After years of planning, we’re finally getting ready for some of the most dramatic steps in the Co-op’s development, namely site selection, the investment campaign, and designing the store. It’s a very exciting time indeed!
This is not to say that writing bylaws and conducting a market study weren’t exciting in their own right, but the final stage is most exciting because this is where the vision turns into reality.
Right now the Co-op’s board and committees are hard at work finalizing the last pieces of Stage 2, which, in addition to the market study, included establishing accounting practices, conducting membership recruitment campaigns, doing a financial feasibility study, drafting the general manager job description, and conducting preliminary site research. (See graphic.)
Having passed the 750-member mark in late March was also a significant milestone. Board member Brenna Griffin noted that the number of members is only one metric to the community’s support. “The local business community is fully backing the Co-op,” she added. “In addition to the 70 businesses offering discounts to Co-op member-owners, several others have helped host programs, events, and meetings, as well as donated goods and services,” said Griffin.
Having the Co-op as one of the City’s goals in its strategic plan is also a significant symbol of the community’s support of this initiative.
Stage 3: What’s Coming Up
The final phase in building the community-owned grocery store starts soon, and the most notable aspect is securing a site. Co-op officials are currently in negotiations on a potential site and hope to make an announcement soon. Once a lease is signed and announced, the rubber hits the road for the final steps including:
- Raising the capital
- Securing a traditional loan
- Hiring a general manager
- Designing the store and stocking the shelves
- Holding a grand opening ceremony!
Things happen quickly during this stage, and the need for members to step up and help push this across the finish line is greater than ever. If you haven’t had a chance to volunteer, join a committee, or recruit a friend to become a member, now is the time to do so. YOU can help build this!
If you are interested in helping out, please contact the Co-op at firstname.lastname@example.org today!