EA Co-op – Last Call!

For several months the East Aurora Cooperative Market has beenEACM logo working to raise funds via our capital campaign.  This fundraising effort is a critical step in moving forward with construction of the market as it shows to our outside lenders that we have committed member-owners who will shop at the market and make it successful.  So far we’ve raised in excess of $625,000 and are well on our way to our goal of $875,000, but we are running out of time.  While our membership ranks now are about 950 strong, we still have yet to hear from almost 1/3.

A couple things will be happening over the next few weeks.  First, we are holding two events where you can come to learn more about the co-op, become a member, and/or make a contribution to the capital campaign.  The first event is tomorrow at Craft Tap House from 6pm-8pm.  I’ll be there, so stop in and say hi and we can talk co-op! The second event is next Thursday at Salut Wine & Spirits, also from 6pm-8pm.  So whether you prefer beer or wine, we have you covered!  Swing by our Facebook page and let us know you’re coming, or just stop in if you decide at the last minute.

We will also be ramping up our outreach calls to members we haven’t heard from yet.  Remember – if you can’t participate, that’s ok!  We still need to know though so we can focus on getting in touch with those who may be willing to contribute.  If you haven’t made contact yet – please do so by calling Sheila Conboy (716-912-0672), Mike Benzin (716-316-1090) or send an email to campaign@eastaurorafood.coop.

Our deadline to hit our goal is November 15th.  Shortly after that we will hold a member meeting to discuss what comes next.  It’s our sincere hope that we will be talking about the beginning of construction and not the process of returning campaign funds because we didn’t make it.  It’s up to you to help make it happen, so let’s wrap this campaign up and take a big step forward towards getting those doors open!

East Aurora Coop Capital Campaign

I’ve been a bit lax in posting updates here (as per usual) however most know from other social media sources that I was elected to the EA Coop Board of Directors earlier this year.  The Coop is now in the middle of it’s most important venture – the capital campaign to raise the necessary funds to begin construction, hire a GM, and get the market open!

I could spend a lot of time talking about how capital campaigns work, but our marketing team came up with this fantastic infographic that explains it all very simply:

EA Coop Capital Campaign Explained

We are asking all member-owners to consider participating in this effort!  Remember, this is not a donation – you are making a loan to the coop which will be repaid per the terms specified in the prospectus.

If you are not a member-owner consider joining today!  Member-owners have a voice in the market’s offerings and future direction and are vital to it’s success.  If you are not able to participate in the capital campaign due to the $1000 minimum contribution, but are a single member-owner household, you can consider having each adult sign up for their own membership (a one-time $200 fee).  Each person will then get their own vote when member votes occur, and you’re providing the coop additional operating funds and helping us to reach our goal of 1200 member-owners before the doors open in 2015!  However you are able to help, it will be greatly appreciated.  A “cooperative” doesn’t exist without the dedication and commitment provided by its member-owners!  This is your market!

Offering by Prospectus only to bona fide residents of New York State. NY # I14-6754.

Running for East Aurora Coop Board of Directors

Amanda and I were early adopters of the East Aurora Cooperative EACM logoMarket.  We signed up as member-owners back in 2010 after learning about their ambition to open a member-owned food market focusing on locally produced items.

Earlier this year, the coop announced they were looking for board candidates. The group is set to announce their site location on Saturday and will be launching a capital campaign shortly after.  It seemed like an exciting time to jump in and help and do my part to help bring this to fruition.

The board has endorsed a slate of four candidates for four open seats.  Yes, that probably doesn’t mean a very tough race, but democratic membership control is one of the seven cooperative principles – so if you’re a member-owner, please exercise your right to vote.  If you’re not already a member but would like to become one or get more information, visit eastaurorafood.coop.  If you’d like more information about me (or just want to say hi!) I’ll be at the announcement event on Saturday or you can email me at derek@punaro.com.

Mailer showing 2014 East Aurora Coop Board candidates
Mailer showing 2014 East Aurora Coop Board candidates

Derek and Amanda got married. Moved to the country. Had a couple of kids.