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Food Front Coop WTF?

Neighboorhood paper says Food Front Coop is in financial decline because of ineffectual board of directors, reckless management decisions and bad personel practices
Hey anyone have a clue as to what is happening at Food Front Food Coop?

The local northwest neighborhood newspaper, NW Examiner, has done an expose of reckless management decisions, a "dictator" general manager, an uniformed board of directors, horrid personel practices and posits that the coop is on the financial decline as the local natural foods behemoth, New Seasons, is scheduled to open in the coop's back yard next year.

Also the Northwest Food Fronts facebook page also has comments by two ex staff people about gender inequality and general chauvanist behavior in the deli department.

So what is up with all of this?

A staff person at their check out stand, said that the staff have received a memo says that as part of their job they are to "be professional" and to talk positively about the store. I didnt want to put the staff person on the spot and feel like they were jeopardizing their job by asking more questions.

So any shoppers or members out there have an insight about this?

The newspaper article can be found at their website: www.NWExaminer.com

The front page article is called Coop Crashes?

The comments section after the article has additional staff horror stories that isnt in the print edition of the paper.

Comments from Hillsdale News 07.Nov.2014 15:40

Plain Jane

the Hillsdale News, an online newsletter for the Hillsdale neighborhood also has an article called "Food Front Needs Sweeping Changes"

It is less inflammatory, but also supports the view that opening a store in that neighborhood may have been a questionable decision


gender inequality and general chauvanist behavior in the deli department 07.Nov.2014 17:05



If there are some bad actors in the deli they need to be dealt with it. However the fundamental problem is that at the end of the day, its a business that is effected by the same unavoidable laws of economics as everyone else. It order to run it effectively and have sustainability, someone with some hard nose business savy is going to have to take command of the situation. Otherwise it will disappear, and you can get your vittles from Wal-mart.

Is Food Front Coop unionized? 08.Nov.2014 17:19


Are there worker rights at Food Front?

At a minimum these should be:

- $15/Hour minimum wage
- Full Health Benefits (Medical, Dental & Vision)
- Child care
- Employer-Matching 403b Retirement Plan
- Sponsored Tri-Met Passes

anon 09.Nov.2014 17:47



the article is about them going down for the third time. How is raising their costs going to help? (unless you want a quick death).

Ok, so now you get $15 an hour. Hope you cash your check before we board up the doors on Friday...

All I hear is how to turn this place into a worker's paradise and not a successful business.

I'm amazed at how people expect love from their employer. you want love, get a dog. its a job. you get a paycheck, and if your lucky benefits as part of a compensation package.

Based on what I've read i don't think we have to worry about the unappreciated workers getting screwed much longer. The workers may want to hold off on expensive Christmas gifts this year.

How about 11.Nov.2014 11:12


How about if Food Front was an actual co-op like Alberta Street and People's?

History of Food Front from their website 13.Nov.2014 19:22


Our History

In 1972 a group of neighbors in Northwest Portland joined together to sell groceries out of a little store on 23rd Avenue. Their mission was to provide their community with a place to buy good quality groceries that couldn't be found in regular supermarkets.
Even though this first grocery store was small, the impact of people coming together to provide for themselves and their community was immense. Over the years our store has moved a few times, is now owned by over 10,000 people and has two locations but are still committed to providing the finest quality wholesome foods for our community.

Its been going on for years! 25.Nov.2014 20:15

corrupt management

My experience as a local vendor was not pleasant. We really tried to do business with them.
They basically tried to steal their last order of goods we delivered. Finally paid when I threatened them with collections. They told me they were pulling our products from the shelf, showed up at their new location on Hillsdale a week later to find our products still on the shelf. Pathetic!!
I kept having to train their staff on how to do their job. Basic rotation, dating and pricing of perishable goods was really problematic. They had one good perishables buyer, but the poor guy left as soon as he could. Turnover is a real big issue.

How the members could rescue Food Front:
1. Fire all management.
2. Bring co-op up to modern Co-op food standards(non-GMO, Local and Organic)
3. Set up employee management collective similar to people's co-op, but without the ridiculous 100% minus one consensus.
4. Re-vote for 9 board members
5. Jump start sales with Vendor/Customer appreciation days.

Go Co-Ops!!!

This was my recent experience, by the way 25.Feb.2016 14:47

Ben just.like.zhei@gmail.com

Food front co-op in Hillsdale insulted me and banned me from shopping there because I asked to get a new Kombucha when I opened a flat one on a few occasions. One after a power outage, where they admitted all the coolers were off for three hours and that it was difficult getting everything into the freezer in time. This guy just didn't like me and was singling me out based on the way I dress which is probably not as nicely as other people in the store and just wanting to judge as doing something unordinary or wrong or mischievous. I would encourage everyone to think twice about believing this propaganda and the false representation they try to give themselves. This is who the co-op is, a snobby establishment with a dress code and arrogant assumptive employees who will treat you with the worst most off customer service in town. Even albertsons keeps Kombuchas from getting flat, whats going on guys? Don't take out your issues on your customers and single out people who have always been patient and polite customers. i never just opened multiple kombuchas, I asked the cashier if it was ok if I get a different one. I should not be banned from the store, and Hillsdale coop and the coop management stood behind this manager, or at least didn't respond to any emails or messages that I sent them regarding it, so either way they don't care and are fine with something like this happening.