Growth

Weavers Way-Ambler Startup Merger Spurs Co-op Momentum

  Year founded: 1973 Member equity: $400 Number of members: 9,400 Number of employees: 200 Locations: six total, including a farmer’s market and one wellness and pet store When the only grocery store in Ambler, Pennsylvania closed, it galvanized the town of 6,500 people into action. Rather than recreate the [...]

Meat Managers Share Advice on Competing with the Big Boys

By Pete Hodgson 189 March-April 2017 A decade ago, it was still a challenge for consumers to find high quality, locally raised meats. Nowadays, there is no shortage of choices. Everyone from the mom-and-pop grocer to the big-box retailer offers some kind of deal on meat—even the gas station! Competitors [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using best practices and clear planning gleaned from a multitude of successful fundraising efforts from food co-ops and startups nationwide. In this short presentation, Ben imparts [...]

The Hero’s Journey of Growth

Delene Porter, the General Manager at Daily Groceries in Athens, GA shares what she calls the Hero's Journey that is the path for the future of her co-op. Shedding parts of their past, acquiring skills and tools for the present and future, Daily Groceries underwent a transformation that truly is [...]

Membership Growth Strategies for Startups: Common Features of Success

By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream when it has no store, minimal (if any) staff, and, when organizing in areas that don’t have other food co-ops, no credible examples to refer [...]

A Near Miss at Mississippi Market

By Carolee Colter 092 January - February - 2001 What went wrong? What lessons can other co-ops contemplating expansion learn from Mississippi Market's experience? By all accounts, Mississippi Market's second store expansion was a disaster. In 1996 when this St. Paul, MN co-op set out to purchase land and build [...]

Board’s Role in Expansion Projects

No matter what kind of expansion your co-op wants to do, there are always hurdles to be overcome.  Everyone has them, although some projects come with a unique set of challenges.  The Hendersonville Community Co-op in Hendersonville, North Carolina has had numerous locations and expansions in its 30+ year history, [...]

By |July 2nd, 2015|Categories: Articles, Solutions|Tags: , |

We Don’t Have to Create the Story, We are the Story

Bobby Sullivan, the general manager of French Broad Food Co-op has some clear and direct ideas about how co-ops can and must thrive amidst growing competition.  The area of Asheville, North Carolina is an extremely competitive market for natural foods, and the co-op needed to step up its game.  By [...]

Competition Plus Innovation Equals Excellence

For many years GreenStar Natural Foods Market “peacefully coexisted” with its local competition in Ithaca, New York. As more conventional grocers are wooing the natural food consumer with convenience and price points, the pressure is on. Brandon Kane, the co-op’s general manager has responded with a focus on community, diversity, [...]