Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Our Annual Meeting

Many thanks to all who participated in our first-ever virtual Annual Meeting on Ocgtober 5. We appreciate you spending time with us and hope you came away re-energized for our continued journey to bring a full-service, community-owned grocery store to our community.

If you can make the time, we suggest you pour yourself a beverage and take a listen to the entire meeting. It starts at :35 with Board Chair Kelly Allen, and lasts about an hour. If you’re short on time, here is a 5-minute video recap – or try the Readers Digest version:

Location and Store Build-out

Our attorney is working with the developer of an existing building in the north downtown area of Bethlehem. We hope to announce our location before the end of the year!

We have made an offer to hire a Project Manager, who will guide the build-out of our new store. They will work with our architect to bring our store to reality! (if you’d like to see the proposed initial plan for the store, travel to 46:00 in the video)

The next steps will take revenue! We heard a recap on finances, and this is critical as we ramp up for our very important Capital Campaign. After our site announcement, we will enter a “quiet phase” which will then lead into an ‘all hands on deck’ campaign to raise the needed funds. You will be hearing more about this in the coming months.

New Website

To ready ourselves for this next phase, we are working to develop a new mobile-friendly, user-friendly website. With the help of local marketing firm Imagevolution, we are very close to launching our new site — it will have the details of the following new initiatives.

Membership Growth

We also heard about our membership growth, which took a slight dip due to the pandemic — however we have made steady growth all summer thanks to our weekly presence at local farmers markets (including the Rose Garden, Saucon Valley, and Nazareth markets) and your word-of-mouth. As of Monday night we are at 724 members (and in fact that number has already increased!).

To keep that momentum going, we announced the following new initiatives to help us grow:

Fall Membership Campaign

We’re shooting for 800 total members by December 31! By reaching that number, we will give every new member household three chances in a drawing to win a weekly CSA or cheese share for the 2021 season (this is where you get a box of produce [or cheese selection] from a local farmer).

Any current BFC member who refers a new member will also get one chance in a similar drawing. Start thinking about who you can talk to about joining our co-op! (see below about our ‘Ketch-Up with the Co-Op’ info sessions)
Organizational Membership

We’ve heard from several local organizations that they’re interested in joining, so we are pleased to announce a new membership category for legal entities. We’ll have details soon!

New Membership Payment Plan

You’ve been heard: we are pleased to announce a third payment option for those paying their $300 membership equity fee. You may now elect to make 30 monthly payments of $10 each — we hope this makes it easier for more neighbors to join us! Contact us at info@bethlehemfood.coop for more details.

New Board Members

First we want to thank our outgoing Board members, Kris Gomez and Arlene Clendenning, for their commitment to the co-op. We had great participation in our online election, and are happy to announce that Cindy Glick was elected to another term, and Domenic Breininger and Tony Marinho will join our other six board members. Dominic was also selected as our Treasurer at the last Board meeting.

We hope your take away from this recap is one of pride in our progress and energized for the coming work ahead — remember, we’re working towards shopping in our own grocery store!