We are so thankful to all the Elk River Area Food Co-op Owners who came out to our Annual Owner Meeting. We had a full house and are excited to be outgrowing our space! We started the night off with a community potluck and celebrations followed by new board applicant introductions and talking about 2018 goals. We then proceeded to go over the successes of 2016-2017 and vote in our full board of directors. At the end members had a chance to meet some of our partners and hear about their operations. It was a fun and motivating meeting to inspire the new year ahead.
If you couldn't make it here is what we covered:
*Membership: We nearly doubled our membership. We added over 145 new owners to our growing co-op community for a grand total of #305 OWNERS!! If we can double again this year to #600 we will begin looking for store locations.
*Community Connections: We now have a grand total of 17 local partnerships, making it more convenient for you to support local agriculture and small-town businesses.
*Publicity: The co-op received tons of publicity - Check out all the newspaper articles tracking our growth: Co-op Doubles in Size, Hires First Staff, Johnson Begins Work for Elk River Area Food Co-op, Food Co-op Puts Emphasis on Buying Local, Co-op Doubles Membership, Meets Goals
*Marketing: We hired our first staff! Alyssa Johnson helped us build awareness by designing, updating and maintaining our online social media and web presence. We also printed over 500 newly designed brochures, 1,000+ business cards, printed over 250 community flyers and distributed 50 yard signs.
*Education: One of the co-op's core principles is health education and awareness. In 2016-2017 we hosted 7 community classes and continue to offer amazing opportunities to learn with like-minded individuals. Check out our calendar to see what classes are coming up next.
*Training: Our board of directors and staff had the chance to attend multiple trainings at the local, regional and national level. This allowed us to learn ways to better serve our community and grow with the changing competitive market!
*Double Membership: We need to double our membership (from 300+ to 600+) in order to start looking for physical locations. That shows us, and our lenders, that the community supports our efforts in creating a locally owned grocery store.
*Establish 9-Member Committed Board of Directors: We elected 3 new Board Members, all serving a 3-year term. Our board is currently filled as we begin to develop training orientations and responsibility delegation.
*Develop/Maintain Committees: In order for the Elk River Area Food Co-op to continue reaching our goals, we need to engage our community. Starting a food co-op take considerable time and effort, therefore we are looking for our community to step up and join our committees. Committee descriptions and expectations will be posted in the next few weeks, however please reach out if you have specific skills you'd like to donate to the co-op efforts.
How you can help
Our goals are achievable, yet lofty. We need our entire community to support our efforts in order to move forward and make this co-op a reality. If you have time or skills you would like to volunteer, please fill out our volunteer application below.
- Follow/like/share our posts and e-mails with your network
- Host a lunch & learn or house party
- Attend our community classes and bring your friends
- Mention our efforts in your professional and personal newsletters
- Become a partner
- Help distribute community flyers (flexible schedule)
- Volunteer at orientations and special events
- Join a Committee: Membership, Outreach, Operations or Finance
- Join our Board of Directors: currently we are looking for someone with a finance background to be our Treasurer