Ownership Growth: A Numbers Game

Published February 14, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Katie Novak Katie Novak served as Outreach Manager and Owner Loan Campaign Manager for Green Top Grocery in Bloomington, IL during their startup years. She was integral in bringing the Green Top Grocery Case Study on owner loan campaigns to the FCI website.  Before there was a loan campaign, there was the ownership drive, […]

Love Those Lawn Signs!

Published January 25, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

Lawn signs are a great tool for boosting community awareness that your new co-op is coming to town. FCI encourages you to make these a free item that is given to each new owner/member. As the signs spread throughout your community, the conversation will grow as well. This is one marketing tool  that works well. […]

Quick Tips: Why Does Opening a Co-op Take So Long?

Published November 21, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

It’s the question ALL startups ask.  It is a tough one potential owners puzzle over. We talk about it on the FAQ page. In this short video, FCI’s Jacqueline Hannah has some great answers.  A great tool for startups and their targeted supporters.

New Timeline. New Perspective.

Published May 2, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Kelly Matthews of Oshkosh Food Co-op       Oshkosh is a city of about 66,000 people located in west central Wisconsin. In 2012, a group there started dreaming of their very own co-op, and the learning process began. Oshkosh Food Co-op incorporated 16 months later, and the challenge of education the community about co-ops, and […]

Up & Coming LOVE

Published February 10, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Michelle Engelman Berns of Long Beach Grocery Co-op in California  A Valentine for Up & Coming food co-op conference  “Up and Coming gave me the first hand glimpse into the heart of a co-op; which is its people.”  My history with co-ops, up to my move to Long Beach 3 years ago, was as an owner/member […]

Talent Cornerstone: Reflections on the Startup Process

Published December 15, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

By Alan Langrall of Green Top Grocery The four cornerstones are constants in the lifecycle of all co-ops, whether they are startups or stores that have been opened for some time. People often come to the table not knowing what they have to offer, or what is expected of them. Helping volunteers find the fit […]

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 […]

5 Essentials for Your Co-op Website

Published November 8, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

You website is the world’s window to your co-op. Whether you are  a new startup with 100 members or an established one with 10,000, giving your site a regular once-over can help build traffic and interest in your startup or store.  You may have an elaborate site, a simple Facebook page, or both. It doesn’t take a major […]

Green Top Grocery Capital Campaign Case Study

Published September 30, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

In 2016 Green Top Grocery (GTG), a startup in Illinois, ran the highest startup capital campaign to date. Through three webinars and extensive examples, they share their success, planning, and hard work for all members of the retail food co-op startup community. These resources, coupled with the Capital Campaign Workbook, are excellent starting points for any […]

Helpful Partners: Engaging Members & Local Producers/Businesses

Published September 27, 2016 by Food Co-op Initiative

By SaraBeth Drybread of Columbus Food Co-op The staff at FCI knows that the task of opening a new retail food co-op requires many partners. The sheer volume of things to do can sometimes overwhelm even the best startup team. We want to share this story of using community partners to build success, and how startups […]