Startup Support

Financing a Start-up Grocery: A Conversation with Don Moffitt

By |2022-03-02T14:46:50-05:00March 2nd, 2022|

Food access in low-wealth communities is a major problem that continues to grow. More and more, communities with food access difficulties are looking to the cooperative model to meet their needs. For a start-up cooperative, once the foundational questions of “why do we exist?” and “who do we exist to serve?” are answered, the next big question to address is “how do we pay for it?”

Columinate Supports Ohio Startup Gem City Market

By |2019-09-30T16:43:32-04:00September 29th, 2019|

Consultants bring innovation, passion to the groundbreaking project (from Left) Corrine Saunders, Kenya Baker, Lela Klein, Wynston Estis and Amaha Sellassie participate in the Gem City Market ceremonial groundbreaking. Dayton, OH September 30, 2019: A groundbreaking engagement is underway between Columinate consultants and Gem City Market in Dayton, OH. The consulting cooperative is providing managers-on-contract to support a 2020 store [...]

Know Your Where & Why: The Value of CAT Surveys

By |2021-12-08T11:07:47-05:00September 12th, 2019|

Knowing where you draw your business from is a good idea; knowing how you’re performing in your trade area is even better. A Customer Address and Transaction (CAT) survey accomplishes both, giving you a valuable snapshot to inform marketing focus. It’s a straightforward analysis worth returning to time and time again.

East Aurora: Early, Impactful Investment Led to Opening Co-op

By |2019-09-07T00:16:03-04:00July 6th, 2016|

East Aurora Co-op Market East Aurora, NY Founded:  2010 Opened:  June 2016 Number of members:  1,280 Number of employees:  25 Member investment:  $200 Retail square feet:  4,445 East Aurora Food Co-op in upstate New York has been open for over a month now, but they continue to celebrate the co-op’s opening in large and small ways.  It is always a giant accomplishment for a [...]

When and Who to Hire (or Contract) for Startups

By |2020-10-10T00:23:58-04:00April 18th, 2016|

As a new co-op project progresses through the 3 stages of the development process and the workload and complexity of the co-op development process increases, founding team and board members often wonder when to hire help, and for what roles.Though the size, skills and situation of each startup group vary, there are points along the 4 Cornerstones in 3 Stages development model where hiring [...]

Membership Growth Strategies for Startups: Common Features of Success

By |2019-09-09T19:20:41-04:00January 30th, 2016|

By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream when it has no store, minimal (if any) staff, and, when organizing in areas that don’t have other food co-ops, no credible examples to refer to. This can make membership growth slow and painful. Nevertheless, some startups have had [...]

Getting Started with Expansion Planning

By |2019-09-09T23:00:01-04:00October 1st, 2015|

By Bill Gessner 180 Sept-Oct 2015 Expansion projects for food co-ops fall somewhere between a labyrinth and a maze. With continuous improvement and development of best practices, expansion projects are moving closer to the one path of a labyrinth and further away from the messiness of a maze. We invite you to step into the expansion labyrinth. You will learn to navigate it through [...]