Spring 2018 Newsletter

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May 24, 2018
Spring 2018 Newsletter

LETTER FROM THE GM

It is my privilege to report on another successful year for the business we all own together... Winkler Co-op.

Throughout the past year, and looking forward, we have taken an intentional look to ensure that we are contributing and filling our role in the communities that we are a part of.  It was during these discussions that we kept coming back to the community, more specifically, the community is why we exist and it is why we thrive. Our Co-op has been a part of the local fabric since 1941, although the facilities and products have changed, the desire to see our local economy and local initiatives thrive remains the same.

Again in 2017,  we were able to contribute over $300,000 back into the community in the form of donations to various organizations and groups.  In addition to this the allocation to the members will be over 3.5M for purchases made in 2017.

While there are many moving parts, our Co-op is truly blessed to have 240 of the best people to work together. Although spread out in 14 different locations, we all come together to fulfill our mission of impacting our community by providing service excellence and  meaningful relationships through a generous spirit.
Our diversity in commodities, communities, staff and members, is the reason for the success that we have accomplished together by being owners of the Co-op. If you are a member, you are an owner. The returns are your portion of the profits. Co-op membership is not a program, its an ownership model. That is the Co-op difference.  

Evan Toews
Winkler Co-op General Manager


"Sometime in 2015, Evan Toews approached us, the Bunker, with an idea about making pizzas which would be sold and marketed through the Co-op stores. The plan was then that $1.00 from each pizza made and sold would then be donated back to us.  We quickly realized that the volume of pizzas required was something we couldn’t handle all on our own, so Central Station Community Center was also brought on board to fill half the orders. This was the start of the 'Community Pizza' brand that you know today. 

"Since then, the Bunker alone has made over 12,000 pizzas, bringing in over $12,000 in revenue. Obviously the financial side of this project has been a huge benefit, but it doesn’t end there. Making these pizzas requires a dedicated group of volunteers who get together every Wednesday evening. The time that they spend working together and building relationship and 'community' around the prep table, is just as valuable as the dollars and cents. Having the opportunity to work for and earn this donation is also very important to us. This gives us the opportunity to show our youth that attend here, the benefits of hard work and commitment. Receiving these finances is also a blessing because the reality is that money is tight for a lot of people and overall donations are getting harder to come by. This money is put into our programming and gives us the ability to continue reaching out and speaking into the lives of youth in this community.

"We are truly blessed to be in this partnership with Co-op, and blessed to have so many people purchase our product and directly support our ministry and what we do." 

- Kevin Hildebrand, Executive Director - The Bunker



Congratulations to Erin & Scott Chapman from Morden! Winners of the Fuel Up To Win $100,000 grand prize!! All of us at Co-op were honored to have the opportunity to present these winnings to the Chapman family, and we wish them all the best!

We were also excited to present the City of Morden and the City of Winkler each with a cheque for $2500 to aid in making the communities more accessible for cyclists with the addition of bike racks.

And finally, we were pleased to present a cheque for $20,000 to South Central Cancer Resource, for their on-going services to our community, including their much needed transportation program for cancer patients.

We would like to thank all Co-op and community members for their support at our celebration event and for their added excitement! Thank you also for investing in our community and for helping us do the same.


REDE-MADE NOODLES

Our Co-ops are pleased to carry local products like Rede-Made Noodles. This home-made noodle company started in a farmyard garage outside Winkler in 1998.  For the last 6 years, Abe Fehr and his parents have been running the company. They have seen significant growth in the  demand for their noodles. Most of thier noodles get devoured in MB, but word of  mouth advertising sends their product out of province to BC, AB, Ont, Quebec,  California, Alabama,  Colorado, and  occasionally to China (people  living  abroad  are finding that they need a “taste  of  home"). 

"Partnership with our local Winkler/Morden Co-op is a big part of our success; supporting locally made food. Co-op managers and staff have seen the high  demand, and do a fantastic job of displaying our noodles on high traffic end  displays and other prominent locations in  the store, as well as using the noodles in the ready-to-eat soup made in the Deli.  The Co-op staff is really a part of our  Rede-Made Noodles 'sales  team'. They  interact with so many customers looking for the best products to use in their meals. Our customers tell us they choose Rede-Made Noodles because  they are 'just like grandma’s old  fashioned egg noodles', and we agree  with that!! 

"Rede-Made Noodles currently employs  11 production team members, 9 of them  are GRANDMAS!! Just like grandma’s old fashioned egg noodles... made  locally, using local ingredients, by local  grandmas! Our flour is milled in Wpg  using MB grown wheat and our eggs  come from Manitoba chicken farms. We’re proudly Manitoban, and proud to partner with our local Co-op."

- Abe Fehr, Rede-Made Noodles


Inspired by the Winkler Community Foundation and Morden Area Foundation, Pay It Forward May was again a great initiative to promote intentional kindness in our community.

As a part of Pay It Forward May, we teamed up with non-profit organizations, service groups, and minor sports organizations by providing free food and supplies to be used to have fundraising BBQ's each Saturday in May. We saw many groups take advantage of this opportunity and many delicious burgers and hotdogs were consumed on our food store parking lots!

Triple E & Leisure Travel Vans approached us to Pay It Forward with free fuel for random customers at our gas bar locations. We’ve seen a lot of smiles when giving away fuel! And those smiling faces promised to pay it forward with kindness.