We've Kicked Off Our Membership Drive!

Josh Cohen submitting his membership payment! [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

We had so much fun kicking off our Membership Drive on Saturday the 12th! Around 150 people came to show their support, and we couldn't have been happier with the turnout. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Jade Barker kicks off the speakers. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Jade Barker, board member of River Valley Market, kicked off our line-up of speakers. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Angie and Jessica of Simple Diaper and Linen. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Angie and Jessica of Simple Diaper and Linen spoke about their journey to turn their once sole-proprietorship into a worker-owned co-op. Amherst Community Co-op will be a worker-owned as well as a consumer-owned co-op, and worker-owners everywhere are passionate about the benefits of direct democracy in the workplace. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Art Ames of the Berkshire Co-op. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Art Ames, general manager of the Berkshire Co-op, spoke about the ways in which co-ops strive to make wholesome food affordable. He spoke specifically of their co-op's Basics program- a program that identifies "basic" products (grains, bread, milk, eggs) and lowers their prices to be the lowest in the area. These costs are subsidized with higher costs for "non-essential" items that one would expect to pay more for, like chocolate. This ensures that everyone can afford to shop at the co-op. This program is an inspiration to us in our start-up planning, as increasing food access to everyone in our town is a key part of our mission. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College, spoke about how it's "about time" for Amherst to have a co-op. We agree! [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms speaks. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Co-founder and CEO of Stonyfield Farms Gary Hirshberg spoke about true democracy, and the real hard work that goes into creating grassroots projects like our co-op. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Steering Committee member Nora Murphy speaks. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Our own steering committee member Nora Murphy spoke about how our project began, the work that we've put into getting where we are today, and what lies ahead on the road to making this dream a reality for our community. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

The crowd. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

 [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

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[photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Sean Capaloff-Jones of UMass Five College Federal Credit Union. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Sean Capaloff-Jones of UMass Five College Federal Credit Union pops popcorn. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Food table. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Food was donated by River Valley Market, Franklin Community Co-op, Rao's Coffee and Real Pickles. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Katherine Bhaduri looks on. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Katherine Bhaduri, steering committee member. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Backyard Bakery and Cabot Cheese. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Dorie Goldman of Backyard Bakery sampled her fresh-baked bread alongside a donation of Cabot Cheese. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

People's Market. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

People's Market, a student-run collective food store on the UMass Campus, tabled- here's why they're excited about the co-op. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Drummer of Eli Heath Jazz Trio. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

The audience enjoyed music from the Eli Heath Jazz Trio. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Eli Heath Trio Bass Player. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Eli Heath Jazz Trio. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Eli Heath Jazz Trio pianist. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Eli Heath Jazz Trio. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Membership. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

The memberships have begun rolling in! [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Laura Mason and Mary Hoyer. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Mary Hoyer of the Cooperative Fund of New England with steering committee member Laura Mason. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Bart's Ice Cream. [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

Bart Homemade Ice Cream handed out free mini cones! [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

[photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

New member-owners received free tote bags! [photo credit: Rebekah Hanlon]

We are looking forward to continuing our journey towards opening this co-op, and want to thank everyone who has supported us so far. We wouldn't be here without your encouragement and enthusiasm. 

Help us continue to grow- become a member today by visiting our website, and help us spread the word to your fellow community members!

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