Fruita, Palisade Co-op Country stores report ‘very good year’
By Tim Merris -
Fruita Co-op President and CEO Alex Kamas reported that gross margins or gross profit from the sales of product increased by $483,000 or a 12 percent, over last year. This means a 15 percent increase in sales with a 12 percent increase in profit. The actual gross margin percentage was 18.71 percent.
Kamas stated “We try hard to keep our prices low for our customers and leave enough to cover expenses and to return a decent patronage to our members. This is a delicate balance that the managers and I work on every day.”
Kamas also said, “I am very proud that during these tough economic times our company has not had to layoff any employees or cut any wages.”
This year the board of directors chose to pay back the patronage in cash and not retain any. This means that $214,770 was paid out to Co-op members and checks will be mailed out this month.
Of the patronage payouts, Kamas stated, “I am very proud of our company’s ability to make a nice profit and pay a good Patronage during these tough economic times. Many businesses have closed or had huge losses and massive layoffs. Our company with the support of our members and employees and with the direction of the board of directors, is still quite strong and we continue to improve during this economic downturn.”
The Co-op is also very active in the community. This year they awarded six area high school seniors with scholarships. Four students were awarded $1,000 and two students $500 each. The awards can be used for any agricultural related advanced education program.
The Co-op also invested more than $35,000 at the county fairs in three counties.
The Fruita and Palisade Co-ops are a solid and contributing partner to the Grand Valley community.