For the first time in five years, the Coop Store and Coop Fountain have posted a profit as earnings increased at the Coop Store and losses decreased at the Coop Fountain.
Before last year, the Coop Fountain and Coop Store saw total losses that increased by $24,000 or more annually, said Assistant Manager of Retail Services Laura Berrie. The Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) hired Berrie in October 2012 specifically to address the ongoing deficit.
Since Berrie was hired, the Coop Fountain has seen several cost-cutting changes.
“We have been trying to cut back on things like the ketchup pumps,” Eric Martinez PO ’14, Vice President of Finance for ASPC, said. “They were really unprofitable, so now we are doing ketchup packets.”
He also said that it was believed that there was employee mismanagement of the food in previous semesters, a problem that Berrie has since addressed.
“Laura has created a number of efficiencies … working with adjusting staffing patterns to reflect times when we know we are busy and less staff when we know it is lighter,” said Christopher Waugh, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Smith Campus Center.
Manager of Retail Services Brenda Schmit added that the Coop Fountain has twice raised its prices to combat the Fountain’s running deficit.
Other changes were intended to make the Coop Fountain more environmentally friendly such as compost receptacles and encouraging faculty and staff to bring in their own cups.
“Last year we did a certain number of additions in terms of composting, but one of them which did have a nice impact financially was [that] before, faculty and staff could get a drink free, and now they still can if they bring their own cup or mug,” Waugh said.
The Coop Fountain decreased its losses from $113,358 in the 2011-2012 fiscal period to $89,419 in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to information provided by ASPC. Meanwhile, the Coop Store posted a profit of $118,928 in 2012-2013, up from $44,267 in 2011-2012.
Martinez said that the Coop’s finances are not managed by Pomona College, whose relationship with the Coop came to an end in 2008 when the college removed the work-study money allocations for both the Store and Fountain.
Instead, ASPC oversees the business and can decide how to use the new revenue, whether to improve the Coop or to allocate the funds to organizations and students.
“Our plan is to break a million dollars in sales, and to get the Fountain down to breaking even or close to it … then we can look at lowering prices a little.” Schmit said.
“I’m really looking forward to this year.”