Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising [...]

Establish Financial Feasibility for Your Co-op Project

When it comes to development projects, the word “feasibility” is often used to describe everything from financial forecasting to market potential. It is all of that and more. Feasibility means exploring whether a project is economically justifiable, and that it is worth the investment of time, talent and capital. Feasibility [...]

By |November 9th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: , |

Putting Expansion Dreams Through the Filter of Feasibility

Daily Groceries Co-op Athens, GA For a long time, Daily Groceries Co-op in Athens, Georgia, was a food co-op that was stuck—its sales were stagnant and not much changed in the way it did business for about three decades. The same people shopped. A small handful of people reaped big [...]

Location, Location, Location, part 2

Today’s successful food co-ops are by and large located in more affluent neighborhoods—with shoppers who are typically college-educated and white.  But what if you want to open a co-op in your low-income neighborhood?  What if your neighborhood is primarily African-American?  Latino?  Any new venture, no matter where it’s located, will [...]

Location, Location, Location

When selecting a natural food co-op store location, there are a number of characteristics that can add to, or detract from, the store's opportunity for success or failure. Location characteristics (e.g., target demographics, lifestyle characteristics, trade area accessibility, and retail synergy) are key considerations in the store selection process. Target [...]

When and how to seek staff input on a store expansion project

Balancing staff engagement in the design process of an expansion project without creating unrealistic expectations about their role in decision-making can be difficult. Employees may not have architectural or retail design degrees and yet they possess a wealth of operational knowledge, which is essential in assessing potential expansion plans.  A [...]

Outlook for Growth and Establishing New Co-ops

The good news about the current environment for food co-op expansions and startups is that there’s continued planning for growth among established stores, and ongoing organizing activity for new co-ops.  If there is a downside to the present situation, it’s that costs of real estate, construction, and equipment continue to [...]

By |July 6th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: |

Governance Considerations in Multi-Store Co-ops

We’re in a position not unlike the years after WWII when the small grocery cooperatives began to fold in the wake of full service supermarkets with vast parking lots. Jerry Voorhis, former president of The Cooperative League (now NCBA CLUSA), made these poignant remarks about the lessons learned from that [...]

Stakeholder Engagement is Vital to Co-op Alignment

Seward Community Co-op opened two new business units back-to-back in the late summer and early fall of 2015.  Part of that opening process for the second retail location and the Co-op Creamery Cafe involved intensive community engagement as the new co-op location initially encountered resistance from a group of people [...]