Co-op News > August 2020 > From the Manager's Desk

From the Manager's Desk

Aug 01, 2020

August Update

Our convenience store in Mt Horeb finished its first full month of operation in June since shutting down for over a month for renovations. Starting last fall, we added nearly 6,000 square feet to the west end of the building. The addition more than doubled the size of the convenience store, providing needed space to expand the kitchen, coolers and freezers, self-serve food and beverage choices, a future drive-thru window, and more. Our store was recently featured on the latest CHS (Cenex) marketing material promoting new programs for other Cenex locations to upgrade their facilities. Maybe that’s a sign we made some good design choices. I know the employee team is excited about the look and functionality. While the store was closed for remodeling, the outside pump islands, tanks, fuel lines, electrical, and concrete pads were all replaced. These changes will help ensure our fueling system meets or exceeds existing codes and will provide safe operations and added environmental protection for many years. On the backside of the addition, the auto/truck and tire center will have two new large truck service bays. If you’re in the area, please stop in and say hi to our coworkers.

mini-mart-900x600.jpgOur store was recently featured on the latest CHS (Cenex) marketing material promoting new programs for other Cenex locations to upgrade their facilities. Maybe that’s a sign we made some good design choices.

COVID continues to impact nearly everything we do both at work and home. One impact has been how the cooperative’s board of directors conducts its regular meetings. After nearly four months of email and phone communication this spring, we held our first in-person meeting in mid-June. Fortunately, we had not moved into the new shop addition and were able to space out tables and chairs to keep our distance. However, with Dane County issuing more stringent rules around the size of gatherings (meetings, events, …) not to exceed ten indoors, we ended up holding the first half of our July meeting in a large indoor space in Sauk County to accommodate the eleven people attending the meeting. With masks on and socially distanced, we were able to get through our morning agenda before taking our lunch and remaining agenda discussion outside for the afternoon. It has been nice to get back to some normal activities like these meetings, despite the added challenges this virus demands. I hope all of you have found a way to get back a sense of normalcy while still being able to protect yourself and those around you. Thank you from all the Premier staff for understanding the precautions we’ve implemented throughout our business and for your continued support as we work through this pandemic.

This past weekend I was talking with someone who refinanced her home on a 15-year note for less than 2.5%. I shared that when Mo and I financed our first home, the family we purchased it from on a land contract needed to pay the bank points to get the interest rate down to only 9%. How things have changed. With interest rates at historic lows and plenty of time ahead before snow flies, it may be a good time to tackle a remodeling project you’ve been putting off. I know our staff and quality contractors in our lumber division are poised to help you with any project, big or small, that you may have. Did you know your Do it Best Lumber has staff to help draft your plans, inside and outside sales staff to help make the process go smoothly, and the experience to serve any home, farm, or business needs? If you’ve never been to our Do it Best Lumber, stop by and visit. If you are looking for new windows, doors, siding, insulation, cabinets, or roofing help, call our Do it Best lumber desk for more information at 608-308-4912 or 1-888-723-7555. For small fix-it projects, ask our experts at the ACE (Westby) or Do it Best (Mt Horeb) stores.

Well, six months ago I’d have never thought I’d be writing about the Brewers’ home opener coming up this Friday (7/31). In most areas, youth fall sports and classes are still up in the air, while the NBA is set to begin play this Friday and the NFL is adjusting plans on the fly. Yesterday at the Fiene house invitations were stuffed and stamps applied, inviting 300 or so friends and relatives to watch my daughter’s virtual wedding ceremony broadcast live from my backyard on September 12. This is the third notification changing the wedding plans. Having only immediate family and the wedding party on the 12th will certainly be a little less challenging logistically. We are all hopeful that when the new invitations for the reception and dance are sent out next year or the year after, this pandemic will be nothing more than a story to tell our future children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren.

With only two months left in our fiscal year, I’d like to thank all of you again for your support. We have a great group of highly trained and dedicated staff to help you in all areas of our company. Our board of directors works hard to provide the vision and tools our team needs to serve you. We will strive to exceed your expectations and we appreciate your feedback in helping us stay ahead of your needs. We will continue to look for new ways to add efficiencies to what we are currently doing and will continue to explore ventures, partnerships and other growth opportunities that can enhance our value to you. As with anything that is constantly moving and adapting, we will run into bumps along the way, but if we all work together (board, employees, and owners/members) we will continue to build the company you will all be proud to be owners of and our employees will be proud to be a part of. 

Enjoy the beautiful August weather ahead of us, have a wonderful Labor Day, and stay well.

Andy Fiene


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