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SEPTEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER

320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg
OPEN DAILY 7 AM - 9 PM

 



FOOD CO-OP ANNUAL MEETING

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 3-5 PM
OLD MILL PARK

2201 Caroline St, Fredericksburg

The Fredericksburg Food Co-op’s Board of Directors would like to extend a warm welcome to all our owners and friends to help us celebrate the growing success of our Food Co-op at our 7th Annual Meeting.

We have so much to be grateful for — increasing sales, great local producers, and a diverse community that is embracing the Co-op’s values.

General Manager Chris Roland and the Food Co-op Board will report on the Co-op’s exciting first year of operation. Three board members will be elected to serve three-year terms and a proposed bylaws change will be considered.

All Fredericksburg Food Co-op owner households and businesses are eligible to vote in the Food Co-op election. Owners who are subscribed to this email list have been sent an email with information about the board candidates and the proposed bylaws change. The email includes links to the online ballot. We encourage all owners to vote, whether it’s online or in person at the Annual Meeting!

We look forward to celebrating with you at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg on Sunday, September 18th, from 3:00-5:00 pm. Rain date is September 25th.

With gratitude,

Els van Wingerden
Chair, Board of Directors

THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CO-OP


Early in 2015 a few members of the Fredericksburg Vegetarian Group began discussing the idea of creating a food co-op. They spent months researching the idea and during this time they visited other food co-ops and reached out to the Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a national organization that helps communities start and successfully open food co-ops.

The founding group grew to five members and in September of 2015, they decided to incorporate the Co-op as a legal entity. These five individuals became the founding board of the Co-op. Their goal was to open a community-owned food co-op that would be centered around four core values: (1) local foods – giving priority to local farmers and other producers; (2) environmental sustainability; (3) community – sharing information on the link between food and health and being a gathering place for people and ideas; and (4) operating a financially viable local business co-op.

The founding board reached out to the community to gain support for the idea of a co-op and to invite others to volunteer their time and effort to this mission. Co-op board members and volunteers spoke at numerous community meetings, including Rotary groups, Lions Clubs, church and school groups, and many more. The Co-op began holding events almost weekly – from cooking classes to tabling at the Farmers Market to presentations on sustainability.

With the consistent growth of the Co-op, the board commissioned a market study in 2017 which concluded that the Fredericksburg region could support a natural foods co-op of about 10,000 square feet. In 2018, the Co-op worked with a commercial realtor to begin the process of selecting a location for the Co-op.

In 2019, the board launched an owner loan campaign with a goal of raising $1.6 million in Owner Loans that have a 15-year maturity. The campaign proved very successful and a total of $1.7 million was raised. However, by 2020 it became necessary for the Co-op to raise more funds because the cost of the project had grown to $4.3 million from a prior estimate of $3.5 million and also because banks were less willing to lend to startup food co-ops than in previous years. Our 2020 capital campaign – although launched during the early days of Covid – was a success and we raised an additional $780,000. The capital from owners combined with a $1.4 million loan from the National Co-op Bank proved sufficient to open the store and retain an adequate capital reserve.

During its pre-opening process, our Fredericksburg Food Co-op was a model of success. In 2019, we were named the “Startup Co-op of the Year” by the Food Co-op Initiative. Our owner growth was unusually fast – surpassing an owner a day during 2018, 2019, and 2020 – a pace that few startups achieve. We raised more money in a faster time than nearly any other startup in food co-op history. And our Co-op was the first food co-op ever to receive a loan guarantee from the Small Business Administration.

At the end of 2019 the board hired our first employee, the General Manager, whose first tasks were to get the store designed, renovated and operational. The store opened on April 1, 2021!

The early work of the Co-op’s founding board and the hundreds of passionate volunteers laid the groundwork for the success of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. From an idea of a handful of Fredericksburg residents, the Co-op has become the wonderful community-owned grocery that it is today.

FOOD CO-OP BOOK GROUP
CELEBRATES SECOND ANNIVERSARY!


This month the Co-op Book Group will be celebrating its second anniversary. We optimistically began Zooming in September of 2020 before the store opened and in the midst of the pandemic. Now we are in 2022, meeting in our beautiful store with most of the original book group members and many new people who have joined in along the way. Interested people are always welcome to join the group.

Looking back at the variety of books we’ve read and talked about is a trip down memory lane. Not only does it bring back thoughts of lively conversations, it brings to mind awareness of the friendships that have grown from our monthly meetings. It’s always a happy surprise to run into a group member at the store or around town and chat for a few minutes.



The group reads fiction and non-fiction books centered on the Co-op’s core values of healthy living and foods, local interest, and diversity and inclusivity. It’s quite amazing the variety of books that fit into these categories. From the first book The $64 Dollar Tomato to our September 2022 read American Fire there has always been something interesting to discuss, share and learn at our non-judgemental meetings.

As we head into our third year, I would like to say thank you to my fellow readers for their dedication to the group and for their friendship. It is my hope that you share the same warm feelings about the group and your fellow readers. A co-op is a community and you all help extend and strengthen our Food Co-op community. Here’s to a great third year!

Linda Vinnedge
Food Co-op Book Group Coordinator

CHANDRA GORE IS NEW MARKETING COORDINATOR


Chandra Gore comes to the Fredericksburg Food Co-op with years of experience running her consulting business.  She works with entrepreneurs and individuals to create success foundations and understand how to gain visibility via media outreach with her boutique consulting and public relations firm, Chandra Gore Consulting. Adding Host, Media Correspondent, and Moderator to her resume Chandra is bringing her wit, unique comedic timing, laughter, and bubbly personality via her personal brand - Conversations with Chan which includes a podcast, YouTube series, and publication.  Her slogan, "Conversations Begin with A Smile" leads the way as she begins every endeavor with a smile.

She is the author of several books, an Event Moderator, and a speaker on topics such as Business Strategies, Media Relations, and Entrepreneurship. In addition to her own publication, she is also a contributing writer for Pretty Women Hustle Magazine and SwagHer Magazine.


Community connections and support are a top priority for Chandra and her community organization The Urban Flight Foundation - whose focus is Voter Registration and ensuring that the community is informed and fosters her community commitment.

Joining the Fredericksburg Food Cooperative to further their mission of community was a no-brainer.  


 

HARVEST CELEBRATION

IN SUPPORT OF

FOOD FOR ALL

 
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3-7 PM
FREDERICKSBURG FOOD CO-OP
320 EMANCIPATION HWY, FREDERICKSBURG

Come savor the taste of seasonal local foods prepared fresh in the Food Co-op kitchen and meet your local farmers and producers.

Proceeds will support the Food for All program which reduces the cost of groceries for SNAP/EBT shoppers.

$20 per person. Purchase tickets at the Co-op or on Eventbrite.

Sponsorship Opportunities for Individuals & Businesses 
 
BUY HARVEST CELEBRATION TICKETS

 
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL FLYER

FREDERICKSBURG FOOD CO-OP

320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg
OPEN DAILY 7 AM - 9 PM


Food Co-op owners receive an additional 10% discount on Co+op Deals.
Learn more about all the benefits of ownership, including our Community Partner Perks program!
 
BECOME A FOOD CO-OP OWNER!

SEPTEMBER CO-OP EVENTS

ALL ARE WELCOME


Thursday, September 8, FOOD CO-OP BOOK GROUP, 1 pm or 7pm, Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg. In AMERICAN FIRE: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse documents the trial of a man charged with dozens of counts of arson in a nearby rural Virginia county and the impact of the fires on the community. To participate or for more information, email Linda.

Every Thursday, WALK WITH A DOC, 4-5 pm, Meet at the Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg. Lauren Bock will lead this fun walking group on the Heritage and Canal Path Trail where we’ll learn about health and meet new friends.

Every Saturday, FOOD CO-OP WALKING GROUP, 8-9 am. Meet at the  Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg. We support each other in creating a healthy walking routine, while enjoying the lovely Rappahannock River Heritage Trail and Canal Path, as well as other areas in our neighborhood. For more information or to sign up for the Food Co-op’s Saturday walking group, contact Linda.

Mondays, September 12 & 26, CO-OP BOARD MEETING, 7:30-9 pm via Zoom.  All are welcome to attend our board meetings, currently held online. These are a good opportunity for you to learn about our process and to have input. Please email us if you plan to attend an upcoming board meeting.

Sunday, September 18, FOOD CO-OP ANNUAL MEETING, 3-5 pm, Old Mill Park, 2201 Caroline St, Fredericksburg. Come celebrate your community-owned grocery store, with free food and drink samples, face painting and games for kids, local farmers and producers, and live music with Harry Wilson. RAIN DATE September 25.

Wednesday, September 21, POETRY NIGHT, 6-7:30 pm. Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg.  Join us at the Co-op for an evening of poetry readings featuring three exceptional local poets:  Lynda Allen, Beth Spragins, Frank White.

Tuesday, September 27, WHAT'S FOR DINNER?, 6-7 pm. Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg.  Using easy-to-find groceries combined in simple ways, Piper Foresman will show us that dinner does not need to be a chore anymore. Join us to get lots of great ideas for creating your own quick, nutritious meals.

Thursday, September 29, LIVE MUSIC NIGHT AT THE CO-OP, 6--7:30 pm, Fredericksburg Food Co-op, 320 Emancipation Hwy, Fredericksburg. Laurie Rose Griffith + Peter Mealy are longtime Fredericksburg favorites. This show will feature Laurie performing such seasonally appropriate songs as "Autumn Leaves" and Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going," plus some beautiful, plaintive Celtic tunes.
 

MORE DETAILS & IN-STORE EVENTS ARE ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!

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