For the first time in some 20 years, the Harvest Co-op Markets, which has stores in Central Square and Forest Hills, is having a contested election for its board of directors - 12 candidates running for 5 open seats - which might have something to do with the co-op's currently precarious financial condition.
The Harvest Co-op board says declining sales gave it little choice but to shut its South Street location on April 30.
In a report on its decision, the board says sales started going down even before Whole Foods opened on Centre Street and that its South Street landlord did not accede to "dramatically lowering the rent and reducing the term of the lease" to help the co-op make up the 32% drop in sales since 2009.
The Harvest Co-op's lease on its South Street location ends on Feb. 28. Although board members are continuing to negotiate with their landlord, there's a chance the store could close, forcing members to journey to the newer Harvest on Washington Street on the JP/Roslindale line.
The co-op board meets on Jan. 5, starting at 6 p.m., at the Cooperative Artists Institute, 311 Forest Hills St. in JP, with time set aside for members to discuss the potential shutdown.
The Harvest Co-Op, whose sign recently went up on the new Washington Street building where it's planning a new outlet, goes before the Boston Licensing Board next week to seek a license to sell beer and wine along with its groceries.
Hearings start at 10 a.m. in the board's eighth-flooring hearing room at City Hall.