June 4 General Membership Meeting and Tour of the Site

The Kensington Community Food Co-op held a meeting in our beautiful new site at the intersection of Frankford, Lehigh and Coral st. Several volunteers helped to clean up the site on Sunday June 1st, and made for the perfect meeting space.

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Jeff Carpineta, Director at Large, gave an informative pre-meeting tour along with a brief history of co-ops and how grateful we are to the thousands of hours our volunteers have already committed to KCFC. As of this meeting, we had 487 members. Our goal is 700 by the end of the year. If every member convinces a friend to join, we can easily surpass this goal. This is even easier to do now that we have multiple installment options for payment

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We are a community empowered organization dedicated to providing healthy local (regional) food to a supportive community. A survey revealed that rather than military precision volunteer labor, it is far more reasonable to run our grocery store via paid staff, which will stimulate local economy.

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Following some info on the site seatch and busines plan there was a discussion of the other KCFC Committees including Media&Marketing, Membership, Finance and Grocery Operations. Get involved now! Volunteers get 10% off their next marketplace purchase, which is already at wholesale prices! If you are interested in volunteering for a committee contact our Volunteer Coordinator Holly Logan at Hollylogan@gmail.com    

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Our beautiful new building, the home of the Kensington Community Food Co-op, was previously O'Reilly's bar, and before that was Shannon's pub. Jeff told us about how well the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival went, specifically enhanced because so many people were excited to tell us their stories about the property. It features a magnificent 18 car parking lot, and is 4200 square feet, and comes with a liquor license which is an incredible asset and will make sitting on the patio with a growler of craft beer and a sandwich the perfect end to an afternoon shopping trip. The property was on our list of potential homes, and when it was foreclosed on, two of our decades-local member-owners stepped up to purchase the building, providing us with a 10 year lease, a 10 year option to renew, the option to purchase at any time, and the first 6 months free. They are also helping to renovate the building far more compassionately than any lease or landlord would otherwise. We are responsible for building everything in the store, rather than the entire property: power, equipment, sinks, drains, flooring, storage spaces, and health- and safety-codes.

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The building is incredible, but it needs a lot of fixing up. It had been subject to break-ins and vandalism, as well as the theft of everything worth stealing. So far the cleaning and pre-renovations have filled 13 dumpsters at $300 each, by way of Revolution Recovery, who go to great lengths to reuse and recycle as much of the disposed materials as possible.

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We used a lot of our $25k grant to pay for a market study, business plan, and site surveys, which are vital in knowing what to look for in opening a store, and also for getting loans from banks. The total estimated cost of our project is 1.4 million dollars. Every dollar that we can save via volunteers makes a world of a difference to KCFC, and our community. Volunteer now!

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Until we're open there are many benefits of being a member-owner of KCFC, including the marketplace, which is held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month: our Grocery Operations Team works very hard (meeting the first Monday of every month at 7pm at Circle of Hope) to source and distribute the food items we need. This learning process will also benefit the streamlined opening of our store, since we will already have a solid understanding of what our customers want, and how we can get it. Anyone can shop at the Marketplace, but member-owners also are awarded a discount at many local businesses participating in our Shop Local Program. (Do you own a local business or know someone who does, that should be a Shop Local Partner? Email Angie at angela@kcfc.coop)

When we're open member-owners will enjoy a yearly rebate for any excess profit, a discount for every purchase (likely 5% after whole-sale prices), possibly special call-ahead ordering, bike delivery, and more!

We have a mission, a community, and now a home. Join us in making this dream a reality. 

 

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