TSK Food Co-op needs funding to successfully support their expansion from a member's basement into a beloved neighborhood grocery space
The Second Kitchen is a Food Co-op that builds community around food mindfulness and appreciation. We need to expand to allow everyone access to local, fairly traded, and organic food at an affordable price.
Two years ago, The Second Kitchen began as a coalition of 18 student households who were looking for an alternative way to purchase food. What grew out of the simple food-buying club became a prospering community that agreed that the best way we can support our food system is to focus on the food that is grown around us. With that mindset, The food-buying club worked cooperatively and grew their membership to over 100 volunteers and collectively sourced local food. They all agreed that building community became the main facet to encourage individuals to learn and understand what changes need to be made to our current food system. Simply being a member can make a difference in improving the overall health of humans and the earth. Now, the demand to become a member of the food- buying club has outgrown our basement meeting space, and therefore was the catalyst for creating a platform for our future food co-op to come to life.
Our founders were college students wanting fair and affordable food for all.
Starting as three CU students vision for providing solutions to insure food justice, our choice to expand allows us to be accessible to everyone. The founders originally wanted to encourage and educate fellow students on the many ways we can collectively support local and organic producers. Today, the concept has expanded to promote food accessibility to everyone. With our new storefront we can accomplish both because it is set directly between a densely populated student and residential neighborhood. TSK will offer students, individuals, and families memberships that will create stronger relationships between students and residents, while supporting the local farmer all at the same time! The founders feel like their vision can be met by this expansion.
Our new storefront is not just any other grocery space.
It has been a grocery for 85 years, and is a beloved spot in the neighborhood. TSK is ready to give the space the love and attention the 1300 square foot building needs to become the home of Boulder's only Food Co-op. In order to do that, we need sufficient funds to make our project blossom into a community store and gathering place.
How the co-op will work?
The Second Kitchen will be open to anyone who wants to come participate! However, members will have access to co-op prices, our online pre-order system, and discounts on urban homesteading classes. One thing that sets us apart from other co-ops nation wide is that we are a member-run cooperative, meaning that we offer working memberships that require members to volunteer in the store to help lower the operating costs. This is a way to build a stronger community by working together! Imagine a 19 year old student volunteering with a 60 year old resident. We think that this is a great solution to connect students and residents together in a common space.
What kinds of items will the co-op sell?
- Local, Organic, and Regional Bulk Goods
- Locally grown seasonal produce
- Locally produced snacks and breads
- Local Dairy Products: egg, cheese, milk, yogurt etc
- Organic Meats
- Preserved & Pickled local produce and fruit
- Tea, Spices & Coffee
- Non Food Items such as sustainably sourced soap, lotions, make-up, tinctures, herbs, mason jars, cookbooks, seeds, soil, art, etc.
Our Plans for action
TSK has a unique model that plans to contract local farmers and producers to guarantee revenue for the farms and secure food for us. We want to raise money to pre-finance farmers and producers to provide food specifically for the co-op. At this point, we are already working with one farmer, and will continue to seek more trusting relationships. This creates a micro-local supply chain. In addition to these future contracts, it will allow for members to be involved in the growing process by volunteering their time at the farms.
We plan to build support from the community by growing our member-owners up to 800 memberships after one year of opening.
We want to invest in food education. The co-op will offer classes to help members engage with the local food economy that we are cooperatively supporting.
How will we use the money raised?
Right now, we need funding for upfront start-up costs to cover many beginning expenses of our project.
Follow the breakdown to really know what your donations will create!
- 40% of donations will go towards contracts with local farms and preservation companies
- 36% of donations will go towards purchasing materials and equipment
- 16% of donations will go towards Renovations the interior/exterior space
- 8% of donations will go towards State and City Licensing and Branding
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Second Kitchen is choosing the cooperative business model that can only be successful with membership growth. After launching a successful Kickstarter campaign, and we are on schedule towards opening the storefront, we must push for membership as soon as possible in order to make sure we can cover the costs of rent, utilities, management, etc. We believe there is a large enough demand for a food co-op in Boulder to meet our membership needs, but it will be a major challenge and risk that will require a lot of marketing and promotion. We are already getting people signed-up for memberships, and we feel confident we will meet our goal of 160 members upon opening.
Another challenge is being able to meet the demand of local products once our membership grows. Our inventory will be different than most grocery stores, and therefore we must make sure to provide enough inventory seasonally to make a profit. Because we know this is a major challenge, we are already building our all-year-round food catalog and making connections to secure a stocked store in the midst of a Colorado winter.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.