May 15, 2016

Food Shed Co-op Wins FCI Seed Grant

For Immediate Release
 
Media Contact:
Doug Close, Board President 
Noelle Fox, Board Vice President 
info@foodshed.coop
 
Local Business, Food Shed Co-op, awarded $10,000 Grant from National Co-op Organization and starts location search
 
McHenry County, Illinois – Food Shed Co-op, a community-owned grocery store opening soon in McHenry County, has been awarded a $10,000 grant and consulting assistance from the Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) - a national non-profit organization devoted to helping food co-ops. “The public interest in food co-ops is at an all-time high,” reports FCI Executive Director Stuart Reid. “By owning and controlling their own cooperative store, communities are able to ensure stable access to healthy food, provide meaningful jobs, and support local producers. Food co-ops can become both an economic anchor and a social hub for the community.” Award winners were selected based on the strength of their leadership, quality of business planning, potential for successful operations, and potential impact made by the grant funds. Out of hundreds of food co-ops across the country, the Food Shed Co-op was one of twelve awarded.
 
In addition to this prestigious grant, the Food Shed Co-op is receiving support from the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. Cooperative Development Specialist Courtney Berner says, “The UW Center for Cooperatives has had the pleasure of working with Food Shed Co-op since they started organizing just over two years ago. From the start, the Food Shed organizing team has been a joy to work with and support. They have strong leaders, committed volunteers, and a compelling vision, which has helped propel them down the development path at an impressive speed.”
 
The Food Shed Co-op reached a major milestone this April by exceeding 500 owners and as a result, the store site search has begun. The site selection process is driven by data collected in a USDA-grant-funded Market Study that identified the feasible target location to be in either the Crystal Lake or Woodstock area. A financial pro forma was drafted and will be used to gauge the financial feasibility of potential locations. Ownership is a one-time investment of $200 and provides the capital and support necessary to move forward with plans and secure a location for the community-owned grocery store. Owner benefits include sharing in the store profits and having an equal vote amongst all owners in cooperative affairs.
 
About Food Shed Co-op
We are a group of volunteers in McHenry County working hard to open a cooperative grocery store. Our mission is to build a LOCAL food COOPERATIVE promoting a HEALTHY, ETHICAL and RESILIENT COMMUNITY. Our Core Values are: 1.) Promote and foster better food choices, 2.) Cultivate and strengthen our local economy, 3.) Inspire and empower community, and 4.) Champion environmentally responsible practices.
Learn more at: http://www.foodshed.coop

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