It looks like Co-op will pull through after all (even without Apple Pay)

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – North Coast Co-op’s well-publicized financial crisis may be lifting, according to the iconic Humboldt two-store chain’s administration. 

A press release cites a strong alliance with local farmers, new features and marketing, and somewhat stabilized sales as helping right the ship.

Co-op's old but still iconic logo.

Manager search

The Co-op is accepting applications from candidates interested in serving as its GM. Current General Manager Melanie Bettenhausen remains on the job, but her contract with the Co-op expires this November.

“Our members have made it clear that they expect us to do our due diligence to make sure we have the very best person possible in this critical job,” said Board President Colin Fiske. “And the Board agrees. In fact, so does Bettenhausen. She graciously suggested that the Board take this step of performing a full search.”

Bettenhausen has re-applied for the position, and, says the organization, the board will consider her application in the same manner and with the same standards as all other applications received.

Bettenhausen said she wanted to continue in the position, but wishes to do so with the full, renewed backing of the board; hence her re-application.

The North Coast Co-op is a member-owned organization with more than 15,000 active members and 200 employees and governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. The general manager oversees all the Co-op’s operations and reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The board will accept applications through July 1. For more information about the position and how to

Help wanted 

A Union reader noticed a surge in help wanted ads by Co-op on Craigslist Humboldt and asked what was going on with that. 

Bettenhausen said that is it “seasonal turnover” which occurs every year around this time when Humboldt State students leave for the summer. She said this year’s turnover was exceptionally heavy. 

Help is also wanted on the Co-op's governing board, nominations for which are open through August 12.

Apple Pay

Unlike at other local supermarkets, you still can’t use Apple Pay at the co-op, though it does offer Android and Samsung pay services. The service allows participating iPhone users to simply hold their phone over the checkout stand’s card terminal and pay for groceries without having to get out a wallet and debit or credit card.

Bettenhausen said that the co-op made a substantial investment in the gear required to activate Apple Pay, but then the service which provides it was sold. The new owners revised the technology, rendering the Co-op’s investment useless. 

The service was sold again, according to Bettenhausen, and eventually wound up in the hands of its original owners. But the Apple Pay tech still doesn’t work.



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