From the Roots Up - Growing a Food Co-op Business
Last summer I had the great fortune of working with the Potluck Food Co-op. A call from a friend seeking some communications advice for the Board developed into a broader conversation about where they were at as an organization and where they wanted to go.
At that point the Co-op had been around for three years. They had been running fall and winter market days, and had a strong following in the community but were struggling with how to grow from there. They were sitting on a mountain of data (feasibility studies and other research) but could not seem to turn it into a plan.
What we did
Based on the feasibility study that was completed we were able to chose an operating model and create a start-up budget, business plan, and cashflow plan for an online retail store that would offer bi-weekly food orders to Whitehorse residents.
The Start-up Budget gave the Co-op a clear picture of how much money needed to be raised to get off the ground and a strong understanding of just how much community support was necessary to launch.
The Business Plan and Cashflow Plan helped them to see just how much food they would have to sell to how many people on a monthly basis in order to break even and see profit.
With a clear vision for the Co-operative and an a clear picture of how many members and how much money they needed to get started the Co-op was able to launch a members and investors campaign to reach their goals.
One year later the Potluck Food Co-op is going strong and on the way to achieving their goals. They have reached 62% of their startup funding goal and they just hired two new retail managers to launch an online store. If you are not already a member, I highly recommend becoming one. Who doesn't want a customized box of delectable food magic twice a week. Meet the new team at www.potluckcoop.com.