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September Update

image of fresh figs at the farmer's marketHello Most Recent Supporters of the B/V Food Co-op,

We received lots of new interest in our food co-op as a result of the Times-Herald piece last Monday. Thank you so much for reaching out to us! 25 new people e-mailed us and we received over 116 new ‘Likes’ on our Facebook ‘Page’ and 52 new people joined our Facebook Group. We responded to every FB comment & message and every e-mail. Some of you have been added to our e-mail list (updates only) and some of you have been added to our Volunteer list; we appreciate both! Here is the latest update we sent just last week before the article ran.  We wanted to share it with all of you. . .

Hello Supporters of the Benicia-Vallejo Food Co-op,

Time for an Update……

As a brief recap…. Our Mission….

‘We are a Food Co-op working on creating a brick and mortar grocery store, owned by the community, which will supply locally sourced and ethically produced foods.’

Ultimately, we will be “Cultivating Community” through this cooperative effort!  A big task to be sure!!!!

And we cannot do this alone!  We need the community to get on board. Soon, you will have the opportunity to buy ‘owner- shares’ of the co-op. There are many benefits to owning these shares and you will learn all about them when we begin our ownership campaign.

Just know this: owner-shares are the foundation of the food co-op. Not only do they provide financial support for the co-op, they are an indication of patronage as well. Having community awareness of all the great things our food co-op will provide… healthy foods, education, community, keeping the money in our community…. and then having individuals and families step forward to buy shares…we will be on a solid footing from the very beginning

Progress to date:

Our e-mail list is over 400 and growing! Facebook has reached 556! We seem to be growing month by month!

We are continuing to have a presence at the Benicia and Vallejo FM’s a few times per month. These weekly events provide us with an excellent opportunity to reach out directly to the people who share our passion for healthy, organic foods! It’s also a fabulous way to volunteer! If you would like to help at our table so we can attend the markets more often, please reply to this e-mail.

Our website is under development. If you have website experience and would like to join the cause, I’m sure our website designer, Jeff, would appreciate any help. Again, please reply to this e-mail.

Logo: We have designers working on our logo that integrates the co-op concept as well as the goal of “cultivating community.”

Food Co-op Tours

This month, four of us, had private tour of the Davis Food Co-op, Placerville Natural Foods Co-op and Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. What a wonderful day!!!  Our hosts were extremely generous with us sharing of their time and expertise.  In addition to site tours, we received behind the scenes access to how these co-ops operate, found out what they are most proud of as well as what they need to work on, and left with planning strategies and wonderful ideas we hope to implement into our own store. No wonder they were so generous – they were honoring Number 6 of the Cooperative Principles…”Cooperation Among Cooperatives”.

Driving home, we discussed our biggest take aways:

*Education, Education, Education…. constantly and always!  Sacramento Natural no longer has a ‘marketing department’ they only have an ‘education department’ everything revolves around education.

*Do not open the store until you are on a solid financial footing. This was just re-affirmed. We know this! Placerville opened their doors with only 300 owners, making the first few years extremely challenging. With this in mind, we are committed to the goal of having 1500 owners! Placerville now has a little over 1500. If you are heading up to South Lake Tahoe please do your shopping at Placerville Natural Foods Co-op. They are just a couple of miles off of Hwy. 50. Well worth the visit and a nice way to support other food co-ops!

To see some photos from our field trip, please go to our facebook page

Lastly,  We are working on a business model of 4 cornerstones in 3 stages. Stage 1 – Organize, Stage 2- Feasibility & Plan, Stage 3 – Implement. The 4 cornerstones we are working on simultaneously are Vision, Talent, Systems and Capital.  Soon we will be recruiting for our Capital team.  If you have any expertise in capital campaigns please be sure and reply to this e-mail.

Thank you for your time,

The Benicia/Vallejo Food Co-op Team

P.S. Sacramento Natural Food Co-op is moving into a new store in the beginning of September just a couple of blocks from their current store.

Old Store – 16,000 sq. ft.

New Store – 25,000 sq. ft. and Just Beautiful!!! We could only see the outside but heard about all the wonderful new things to come… Mmmm… I sense another road trip!


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