15 June 2015
We are thrilled to announce that we received a $10,000 Seed Grant from Food Co-op Initiative, a non-profit that consults with community groups across the U.S. to help organize new retail food co-ops as efficiently and effectively as possible. FCI received a record number of applications this year and chose Friends and Farmers Co-op, along with 11 other co-ops, as recipients of this award.
The Seed Grant is a recognition of our solid organizing work and a strong belief in the likelihood that our doors WILL open! Thanks FCI—we can’t wait to work with you to grow this important movement.
We are not in this alone. There are co-op start-ups all over the country! Here is the amazing company we are in this year as award winners:
- Renaissance Community Co-op, Greensboro, NC
- Clipper City Co-op, Manitowoc, WI
- Friends and Farmers Co-op, State College, PA
- Food Co-Op for Little Falls, Little Falls, MN
- Sitka Food Co-op, Sitka, AK
- Elk River Area Food Co-op, Elk River MN
- West Chester Food Co-op, West Chester, PA
- Long Beach Grocery Cooperative, Long Beach, CA
- Prairie Food Co-op, Lombard, IL
- Prairie Roots Food Co-op, Fargo, ND
- Local Motive - Silverton Food Co-op, Silverton OR
- Montavilla Food Co-op, Portland, OR
This is a matching grant, and Friends & Farmers will also put in $10,000. This money will be used in a couple of ways. Much of it will go to CDS Consulting Co-op. We have worked with them in the past, and they will help us finish the marketing study and finish the proforma as well. These are key components that we need in place before we can approach a lender.
Other funds from the grant will go to boosting our membership. Membership is key! This store will not happen if we can not get 800 members, so we can sign a lease, and 1,300 members by the time the store is ready to open. These added funds will help drive this effort.
Former board member and dedicated F&F volunteer and blogger Elizabeth Crisfield wrote a piece about it on our blog.
So, join the exciting momentum, join your community members and join the co-op today!