JLF is important to me on a few key points:
It is a local small business that serves the community and was and continues to be founded and operated on the basis of entrepreneurial ideals of those who started the business (and are still there) and those who are active in its operations today.
Through its mission and vision it seeks to contribute to a sustainable community that is made up of many stakeholders from all walks of life, and does not discriminate as to whom it is intended to benefit.
And finally, personally, it is a wonderful place to shop and to provide me the opportunity as a board member to make a contribution through my experiences.
“As board members, we were encouraged to plan a day to spend a few hours among the staff, working, helping and shadowing to both inform our work on the board better and mostly to get to know the staff a bit more. On the day I visited, the staff greeted me with bright excitement that is no less than the way they greet all customers every day. They took time to show me around a bit, give me overview of what their jobs were and how they always sought to be successful and bring happiness to their work for the community even in the face of the challenge of working in such a small space that is our current store. On the particular day that I was assigned to help, one of the key staff was on a well needed vacation day and I was asked to do one of her tasks which is to look for products that may be close to expiration in their freshness dates and to either pull the items from shelves (if it was the last day of freshness) or to mark them down for sale with an end date (the date of last freshness sale). The job took me into the walk in fridge and I spent about 2 hours with a Rudolph red nose, hat and coat but got the job done. Fun, but also tedious. As a board member with many experiences in my world I certainly am not new to understanding that operating JLF is truly hard work. My day there was a great reminder of this point. But my day there also gave me a great perspective that the team from front end clerk to all the other team members, from part-time student workers to full time staff, love their jobs and love what the JLF store is about and what it means to the community, locally and regionally. I have nothing but applause for the team and all the great successes they have been enjoying these last few years – especially in the face of the challenges of every day small business operating in today’s world. Congratulations to the staff for such a wonderful environment, place to work, cooperative-store and overall experience!”