Laurie Gallant wrote:My question for you - would you like to be a speaker at our event in 2020? and also, what do you think about my approach? A cooperative processing facility with mobile equipment that can be lent out at affordable rates?
Nicole Victoria wrote:Interesting! I’m in Canada on the West Coast and the closest co-op to me is a gas-station- I haven’t really looked into where the closest co-op grocery store is. It definitely has me thinking.
Davin Hoyt wrote:Hi Jon!
I've been wanting to set up a CSA vending machine. Any thoughts on that?
Travis Johnson wrote:We do not have a lot of co-ops in Maine.
The launch of the Portland Food Co-op (PFC) in Portland, Maine,
helps tell this story of ambition and resilience in the face of seemingly
When it opened in 2014, PFC wasn’t the first food co-op to have
operated in the city; the previous one had closed its doors in 1997. This
left eaters who were interested in alternatives to the big grocers to rely
on the Portland Public Market, The Whole Grocer (a privately owned
natural food store), and one location of the Wild Oats natural food
chain (which, by the way, to much disdain, had opened literally nextdoor
to The Whole Grocer in 2003). Then, in 2006, the Public Market
closed and Whole Foods moved into town. Whole Foods staked its
claim by purchasing The Whole Grocer and commencing construction
on a megastore that opened the following year. Whole Foods shut
down The Whole Grocer location, then announced its nationwide
plans to acquire the Wild Oats chain. Portland’s Wild Oats location
was soon shuttered. Whole Foods had effectively colonized the alternative
food scene in Portland, Maine.
Rather than surrender to the Texas-based grocer, in 2008, residents
launched the Portland Food Co-op — a buying club that relied on
distributors like UNFI, Frontier Natural Products Co-op, and local
suppliers. By 2012, 350 member–owners were purchasing $200,000 a
year through the co-op’s online ordering system. In their move toward
a storefront, a core group of fifty members began forming committees
in 2013, and by 2014, membership had grown to two thousand.
The required $1.3 million was raised to open the store — $800,000
of it provided by members, with the remainder contributed by the
Cooperative Fund of New England and the City of Portland. The store
opened in 2014. A pretty incredible story of “what’s possible.”
James Freyr wrote: I've noticed that after the small competition was extinguished, prices slowly started to rise.
My perception is that once the national corporation undercut the competition, running most of them out of business, can now charge more, even price gouging, reaping massive profits.
Steven, I see you're in Atlanta? There's one consumer food co-op there - Sevananda Natural Foods. For others interested in finding out where the nearest food co-op is to you, there's a directory available of food co-ops across the U.S. and Canada. There's also a directory of startup food co-ops (groups without a storefront but working towards it) - https://grocerystory.coop/food-co-op-directory
Steven Lindsay wrote: there's a lot of little things going on.