Friday, September 28, 2007

Progress Report

Hardly a week goes by without someone stopping to ask me how the co-op is going. My answer is sometimes complicated, sometimes simple, depending upon how much of the big picture I decide to share. Yet, as I have been thinking about the bigger picture, what needs to happen before our doors are open, I realized that I needed a visual way to see where we're at. Using the table of contents from the How to Start a Food Co-op manual, I'll illustrate where we are and where we need to go. Below you'll see the nine steps to starting a food co-op (with links to the relevant chapters in the manual, if you're curious).
II. From Talk to Food: Nine steps to starting a food co-op
1. Gather background
2. Organize
3. Research feasibility
4. Review findings and vote to incorporate
5. Recruit members
6. Planning and financing
7. Secure financing
8. Begin operations
9. Open the doors!

Currently, we're working on Step 3: Research Feasibility. To be honest, we've been working on step three since June when we began working on the community survey. Since then we have administered the survey (collecting data from over 315 participants!) and have been working on gathering data for our feasibility study. This work is time consuming and, in my opinion, not nearly as much fun as brainstorming what the co-op will look like and what it will carry once the doors are open. Yet it is necessary work. Without it, we cannot show you, the community and future co-op members, that the co-op will succeed when the doors are open.
We, the Steering Committee, set an ambitious goal of opening the co-op in 2008. To reach that goal we are going to need some help. Our Steering Committee is looking for a few additional members, three or four of you, to join us in envisioning what the Grassroots Community Co-op will look like and how it will function. We meet every other week for an hour to dialog and discuss what needs to get done. If you have a little space in your schedule and would like to share your time in this worthy pursuit, we'd love to hear from you.