Astoria Food Co-op Astoria, OR Year founded: 1974 Member investment: $200 Number of members: 4,200 Number of employees: 25 Retail square feet: 2,000 currently (7,000 Summer 2019) The town of Astoria, Oregon has a strong independent streak. While other nearby areas are overrun with chain stores, their town has not sustained that level of attention or development. That doesn’t mean the 10,000 people who [...]
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. As with any entrepreneurial venture there are risks, both in raising [...]
By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson Change in the market, change in the world, can mean stress in the relationships within a cooperative as the organization adapts to the changing circumstances. Both having the right organizational structure and choosing the right vehicles to capitalize your co-op are important in making your cooperative responsive and resilient in the face of change. But their technical and legal [...]
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 [...]
By Thane Joyal 185 July-Aug 2016 The future is unknowable. Or is it? Courageous leadership relies in large measure on wise choices. In his entertaining novels, Robert Parker often references the military strategist Clausewitz for the proposition that you should “plan not for what you think your enemy will do, but rather for what your enemy can do.” Wise leadership, in other words, [...]
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 [...]
Cooperative Communication Conundrums: Exploring paths to alignment and healing when a cooperative encounters controversy
By Thane Joyal 179 July-August 2015 To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives... The future is an indefinite succession of presents, and to live [...]
Seward Co-op's GM, Sean Doyle, has a passion for finances, and he's here to share his passion with you! Sean discusses some unique lending avenues available to many co-ops and why equity may just be the key to the cooperative difference.
Michelle Schry, General Manager People's Food Cooperative, LaCrosse, WI & Rochester, MN Learn about the process, the challenges, and the triumphs of the unique "merger" that took place in Rochester. Michelle Schry, GM, tells about the engagement, the participation, and the support that poured from BOTH communities.
Steve Maviglio, Vice President Sacramento Natural Foods, Sacramento, CA Learn about the Sacramento Co-ops recent success capitalizing a large expansion project using Preferred Shares. Steve explains the program and shows a short video clip explaining the program and the impact it has had.