Grow Your Business

Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

By |2022-03-22T11:23:35-04:00January 25th, 2018|

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising has been growing.

Pro Formas and the New Competitive Challenges

By |2022-01-21T17:02:37-05:00October 26th, 2017|

In the grocery world, we live in challenging times. Costco and Wal-Mart carry organic products. Supermarket chains tout local produce and have a house brand of organics. Home delivery has everyone buzzing; even Amazon is getting into the action. Pro forma financial statements are forward-looking projections of how your co-op will perform given a specific set of assumptions. They are useful in many ways, especially for new stores and expansions where your co-op is headed into uncharted waters.

Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops

By |2022-01-21T10:19:13-05:00August 30th, 2017|

By Jade Barker and Patricia Cumbie We believe that now is a critical time to engage our cooperative community in important conversations about racism and oppression. Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops presents a variety of perspectives on what can be done to make food co-ops more racially inclusive. Fifteen co-operators from a variety of backgrounds — class, gender, race, ethnicity, [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By |2019-09-07T01:06:31-04:00July 1st, 2017|

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly understands the other’s role or perspective, and this can lead to misunderstandings, haphazard planning [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

By |2022-03-22T11:23:29-04:00September 27th, 2016|

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using best practices and clear planning gleaned from a multitude of successful fundraising efforts from food co-ops and startups nationwide. In this short presentation, Ben imparts some great top-level wisdom about how to plan and organize a successful campaign and [...]

Governance Considerations in Multi-Store Co-ops

By |2019-09-07T00:25:27-04:00May 4th, 2016|

We’re in a position not unlike the years after WWII when the small grocery cooperatives began to fold in the wake of full service supermarkets with vast parking lots. Jerry Voorhis, former president of The Cooperative League (now NCBA CLUSA), made these poignant remarks about the lessons learned from that time: 1. No cooperative business or institution ever stands still, it grows, expands, develops—or [...]

Planning a Member/Owner Capital Campaign

By |2019-09-09T19:16:35-04:00February 11th, 2016|

Capital campaigns can be a very important part of an expansion project - serving as a healthy test of member support.  Will your members be willing to make a sizable at-risk investment because they believe in the co-op, its leadership and the benefits of the proposed expansion? Offering investment opportunities is also another benefit you can offer to your members. The planning phase of [...]

Mergers and Acquisitions

By |2019-09-09T19:41:28-04:00November 16th, 2015|

Martha Whitman tells the story of La Montanitas experience with growth through acquiring stores in new markets.  Watch and learn about the leadership of the board of directors as they engaged their membership throughout the process.

Board’s Role in Expansion Projects

By |2021-08-19T17:58:44-04:00July 2nd, 2015|

No matter what kind of expansion your co-op wants to do, there are always hurdles to be overcome.  Everyone has them, although some projects come with a unique set of challenges.  The Hendersonville Community Co-op in Hendersonville, North Carolina has had numerous locations and expansions in its 30+ year history, but their latest expansion going from 3,800 to 8,000 square feet, required a re-working [...]

Staffing for a natural products store expansion

By |2019-09-06T23:11:49-04:00June 15th, 2015|

Your new store will have a bigger deli, more parking and a better floor plan. But will it have the staffing to support bigger and better operations? You will have a strong staffing plan to match your expansion plan if you remember a few key guidelines: First and most importantly, everyone has to be clear on where the organization is going and why, in [...]

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