September 9, 2013 General Meeting Notes

Bethlehem Food Co-op general meeting minutes

September 2013



7:10 Colleen Marsh, board director, call to order, first traditional meeting since June!  July was the membership kickoff potluck, August was the Musikfest hangout.

7:12 – introductions


7:25 – Co-Op 101 crash course (Joe and John)

            A Co-op is a business, retail grocery store, which the community owns and makes choices about what is carried.  It’s a democracy, and all member-owners have a voting right.  Assumed emphasis on supporting local suppliers and farmers whenever possible.  Beginning to develop a business plan and accepting memberships.  Currently considering where to put the co-op, and what it will look like.  Funding is through membership investment ($300 one time investment), through fundraising (events, cookbook, vegfest, craft fair, member loans, and commercial lenders). 


Timeline/development goal chart discussed – board developed timeline for numbers of folks needed at specific points to grow.  The board has decided the numbers of members needed to move forward with specific things moving towards the goal of the store opening.

Question:  where would inventory decisions be on this timeline/when?

Answer:  More towards the end of the process once building site and size are determined.

Question:  What happened to the buying club? (Group of folks coming together to buy in bulk together to get better prices, usually a once monthly pickup)

Answer:  A lack of manpower made the concept of a buying club unrealistic at this time.  If you would be interested in heading up a buying club, please contact one of the board members (specifically Colleen, Cathy, John, Joe, Matty, Santiago, Heather)


Heather – membership/outreach committee update

At this point, continuing to spread the word at events.  Looking for new ways to get new members.  Any ideas, contact a board member (specifically Heather)

New brochures WITH a membership application available!

If you’d like to join the membership/outreach committee or be in more of a leadership role, contact a board member (Heather)


John – finance committee update

Working on business plan.  Need help on putting together a marketing and public relations plan.  If you have experience or expertise in either of those, or grant writing, contact John.  Any experience in the food industry or in finance would be very helpful as well – contact John.

*The co-op did work with a consulting group, and did a feasibility study which did end up showing that the coop will work.


Colleen – communications committee update

Could use help with some blogging.  If you’ve got some interesting ideas for some good blogs or would enjoy writing them, contact Colleen.

The co-op did apply for a grant, which was unfortunately not awarded.  5 grants were awarded, 38 applicants applied for it.  It was competitive, and the granter could see giving it to the co-op in the future.  The board of directors will go into further details.



Upcoming events:

Saturday, October 5th – Inaugural Bethlehem Food Co-op Craft Fair, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Universalist Unitarian Church. More details on facebook:

31 vendors at least have paid a small fee and are ready to vend!  Lots of variety and talent will be there!  Lots of vendors have also donated an item to be raffled off, completely benefitting the co-op!

*We need a few more volunteers to help out with the fair, split into two shifts.  Contact Summre to help out – it’ll be a great time.  Check out the website to see the vendors and links to their individual websites.

We’ll cross promote with the East Hills Moravian Church Craft Fair on the same date.  Thanks East Hills for their help and cooperative spirit!

We’ll be unveiling the new Co-op tee shirts.


Vegfest update – a portion of the raffle proceeds will be given to the co-op!


October 12th – 8am to 8pm – Harvest Festival – tabling and information with the co-op.  Sign up to help out – see Heather.


October 19th noon – 5:00pm – West Fest, tabling volunteer shifts available.


October 24th (Thursday) – Food Day volunteering


October 29th or 30th, City Hall, 7pm – food accessibility forum, Colleen is speaking


Nov 14th – Bethlehem Brew Works Dine-Back night.  Brewworks will donate back 20% of the proceeds to the co-op.  Plan to enjoy some great food and beer that night to benefit the coop.  More info to come.


Details in the works for a hair cut-a-thon, local in Bethlehem.  Half proceeds of all cuts that day go to the coop.  Further details to come once more info solidified.


Silent Auction event in December – details soon.  Volunteering opportunities – sign up with Heather.


Meg has volunteered to head up a Bethlehem scavenger hunt.  She is organizing this as a fundraising opportunity for the co-op.


Some fun, farm, food, and family oriented events coming up in the area.


Northampton Extension Open Gate Farm Tour – A wonderful way to spend a day with your family and learn about and get to your local farmers and food sources.  Saturday and Sunday October 12 and 13, 1:00pm – 5:00pm


Lehigh Extension Open Gate Farm Tour – same idea as the Northampton Farm Tour

Sunday, October 20th 1:00 - 5:00pm


Rodale Institute Organic Apple Festival – Saturday, Sept 21 10:00am - organic apple picking event for the family!

Grab some information here:


Starting in October 2014, the co-op bylaws state that the first Monday of October will be a member meeting. 

Since we aren’t at this point yet, Monday October 7th will feature the first shareholders meeting.  Jamie K will be here doing a cooking demo here, and reaching out to some local businesses to join us.  This is a members only meeting!


Next meeting:  Monday, October 7th, 7pm, NACC Fowler Family Center room 521 (demo kitchen).  This is a members only event!  If you aren’t already, become a member today so you can enjoy this festive educational/recreational meeting/event.


Meeting adjourns 8:25pm

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