Senin, 15 Oktober 2007

Consumerowned store -The Fact 2

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Our vision at the French Broad Food Co-op is to be a transformative force in our community and world and to serve as a model of a sustainable business alternative that nurtures social and economic well-being in an environmentally sensitive manner.

We are dedicated to serving our members and the Western North Carolina community by providing high quality natural foods and personal care products through a mutually beneficial exchange.

We support consumption of healthful and organic foods grown or produced locally with ecological and social responsibility.

We encourage informed choice and consumer empowerment, with an emphasis on education and customer assistance.

We are committed to use our profits to strengthen and improve the Co-op community, and to provide a livable wage to our employees.

We pledge to maintain a pleasant environment that fosters goodwill, cooperation and participation.

To implement the Vision and Mission of the Co-op, we pledge to pursue these strategies and goals:

1. The French Broad Food Co-op will implement a fiscally responsible and sustainable growth plan that addresses:
* Type of Growth
* Facility
* Location
* Financing
2. We will strengthen and integrate operational systems to enhance overall performance, with focus on:
* Financial Systems
* Purchasing Systems
* Customer Service
* Compensation Package
3. We will clarify and develop mutually beneficial roles and relationships within the organization, commmiting resources to build skills of members, board, management, staff, and owner-members.
4. We will further define, identify, and/or modify our niche, market share, and image. We will create and implement an exciting plan for community outreach.
http://www.fbfc.com/links/index.html
http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/index.html
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http://www.eastendfoodcoop.com/location.html
You can pay for your share in three ways:

One payment of $100

Four quarterly installments of $25 each

Flexible payment options arranged through the Member Services Coordinator

Ownership in your community grocery store offers you:

2% discount on all daily purchases
10% discount on Member Appreciation Day purchases
20% discount on uncut case purchases
Check writing privileges for up to $20 over purchase amount
Access to EEFC Federal Credit Union
Voting privileges in Co-op elections
The opportunity to run for the EEFC Board of Directors
The opportunity to serve on board committees
The Co-operator, EEFC's newsletter, mailed monthly to your home
Reduced advertising rates in The Co-operator
The opportunity to volunteer and earn an additional discount
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River Valley Cooperative Market
Starting a co-op often takes more time than organizers imagine, and the story of the River Valley Co-op in Northampton, Massachusetts, proves that quite clearly. The co-op was more than four years in the planning.

Organizing began in 1998, with a variety of interested parties. Farmers and producer co-ops involved in sustainable agriculture wanted to increase the visibility of their products. Community members wanted a conveniently located store that offered one-stop shopping for natural foods and fresh, local products. The idea of a consumer-owned store was also appealing. A group of about 10 people, some involved with other area coops, began talking about establishing a food co-op to create a connection between producers and consumers.

Fifteen years earlier, Northampton had had a small co-op, but it never adapted to changing market conditions —it didn’t expand its product line or services to fit the changing lifestyle of members and shoppers. When a large Bread and Circus store (privately owned) opened in a neighboring community, the co-op lost sales and soon closed. The residents discussing the possibilities for a new co-op were aware of the lessons learned from the former co-op.

In June 1999, the Northampton Community Cooperative Market, doing business as River Valley Cooperative Market, was incorporated. Members elected nine directors and began selling member shares. The board organized an Outreach Committee of about 35 member volunteers. They worked to recruit more members via an information table at the local farmer’s market, informational brochures, community dances and raffles, presentations at local organizations and buying clubs, and press releases to area media.

With funding from a state Food and Agriculture Department grant, the co-op completed a study in November, establishing feasibility for the proposed co-op store. The board obtained additional grant funding to hire a local consulting firm to develop a business plan, including a market analysis. The grant also allowed the directors to hire a part-time project manager to assist them and to prepare detailed financial projections. With these steps in place, the co-op solidified its plans for a full-service natural foods supermarket specializing in local products and perishables (produce, meat, seafood, prepared foods, and a hearth bakery).

A site search committee looked for a strategic location for the store. Committee members set up timelines, established goals, and identified criteria for a desirable location. They analyzed various sites, including professional market research on selected locations. After choosing a site, they began lease negotiations. Announcement of the proposed location represented a big accomplishment and reenergized all volunteers and members.

Meanwhile, the board reached out to area businesses, explaining the co-op’s goals and its commitment to keeping resources within the community. As a result of this exchange, co-op organizers and local business owners formed a new business association. The board also reached out to members, holding frequent membership meetings and distributing press releases and newsletters about the co-op’s progress.

Though the opening of the store was still a year away, the board followed the advice of consultants and hired a general manager in July 2001. They chose Rochelle Prunty, an experienced co-op manager. She will be responsible for managing and coordinating all aspects of the co-op’s startup.

The total projected startup cost for RVCM is $3 million. Financing is expected to come from the following sources: 28 percent from member investments and loans, 44 percent from banks or commercial loans, 28 percent from vendor or manufacturer credit. Prunty advises, “It’s important to plan for sufficient funding to ensure knowledgeable, professional assistance with the development of your plans. Saving money by avoiding these expenses in your startup may be much more costly to your co-op down the road. Building a solid, wellstudied foundation is essential.”

River Valley Cooperative Market — at a glance
Date of first co-op meeting
Number of initial organizers
Date incorporated
Size of store (projected)
Required member investment
Planned store opening (projected)
Current membership
Total sales (projected)

Number of staff (projected)
Website
November 1998
10
June 1999
18,000 square feet (total)/13,000 square feet (retail)
$150 share, with the option to pay $25 per month
May 2002 or later
950
$97,600/week in first month
$128,000/week after one year
65-75
http://www.rivervalleymarket.com/
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Case Study: Root River Market Co-op
Case Study: Riverwest Co-op
Case Study: Boulder Co-op Market
Case Study: Oneida Community Market Co-op
Case Study: Monroe Street Grocery Co-op
Case Study: River Valley Cooperative Market
Case Study: Midtown Food Co-op
Case Study: Abundance Co-op Grocery

I. Introduction
What is a co-op?
Values and principles common to all co-ops
What is a food co-op?
Different types of food co-ops
Why start a food co-op?
Case Study: Root River Market Co-op

II. From Talk to Food: Nine steps to starting a food co-op
1. Gather background
FYI: Holding successful meetings
FYI: Guidelines for meeting chairs or facilitators
2. Organize
FYI: Responsibilities of the steering committee
Case Study: Riverwest Co-op
3. Research feasibility
FYI: Key elements of a feasibility study
Case Study: Boulder Co-op Market
4. Review findings and vote to incorporate
FYI: About incorporating your co-op
FYI: Basic responsibilities of the co-op board of directors
Case Study: Oneida Community Market Co-op
5. Recruit members
FYI: A primer on consumer co-op membership
FYI: A recommended membership structure
FYI: About member loans
6. Planning and financing
FYI: A basic business plan—table of contents
Case Study: Monroe Street Grocery Co-op
7. Secure financing
FYI: Methods of capitalization for cooperatives
8. Begin operations
FYI: Sample general manager job description
Case Study: River Valley Cooperative Market
9. Open the doors!
Case Study: Midtown Food Co-op

III. Ensure Your Co-op’s Success
Keys to success
Case Study: Abundance Co-op Grocery
Ten maxims for starting out right

IV. Conclusion and Resources
Summary
Glossary of terms
Resources for further assistance
Acknowledgments and publication information

FYI: Holding successful meetings
FYI: Guidelines for meeting chairs or facilitators
FYI: Responsibilities of the steering committee
FYI: Key elements of a feasibility study
FYI: About incorporating your co-op
FYI: Basic responsibilities of the co-op board of directors
FYI: A primer on consumer co-op membership
FYI: A recommended membership structure
FYI: About member loans
FYI: A basic business plan—table of contents
FYI: Methods of capitalization for cooperatives
FYI: Sample general manager job description
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