By Debbie Burgan in the Grapevine:
“So, it looks like this may be our $1 Million year.
Did you know that Yelm Food Co-Op is considered an anomaly in the Co-Op industry?
We opened with only $26k in the bank. At that time, the average new Co-op venture was $1-3 million, half of which the banks required to come directly from members. I cant deny that we werent a bit crazy (and there were days when we were flat out insane) but we managed to pull it off anyway because everyone wanted this more than we didnt want it! We were (and still are) willing to do what is necessary to keep moving forward.
What do they have we dont have? Buying power. Hitting this $1 Million dollar level will put us in an excellent position to join them.
Another factor is the Members. The Olympia Food Co-Op has over 10,000 members to our 1,600, 40+ years to our 8, and revenue in the millions (at one point they were where we are now and were faced the same decisions we are making now).
We were just approved by the IRS for this [non-profit status] in the past couple of months. The immediate benefits include:
– Tax Deductible dues and donations
– Potential Grant Money for equipment
– The Yelm Farmers Market
– The Yelm Community Gardens (another non-profit venture to help educate people on how to grow and be sustainable)”