The Board of Directors’ table at this year’s SOUPer Bowl event allowed us the opportunity to speak with many of our fellow co-op Member-Owners and share what was on each other’s minds. The topic that seemed most popular was the expansion. As a new member to the Board, I was excited to get familiar with the details of why we chose to expand, when we can expect to feel the expansion start to unfold, and how we will support the project logistically and financially. The co-op has provided two very approachable resources on the website with a FAQs page and a timeline based on the current scope of the project.
As a frequent shopper at Monadnock Food Co-op the “why” of the expansion is the part that I get most excited about. The popularity of the store as a space for the community to shop and gather has shown us that to sustain continued growth a larger store footprint is needed. Our expansion will allow us to create more retail space on the floor—creating the opportunity for more product offerings including more local and MFC-made goods, and ultimately provide our co-op with more purchasing power (reducing prices at the customer level). The expansion will also increase the seating space in the café.
Later this year, we hope to move the project from concept to the physical realization of the hard work and planning done thus far. Project financing is our next big hurdle and will come from several sources including Member Loans and New Market Tax Credits. If all goes as planned, we anticipate a groundbreaking this summer and construction will continue well into 2020.
Personally, I have been really impressed at the level of careful thought that has gone into getting our co-op through to this point in the project. I can see that the values and culture of the store that I have felt invested in as a Member-Owner are being held closely. I look forward to the next phase of this growth.