JOB POSTING: October 5, 2013
General Manager (GM) for the Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington, Massachusetts. After a three year start-up period, we are off and running! We took ownership of the Old Creamery business and building on November 6, 2012 and are now operating as a member-owned community supported cooperative.
We are seeking a GM to ensure that the Old Creamery thrives as a vibrant center of the surrounding communities. A full-service grocery store, deli, and café, the Old Creamery currently has annual sales of nearly $1.7 million, 26 full- and part-time employees, and 640 member-owners. Our business plan projects increase of sales to $2 million by 2016.
Candidates must have senior management experience in a retail food business and strong skills in financial management, marketing, problem solving, communication, and community building. We seek an inspired leader who embraces challenge and who has vision, compassion, and a sense of humor. Our ideal candidate will help create the conditions and culture necessary for long-term success while managing the many and diverse activities of a recent start-up, including: final touches on a near complete building renovation and parking expansion, creation and innovation of operational systems, and ongoing management development of staff.
Immediate opening. Compensation and benefits dependent on experience, competitive with similar-type co-ops. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and we strongly encourage applications before November 30, 2013. Refer to our website (http://oldcreamery.coop/) for more information about the Old Creamery Co-op vision and values, and to find the detailed General Manager job description. To apply, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following attachments in MS Office Word or PDF format.
- Cover letter, including your salary history and salary requirements
- Three employment references with full contact information (name, address, phone, email, title, relationship)
While the Co-op strongly prefers applications via email, if access to the Internet is an issue for any reason, please apply via postal mail to Board President, Old Creamery Co-op, 445 Berkshire Trail, Cummington, MA 01026.
The Old Creamery Co-op values excellence and diversity in hiring and is an equal opportunity employer (EOE).
The Creamery is an iconic store – one of just a few local food-shopping options in a sparsely populated rural region, as well as a destination for tourists and visitors traveling along Route 9 between the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley.
The Old Creamery began as a dairy cooperative in 1886 and had a 50 year run. Over the past 75 years seven private owners have operated retail stores and restaurants in the building. Between September 2000 and November 2012 the store operated under private ownership with many of the values inherent in food co-ops. Our transition to a member-owned and community-supported business has been strongly supported by the local community and has been deeply supported by a range of individuals and organizations within the region’s co-op movement.
The business is governed by a volunteer board that will use the Policy Governance system as a framework for collaborative work with the General Manager.
The Co-op is in the final stages of renovating the building, parking, and grounds to meet existing customer needs for improvements in shopping experience and expansion of products and services. Our first GM has worked hard during the past year to set up systems and procedures to help our business succeed. She is relocating to New York at the end of November. The board will appoint an Acting GM to work with staff until a new GM is in place.
The Co-op has a license for retail sales of beer, wine and liquor and the new GM must meet requirements of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
Five (or more) Reasons Why You Should Apply
- We have a terrific quality of life, and the Old Creamery holds a unique niche and identity as part of the heart and soul of this region. The “Hilltowns” have a long history as communities that acts on our responsibilities locally and in the world at large.
- We’ve got all of the pluses of a small rural community – natural beauty, reasonable cost of living, direct democracy in local government, good ol’ Yankee ingenuity, and self-reliance. Massachusetts is one of the most progressive states in the US, at the forefront of issues such as healthcare as a right and marriage equity. And when you are hungry for some urban excitement, we are just a 30-minute drive to the small cities of Northampton and Pittsfield, a few hours’ drive from Boston, 4 hours from New York City, and 6 from Montreal. If you live here, you already know this! If you don’t yet live here, you’ll want to try it out and discover why so many are “transplanted” here.
- Our region is well known for its commitment to local food, small farms, and the cooperative movement. The Creamery currently supports and is supported by more than 100 local businesses, many of which are involved in the production, packaging, service, or sales of good food. We have a strong network of supportive food co-ops. A host of related support organizations are based here including: Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), New England Farmers Union (NEFU), Community In Support of Agriculture (CISA), Field to Table (FTT), and the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI). There are many active local groups, including the Hilltown Sustainability Group, the Heirloom Seed-Saving Group, the Hilltown non-GMO Working Group, and a Perennial Food Group. There are several generations-old family farms and many new organic farms in the area.
- Our Co-op’s board and current Creamery staff are dedicated, creative, and very hard working. We’re deeply invested in the successful transition to a co-op. We are also eagerly awaiting the opportunity to add skills, perspectives, and experience to our midst. We have a lot of big goals, including creating joy and camaraderie within our Co-op’s community.
- The Creamery began its life as a dairy farmer co-op in 1886. We’ve come full circle. And we hope our transition and eventual long-term success will serve as a model for many other small, rural, privately owned businesses to think about a new way of operating for long-term sustainability.