Every other Saturday I've been having a blast running a Bountiful Baskets Produce Co-op site in Pocatello. Back in November I was driving up to Idaho Falls to get a basket and Hillcrest HS was the only location in Idaho. I met a few ladies up there who were also training to open a site in Pocatello and we decided to join forces to make it happen. Our Pocatello site was the 5th site in Idaho -- and now Idaho has 50 sites with new ones being added every week.I have had a lot of fun volunteering my time to be able to bring the members of this community such a smoking deal on produce! We recently have received bok choy, pineapple, coconut, mangoes, apricots, black/blue/strawberries, asparagus, and artichokes -- in addition to all the normal salad (veg & fruit) staples that come every week. And all for $16!! :-) Makes me happy.
Well, our site at Holt Arena has grown from 60 to 120 baskets and with a somewhat weak pool of volunteers . . . our group of ladies running the site have concluded it will be much easier to break into two smaller sites with much less problems cropping up. And it hasn't been without problems -- the two ladies who volunteer and run the whole co-op out of Phoenix have experienced quite a bit of growing pains the last year as their organization has doubled as it grew into Utah and Idaho. Nothing like a bunch of gossiping Mormon ladies to make something spread like wildfire! At one point their website would get more hits than Amazon.com before it came crashing down -- as people stampeded the website like it was Black Friday to be able to get a $15 basket of produce. So they came up with a new website and . . . they forgot to flip the switch to process people's credit card payments. Yikes. It has actually been a lot of drama - but I'm hanging with it hoping that it's just growing pains and things will get better as more sites open and supply begins to meet demand.
p.s. Which if any of you are interested, that's how sites get opened. Is any participant just decides they want to open their own site, like I did when I was driving up to Idaho Falls to get my basket. This thing is not directed by the owners in Phoenix -- it's volunteer run. So all you have to do is just step up to the plate and make it happen. No one will ask you and the owners don't go looking for spots to open. It is what it is -- a true volunteer organization :-)
p.p.s. Although my new smaller site at Holt Arena will be easier to run and I'll be running it with friends (yay Camille & Amber!) I'll miss Shay and Julie a lot!