Published June 15, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

East Aurora Co-op MarketFood Co-op Initiative is proud to announce that the East Aurora Co-op Market in East Aurora, NY,  is the recipient of our “Startup of the Year” award for 2017. This award recognizes new food co-ops that have done an outstanding job of organizing their communities, building ownership, and following strong, viable business plans.

Providing fresh natural foods, great deli offerings and much more, the East Aurora Co-op Market serves over 1,700 owners, and the entire community of 6,300 people, from a beautiful storefront in the heart of town. Long-time board member and project manager extraordinaire, Sheila Conboy, unexpectedly found herself becoming the co-op’s general manager, where she continues to provide the same commitment and leadership.

The 4,500 square foot co-op opened in June 2016, with its first-year sales of $2.34 million exceeding projections for this small-town store. Conboy shares, “We’ve been blown away by our community’s support throughout our startup phase and during our first year in business. This has never been easy, and we’ve been fortunate to have Lexington Co-op [Buffalo, NY] and cooperative folks from all over the country by our side. When I see our owners taking pride in the store, I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished through cooperation.”

EAs Conboy gets award from FCIs Reid

Sheila Conboy accepts the 2017 Startup of the Year Award from FCI’s Stuart Reid.

The East Aurora Co-op Market is an inspiration to other startup co-ops and to all of us who work to support them.

Food Co-op Initiative is a nonprofit cooperative development center committed to providing resources, instruction, and support to communities that are organizing new retail food co-ops across the U.S. We have been recognizing outstanding new food co-ops with this award since 2013. East Aurora is the fifth recipient of the award. Past recipients were:

2013: Co-op Market Grocery & Deli, Fairbanks, Alaska

2014: Monadnock Food Co-op, Keene, New Hampshire

2015: Durham Co-op Market, Durham, North Carolina

2016: The Renaissance Community Co-op, Greensboro, North Carolina

Special thanks to the CDS Consulting Co-op and the 2017 CCMA Conference for their financial contributions that make it possible for the award-winning co-op to attend the ceremony.