in sales has allowed us some leverage with UNFI, who is more than happy to accommodate us, as our business with them is up nearly 25% year-to-date. Not only did we arrange a third delivery, we were able to negotiate an increase in our volume discount with them for the first time in nearly 20 years. While we won’t be able to bring down all the prices in the store, hopefully you’ll begin to notice some changes for the better in the coming weeks.


We are delighted and excited to offer GT Dave’s kombucha for a new lower everyday price!

Fear Not the Webinar!

Of all the new words the current wave of technology has brought us, ‘webinar’ has to be the most ridiculous, and therefore it delights me most deeply. To my ear, Webinar is the webinar2name for some 1950s creature-movie monstrosity, an ungodly combination of Spider and Dinosaur born of gene-splicing science gone horribly, deliciously wrong.
More rooted in reality, and only slightly less awesome, actual webinars (or web seminars) have become a powerful tool for learning at Daily. Through our membership in the National Cooperative Grocers Association, we have access to a broad range of distance-learning classes that teach us new management techniques and tips. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the results in the store as we implement what we’ve learned.
Andrea and I have been cramming our brains full of knowledge via a webinar class titled OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARetail Basics 102. We’re learning how to better track and manipulate key indicators for coop health, about price audits to maintain healthy margins, active budgeting tools by department to keep spending at an acceptable level, and (the area customers will notice most) merchandising strategies that affect both how we display the products we have and which ones to carry. We’re also learning about the hidden areas of loss and shrink that eat into our margin. Maintaining a healthy margin allows us to have money to pay our bills and our employees, and to make improvements to the store.
I am very excited to tap into the data stream I recently learned about in a webinar on the SPINS data system. SPINS allows access to product movement data from all the coops in the NCGA, and essentially every non-megacorp health food store in the country. We can see what sells and for how much, and we can sort it by store, group (such as coops) or region. We can track trends as they emerge, instead of catching the tail end and being stuck with inventory when the sales slow. It’s basically a super-powered tool for buying that should help us bring more great products to you. 
Lily and Jane have been webinar-ing in the produce department as well. One class focused on merchandising – signage, display, cross-merchandising products and the like – and customers have noticed how beautiful the produce section is looking these days. Another webinar was about best practices in dealing with local farmers, which is very important business to us.
Fear not Webinar! Get caught in his web of knowledge!
Andy Dixon, Grocery Manager