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In This Newsletter

Friendly City Food Co-op Newsletter

* Dates and Events for your calendar. * Message from Board President: CCMA.

July 2009 The member-owners of FCFC are valued, informed, and empowered to work as a team to make the store a reality.

* FCFC opens its first downtown office. * Member Q & A: What is involved with starting a food co-op? * Yard Sign Contest coming soon. * Board Nominations! * FCFC Grants.

Tues 7/28, 7:00 p.m. City Council Public Hearing on Backyard Chickens Harrisonburg HS Auditorium, Garber’s Church Rd. Wed 7/29, 2 events: Dinner and a Movie! 5:00 p.m. $5 Dinner Fundraiser for the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market Chipotle in Forbes Crossing 6:30 p.m. The Food Movie Series continues with FRESH in which you will see local PolyFace Farm! Clementine Café 153 S. Main St. (movie shows at 7) Thurs 8/6, 7:30 p.m. FCFC Board Meeting 41 Court Square, above Cally’s Fri 8/7, 5-7 p.m.

Meet n’ Greet the FCFC Board. Bring a friend or become a member of the FCFC at Oasis Art Gallery, 103 S. Main St. See below for more details.

FCFC Supporters at Harrisonburg’s Valley 4th Parade

* Volunteer Opportunities and Wish List.

Dates For Your Calendar

FCFC at Oasis Art Gallery with Nancy Jane Dodge Quiz: How did Harrisonburg come to have the Oasis Art Gallery? Answer: Artists joined together co-operatively! Oasis is one of many fine examples of co-operative businesses that grace our town. Join us at Oasis on Friday, Aug. 7, from 5-7 p.m. with artist Nancy Jane Dodge, the Nature Conservancy and Butch Bailey. Stewardship of the earth will be emphasized by both Nancy's oil-on-canvas works of pitcher plants and also by efforts to conserve these plants and the Great Dismal Swamp. Bring someone to join FCFC! FCFC Newsletter, July 2009

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Message from the President

Good Food Every Tuesday and Saturday good food comes to the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market. There is now an easy way to find out more through their weekly e-news. You can sign up at Mailinglist@harrisonburg The news will let you know what's new at the market, give market updates, and introduce you to the vendors. On Wednesday, July 29, from 5-8 p.m., a $5 donation will get you dinner at the new Chipotle in Forbes Crossing. Your entire donation will benefit the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market. Good Folks Dr. Kathleen Kelley, member of FCFC, wants to help all of us live healthier lives. Join her for HealthQuest Harrisonburg, a thirtyday health challenge. Check out the challenge, health tips, and more on YouTube by following the link from the FCFC Web page.

Four of us recently attended the annual cooperative grocery conference (CCMA) in Pittsburgh. We received two full scholarships, allowing us to send a large crew. It was an exciting, educational and energizing experience. I find it thrilling to be with hundreds of other people all working hard to make their communities (and the world) better, fairer and more just through their cooperative ventures. We attended seminars focusing on many aspects of starting and running cooperative grocery stores, including store design, site consideration, governance, legal and employment issues, membership communication and the fascinating history of cooperatives. We also talked to our consultants and to many other co-op board and staff members from co-ops large and small, all over the country, including a number who are in the start-up phase as we are. I could go on at great length about what I learned there (and I invite you to contact me if you want to hear more), but I’d like to share a few major points: •

Cooperation is BIG! Co-ops in the US (of all types, not just grocery stores) employ 500,000 people and have a combined $20 billion in payroll and $230 billion in revenue.

Cooperatives are STRONG! Last year more new cooperative grocery stores opened across the US than in any year in the last 30. A number of existing co-ops expanded their stores or opened new stores too.

Cooperatives can THRIVE in challenging times. Co-ops are more flexible and inclusive than conventional businesses and are already practicing what many corporate grocery chains are moving towards: smaller more personal stores, strong emphasis on local and sustainable produce and other goods, and more women in management and leadership. Co-ops were the first to recover after Hurricane Katrina and are faring well during the economic downturn.

There was plenty of talk about the challenges facing cooperatives right now too, but co-ops are facing these challenges in the same way they do business every day – by serving their members and their communities – and are finding ways to thrive.


Good Fun Check out the crazy crew of festive FCFC supporters in the photo above. Good fun was had by all as we paraded for the co-op on the 4th of July. Thanks everyone!

FCFC Newsletter, July 2009

Friendly City Food Co-op announces a New Administrative Office Location! New memberships will be accepted at our office on the 3rd Floor of the Bank of America building on the corner of Main and Market. Office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 9 till 4 or by appointment: 746-6032. Watch for upcoming volunteer nights in the new office!

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Member-Owner Q&A: With Ben Sandel, Board President

Yard Sign Contest: Members Count – Vote!

Deb: So Ben, what goes into starting up a food co-op? Ben: LOTS! Our process follows this plan: • • •

• • • • •

Yard signs are an awesome way to show that you are an owner of FCFC and are bringing this great store to our community.

Gather background info – we talked to each other and to others in the community and began to meet to discuss our vision. We have developed three drafts of a Organize – we formed a founding team that became our first yard sign, and we will take the members’ choice to print! board and committed-volunteer group. Look at feasibility – we did surveys, market research and had a Which sign best serves the FCFC in professional market-and-feasibility study done. This was when our goal of recruiting more owners? we started working with outside consultants. Which one would you put in your Incorporate – with the growing body of information we were yard? Watch for an upcoming contest! developing, we went ahead and incorporated as a Virginia coop and adopted bylaws and seated our board. Recruit members – probably the most fun part! Parties, happy hours, potlucks and lots more talking to people. Planning – write a business plan (and revising, and revising), research financing, go over long-term financial projections, identify locations and begin the lease negotiations. Secure financing – where we are right now! We are gaining more members and securing financing from a combination of banks or credit unions and members. Begin operations – hire a manager (which we’ve started working on) and finalize store layout, appearance, and fixtures; establish farmer and other supplier relationships, and set the whole store up. OPENING!! And then we transition to monitoring the general manager and working with the GM and staff to make the store is successful.

Deb: What are the key things that the board has learned during the process of incorporating and planning? Ben: LOTS! We’ve learned how a board works for memberowners of a cooperative, who we are responsible to, and also how boards relate to the store operations, which will be in the hands of the general manager. We’ve learned much about the challenges food co-ops face as smaller retailers, and we’ve learned how to get a lot accomplished with little time and money but great passion. We’ve also learned that good ideas have to have people and money committed to them or they won’t become real! Deb: What is the board focused on now? Ben: Besides the ongoing work to increase the number of members, we are concentrating on securing financing, getting the lease signed and hiring a general manager. It’s an intensive time and it would be wonderful to have more people involved. FCFC Newsletter, July 2009

FCFC Board Elections Coming We bet you'd like to: 1) nominate someone for the Board; 2) volunteer for the Nominating Committee. Board Elections are coming up in September. Do you know someone with skills valuable to the FCFC? Are you someone with passion for this store? Nominations now being accepted! Send nominations & offers to volunteer to or call 746-6032. Urgent Volunteer Need: Serve on the nominating committee! One Member – One Vote! Everyone's voice is heard!

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Did You Know that FCFC has received several impressive grants? The Shenandoah Resource Conservation and Development Council, Food Co-op 500 Seed Fund, Howard Bowers Fund Cooperative Development Grant, and Cooperative Development Services have all affirmed our start-up in the form of development awards. Great work!

Thank You Volunteers! The following people, in addition to the core group of committed volunteers and board members, have made an awesome contribution to FCFC in the past month. Thank you! • • • • • •

Tim Godshall – Graphic Design Virginia Showalter and Beth Schermerhorn – Event Staffing Mike Fitzhugh – Cooking Lara and Nate Ressler-Horst – Editing Margot Zahner – Board Nominating Committee Many paraders!

To volunteer, please e-mail or call Deb at or 746-6032. Current volunteer needs are listed on the Web site under “Get Involved.” Please include your name, contact information, and as much detail as possible about how you are able to volunteer.

the Friendly City Food Co-op’s

Wish List Office space has been donated! Thank you Colin Sarsfeld of Rio Software!

We are now wishing for: • a desk • shelves • an all-purpose office printer/copier • house plants Please contact Deb Rhizal.

Thank you member-owners! Together this will be a summer to remember! Questions, Comments, Ideas? Please contact: Deb Rhizal, Outreach Coordinator • • (540) 746-6032 Friendly City Food Co-op Board Officers

Board Members at large

Ben Sandel, president Noel Levan, vice-president Mary Jo Swartzendruber, secretary John Ashenfelter, treasurer

Peggy Duhamel Gary Kirk Jonathan Lantz-Trissel Sam Nickels Derik Trissel

FCFC Newsletter, July 2009

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FCFC Newsletter - July 2009  

Progress update for July 2009.

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