by Timothy Rutt
The open house runs from 6-8 PM at 494 N. Wilson Avenue. Co-op board members will share plans for the store and offer tours of the property. Light refreshments will be available.
The approximately 4,900 square-foot building, once the site of George's Market, also features a rental property on the top floor.
Now that they have a site, the co-op is reaching out to members for loans to get the store in operation. The co-op needs approximately $70,000 to renovate and refurbish the building, and another $251,000 for operational expenses and inventory.
The co-op currently has 566 members, both full-and partially-vested. Memberships are $300, which can be paid all at once, or through a payment plan of as low as $30 per year. While the store will be open to anybody, co-op members receive additional benefits, including patronage refunds during profitable years.
According to a press release:
The Arroyo Food Co-op will serve as an alternative to corporate-owned grocers in the community and will be entirely owned by its members. It will offer organic, sustainable, and locally sourced products along with humanely raised meats, fair trade items, and non-GMO produce. The Co-op is established as a California Consumer Cooperative Corporation.
The co-op’s mission is: “To engage the ecologically aware hearts, minds and stomachs of our area by offering the most earth-friendly grocery products and services available. To consistently search for better offerings and to support suppliers that are working toward the same goals. The Arroyo Food Cooperative will differentiate itself in the marketplace by empowering our members with practical product choices, thoughtful education/social opportunities and substantial entrepreneurship encouragement – all with an emphasis on supporting a sustainable local economy and strengthening our community.”
For more information about the Arroyo Food Co-op, including a membership application and loan information, visit www.arroyofoodcoop.com.