Ashley asks, “How many members do you need to open?” We hear this question a lot!
Early on we thought there was a specific number of members that would meet the threshold of when we could either open, or not. Now we know, after reviewing many sites and spending more time with the consultants who help to educate us, that there really isn’t a magic formula.
The number of members we need to open depends on many factors, including what site we choose, how much it costs, how much work it needs, if a developer is contributing financially or not, etc. So rather than thinking of it in those terms, we are using the guidelines given to us by Food Co-op Initiative. We are pushing to get to 1000 members by the end of this year.
You read that right! We are almost at 400 now. Our timeline suggests that we need 1000 to stay on track and not fall behind, and possibly even be able to be financially ahead of the game for the next stages. Why does it cost so much before we have a building? Here’s where some of that equity is going:
– Once a lease is signed, we must make lease payments immediately even while we are doing construction
– Retrofitting the space to suit our needs, which may include demo, major plumbing work, and landscaping.
– Paying for consultants like architects, licensing, permitting, store designers
– Buying equipment, inventory
– Hiring a General Manager and an awesome staff
We move at your speed. It’s important that you join NOW. Your member equity is literally propelling us forward so that we can push hard on this process and get a lease signed within the next several months. Not years! 😉 Your ownership sets the speed and we can hire the consultants, pay for the work, cover the lease, acquire our equipment and staff as our finances allow. This will go as fast as we can get owners!
The longer it takes for us to get member-owners, the farther behind that date we fall. We are pushing HARD to meet it! We literally and truly can’t do it if YOU hesitate. Join today!! Have a potluck and invite one of the co-op board members or volunteers to come and speak to your group about the co-op. Come to our events and ask us questions- bring a friend with you, too!
The more members we have now, the less we borrow, the sooner we’re profitable- so join TODAY!