Lets engage our imagination. Imagine a vital local market, a place where people invest and support and love helping to nurture locally owned farms and small businesses. A place where the soil is shepherded for the benefit of generations to come; where seeds of inspiration are planted for developing a thriving economy through locally owned small businesses.
Imagine a collaborative community of residents and visitors where people work together to create a resilient local economy and a vibrant cultural vision. Imagine a cooperative marketplace that offers lots of locally grown and locally made products, owned by producers and consumers.
If you can imagine this place, perhaps you’d be willing to help us make it a reality! You don’t have to shop at this store to help. You too are invited to be a member.
We have a location identified and are asking for memberships to help us acquire the Souper Bowl restaurant in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts.
It’s a FABULOUS site for the producer-consumer cooperative, which will be called All Things Local. Big enough for farmers and local craftspeople to each have their own marketplace spots. Small enough to be downtown. It includes a walk-in cooler to store farmer’s produce and dairy products. It has a commercial kitchen for a cafe, cooking demonstrations, and food canning and preservation parties!
But we have a deadline – July 31, 2013! That is the date we must sign the lease or lose the store. We didn’t expect to find such a great location on such short notice! But with your help, we can join together as coop members to secure the site.
Will you help?
Join the coop. A $50 membership makes you an founding member of the coop, with full membership benefits. Just click on “Become a Member” and use Pay Pal to send in your membership fee….
Lets imagine All Things Local again….. a place where everything has local roots (from pears to pickles, sweaters to soap), where people can shop at a convenient year-round location featuring many producers and pay at a register operated by a local resident. Imagine supporting this vision.
Our core idea being developed is the creation of a diversified, resilient, local owned community market, by employing a cooperative model with lower costs and shared-risk. The store’s design makes it:
Easy for buyers to buy:
- Convenient location and hours
- Year-round and indoors
- Ability to pick-and-choose among many local producers
- Single checkout, with all the usual payment options
Easy for producers to sell:
- Producers set their own price
- Most of the selling price goes back to the producer where it belongs (no brokers or middle-men)
- Fast drop off
- Don’t have to be onsite (lower staffing costs)
- Online pre-sale bulk orders
- items sold by producer, in an information-rich setting
- prices set by the producers themselves
- 75%-85% of sales price is paid back to the producers
- joint governance by producer and consumer members
- low sales commission covers overhead & staffing
- volunteerism keeps prices down, and builds connections
Isn’t this the sort of business you’d like in your neighborhood as we all work toward alternatives to industrial farming. Well, the likelihood of an All Things Local store in lots of places, depends on the success of this one. Please help us make it real.
Join today and change a little part of the world “one co-op at a time”.
For more ideas, videos and challenges, please join my Facebook Group; Just Food Now.