Our co-op’s sales have doubled since we opened in April 2013. This growth, while mostly positive, has led to space constraints. A larger store will help us improve our product selection of local, organic and housemade offerings. A store expansion will also boost our purchasing power, lowering our cost of goods, enabling us to pass on these savings to you, and making healthy food more accessible for all. Product selection and pricing are the two biggest barriers that shoppers identified in doing more of their shopping at our Co-op in our most recent shopper survey.
Expanding our co-op will help us better serve the needs of our customers, as well as further our mission.
With a larger store, we will be able to:
- Source more locally grown and raised foods from farmers.
- Contribute further to the local economy by hiring another 30 staff members.
- Expand our café space to better welcome and connect our community.
The expansion will be a multi-million dollar project. The project costs include purchasing our existing building as well as the land, plus all of the related expansion construction and renovation costs. Current estimates are $8-9 million.
Our expansion project will be financed with a mixture of member loans, a current local lender, New Market Tax Credits, and local gap funding programs. The NMTC, which provides over a quarter of the funding, is interest-only funding that is forgiven after seven years.
To address existing parking problems and to prepare for the expansion, we have already added additional parking and we plan to add more once the project is complete.
Yes. Through years of research and inquiry, we learned that MFC Member- Owners want more of what the Co-op does well: access to natural, local and organic foods and a wider array of organic product options. The larger space will feature an expanded deli, an expanded full service meat and seafood counter, an expanded beverage bar, more cash registers/check-out lines, additional indoor and outdoor seating, an added multipurpose educational/demo area as well as the expanded parking lot – which you are already using.
We could break ground as early as June 2019 and open in the spring of 2020. However, there are many pieces that need to come together in order for us to move ahead with construction, including putting all of the financing in place. This among other factors may change this date considerably. Please stay tuned for updates in future e-newsletters and our website.
No. The costs associated with expanding our store will not impact prices of products. Retail prices are driven by several factors, including: cost of goods from vendors, costs for product ingredients, packaging, and transportation. Weather events that impact product availability and deliverability can also contribute to price increases.
MFC is like other grocery stores in that the more food we sell, the lower our cost of goods. As our sales increase, we would expect to see cost savings that we then pass on to shoppers.
No. Our roots are local and that is not changing while growing. We are committed to providing a warm, welcoming, friendly, and community spirited store and we feel confident you will find our expanded store to be just that. Our plans are to add less than half more of the retail space that you shop in now, so in the retail scheme of things, it will be pretty small, but big enough for us to accomplish a lot.