September Letter from the President

Happy just turned to Fall!

Some of you can’t wait for the apple picking, sweaters, hot cocoa and more.  Around here, we can’t wait for Co-opalooza on Saturday, October 3rd – we’ve had a number of prizes donated, bands are ready to play and all we are missing are YOU and your friends and family.

Co-opalooza will be happening at the Algoma Club in downtown Oshkosh – we will start at 5PM and music and the night will continue until about 11PM. It’s also Gallery Walk that night, so you can invite folks you know who will be out and about to stop by and learn more about our progress! And remember, special drawings for folks who become members that night and for those members who refer them!

Events like this happen because we have a dedicated board, who meets at least every other week to make progress on opening the Co-op. At one of our recent board meetings, we had a call with Jaqueline Hannah, Food Co-op Development Specialist with the Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) (  She shared some good information with us regarding the progress of our Co-op and next steps we should be thinking about.  Some highlights:

1.       They were impressed with our Member Drive event in June and want us to share what made our event successful with other Co-ops.

2.       According to her, we are on target for our member numbers. She described a ‘snowball effect’ that happens with membership, when the membership starts to pick up speed in recruitment. We aren’t quite at that stage yet, but we are making impressive progress towards it. It’s something we are aware of and working hard to get to!

3.       And even the changes we’ve had in board composition are typical at this stage when the work shifts from picturing what might be to doing the work on the ground to make that important vision a reality.

4.       We were *very close* to getting funded with the FCI Seed Grant for start-ups this last funding cycle. She gave us some strategic insights to build on the great year we’ve had. We’ll be able to show momentum and connect how our work fits into the steps that co-ops go through when they start up.  We are starting now to craft our grant application to maximize what we learned in our call with her.

And finally, I know it’s early to be thinking about the holiday season, but we wanted to make sure you knew that you could give the gift of the Co-op!  It’s possible to buy a Membership share in someone else’s name – we will work with you to make sure the recipient is aware of your community-building gift and knows who to thank, if that is your wish!

Please do share the news about the Co-op with all you know!  You never know who might be a Co-op supporter! 

In touch, Kelly

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