Opening August 2017!
It all started six years ago in the Peoples Academy cafeteria. Our community packed the room for a series of meetings hosted by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. We shared our dreams and visions for Morrisville. At these meetings, the seed for the Morrisville Food Co-op was planted in the minds of community members.
A task force was formed in Summer 2011 to initiate the hard work necessary to turn that dream into a reality. The group attended conferences, visited other co-ops, and met with their managers to learn about building a co-op. A market study conducted in 2013 showed strong community support. A further feasibility study in 2014 analyzed potential retail sites in Morrisville. A pro forma and a business plan were developed to ensure a solid financial foundation.
Late in 2014, a site was secured in the heart of the village at 46 Pleasant Street. This site has been held for the co-op as it raised capital through memberships, member-loans, a line of credit through the Co-op Fund of New England, donations, and fund raising events. In the meantime, the co-op has held lively winter farmers' markets in the space, and runs an ongoing on-line market using the building for pick-up of food baskets. In 2016, a new façade was added to the building with a covered accessible ramp, and a beautiful courtyard inlaid with paving stones. Construction on the interior space will begin in May of this year.
The seed planted six years ago has grown to over 728 member-owners, nine board representatives and many committees of dedicated volunteers. MoCo aims to fulfill its role as the Morrisville community food hub. Its broader purpose is to build new markets for local food and farm businesses.
MoCo’s mission is to create a community-owned food market committed to the health and well-being of people, emphasizing local and organic products, and supporting a dynamic community accessible to all.
Help Us Open Our Doors
A major cost to fit out the store is the purchase of a refrigerated walk-in cooler. This will allow bulk storage of dairy, vegetables, and other items requiring cool temperatures. The cooler has six glass doors that customers open to select their purchases. There is funding in the budget for a portion of its cost. We need your help raising $20,000 for the remainder. Your financial support will help open the doors to the cooler, as well as the doors to the store.
Risks and challenges
MoCo has already surmounted many challenges that face a start-up member-owned food cooperative—organizing, doing feasibility work, building membership, raising capital, engaging the community at-large, selecting a store location, hiring an experienced general manager and completing the first phase of store construction. Admittedly, setbacks and unexpected developments may arise with any start-up business. MoCo must compete with two large conventional stores at the north end of town by creating a unique product mix and price points that will bring shoppers into the co-op and continue to grow its membership. MoCo is prepared to respond to such upcoming challenges through its committed board, enthusiastic membership, active support from local businesses and town government, and a substantial amount of working capital that has been set aside for the first year of operation. There is great confidence MoCo will be a success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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