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Income and Expenses: The Nuts and Bolts (...Literally) of Our Capital Campaign

Exciting news: We are a third of the way to our goal of raising $1 million to stock, staff, and build our store! In this high-energy moment of our capital campaign, we figured we'd take a moment to explain where, exactly, the money we raise will go.


While some money will literally be going to nuts and bolts during the store construction phase, here's a more thorough snapshot of our start-up expenses:
ExpensesWhat goes into each slice of those expenses?

  • Architect, Engineers, & Consultants: We are bringing in experts to make sure we plan and design properly. We've contracted with Re:Vision, a mission-driven Philadelphia architecture firm, that will tap structural engineering expertise as needed. We also previously partnered with United Natural Foods (UNFI) to design our store layout. Find out more about our full project team.
  • Store Build-Out: We need to stock the shelves for opening day! This includes the labor costs and basic construction materials, which will be managed through our general contractor.
  • Equipment: Refrigerators, shelves, and cash registers -- oh my! Take a look at the grocery store where you currently shop, and imagine all the food products are gone. What remains is what we'll need to purchase for the Co-op!
  • Inventory & Working Capital: We need to stock the shelves for opening day, and pay our employees! Plus, we need to have cash to have on hand for, well, anything that may come up in a new business.
  • Startup Staffing: These monies cover wages for our General Manager and store staff for the first handful of months once the store is open.
  • Operating & Administration: These costs are things like our website hosting, bookkeeping and tax preparation, insurance, business licensing, etc.


Of course, we need to raise the other two thirds of that money in order to spend it! So where will this $1 million come from? After years of collaboration and consultation about start-up operations with local and national co-ops alike, here's what we're projecting:
If you are a member-owner, you have already contributed toward that 23% slice of the pie -- of member-owner equity. Thank you! Member-owner equity is an ownership stake in the South Philly Food Co-op. Member-ownership is what makes us a cooperative and is the foundation of our business success. (If you are not yet a member-owner, we invite you to learn more and consider joining today).

Another main source of funds is member-owner loans through the Co-op’s member-owner note program. This program offers a unique social investing opportunity to member-owners of the Co-op.  Similar to a loan -- member-owners make an investment, and the South Philly Food Co-op is responsible for paying you back (with interest, if the member-owner wishes) over 6, 8, or 10 years. Thus far, we have raised $120,000 in member-owner loans! Huge, huge thanks to everyone who has made or pledged a loan to date.

Many co-ops nationwide have solicited member loans for major capital projects, aligning with the third co-operative principle of member economic participation. You can learn more about member loans on our website.


In case you missed it, board member Leigh Goldenberg and capital campaign manager Cate Murray went on Facebook Live a couple weeks ago to answer questions about the Co-op and our capital campaign. You can watch their 15-minute conversation here.

Have more questions about our future store at 2031 S. Juniper Street or the capital campaign? Peruse our website or drop us a line -- we'd love to hear from you!