Bisman community food cooperative has been on a roller coaster since the start of the pandemic

Bisman community food cooperative has been on a roller coaster since the start of the pandemic

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – The Bisman community food cooperative has been forced to adapt during the pandemic. Operators say it has been a financial struggle.

It was the loyal customers of the co-ops who helped her last this long during the pandemic.

“Whenever I can, we always buy local. It’s always so important whether there’s a pandemic or not, because we want to see these small businesses thrive, ”said Jenny Heitzman, client of the Bisman Community Food Co-op.

At first, the cooperative saw an influx of panic buying.

“For about three months we had problems just trying to get enough product because we were having problems with the distributors. They limited the number of items you could get off the truck. If you needed ten cases, you could often get one. And maybe you couldn’t even get this case, ”said CEO Shirley Reese.

Then came a drastic drop in income.

“Sales have started to decline. And then, over time, sales continued to drop, ”Reese said.

The store was forced to shut down its salad and hot sea bass due to health safety protocol. The number of buyers continued to decline.

Income fell 23% in December – barely 2% being considered eligible for PPP loans. The staff are now on their own and making a plan to recoup the losses.

“Our management team has spent hours every week trying to find ways to communicate with our customers and get them back through the doors because we feel so passionate about…

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