July 23rd- Join Us For An Open Meeting!

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To All Members and Supporters of the Amherst Community Co-op:

In April of last year, the Amherst Community Co-op incorporated and began to build its membership base. Since that time, your steering committee has reached out across the community to explain the co-op’s goals and to get people to join us. We’ve been pretty successful in those efforts, and we now have 150 members, give or take.

Over the past year, we have been telling the community that, once we reach 150 members, we would commission a market feasibility study and business plan from our consultants, Cooperative Development Services (CDS). We made that plan on the basis of a commitment from our sister co-op, River Valley market in Northampton, to provide the co-op with a loan to finance the consulting work once we reached 150 members.

River Valley Market remains committed to supporting Amherst Community Co-op, but experienced people in the food co-op world have counseled us to wait until we reach the 300-member mark. The steering committee agrees that it would be prudent to build a larger membership base before we go forward with the consulting work.

We would like to move forward as quickly as we can to get more people to join the co-op. That’s where you come in: For those of you that are owners, we need you to help ensure that your investment in the Amherst Community Co-op bears fruit. That’s why we are asking you and your fellow supporters to:

 Become a founding member-owner of the co-op if you have not already done so - click here to print out your membership brochure, or follow the link and click "join online"

 Tell your friends and neighbors about Amherst Community Co-op and encourage them to join

 Hold a membership-building house party – members of your steering committee will be there to help in any way we can, including attending the party and talking about the co-op

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to enlarge and strengthen the steering committee itself. We need people with a variety of skills and, most urgently, we need community organizers. There is no question that Amherst is ready – indeed demands – a full-service cooperative grocery store. But we need people with roots in the community who are prepared to promote the co-op’s vision.

Please attend an open meeting on Thursday, July 23rd, at 7 p.m. at the Jones Library’s Woodbury Room downstairs. The meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet with the 
members of the steering committee, to find out where the co-op project stands, and to offer your skills and passion to making the Amherst Community Co-op a reality.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Sincerely,
Amherst Community Co-op Steering Committee
Laura Mason, Elliott Crowe, Alex Kent, Christina DiMarco-Crook, Josh Cohen, David Ahlfeld

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Amherst Food Co-op
A start-up worker- and consumer-owned food co-op in Amherst, MA