Notes from Autumn Members Gathering

Monday, October 7th - Members *only* Gathering

 

Welcome - Colleen Marsh, interim board of directors

Business Updates:

Upcoming event with Buy Fresh/Buy Local: Local Harvest Festival, Sunday October 27, $25 ticket p/p, at Allentown Brew Works, 1-4pm (vip hour available ahead of time)

Update from Summre for the Craft Fair - the co-op made about $1200 from that event

Guest Speaker:  David Woo (board member of Weaver's Way, nationally recognized co-operative organizer)

Speaking points:  Consumer owned cooperative is an enterprise that you get to keep, assuming bills continue to be paid and the doors stay open.

As a group, decisions for the direction of the store, and compromises, will need to be made to be successful.  Balance between the wants and needs of the community as a whole, not the needs/wants of a few.

To be successful, it will require the common 'wealth:' - volunteer their time and expertise, cashflow, and a collaborative effort between the entire community.  The co-op could be a great cause for change even in stores that aren't the co-op - might influence some changes in other for-profit grocery stores.

Co-operatives are not 'go it alone' organizations.  There are always opportunities to give and receive guidance and assistance through cooperative collaboration!

Lastly:  VOLUNTEER TO HELP YOUR BOARD!

Member Update:  John Soden, treasurer, run finance committee

Total membership - 133 as of 10/7/13, total projected membership needed to open store is 1,500.

Would prefer to rely mainly on membership support as opposed to taking on debt to fund the opening.

Financial Update:  looking to raise $1.5 - 1.8 million

Total funds needed to open:  est. $400k to $1 million + bank loans, possible grants, and/or member loans (member loans an opportunity to donate to the funding with friendly terms)

Payment process:  pay membership up front ($300) or in installments of $25 until paid in full (both automated and not) - preference towards automated for ease of everyone

Website (with Matty):  www.bethlehemfood.coop - It's a one stop shop for everything you'd need to know about the co-op, how to volunteer, get some information about what co-ops are and how co-ops work, events calendar and information, and a way to become a member!

*Sign up/create an account to keep up to date with all the mailings, informative emails, and help the co-op keep in touch with you!*

Call to members:  Cathy  What can you do to help/participate within your co-op?!?

Membership dinner parties!  Have a dinner party and tell them about the co-op!  To arrange a date with a board member, contact info@bethlehemfood.coop - it's a really simple *and fun* way to get the word out there.

Join a committee!  Communications - colleen@bethlehemfood.coop, Finance - john@bethlehemfood.coop, Outreach - heather@bethlehemfood.coop, Membership - cathy@bethlehemfood.coop.

Brochures - take ten brochures to get to ten new/prospective members!

Leadership opportunities:  

Co-chair for outreach committe (if you love organizing, getting out the the community, this could be for you)

Volunteer management - also develop systems and management of volunteers as wel

Board seat coming available in May 2014 - helping out with board operations, takes some committment, opporunity to really be involved

Best Friends and Families contest - for bringing in new members.  Challenge to see who can recruit the most members by November - will get prizes donated by local businesses!

Community Planning Project:  Joe and Amber - when we get to the design build step in the organization, we'll need ideas for what things we'll carry, how the store will work and look.  Start emailing Joe (joe@bethlehemfood.coop) with some ideas.  Sustainability is a part of this project as well.  

Cooking demo with Save the Kales!

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