Dorchester Community Food Co-op: Building a Multi-Stakeholder Co-op


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The Dorchester Community Food Co-op is building community support and partnerships to open a multi-stakeholder co-op in Boston's largest and most diverse neighborhood. Learn more about why they chose the multi-stakeholder model for their co-op.

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Dorchester Community Food Co-op: Building a Multi-Stakeholder Co-op

  1. 1. Dorchester Community Food CoDorchester Community Food CoDorchester Community Food CoDorchester Community Food Co----opopopopBuilding Community Support and PartnershipsBuilding Community Support and PartnershipsBuilding Community Support and PartnershipsBuilding Community Support and Partnershipsfor a Multifor a Multifor a Multifor a Multi----Stakeholder Food CoStakeholder Food CoStakeholder Food CoStakeholder Food Co----opopopop
  2. 2. Dorchester is Boston’slargest and most diverseneighborhood.The more than 100,000residents representa wide rangeof socio-economic,racial andethnic groups.
  3. 3. MissionMissionMissionMissionThe Dorchester Community Food Co-op (DCFC)will be a community and worker owned cooperativeenterprise that provides economic opportunity andaccess to healthy, affordable food for residents ofDorchester and the surrounding neighborhoods.
  4. 4. Key DecisionKey DecisionKey DecisionKey DecisionThe Co-op project has three main objectives:Economic DevelopmentAccess to Healthy FoodActive Community Space
  5. 5. Why a MultiWhy a MultiWhy a MultiWhy a Multi----Stakeholder CoStakeholder CoStakeholder CoStakeholder Co----op?op?op?op?Begin to create a co-op economy in Dorchester, thatinvolves community residents as well as workers in theenterprisesExpand the cooperative economy through purchasingproducts and services from existing co-ops and supportingthe launch of new co-opsCreate a community asset that provides long-term jobopportunities with growth potential for neighborhoodresidents.Having workers as owners ensures that workers have aseat on the Board and a say in the running of the business.
  6. 6. Structure of OwnershipStructure of OwnershipStructure of OwnershipStructure of Ownership• Two classes of member-owners:– Community-owners• Member share = $100 per household• Community member owners elect representativesto the Board of Directors (x # of seats)• Certain percent of profit distributed in Patronagedividend based on $$ spent during year– Worker-owners• Member share = $250 per worker• Worker member owners elect representatives tothe Board of Directors (x # of seats)• Certain percent of profit distributed in Patronagedividend based on # of hours worked during year
  7. 7. Example ofExample ofExample ofExample ofConsumer/Worker Owned Food CoConsumer/Worker Owned Food CoConsumer/Worker Owned Food CoConsumer/Worker Owned Food Co----opopopop• Weaver St. Market (North Carolina)
  8. 8. Community Organizing StrategyCommunity Organizing StrategyCommunity Organizing StrategyCommunity Organizing Strategy• Identify and meet with key individuals in thecommunity– Schedule one-on-ones to present co-op idea– Invite participation in co-op activities– Recruit leadership for the co-op and plug people intovolunteer activities• Identify and meet with key groups in thecommunity/city– Neighborhood associations and block groups– Social service agencies– Activist issue organizations– City agencies
  9. 9. • Create activities and events to generateinterest in the co-op, connect the co-op identityto positive community building, and begin tobuild an interest list– Have co-op materials at every event– Sign up lists at every event– Begin to provide value to the community, particularlythrough “placemaking” events– Hold events in different parts of the neighborhood– Meetings are not always the best way to draw inpeople– Bring in community partners for each event– Do publicity around each event
  10. 10. Examples of reaching out toExamples of reaching out toExamples of reaching out toExamples of reaching out toindividuals and potential partnersindividuals and potential partnersindividuals and potential partnersindividuals and potential partnersMarchMarchMarchMarch2011201120112011Series of initial meetings with community activists,neighborhood groups and municipal agencies toexplore Dorchester Food Co-op concept. Thesemeetings continue throughout the development ofthe co-opApril/May2011April/May2011April/May2011April/May2011First community information meetingheld to discuss plans to start aDorchester Co-op.Begin to gather names for Co-op InterestList.First meeting of steering committee
  11. 11. JuneJuneJuneJune----August 2011August 2011August 2011August 2011Attend Community FairsTable at Farmers’ Marketsacross DorchesterDCFC represented at City of Boston Urban AgricultureKickoffCoop invited to participate in Mayor’s Food Policy CouncilJanuary 2012January 2012January 2012January 2012
  12. 12. Receive Matching Grants from TreflerFoundation and Boston Impact Initiativefor feasibility studies and to supportorganizational capacity building.Hire 3-person part-time team to handleproject management, outreach andorganizing, and pilot lines of businessdevelopmentOctoberOctoberOctoberOctober ––––NovemberNovemberNovemberNovember2012201220122012Hire Winter Farmers’ MarketManager and begin fundraisingand recruiting vendorsLynn Murray, Jhana Senxian,Jenny SilvermanJennie Msall
  13. 13. Neighborhood Groups:Neighborhood Groups:Neighborhood Groups:Neighborhood Groups:Ashmont Hill AssociationAshmont Adams AssociationCedar Grove AssociationCodman Square Neighborhood Council and Health CommitteeFields Corner Five Streets AssociationHancock St. Civic AssociationMeetinghouse Hill Civic AssociationPeabody Slope AssociationNeighborhood Improvement Committee (Codman Square)ROC (Redefining Our Community)TNT (Talbot Norfolk Triangle)UNA (United Neighborhoods Association)In addition to meeting with dozens of individuals,the DCFC organizers have met with the following organizations and groups
  14. 14. Health CentersHealth CentersHealth CentersHealth CentersWellness OrganizationsWellness OrganizationsWellness OrganizationsWellness OrganizationsBoston Collaborative for Food and FitnessBoston Public Health CommissionBowdoin St. Health Center—Food in the Hood CommitteeCarney HospitalCodman Square Health CenterFamily Nurturing CenterHarbor Health/Geiger Health CenterHealthworks Codman SquareMattapan Collaborative on Food and FitnessPatch ProgramWIC Nutritionists Committee
  15. 15. Community OrganizationsCommunity OrganizationsCommunity OrganizationsCommunity OrganizationsEducational InstitutionsEducational InstitutionsEducational InstitutionsEducational InstitutionsAFAB-KAFANM Association of Haitian WomenBoston Architectural CollegeCenter for Community Health, Education & ResearchDorchester Arts CollaborativeDot Grows Garden Council/Boston Natural Areas NetworkFour Corners Action CoalitionGreenDorchester(formerly Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition)Sustainability Guild InternationalThe Food Project
  16. 16. Community EconomicCommunity EconomicCommunity EconomicCommunity EconomicDevelopment OrganizationsDevelopment OrganizationsDevelopment OrganizationsDevelopment OrganizationsBowdoin Geneva Main StreetsCodman Square NDCDorchester Bay EDCFields Corner Main StreetsFour Corners Main StreetsSt. Marks Area Main StreetsUphams Corner Main StreetsViet AID
  17. 17. City AgenciesCity AgenciesCity AgenciesCity AgenciesBoston DNDFood Initiatives of the Mayor’s OfficeMayor’s Food Policy CouncilBoston Public Health CommissionFoundationsFoundationsFoundationsFoundationsThe Boston FoundationCommunity Law FoundationKendall FoundationTrefler FoundationBoston Impact Initiative
  18. 18. Examples of Activities and EventsExamples of Activities and EventsExamples of Activities and EventsExamples of Activities and EventsJuneJuneJuneJune2011201120112011• Food Co-op volunteers march inDorchester Day Parade and create firstvisibility for Co-op
  19. 19. Summer 2011Summer 2011Summer 2011Summer 2011First Co-op Community Potluck inNightingale Community GardenSeptemberSeptemberSeptemberSeptember2011201120112011First $5 Meal Challenge—morethan 70 people attend
  20. 20. JanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary----March 2012March 2012March 2012March 2012Winter Farmers’ Market GrandOpening attracts 650 shoppers on firstday, appearances by Mayor Meninoand other dignitariesFall 2012Fall 2012Fall 2012Fall 2012Begin to organize for Winter Farmers’MarketKickstarter Campaign raises moneyfor the market AND createscommunity buzz and outreach for themarket
  21. 21. Winter Farmers Market!Winter Farmers Market!Winter Farmers Market!Winter Farmers Market!
  22. 22. AprilAprilAprilApril2012201220122012Pot Luck and Membership kickoffApril 1Co-op receives Mayor Menino’s2012 Green Sustainable FoodLeadership AwardCo-op awarded Boston PublicHealth Commission StrategicAlliance for Health Food AccessGrant to run Community SupportedCafé in Summer of 2012MayMayMayMay2012201220122012
  23. 23. JuneJuneJuneJune2012201220122012Goal of 100 member-owners by DorchesterDay achieved.DCFC marches forsecond year inDorchester Day Parade
  24. 24. AugustAugustAugustAugust2012201220122012“Fresh Fridays” is a smash success,drawing more than 750 to the FirstParish Church on Friday eveningsfor healthy food, music, anddynamic space for celebrating thediversity of Dorchester.
  25. 25. Fresh Fridays:Fresh Fridays:Fresh Fridays:Fresh Fridays: A Global Fusion of Taste & Sound
  26. 26. “Fresh Fridays Grand Finale in theColeman St. Community Garden isattended by the Mayor and isattended by over 250 localresidents!SeptemberSeptemberSeptemberSeptember2012201220122012
  27. 27. December 2012December 2012December 2012December 2012Holiday Party and first Annual Meeting atCesaria’s Restaurant in Bowdoin Geneva.Attended by 80 people—more than halfpeople of color.JanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary----MarchMarchMarchMarch2013201320132013Second Season of WinterFarmers’ Market: Despite beingplagued with snowy Sundays—attendance equal to first seasonwith much higher diversity ratios
  28. 28. March 2013March 2013March 2013March 2013Seafood Festival at Winter Market co-sponsored by Boston Collaborative forFood and Fitness and Northwest Atlanticmarine Alliance draws big crowds.
  29. 29. Winter Farmers Market Season 2!Winter Farmers Market Season 2!Winter Farmers Market Season 2!Winter Farmers Market Season 2!
  30. 30. Next stepsNext stepsNext stepsNext stepsVisionDevelop plan for departments, product mix and store designContinue to develop affordability modelsDevelop model for worker-owner component of co-op
  31. 31. Community and MembershipBuild levels of engagementContinue developing neighborhood teams and hold aseries of house parties, film nights and “meet-ups atlocal restaurantsAchieve 2013 Membership Drive Goal of 500household member-owners by December 31, 2013.Current count is 243.Continue to build development partnersContinue to develop institutional partnersCreate “task” committees
  32. 32. FundingContinue Grant writing process to fully fund developmentand feasibility stage and begin funding for implementationContinue selling equity shares.Current equity is $20,658Begin identifying sources for the $1.1 million in grants weneed to open the storeSystemsCreate fully operational websiteCreate solid database and communication systemDo we need public presence (office space?)