Category Archives: Co Op History

any bits and pieces that turn up about the Co Op’s dark and mysterious past. As a volunteer organisation with many people coming and going over the years there are a lot of gaps in our story.

Annual Meeting for Year ending June 30, 2016

Thank you to all of the members who attended our very convivial annual meeting 🙂

We will upload the minutes very soon but the long and short of the future is:

We have 5 directors- 1 old and 4 new.

We are going to install a Paypal card reader and absorb the admin costs ourselves.

The new fridge is attracting attention and looks to be a good decision so far.

The new location in UTS Building 5C is going better than expected with many students and staff from Law and Business Faculties popping in to find out who/what we are and why didn’t they know about us before *sigh*

We are still hosting the local Hub of Harvest Hub and they promote us in their forums in return.

We are introducing new products now and again but, as usual, our biggest ‘seller’ is the information we provide on organics and sustainability.

In closing we look forward to seeing all of our friends soon- either virtually or here in our new shop (where sunlight abounds!). Either way be healthy, be happy, and be safe.

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Planning Retreat Round Up

Happy 2014 to everyone! At the Broadway Food Co-Op we have started off our year with a weekend planning retreat to get our year up and running with lots of new and exciting plans for the Co-Op.

This weekend past seven regular Broadway volunteers got together at a holiday house at The Entrance on the central coast. We split the accommodation between us and were able to get a house within walking distance of Toowoon Bay.

We met up on Friday evening and started off the weekend with something that we all love and know: food! For dinner I made the eager vollies a corn chowder with brown rice, and for dessert we had an amazing lemon and polenta cake made by Jessie.

3 people stand in a kitchen preparing dinner while another person sits at a table reading

Delegating tasks for cooking dinner

picture of a bowl of corn choweder with a hand holding a slice of buttered bread

Corn chowder with brown rice and bread from the Bread and Butter Project

a polenta cake sitting on a cake board topped with sugar flowers

Polenta and Lemon Cake made by Jessie

We have Alfalfa House food co-op in Newtown to thank for much of the food for out weekend thanks to their amazing Food Grants Scheme which kept our food costs down for the weekend as well as making the food we ate in line with our co-op food values. I was only to able to make an amazing menu to keep us focused and nourished thanks to Alfalfa House and I could not thank them enough for making that possible! Co-ops helping co-ops, what a beautiful thing.

We started the business part of our weekend with a strategic planning session where we worked on developing a 5 year plan for the co-op through a reflection process led by Kim. From this session we developed the following 5 objective statements to use as goals for the next 5 years at the co-op:

 

  1. Having a ‘real’ shop front
  2. Increasing membership to sustain box orders, a thriving organising collective, and a bigger shop
  3. Convenient and reliable payment systems
  4. Defining roles co-op roles more clearly and developing an organising collective
  5. Employing a part-time coordinator
One person writes on a large piece of paper while sitting on the floor and 2 people and a dog look on sitting on chairs

Ann-Marie writing up our goals with the help of Fernando, myself, and Baba the dog.

After all that work shopping we had a pumpkin, broccoli, and bean curry for lunch before we continued to develop the membership restructure proposed and passed at our last AGM in the afternoon.

pumpkin, broccoli, and bean curry sitting on top of a bed of brown rice on a white plate with a spoon ready to be eaten

Pumpkin Curry to keep our energy levels up

Ensuing our hard day of work a trip to the beach was in order! We cooled off in Blue Bay a short walk from the house and had some much needed chill out time.

a group of 4 people and a dog walk down a road on a bright and sunny day

Walking down to the beach

a group of 5 people sit with a dog on the beach smiling and looking into the camera

L-R Jessie, Kim (and Baba the dog), Anne-Marie, Sam, Fernando sitting on the beach at Blue Bay

For dinner that night after the beach we made buckwheat pizzas cooked on the barbeque followed by grilled bananas with dark chocolate and walnuts.

a pizza sits on a sheet of foil on the hot plate of a barbeque about to be cooked

Our pizza sitting on the barbie about to be cooked

a plate full of cut up pizza pieces

Buckwheat pizza with pumpkin, onion, spinach, and feta

pizza pieces on a plate choped up and ready to eat

Buckwheat pizza with margherita style toppings

Sunday morning was our last planning session for the weekend and we spent it refining membership changes and financial changes to be implemented in the next couple of weeks as well as getting plans set for Orientation Week at UTS (especially the O Day fair on the 19/02).

There are many exciting changes coming to the Broadway Food Co-Op this year, and we are especially excited about working towards making our Co-Op more financially sustainable.

Thank you to everyone who came on the retreat and all their energy to ensure that we can continue to remain a viable source of food and community.

To all our members I would also like to thank you for your ongoing support for 2014 and for your patience during the changes we are implementing to warrant that the Broadway Food Co-Op can be the kind of force for community that we know it can be.

See you soon in our newly reorganised store and watch this space for when we announce the first week of box orders!

Kassie.

From the Co-op Annals: “The Broadway Food Co-op’s mystical journey through time and space…”

The enormity of setting up even a humble food co-op at UTS has required enormous effort over many years, not to mention an inter-dimensional journey through bureaucracy, legalities, and rampant insanity.

It all began way back in…well, to be perfectly honest I don’t know for sure which year it was, but it was definitely before 1999.  Whoa man, where were we all back then?

The concrete history begins in 1999 when the Environment, Health and Safety division of UTS committed just over $5,000 for sustainable initiatives to the idea of a food co-op at UTS.  The money was rubber-stamped, finalised, and…just sat in an unknown bank account for a couple of years.

In 2001 the food co-op received a much needed surge of impetus when a groovy collective sprang out from the flowers and set well and truly to the task.  The biggest challenge to the co-op’s existence was the intricate wrangling undertaken with both the UTS Union and the University of Technology itself.  After months a position was agreed to and committed to — the co-op could exist with relative autonomy but beneath the overarching hegemony of the Union, a stipulation that the University insisted upon.  The Union, once frightened of the prospects of ‘competition’ with other Union outlets, became one of the co-op’s supporters.  In addition, the Students’ Association and the Environmental, Health and Safety division of UTS were committed to supporting the co-op.  In fact the co-op is the only venture to date that the Union and the Students’ Association have jointly supported!  Thus with an agreement with the Union and University agreed upon, the space was refurbished and fitted out with all the funky stuff in there now.

In 2002 the co-op became embroiled in legalities once again — the whole year being more or less entirely consumed by getting the co-op registered with the registry of Co-operatives (a.k.a the department of Fair Trading!  Eeek!).  By this stage a year’s work had taken its toll on the devoted collective and the momentum diminished.  So close, but yet so far….

But lo and behold!  In 2003 the Broadway Food co-op is registered and has a new groovin’ collective, comprised of folks both old and new.  It has been open for a couple of weeks and, whilst there are still teething problems, it is good to see operational problems being encountered — rather than the problem of not being able to open!

The Broadway Food Co-op’s history has only just begun to unravel, however, and the potential for a glorious epoch of organic goodness at UTS is waiting for us!  Come along and get involved! 

This post from 2003 or 2004 was found in the Environment Collective’s filing cabinet in the Student Association where their desk is located.  We have no author and no idea of just how much wrangling was involved.  If you know any of the history, please comment so our curiosity will be sated.  On another note, it is very sad to see how bureaucracy can thwart community-building.