One of the outcomes of construction while “open for business” is that we don’t get the big reveal at the end. Where all the choices made with the pressures of mission and budget come together to represent our best efforts and is unveiled all at once. Instead, although thrilling, we’re experiencing nonstop change day-by-day. The plan is taking shape! For those of us with blueprints in hand, it’s a little easier to understand how it all fits together, but for many shoppers – it’s a puzzle.
When we moved into the newly constructed area, some remarked “I thought it would be bigger.” It is hard to imagine the final result, but we think you will be pleased! Let me tell you about some of the fixtures and finishes chosen for our expanded Co-op that you can see now:
- The floor tiles are made of rubber, selected for its high PSI (pounds per square inch) to hold up to our high traffic and large equipment. It’s applied with zero VOC glue and needs only a mild soap of our choosing to clean. It’s rarely slippery, tamps down sound and is much easier to work on than a concrete surface.
- We chose LED lighting throughout the coolers, freezers, and whole store to save energy. In the large room expanse, it took six rows of lighting to achieve the right “candles” for shopping. With the new LED fixtures, we reduced that to five rows!
- Look up to see a few Air Pears in the rafters in the Produce Department. These circulate the air at the top of our peak back down to people-level for significant savings in heating and cooling. These will be dotted all along the length of the high ceiling.
- All paint is low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds).
- The new bathrooms sport American-made tile (this is harder than you think!), dual flush water-saving toilets, as well as no-touch water, soap, and hand towel fixtures.
- The outdoor siding is concrete fiber board, able to hold paint for 15-20 years. The board-and-batten style is a nod to our Scandinavian community. Existing siding is reused wherever possible.
- The table tops in the seating area are made from our old maple doors, including the children’s table. Much more is coming to the seating area; a counter under the windows, a large table down the center, new chairs and stools.
One more note: There’s still time to invest in your Co-op! Phase II of the Class C Investment Shares Program has launched and is an important piece of funding our exciting VFC Solar Power Project. We’re off to a good start; VFC was awarded a RECIP – Focus on Energy Grant of $25,060, and we recently applied for a $20,000 USDA REAP Grant. Our plan is to install around 130 panels on the south-facing slope, a long-held dream of the VFC community. The more investments made, the better the whole project works. A big thank you to the VFC Owners who have already invested. Way to show your confidence in our success!
On behalf of the entire VFC Staff – A BIG THANK YOU to our customers for their endless patience during the construction. Keep shopping at the Co-op!