Wedge Co-op fires general manager Lindy Bannister

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Lindy Bannister is no longer General Manager of the Wedge
The Wedge Co-op has fired Lindy Bannister, its general manager of the past seven years, according to current and former Wedge employees.

Bannister herself confirmed to City Pages that she has been replaced as general manager of the Wedge and is "no longer there," but said she needed to get "legal advice" before she could comment further.

"I've never been in this position before, so I think I'll decline at this moment," Bannister said.

Bannister's tenure at the iconic grocery store has been controversial: Some Wedge employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the general manager to City Pages in the weeks since we first reported on Wedge warehouse workers' unionization efforts. Bannister's critics claim she created a corporate culture at the co-op.

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The Wedge Co-op has replaced its successful general manager
But under her leadership, the Wedge has added thousands of members and boosted its revenue, even as the nation's economy remains stagnant.

The Wedge reported "record sales again" from January through March of this year, "up 11.4% over last year."

Compared with the first nine months of the fiscal year, financial manager Elka Malkis noted this month, sales are up 9.9%.

Wedge board president Sarah Wovcha declined to discuss "the nature of the separation" with Bannister.

"What I can tell you is that Lindy Bannister is no longer an employee of the Wedge," Wovcha said. "I can't say any more about that relationship."

The Wedge Board of Directors appointed Wovcha interim general manager until a new boss is hired, though she expects her role at the store to be minimal.

"Because of the incredible knowledge and skillset of our managers, many of whom have more than three decades of experience, we know that things will run really smoothly with them," Wovcha said.

An ad hoc committee will meet for the first time today to begin planning the job search, which the Wedge expects to complete in "three to six months," according to Wovcha.

Previous
Wedge Co-op warehouse employees unionize
Wedge Co-op hires 'anti-union' law firm for labor negotiations
Wedge Co-op dumps 'anti-union' law firm: 'We made a mistake'
Wedge Co-op holds first bargaining session with warehouse workers' union

Location Info

The Wedge Community Co-op

2105 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
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Tvs254
Tvs254

I care deeply about the wedge; I am a member and former employee. I shop and worked there because of the mission, while I could have to other things more profitable and spent less money at other stores. Yes, the Wedge needs to make money as does every business- but lets face it, it would take another Lindy Banister to jeopardize this co-ops market share. Under Lindys' tenure we made a lot of money, and stockpiled nearly 10 MILLION $, while employee health benefits cost more every year. Was she planning to buy another farm in Texas or Mexico, a shipping company? What was the rationale for this? To make more profits for a non-profit...? I am perfectly happy with my patronage refund being twice the cost of my membership every year. We do not need another corporate run food entity! Most of us shop and work there because of our values, i.e. doing what is right for the workers, the community and this planet (Dean, nothing personal but please stop stocking non-organic produce).  Please let the board (composed of many business people, finance people, etc.) know that we want a store we can be proud of and that having more profits is not important to that. Lets get at least one employee on the board (or maybe Palmer would like to serve)! MEMBERS, GET ACTIVE NOW! Make sure that the board does the right thing by replacing Lindy with someone who has the mission and our community at heart.

Ginny
Ginny

Wow...I am an 8 year wedge member who shops there all the time - practically exclusively. I spend a lot of $$$ there - food, cosmetics, everything. The wedge is one of my favorite Twin Cities institutions and I am extremely grateful for it, and for the people who work there. I have never seen surly service. Everyone who works there has been more than helpful and extremely pleasant to me. I can't think of a single time when they weren't. And believe me, I'm no Pollyanna! In fact, I'm considered difficult to please. (My two complaints would be that there has been an occasion or two where someone in the meat dept did not wash his hands before handling the meat - after being on the other side of the counter cleaning the glass; and there have been times when their parking lot has been dangerously icy and more sand should be put out.)  I know absolutely nothing about this political/board situation and am sad to hear it.  I know everyone there works very hard and I appreciate it.  I do not know anyone personally who is either on the board or works there.

HensonK
HensonK

Thank you for clarifying that The Wedge is indeed a "multi-million business" rather than a selfless charity. I think many people need to be reminded of that fact.

Susan
Susan

Yes, it's Susan

Susan
Susan

I agree Marcos.  As a former staff working directly for Lindy in a capacity that did not follow her politics I am not surprised she was fired; it was only a matter of time.  Her ego lead her decisions as much as her politics.  She bragged about her condescending language to neighborhood leaders (vacant lot) and made staff scramble to support her bad behavior.  She would blast an emotional call to charge and then back off her stance (Social Networking,Trader Joe's,Open Streets).  She cut short good work at the Wedge and alienated people around her that could help her understand her environment.  Let's face it, she was not a good match for the Wedge from the beginning.  Lindy did not leave her politics at home, she flaunted it.  She chose to be a dictator and not take into account others ideas, knowledge, or experience.  She forgot that Dan worked hard to get the Wedge where it was. I observed her aggressive bad nature pick on and bully staff when they could least handle it, I observed her look for staff to criticize and destroy easily, she bragged about it.  She enjoyed being feared and enjoyed her power to walk into a room and have staff intimidated.  It wasn't a nice place when I left and I am glad she is gone.  The staff is an unbelievably resilient team and they deserve a GM that appreciates their talents, upstair and downstairs!

Gregory Pratt
Gregory Pratt

Guest, I'm Gregory Pratt, the reporter covering this story. Call me: 612-372-3753

Guest
Guest

You're the biggest fucking lackey I've met in ages. People who respond favorably to being given candy and having their golden locks tousled by otherwise icy authority figures are the worst kind of people.

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