The Delridge Grocery, a community owned grocery store is seeking community memberships and donations (and small loans) to get the store built. It will open approximately one year from now.
SLIDESHOW: Delridge Grocery launches with a lunch
If all goes according to plan, a year from now the Delridge neighborhood will have it's own community owned grocery store.
The membership drive got underway on Saturday with a lunch to not only get more attention and members but to initiate a new name. Up to this past week the Delridge Produce Co-Op had been in the process of developing the extensive and comprehensive business plan for the new store. As part of that plan they chose to take a new name. Now called Delridge Grocery the group will be community owned and operated. It will open on the first floor of the DESC project now under construction at 5444 Delridge Way SW. That project with housing for 66 is on schedule for completion in December of 2013 and the grocery will move in after tenant improvements are made and the full scope of the store is determined.
Ariana Taylor-Stanley, on the Delridge Grocery board said, "We did the business plans with two graduate students from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Luke Bruckner of the StartZone program at Highline Community College. It involved a lot of market research and a lot of planning."
The goal on Saturday was to "pre-sell memberships" asking for donations since as yet no real memberships are being sold (they will become such when the status of the organization changes).
It will probably look like voting rights in the co-op, so…ownership and dividends. If you know how REI structures itself you know you spend money and if the co-op makes a profit you get a portion of that back."
The store will be open to the public.
Taylor-Stanley said there would be low income memberships and an outreach effort that will offer donations to the food bank. "The object of the co-op is to offer food at affordable prices," she said.
The lunch was sponsored and food provided by Giannoni's Pizza in Westwood Village, Central Co-op, Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, and Daily Dose espresso.
They are seeking community loans next fall in which they might get a personal loan of a small amount and pay it back over time. "That's going to be a big chunk of our startup capitol," Taylor-Stanley said.
It's multi-stakeholder co-op meaning employees, distributors, producers and others can be members.
Jessica Cohen, Department of Property Development and Real Estate Assets of DESC said, "We are so thrilled to be in partnership with Delridge Grocery as they take their next step. It helps that the building is under construction and we can see the building rising."
You can learn more about the Delridge Grocery via their Facebook page. You can also read the Executive Summary of the business plan at the link above.
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