WHEW...2015 was a busy and exciting year! Thank you to everyone who was a part of it. Co-op = Community and we would not be where we are today without your support.
Here's a recap. In 2015 we...
...spent eleven Saturday mornings having coffee and co-op themed conversation with you, one at Conscious Cup and ten at Ethereal Confections.
...spent ten Friday evenings sipping local brew and talking to you about local food at Crystal Lake Brewing.
...tabled ALL OVER THE PLACE; Earthday at Prairieview Education Center, Woodstock Wellness Connection Open House, Blue Lotus temple, Woodstock Farmer’s Market, Summer Stomp, McHenry County Fair, McHenry County Heart Walk, WPBW Autumn Art Tour, Woodstock Harvest Fest, Care 4 Breast Cancer Walk, Green Drinks, Green Living Expo and Home is Where the Art Is.
...walked in the Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade.
...led a container gardening workshop at Whipsering Hills Garden Center.
...tended a plot in the Grow and Share community garden at Soulful Prairies.
...partnered with D200 on SHAPE Woodstock, an amazing, grant-funded series of healthy living workshops.
...presented to the Harvard Garden Club and as a part of a panel of local food experts at the Bioneers speaker series.
...conducted three Info & Updates webinars.
...did some watching and learning, too! We hosted a TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” viewing party at MCC and screened "Food For Change", a wonderful film about the history of cooperatives, four times.
...did our fair share of arts and crafts! We made veggie stamps with kids at McHenry Fiesta Days, hand-lettered and screen printed signs at a craft workshop and hosted a Paint and Sip fundraiser where participants painted the Food Shed logo.
...surveyed our owners and worked to define our values.
...hired our first employee, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Teagen!
...visited operating co-ops in three different states so we could report back to you with photos and insight into what makes co-ops so wonderful and different from the conventional grocery stores that Illinois residents are accustomed to.
...learned from our peers and the experts at the Illinois Startup Co-op Day in Urbana and at a Cooperative Cafe event in Eau Claire, WI.
...wrapped up the USDA grant-funded market study, which concluded that our community-owned grocery store will be successful.
...benefitted greatly from the hard work and support of our volunteers. We held exciting volunteer workshops and shared local food at a volunteer appreciation barbecue. Thank you to anyone who volunteered in any capacity this year - we can’t do this without you!
...introduced regular owner orientation meetings and had two very successful orientations, each unique in its own rite. We’ll have more of these in 2016 and encourage all owners, regardless of when you joined the co-op, to attend. Orientations are a great way to learn, get involved and get to know your co-op community!
...hosted two amazing parties and one awesome Annual Owner Meeting. A big thank you to our owners, our supporters and the wonderful local businesses that support us and make these events possible. We urge you to help us reciprocate, visit our Shop Local page for a list of supporters and show them your support!
...welcomed 202 new owners for a total of 431 founding owners at the end of the year! Not too shabby! We could not have done it without your help. However, we do need more owners to get on board. If you don't already #OWNit, please consider joining today. We’re still working toward a goal of 500 owners, which will take us to the next stage on our timeline. (That's the stage where we start looking for a site for our community-owned grocery store!!!)
2015 was a wonderful year! View our updated Gallery of Owners and 2015 Retrospective gallery to see it in pictures.
2016 WILL be the year we select a location for our store. It could be the year we open our doors, but that’s up to you. The faster we can spread the word and attract more owners, the quicker we’ll get the doors of our store open.
We will be at the Woodstock Farmers Market tomorrow from 9am-1pm and at both Crystal Lake Brewing and Ethereal Confections next weekend. We would LOVE to see you! Click the venue names for more information or to volunteer to help out.
We wish you a 2016 full of possibility and success!