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Help Make the Vision a Reality


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A small group of four people first met in February of 2012 to talk about their desire to have a place where people could get healthy food year round in Maynard, MA. The group knew they wanted to find a way to create access to healthy food, but didn’t know exactly how to make it happen. They started learning about food co-operatives, got very excited, and initiated the process of trying to make the dream a reality. Today, the vision of the group is to open up a storefront market in Maynard that will be owned and operated by co-operative members. The Assabet Village Food Co-Op is currently made up of a Steering Committee, and a group of several enthusiastic volunteers. Typically, to get a food co-op up and running takes about three to five years – with the help of the community, the Assabet Village Food Co-op should be right on track!

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Help Make the Vision a Reality

  1. 1. THE MAYNARD FOODCOOPERATIVEHelp make the vision a reality…
  2. 2. WELCOME• What is a Co-op?• Why in Maynard?• How does it work?• How can you help?
  3. 3. What is a Co-op?A co-operative is an autonomous association of personsunited voluntarily to meet their common economic, social,and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-ownedand democratically-controlled enterprise.International Co-operative Alliance •
  4. 4. Principles of a Co-op1. Voluntary & Open Membership• Co-ops do not limit who can join2. Democratic Member Control• All co-op members have equal voting and decision-making power in the governance of their business3. Member Economic Participation• Basic idea: Co-ops and their money are owned and controlled by their members4. Autonomy & Independence• Co-ops limit the influence of outside agencies or business partners to ensure their independence5. Education, Training & Information• Co-ops have an obligation to educate members about cooperative business6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives• Co-ops help each other to strengthen their economic positions and to contribute to the co-op movement7. Concern for Community• Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities
  5. 5. Co-operative Enterprises…• …put people before profit• …are community owned• …are accountable to members• …are successful businesses• …strengthen local economies• …are resilient• …build a better world
  6. 6. The Basic IdeaA Co-op is a business that is equitably owned anddemocratically controlled by its members for their commongood, the good of the community and to accomplish ashared goal or purpose.Any surplus (profit) is distributed among members inproportion to their use of the business, or is reinvested inthe business.
  8. 8. Having a food co-op in Maynard means…• Grocery convenience and affordability• Local dollars stay local• Job creation• A welcoming and accessible gathering place• An outlet for local growers
  9. 9. Rochdale Equitable Pioneers• Founded 1844• Weavers, Unionists, Activists• Member-Owned Store• Principles for a Movementback
  10. 10. Rochdale Principles1. Democratic control, with each member entitled to onlyone vote regardless of the number of his or her totalshares2. Membership open to all irrespective of race, creed,class, occupation or political affiliation3. Payment of limited interest on invested capital4. Distribution of net profits usually called savings orearnings to cooperative members in proportion to theamount of their patronageback
  11. 11. Now and Then….1900’s• Dislocation of Local Economies• Dramatic Shifts in Wealth• Concentration of Control• Limited Democracy• GlobalizationToday
  12. 12. Maynard Co-op 1906 – 1970’sThe United CooperativeSociety (originally the KevalaCo-operative Association)Was started here in Maynardby the Finnish immigrants.Maynard Historical Society Archives,
  13. 13. Pine Tree SymbolMaynard Historical Society Archives, pine tree stands for life and growth. It is knownas everlasting, so are co-operatives. The originalemblem has a background of gold, the color of thesuns rays, which shine on co-operatives.
  14. 14. “It’s Easy to Shop the Co-op”…Thank you Maynard Historical Society!
  15. 15. United Nations International Year of theCooperatives 2012
  16. 16. 2012 International Year of Co-opsCo-ops “in their various forms, promote the fullestpossible participation in the economic and socialdevelopment of all people, including women,youth, older persons, persons with disabilities andindigenous peoples, are becoming a major factorof economic and social development andcontribute to the eradication of poverty.”United Nations Resolution 64/136
  17. 17. The Vision for The Maynard Food Co-op• We are building a store that will be owned and democraticallygoverned by its members.• We believe that a cooperative enterprise can practiceeconomic and environmental sustainability, and can thrive.• We plan to sell healthy and nourishing food at an affordableprice, and in doing so promote healthful living.• We want to serve as a gathering place, one that is accessibleand welcoming.• We want to engage the community through outreach andeducation.• We will empower our members to support the local economyand our local food producers.
  18. 18. Three Generations of Cooperation
  20. 20. Local Motive
  21. 21. Four Cornerstones in Three StagesThe model is based upon the fourcornerstones of:• Vision• Talent• Capital• SystemsEach are within three stages offood co-op development:organizing, feasibility andplanning, and implementation.The four cornerstones comprisethe attributes of a successful start-up within the three stages.
  22. 22. The Core Group
  23. 23. HOW YOU CAN HELP
  24. 24. Co-op Resources
  25. 25. Next StepsMarketSurveyFeasibilityStudyBusinessPlan
  26. 26. Help us fill in the dots…FinanceMarketingMarket ResearchGovernanceFund RaisingCommunity EffortsMembership DrivesAnd More…How can we build this together?
  27. 27. • Write a business plan• Write loan and grant applications• Write board by-laws• Write a mission statement• Run or participate in membership drives• Advertise online and offline• Connect with local farmers?Next step is creating a working acore group to start the co-op.Come to our next meeting June 14th,Prudential Real Estate Building, 2nd floor 7:00pmAre you able to…If you have time & energy the Co-op needs you!
  28. 28. Open up the floor…•Questions?•Your visions and ideas?
  29. 29. Thank you for your time!Contact
  30. 30. More Co-op Resources
  31. 31. Dixon Cooperative Market at a glanceYear Incorporated 2003Year Opened 2005Number of members at opening 100Number of members in 2010 400Member equity investment $200 or $25 per yearTotal cost of project Appx. $35,000Member loans NoneNew member equity Appx. $10,000Financing $32,000 USDA grantNumber of staff at opening 3Number of staff in 2010 5Retail Sq. Feet 1,000First-year sales $126,0002010 sales $500,000
  32. 32. Friendly City Food Co-op at a glanceYear Incorporated 2007Projected Opening 2011 (opened June 6, 2011)Projected # of members atopening1,200 (actual)Number of members in 2010 1,035Member equity investment $200Total cost of project $1.8 millionMember loans $700,000 (goal of $950,000 by 2011)New member equity $200,000 (goal of $240,000 by 2011)Financing $500,000Retail Sq. Feet 4,200Projected first-year sales $2.5 million