The Moscow Food Co-op is Growing!
As we outlined in our forums about growth in 2015, we are looking to expand. Specifically, we are planning on expanding right across the border into Pullman. We have received many questions about the specifics — Where are we opening, when are we opening, how big is the store, etc. While we don't have all the specifics yet, we do have some broad answers to these questions that will get easier to answer as we get closer to opening. Lets dive in to some of the major driving forces behind this decision!
WHY SHOULD WE GROW?
You asked us to! Many owners surveyed for our 2014 Strategic Plan expressed their desire for another store– specifically in Pullman. Around 40% of owners surveyed thought we should expand to Pullman. The grocery market is also changing and growing to be more competitive. With the growth of many national chains we want to make sure that we are best able to serve our area.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Glad you asked! Making sure you are a fully vested owner of the Co-op is a great start. A full share of ownership in our Co-op is currently $150. Because we offer a flexible payment plan of just $10 a year, many owners haven't hit that maximum yet. Co-op equity is one of the unique advantages that Co-op have over more conventional business structures. Your equity dollars get turned around directly into capital improvements to the co-op. Many of our fixtures, including coolers, hot bar, ice maker, and many more fixtures around the store are funded from equity dollars paid by owners. Yeah, it's that important!
Secondly, the Board is in the process of exploring capital campaign options. We aren't quite sure what these will look like yet, but they will most likely involve member loans of some sort. Some of you may be familiar with these from when we moved into our current location a little over 10 years ago, which was also a giant growth opportunity. They were a great success then and we hope to do even better this time around. Keep an eye out for your opportunity to help us expand and earn some interest on your investment at the same time. Win-Win!
Lastly, spread the word. Make sure people know we are excited to take on expansion! If you want to get involved, email us at email@example.com and let us know how you can help.
HOW DO I KEEP INFORMED?
There will be updates on our webpage as we release them over on the Growth Updates section. We'll let you know where we are going, what it's going to look like, and eventually, have pictures! You can also sign up for our e-newsletter, our Board email list, and attend Board meetings. We love it when owners attend Board meetings, which are open to all owners, and include an owner comment period! Meetings are on the 2nd Tuesday of every other month at 6 p.m. Location alternates between Moscow and Pullman, so check www.moscowfood.coop/board-meetings/ for the location.
Contact us at the following emails with any questions you might have:
Growth Questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors - email@example.com
General Questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
A significant percentage of our owners and shoppers live or work in Pullman and we believe our customers should be able to shop where it is convenient for them. Pullman is also close enough to keep our logistics manageable, as most of our delivery trucks drive through Pullman on their way to Moscow and our administrative staff is close by to help both stores flourish. We want to serve the Pullman community by creating jobs, supporting the local economy, and supporting the local community!
WHERE WILL A pullman STORE BE LOCATED?
We aren't quite sure yet. At our Pullman Growth Forum, people were pretty clear that they wanted to see the Co-op downtown, so we are working towards that! Everything will be determined by what is available though, so if you have any ideas or know of any great properties that are available, let us know.
WHEN IS A pullman store GOING TO HAPPEN?
When we initially announced our plans to expand in 2015, we had a tentative 18 to 24 month timeline. As of now, our timeline is going to depend on available properties, our evaluations of internal readiness to expand, and construction timelines. When we know more, we'll let you know!
Please welcome the new moscow food co-op on campus!
It probably won't surprise you to know just how many of the people that live in Moscow are students. We have found that there are not a lot of options for natural foods on campus. We think that providing an option for some of the best coffee, tastiest pastries, and most delicious sandwiches in a location that is easier for our on campus customers to get to is going to be well received.
The Board of Directors, General Manager, and internal staff trained for months to prepare for growth. We consulted with experts, attended conferences, took webinars, participated in calls, and much more to inform ourselves. We are more than delighted to bring the Moscow Food Co-op's mission to students on the University of Idaho campus, and we hope you stop in soon!