sourced produce available year-round. “You don’t always have to bring in produce from 1,200 miles away,” he stated. Anyone can shop in a food cooperative. You don’t have to be a member-owner. But those who invest do reap extra benefits, according to Nash. Besides the pride of ownership, those who become members of the Prairie Food Co-Op will probably be able to share in the proceeds through “patronage dividends” that they can use while shopping. In addition, they will have a vote on board members who will choose the professional manager and will enjoy free or reduced admission to seminars and workshops when they are offered. Once enough members are recruited for the Prairie Food Co-Op to sign a lease at a location they are choosing to keep secret, the group plans to initiate an owner loan drive. “This will be the owners’ chance to make some money from the co-op. We need to raise $1 million in loans in order to proceed and while the average loan will probably
be for $5,000, we will also need a couple of big ones and those big lenders will be able to pretty much state their own terms (ie. interest rate and loan duration). So it will be a good investment,” he said. Once open, the Prairie Food Co-Op will be a full-service, modern grocery store featuring not only food, but detergent and other household items that you would generally see in a grocery store. “We may only sell them in bulk in order to avoid too much packaging, but those items will be there,” Nash stated. The Prairie Food Co-Op board of directors is soliciting new owners through community events like the Lilac Parade and other Lilac Time events, library programming, yard signs and other special events. For information about events, progress
toward an opening, and ownership opportunities, visit www. prairiefood. coop.
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