Vision Cornerstone Video Series

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This four-part video series provides a deep dive on the Vision Cornerstone of the 4-in-3 development model.

A Food Co-op In Your Community

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

An excellent video to share with prospective members who are new to the concept of a retail food co-op.

Intro to Food Co-op Finance

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Jump start your food co-op financial learning curve with this video presentation.

The Wonderful World of Grocery

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Webinar features the GM of Outpost Natural Foods telling the co-op story from its start in the 1970’s to the present. Outpost learned as it grew, and is a major advocate for all food co-ops.

NCGA and the Development Cooperative

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

A webinar discussion about National Co+op Grocers (formerly NCGA.)  Hear how it works, how it supports members, is it right for your co-op.

Taxes and Accounting for Co-ops

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Webinar features a CPA sharing tax and financial record requirements and best practices for startups and newly opened co-ops.

Your Best Meeting Ever

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This webinar shows you how to use timing, materials, agendas, and other preparation to pull off a great meeting every time.

Membership Building with Events

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

A webinar highlighting the process for using house parties, tabling, and other outreach events to build ownership.

Effective Boards and Teams II

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Webinar that helps boards and teams with team-work, process, and decision-making..

Effective Boards and Teams I

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Webinar that helps boards and teams build structure and accountability.

When the Working Capital Runs Dry

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This webinar from the Up & Running track of a past food conference addresses tracking, projecting, managing capital, and raising more after opening.

Let’s Start a Food Co op: What Do We Do First?

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Review this webinar for a great intro to the startup process, and learn what you should start doing right now—and what you shouldn’t. Find the path that works.

Stop Rolling the Dice With Membership

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This webinar discusses how to strategize and prioritize your plans  to build membership through all three stages of food co-op development.

Co-op as Hero: Storytelling for Startups

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

If heroes are known by the things they do in pursuit of a noble purpose, then your co-op is definitely a heroic force. Learn frameworks and strategies to super-charge your co-op’s story into a narrative with passion, energy, and a shared sense of purpose within your co-op’s community.

Store Size: The Goldilocks Solution

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This webinar explains how to right-size your co-op to ensure you serve your community’s needs, create a sustainable income stream, and have a maximum impact on your mission.

Designing Your Co op

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

What does your co-op design have to say for itself? This webinar looks at the importance of appearance, décor, color, signage, and not getting ahead of yourself.

What is a Feasibility Study Anyway?

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

What are market and feasibility studies? When should co-ops have them done? This webinar discusses everything you want to know.

Hiring Your First GM

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

This webinar offers tools and resources to help guide your General Manager hiring process, and offer tips for helping your co-op find the GM you are looking for.

Raising Your First $10,000

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Ideally, co-ops raise funds for startup costs through member equity. But what about co-ops that have not yet incorporated? This webinar covers fundraising strategies for early in the organizing process.

Insurance 101 for Food Co-ops

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Dane Meisler of Kapatoes Insurance Services discusses the insurance needs of health food stores and retail food co-ops at all stages—from startup to store opening.

An Insiders Look at Project Management

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Learn how your co-op can jump start its development with project management. Hear from a project manager who helped her co-op get a successful start, and about the board’s responsibilities as an employer.

Bylaws Basics I & II

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Bylaws establish guidelines for how your organization will run. Learn the best practices for startups co-ops when writing their bylaws.

Setting Ownership Goals

Published March 1, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Growing your owner base is critical. Ownership levels help determine when you do studies, a capital campaign, and open your doors. Learn how to set the right goals.

Monadnock Food Co-op: Case Study

Published February 28, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

From organizing to opening the store–practical insights for all stages.

Shifting Gears to Governance

Published February 27, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Board roles shift when staff comes aboard to take on daily tasks an operations. Hear from experts about smooth transitions in broad roles.

Strategic Leadership

Published February 27, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Leadership of a grassroots startup will evolve as the organization reaches new stages. Strategic leadership can help leaders grow with the co-op.

Messaging 101 for Startups

Published February 27, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Defining your key messages & reaching stakeholders are imperative. Explore some great ways to commuinicate.

Legal Issues in Stage 2

Published February 27, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Featuring volunteer labor, capital & equity, hiring staff, more.  With Thane Joyal & Ben Sandel of CDS Consulting Co-op

Legal Issues in Stage 1

Published February 27, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Featuring: incorporation, equity, liability & more. With Thane Joyal & Ben Sandel of CDS Consulting Co-op.

Marketing for Membership

Published September 17, 0201 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Marketing and ownership recruitment go hand-in-hand. Use your brand, logo, and materials effectively.

Helpful Partners: Donated Marketing Rocks!

Published June 20, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Dennis Rosenblum of Bay City Cooperative   The staff at FCI knows that the path to opening a new retail food co-op is rarely a straight line. The sheer volume of things to do can sometimes overwhelm even the best startup team. We want to share this story of using community business partners to build success, and how […]

Monadnock Food Co-op: Case Study

Published December 8, 2015 by Food Co-op Initiative

Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, New Hampshire started organizing  early in 2010, and worked closely with FCI and other co-op consultants to reach their goal of a great food co-op in teh community.  They opened in June 2013  and have become an established resource for Keene.  Bonnie Hudspeth, a foundling member of the Monadnock organizing […]

Capital Campaigns: One Co-op Opts for Direct Public Offering, Q & A

Published November 18, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Philip Trevvett, of Urban Greens Food Co-op in Rhode Island When we published the two-part piece One Co-op Opts for Direct Public Offering, our readers had questions. Philip takes the time to answer them here. Part 1 centered on Planning and Implementing their DPO campaign, and Part 2 on Lessons Learned and Next Steps. Food Co-op […]

Vision Cornerstone Video Series

Published March 1, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

Streamed live in 2016. This four-part video series provides a deep dive on the Vision Cornerstone of the 4-in-3 development model. Your  startup’s vision is at the heart of your mission. It should tell your community what you want your co-op to be.  And it should be a touchstone in all your decisions along the way.. Take the time […]

Great Events: Promoting Membership

Published May 19, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

by Jeremy Nash of Prairie Food Co-op The staff at FCI loves hearing about the great events that startup co-ops offer. They build membership, teach people about co-ops, and bring the communities together over food, and local food systems. FCI wants to share some of these with you in our blog stories on Great Events. Prairie […]

Great Events: FED Talks

Published May 2, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

by Carol Rauschenberger of Shared Harvest The staff at FCI loves hearing about the great events that startup co-ops offer. They build membership, teach people about co-ops, and bring the communities together over food, and local food systems. FCI wants to share some of these with you in our blog stories on Great Events. Shared […]

Featured Project: Monadnock Food Co-op

Published September 10, 2012 by Food Co-op Initiative

“I support Food Co-op Initiative because they supported us.” – Bonnie Hudspeth Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, New Hampshire will open its doors in the first part of 2013, after a four-year-long journey. Food Co-op Initiative will have been with them every step of the way. “At the very beginning, we were able to educate ourselves about […]

Creating a Vision

Published March 2, 2017 by Mary Stennes Wilbourn

Excellent video to help startups understand the process of creating a shared vision.

Seed Grants

Published January 18, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

      Application materials and updated webinar will be available in early summer. Learn more about the Seed Grant application process by reviewing the archived webinar: 2016 Seed Grants.  Food Co-op Initiative Seed Grants were created to provide early development capital to retail food co-op organizing groups that wish to partner with us in […]

FAQ

Published January 18, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

What are co-ops all about, anyway? We want to start a food co-op. What should we do first? Will a food co-op work in MY town? What do you charge for your services? What are top mistakes organizers make that lead to setbacks or even store closure? When should we incorporate? How soon can we […]