Use the filters on the left to narrow your selections by development stage or project. You may select multiple categories and subcategories, but it may get cluttered. Use the Clear Filters button to refresh and start a new filtering. You can also use the Search feature, above.

The FCI Guide to Starting a Food Co-op

Our comprehensive guide for groups starting a retail food co-op, with steps, case studies, templates, and more for every stage from organizing to implementation.

Capital Campaign Workbook

Click to download: The guide to raising member capital for retail food co-ops. Updated March 5, 2017.  See the Member Equity Toolbox for planning and starting your ownership recruitment.

Green Top Grocery Capital Campaign Case Study

The link to find all three webinars and extensive supporting examples and materials from the highest startup capital campaign we have seen.

Sources & Uses

Click to Download Template: How much will it cost to start your co-op? Where will the money come from? Use this template to develop your budget.

Capital Campaigns: One Co-op Opts for Direct Public Offering, part 1

From Urban Greens Food Co-opa three part discussion about why, and how, they decided to do a DPO instead of an Owner Loan Campaign.

Legal Primer

Must read – incorporation, articles and by-laws, membership, equity, liability, patronage,  more.

Legal Issues in Stage 2

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

Your Best Meeting Ever

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

Vision Cornerstone Video Series

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

Creating a Vision

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

Member Equity Toolbox

What is  a membership/ownership program? How many owners do we need? How do we set our ownership investment level? Learn about the steps needed to start recruiting owners, and how to grow your ownership level.  See the Capital Campaign Workbook for owner loan campaigns.

Setting Ownership Goals

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.

Marketing for Membership

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

Stop Rolling the Dice With Membership

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

Effective Boards and Teams I

Webinar that helps boards and teams build structure and accountability.

Effective Boards and Teams II

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

Development Flowcharts By Stage

Download to assist in your 4 in 3 planning. A graphical flowchart for each stage, and an over-sized one for your planning wall.

NCGA and the Development Cooperative

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.

Insurance 101 for Food Co-ops

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.

Taxes and Accounting for Co-ops

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

Sample Chart of Accounts

Click to download: Excel Spreadsheet CoCoCOA – Sample Chart of Accounts from CoMetrics

River Valley Market: A Startup Case Study

This webinar reviews the startup  steps of  River Valley Co-op in Northampton, MA, which opened in June 2009.

Why Some Co-ops Fail

Cooperative Grocer Magazine article by Stuart Reid in May-June 2016.

Co-op Directories

Three sites that list open co-ops, as well as some startups.

Feasibility FAQ & Checklists

Info you need to evaluate the feasibility of your plans and gather the information you will need to move forward. Does not replace a feasibility study.

Mentoring Can Make All the Difference

Established Co-ops Helping Startups: Cooperative Grocer Magazine article by Jacqueline Hannah in March-April 2016.

Co-op as Hero: Storytelling for Startups

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

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.

Branding Stage 2: organizing & building relationships

From our Branding Time Three series: We have a brand, now how do we use it to grow ownership?

What is a Feasibility Study Anyway?

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

Sample Project Manager Job Description

Click to download this handout companion to the video An Insider’s Look at Project Management.

Just Food Development Timeline

An example of the actual planning and implementation process from a succesful start-up

An Insiders Look at Project Management

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.

A Tale of Two Co-ops

Cooperative Grocer Magazine article featuring East Aurora and Bisman food co-ops,  by Stuart Reid in Sept-Oct 2016.

DataBasics: Data Needs for Startup Co ops

In this webinar we look at tools and technologies available to help co-ops manage data: member-owners, capital campaigns, volunteers, and more.

Policy Templates for Startups

Comprehensive set of board policies designed specifically for startup co-ops. Includes suggested board agreements and policies for each stage of organizing, along with committee charters.

Developing a Budget For a Food Cooperative

Budget planning begins early in the startup process, and continues through every stage. Get a good start.

Bringing Grocery Stores to Low-Income Urban Food Deserts

Cooperative Grocer Magazine article by Mary Stennes Wilbourn in Nov-Dec 2015..

Intro to Food Co-op Finance

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

Monadnock Food Co-op: Case Study

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

Startup Business Plan Example

A sample business plan from Friendly CIty, a successful co-op that opened in 2011.

Startup Support Chart

Shows how startups interact with FCI, but also CDS Consulting Co-op, National Co+op Grocers and NCG’s Development Co-op.

Shifting Gears to Governance

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

Hub City Marketing Plan

Hub City Co-op’s comprehensive marketing plan for their Implementation Stage, raising investment and membership funds from the community.

Timelines for Members

Easy-to-share timeline based on membership goals rather than fixed dates. Article, examples, and template.