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Growth And Making A Bigger Difference In The Local Community

Growth And Making A Bigger Difference In The Local Community

VillageVeggies_2018-10-14_LowRes-2

As we wait for New York State to send our official award letter and contract negotiations that will pay for about half of our expansion and relocation, the board spent some time remembering and redefining WHY we are undertaking this critical expansion project. As a group, we delve into the numbers each month, and we know the business case –  the simple math tells us our Co-op cannot continue to survive in the current location. But why does it matter if the Co-op survives?

What Does It Mean To Be Making A Bigger Difference?

making a bigger difference in the Potsdam community
Images courtesy of the Farm-to-Table Initiative led by Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County. Village Veggies in Potsdam, NY.

Our Ends Policy, the reason the Co-op exists, states the following:

  • Everyone in our community has reliable access to local, organic, and healthy food.
    • In our new location we will have more storage and shelf area and therefore more buying power, so we will be able to get better wholesale prices which will allow us to offer better retail prices
    • We have plans for programs to reach every income level and we may be able to participate in more government programs like WIC to help low income families
    • We will have space for educational programming on healthy living, food budgets, bulk shopping, meal preparation, cooking skills, and more
    • Our Co-op will be on a public transportation route. 
  • North Country farmers and producers have a stable, honest, and robust marketplace.
    • Over the first four years in our new location, our sales are projected to double, which includes doubling the amount of local produce and product we sell
    • The larger customer base may even allow some producers to expand their operations.
    • Our new location may offer a good draw for other producers to establish operations nearby. 
  • Customers have a welcoming place to shop, interact, and participate at many levels.
    • Our new location will be more visible to the public
    • The Co-op will be fully ADA-accessible
    • There will be more space for culturally diverse selections
    • There may be more volunteer opportunities
    • The space for classes and an indoor cafe will broaden our reach.  
  • Community members have a model of environmentally respectful practices and cooperative ownership.
    • Our new facility will be designed with energy efficiency in mind
    • We will be able to offer more bulk shopping, using less disposable packaging
    • A strong Co-op can be a partner/mentor to additional cooperative businesses. 

In addition to these thoughts listed, as a board, we have a TON of ideas on ways we’ll be able to impact the community around these ideals that we’ll be able to approach when we, as a business, have more resources. The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait! There is much work to be done to continue making a bigger difference, and many hands will be needed. Contact us via mail@potsdamcoop.com if you’d like to learn more or get involved.   

Respectfully,

Your Co-op Board

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