You are in a restaurant that serves fortune cookies, and you have just received one that says “Double capacity quadruple influence.” You scratch your head. And then it hits you. No matter how you interpret it, it is a message from the International Year of Cooperatives 2012. Of course! It is a message about growth. During this year when we highlight all the good that cooperatives do socially and economically, we are also mindful that this is exactly why continuing to expand our influence in these realms is so important.
In the food co-op sector this means expanding and opening more store locations in order that communities can experience the difference that co-op ownership can bring to local towns and cities. We’ve seen time and again how successful food co-ops have contributed to livable communities, where human-scale development has stimulated healthful consumption, shared local ownership, and vital neighborhoods. These are the compelling reasons why food co-op startup efforts have blossomed around the country. For existing food co-ops, adding additional locations can result in building the co-op economy.
Wheatsville Food Co-op has been working toward realizing this vision with their plans to add another location, and has made it easy for all its stakeholders to understand. It is called Wheatsville’sBIG Direction. It is predicated on the idea that co-op business is good, and that the co-op is going all out to increase everyone’s access to its benefits. It’s a thrilling development for their co-op, but also for other co-ops around the country. They’ve done a brilliant job of showing how a vision shared multiplies. Now that you know about it, you can share in the excitement, too.