Treehugger shared the video below because of how proud they were that their website appeared, however briefly, on screen. (Hey, I'd do the same if SouthPhillyFoodCoop.org appeared in a video produced by Google!)
The video is one of several "Search Stories" produced by Google to demonstrate how internet searching helped some cool thing happen. (Any time they want to profile South Philly Food Co-op for when Alison first searched "how to start a food co-op," we're ready.) Anyway, my point in sharing the video is because of one other similarly short moment in which the hero of our story mentions that he got his idea to start the solar energy company (or whatever it is) from his friend who is the manager of the food co-op in Ypsilanti. Footage of the Ypsilanti Food Co-op is included. (I really do love the name Ypsilanti.) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK7lUK0711E]
My point in bringing this up is to show the potential that a Food Co-op can be a place where dedicated, creative people come together to shop for food and exchange ideas. We're busy concentrating on getting this Co-op open so we can have a place where locally grown and responsibly raised food can be found at fair prices and where we can help connect members of the community to the food they put on their table. But it's nice to know that it could have these kinds of great spin-off effects. Besides, who doesn't have their best ideas when their noshing on some great, locally made breads with their friends?
So what can you do to make this happen? Easy. Become a member. Today. We're at
86 87 89 paid members as of the writing of this post. (We actually added one while I was writing this blog post! edited to add: And two more after I published it!) It's simple. When we get to 250 member-owners we can form a real estate committee to search out a location and start talking to lenders.
At 500 600, we can start the process of signing a lease and doing construction. At 700-800 we cut the ribbon. But that 250 mark is crucial. Plenty of folks will jump on board once we start looking for a location and even more will sign up when we have that location and start building. We need you to be one of our 250 Founding Members who will get us to that critical mass. Click here to join. Fill out an application and either pay by Paypal or send it a check. Your member-owner equity is a TOTAL of $200 and payable in low installments over the next 15 months. It's WAAAY easier than starting a solar energy company. But who knows? Once you join the Co-op maybe it's the place where you'll get YOUR next great idea.
As many of you may know, 2012 is the Year of the Co-operative. It is also the year we hope to open our doors. We are part of a larger movement worldwide to embrace the co-operative model. In that spirit, here is a video showing how successful and popular the model has been in Britain, which houses The Co-operative, a network of member-owned businesses that range from banks to travel agencies to grocery stores. (apologies for the ads at the bottom--they appear with the embedded video and were not added by us!)