Park Slope Food Coop members — who famously agree to scrape gum off of floors and rinse kale for 35.75 hours each year in exchange for their grocery discount — today tell the New York Post that it’s not fair that two top administrators recently jetted off to Paris for a weeklong “work trip.” The co-op’s membership manual says their “guiding principle” is that “to regularly benefit from our low prices, one must contribute labor.” For co-founder Joe Holtz and Ann Herpel, a general coordinator who often appears in the co-op’s press, that apparently included the perk of heading over to France in November to give management tips to the expats behind La Louve, the Parisian co-op spinoff that opened to much fanfare in 2016.
Members complain to the Post that when Holtz and Herpel got back, they exhaustively detailed their findings during a co-op meeting. About 300 people sat through a PowerPoint slideshow of “what were effectively vacation photos,” one member gripes: “First they waste our money on their vacation, then they waste our Tuesday night gloating.” Other attendees struggled to see the point of a trip that “doesn’t really concern Brooklyn.”
Holtz and Herpel both reportedly make over $90,000 a year as administrators at the co-op, which is known for selling a wide variety of fresh organic produce as well as having its own disciplinary tribunal. Herpel defended their Paris getaway to the Post, adding that La Louve was “wonderful” and a “great thing,” partly because it paid for their airfare and lodging. “We report regularly on what we are doing to help other co-ops,” she said, adding that when she finished the PowerPoint, “people clapped.”