We regret to report that Bank of the James has turned us down for financing due to their perception that the enterprise is too risky. This is the second banking institution to do so based on risk assessment. As a result your board of directors is split on how we proceed from here. Do we attempt to secure another source of financing and open a downtown grocery or do we throw in the towel and return what money is left in our account to you on a pro rata basis? That is the question before you.
If we wind up the coop now we would be able to return roughly $160 on every outstanding membership. This avoids the risk of opening the store and having it fail whereby there would be no money to return to you. Several board members lean in this direction; call it a day and give you most of your money back.
On the other hand if we terminated the organization we would still be without a grocery downtown. Several board members favor pushing on and opening the store. In fact , the coop does have several promising sources of financing left to pursue, we are not dead in the water.
So please take the survey, it's only two questions. Ultimately your board will have to make the decision, but it will be very helpful to have your direct input. Thanks for your help.
You will need to log in to your Grassroots account to complete the survey. As a paid member of Grassroots, even if you didn't create an account, we created one for you using the email address you provided. If you voted in the board elections, your log in remains the same. If you aren't sure of your password, you can use the "Request new password" link on the log in form. Note that you cannot create an account just to vote (feedback is for members and membership was assigned after payment and agreement to the terms and conditions), so if you aren't sure of your email address, contact us.
Grassroots Local Market is a cooperatively-owned grocery store in Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia. Grassroots is currently in the funding stage, having raised over $300,000 of the $400,000 needed to open the store. Our goal is to strengthen the downtown by forming a community owned and governed full service natural foods store. We want to solve several downtown and greater Lynchburg needs with one effort: create a full service grocery; provide a one-stop shop for natural, organic, and local foods; help relieve the downtown food desert; and improve the vitality of downtown.
We envision a natural foods grocery concentrating primarily on natural, organic, and local products which does not exist in Lynchburg. In addition the store will contain a full commercial kitchen offering a good selection of freshly prepared grab-n-go foods and a small cafe for light dining.
What is a Food Co-op?
A food co-op often refers to a grocery store that is collectively started, owned and governed by its members. Co-ops open to fill a particular need in the community, such as a need for easily accessible natural or organic foods. The following video acts as our FAQ, but if you have any additional questions please feel free to write us - see the Contact Us page.
Join our growing community and help bring a full service grocery to downtown Lynchburg by becoming a member today! Just click on the Join link above and follow the prompts!
What does it mean to be collectively owned?
The co-op does not have one owner, but multiple members. Rather than having one investor, each member contributes a small fee and then becomes a stock holder or an owner in the company. Multiple people contribute to get the initiative up and running, and then contributors own a portion of the co-op and have a democratic vote on how the co-op runs.
What are the benefits of forming a food co-op?
Supporting local farmers: Food co-ops attempt to source much of their products locally. Not only are you benefiting from the fresh produce, but you are also supporting your economy when you buy local.
Member Benefits: A co-op is a for profit company. That means when the co-op makes a profit, its members may receive a dividend. Additional benefits can include member only sales and discounts.
Filling a Need: Our goal by starting a food co-op in downtown Lynchburg is to provide a readily accessible community resource to residents living, working or shopping in the downtown and surrounding area who want access to fresh, high-quality, local food options.