We are a group of regular folks working hard to open a community-owned grocery store in McHenry County, IL and we hope you will join us!
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Our milestones and the amount of time we expect it will take us to reach each milestone were provided by Food Co-op Initiative, a 501(c)3 non-profit, whose mission it is to enable a faster and more efficient start-up process for new retail grocery co-ops.
The speed of our progress is dependent on finding Founding Owners who support our efforts to bring a community-owned grocery store to McHenry County.
We will continue to make updates to our timeline as we move forward.
Click the image below for a full size timeline.
Help us reach Stage 3C quickly, become a Founding Owner today!
The idea was first hatched between a few friends in a conversation about improving the resilience of our community. Many conversations and phone calls later, in March 2013, a group of a few dozen people gathered on a cold winter evening and made the collective decision to do whatever it takes to open a community-owned grocery store in McHenry County. They organized a steering team, surveyed the community and pulled together a mailing list of people who like the idea of opening a food co-op. Since that first meeting, there have been many, many more.
In January of 2014, the McHenry County Food Cooperative (d/b/a Food Shed Co-op) was incorporated under Illinois Cooperative Law. Soon after incorporation, we celebrated our birthday on Earth Day and started to sell ownership shares in the co-op. The first board of directors was elected by our owners in October of 2014. We are continually reading, networking, hosting guest speakers, taking field trips to visit food co-ops and attending workshops, webinars and conferences to learn more about cooperatives. We are hard a work, spreading that knowledge to our community through events, movie screenings, webinars and workshops. Our success to date includes:
- participation in more than 250 events
- winning a USDA LFPP Grant
- completion of a market study in which consultants, specialists in cooperatives and the natural foods grocery industry, determined that we have what it takes to be successful
- reaching 500 owners in near record time which helped us win the Food Coop Initiative Seed Grant as one of the top food coop startups in the country!
Our owners and volunteers continue working every day to spread the word about the many benefits of a community-owned grocery store and our ownership numbers continue to GROW daily.
Our next goal is 750-800 owners so we can move forward with a location.