Over two years ago, the effort to launch a co-op began with a conversation. That was followed by two community gatherings — it was so exciting to see all the interest in the idea! Out of those gatherings grew something we called “The Steering Committee.” (I looked back at an early agenda and found the topic “Co-op name?” on the list. Maybe I’ll do another blog about why we ended up choosing Cedar Falls Food Co-op as our name!)
The Steering Committee, a group of individuals from throughout the Cedar Valley, began working with other community members to do all the initial research, feasibility, and development plans necessary to lay the foundation for a strong organization. The Committee, which ranged from 7 to 9 members over the course of the next two years, was inspiring to me. Countless meetings and work done outside of meeting times. Folks traveled across the state to meet with other co-op leaders, and traveled to Minnesota and Indiana to attend conferences. There was a potluck. There were celebrations with beer. There were meetings in cramped coffee shops, around dinner tables, and tours of possible locations to set up the co-op. Eventually, the groundwork was done and it was time to move from an idea to a reality. In the fall of 2014, we incorporated.
Along with the incorporation, the Steering Committee became the Board of Directors.
Now, this board holds regular monthly meetings. Did you know that they are open for you to attend? You can attend as an observer during the meeting, but prior to the meeting is an open forum/conversation. As Board President, I’ve pledge to be at the meeting 20 minutes before the start to answer any questions about the Co-op. Other Board members may attend on occasion, too. Feel free to come by and get all your co-op questions answered. Then, when the meeting begins, you are free to observe and learn more about how we are building the Co-op. The meetings aren’t open for comment, but the Board can certainly call on members of the audience during the meeting.
Our goal is to make the process as transparent as possible.
Meetings are typically held the third Monday of the month in the meeting room off of Voodoo Lounge (above Bourbon Street, 314 Main Street, Cedar Falls). They start at 7:15p.m. and run until 9:00p.m. Open conversations will begin 20 minutes before the meeting starts (so, at 6:55pm). Due to the holiday, the January meeting has been moved to Jan. 26.