Snohomish Co-Op Partners with Conway Feed
July 2nd, 2020 | by Elizabeth O'Connell
Snohomish Co-Op General Manager, John Beal, and Conway Feed Co-Owner, Scott McKnight, signed a contract establishing a partnership with the two companies. With this partnership, the Snohomish Co-Op officially launches a full line of Snohomish Co-Op branded feed products produced by the mills of Conway Feed. Both companies continue to pursue their goals to strengthen local, independent business, and invest in Washington state agriculture.
Contract Signing. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Stronger Together. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER O'CONNELL
Grain Processor. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Rolled Corn. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Conway Feed. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
With the smell of oatmeal in the air, representatives from the Snohomish Co-Op toured the mill's facilities. Wearing masks, and doing their best to social distance, many conversations worked their way around the uncertainties of operation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping food supply chains secure has become more vital than ever. This partnership feels like a historical moment. This is a moment where two Washington state companies can stand together, stronger together, to support their local communities.
Built in 1919, Conway Mill has been serving the Puget Sound Region for over 100 years. Freshly milled, their feed never sits in a warehouse for long. Keeping to the Snohomish Co-Op's high quality standards, Conway Mill's feed is always free of preservatives, and medications. Freshly milled to order, your animals will appreciate Snohomish Co-Op brand feed.
Monroe Remodels Horse Supply Section
August 15th, 2020 | by Elizabeth O'Connell
At first glance, the Snohomish and Monroe locations can seem like duplicate stores. But each store has its own unique culture, and clientele. Snohomish supplies a little bit of everything to support all aspects of gardening, agriculture, pet care, and homesteading. The Snohomish location is also a busy gas station hub. Monroe, on the other hand, serves a more rural clientele, and supports larger ventures in livestock, and animal husbandry. For this reason, it made sense to house the bulk of the Snohomish Co-Op’s inventory of tack, and riding gear at the Monroe location.
Monroe Crew Lead, Sophie, and Senior Sales Associate, Emily, have worked long hours reorganizing, restocking, and recreating the upstairs equestrian supply section. Their newly renovated second story equestrian section has now opened for shopping. They are especially proud of the product organization, and the brightly colored displays of halters, lead ropes, and grooming supplies.
Cactus Tails. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Brightly Colored Halters. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Saddle Pads. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Leather Care. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
At times it was difficult for them to decide on the most logical organization for the diverse product lines available. It took a lot of team work to assemble shelving units properly, and to move large display pieces around. Supplements are now labeled by type. Treats have their own shelf area. Horse blankets are organized by size, with sample blankets displayed to make choosing the right one easier. They uncovered products that prove to be ingenious and incredibly useful like box fan holders that fit over stall fronts, and collapsible blanket racks.
Horse Blankets. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
If you haven’t visited Snohomish Co-Op’s Monroe location recently, now is a great time to stop by. Check out the expanded selection of equestrian supplies upstairs. Plan for the cold weather with a new horse blanket. Reorganize your tack room. And bring home a favorite treat for one of your best friends.
Box Fan Holder. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Western Tack. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Horse Treats. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
English Tack. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Adapting to Change
November 1st, 2020 | by Elizabeth O'Connell
As we all find our way during the pandemic, the crew of Snohomish Co-Op is working harder than ever to keep the community safe, and supplied with products for their garden, pets and livestock. All of us have noticed empty shelves in places, and once common items proving difficult to find. This season, lumber prices have tripled, and metal products manufactured in China have been extremely difficult to bring in. One of our main suppliers of gates, tanks, and panels has expressed “record high” demands for products. For them, like many businesses, “the cost of employee care and safety…supply chain costs and availability, shorted loads…have resulted in increased costs.” To put it simply: it costs more for businesses to operate. This is driving up prices of products.
The good news for our member-owned Co-Op is that we return a portion of profits to members. Our margins reflect the needs of operation, store improvement, employee salaries, and a rainy-day fund to make sure the Co-Op can continue to serve the community. Kevin, our Purchasing Manager, works long hours to source products at the best prices, and find alternative avenues for difficult to find items. For him, it was surprising to see “an increase in customers, and an increase in customer spending when [the] pandemic hit.”
The demand for vegetable seeds, chicks to be raised for eggs and meat, chicken feeders, troughs for raised garden beds, and canning supplies also reached record highs. One of our hatcheries had not seen such high demand for chicks in the 35 years that he has been running his hatchery. People are staying home and practicing ways to be more self-sufficient. New gardens are springing up. Canning traditions are rediscovered. It is for these reasons that items that had once been taken for granted (like lettuce seeds, Rhode Island Red chicks, and canning lids) became difficult to find.
But we are rising to the occasion, as are our suppliers. Seed producers are packaging more seeds for the spring. Hatcheries are setting more eggs to be hatched. Truckloads of heating supplies arrive on schedule. Caitlin, our Monroe Manager, continues to rise to the challenge of “adapting to the ever-changing needs of customers, and expectations” to keep her community safe. She works hard to pivot “with the evolving customer service [and] to keep products on the shelf.”
As masks are enforced, and curb-side pick-up demands increase, crews at both locations keep safety at the top of their minds. As we look forward to the days and months ahead, we know the battle over the pandemic will continue. We appreciate our community’s patience, and ability to evolve with the changes needed to keep us all healthy. We wish good luck, and good health to everybody. We look forward to continue being on the support team of your agricultural and homesteading endeavors.
Masked Horse PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Tanks in Stock PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL
Masked are Required PHOTO BY ELIZABETH O'CONNELL