Future Direction Update Page

Resource Summary

- View the Progress Meeting Slides 8-9-18

- Take the Online Survey

- Download the Survey

- Attend the August 23 and August 30 Public Meetings

To all Owner/Members of the Columbus Food Co-op:

We recently concluded our Capital Campaign, which aimed to raise $750,000. When combined with a
substantial contribution from our landlord, this would have given us 50% of the $2.1M needed to build
out and open our store at 1580 Central Avenue in Columbus. With these funds in hand, we would have
been able to attract the other 50% in commercial loans.

Unfortunately, the campaign fell far short of our goal. Combined collections and pledges totaled
approximately $210,000. This result is disappointing, given the energy and efforts of dozens of
volunteers and the monetary contributions of nearly 80 of our owners.

After accounting for campaign and other expenses, the Co-op currently has about $100,000 in cash – far
less than is needed to move forward with our current plan.

To view the slides from the Progress Meeting 8-9-18 about our financial background, CLICK HERE. 

The Board of Directors has considered our options and identified two possible paths forward:
1. Go out of business.
2. Open a smaller, less expensive store.
We must decide which path to take by September 15 – the deadline for opting out of the lease on our
store site.

Because this decision is so significant for the future of the Co-op, the Board wants to ensure that we
have adequately informed our owners about these options, that we have answered your questions and
listened to your opinions. We are spending several weeks soliciting your input.

First, we are holding open meetings to present additional details on the current situation, describe the
options for going forward, and answer questions. We have held two such meetings already and will
hold two more on August 23 and August 30. (Additional details below.)

Second, we are conducting a survey of owners on the two options. Click here to download the survey. You can mail or email your answers back in. Each owner household is being asked to indicate their preference for one of the two options. Those choosing the smaller store option will also be asked to tell us their level of financial support for the project.

The Board will review the results of the survey at its meeting on September 4, 2018. We will consider
the level of financial support available and will make a decision on which path we take. That decision
will be published on September 5.

To ensure that every owner has a chance to review the details, we will be publishing all of the materials
covered in the meetings and a copy of the survey here.

Additional updates will be posted here as they become available. An online version of the survey will be available in the next few days. All future communication about this decision process will be published here, with notices delivered to you via email.

I strongly encourage you to attend one of the meetings and to complete the survey.

Thank you for all you do to support the mission of the Columbus Food Co-op.

In cooperation,

William M. (Mike) Johnston
Board President
Columbus Cooperative Grocery & Market, Inc.
DBA Columbus Food Co-op


Public Meetings:
- Thursday, August 23 and Thursday, August 30
- 6:00 – 7:30pm
- 1580 Central Avenue, Columbus (the Co-op store site)
- Seating is limited. Please bring your own chair.
- All are welcome to attend. Due to the nature of these meetings, we will not be providing childcare.


Progress Report Meeting 8/9/18

To skip to the slides from the Progress Meeting, CLICK HERE

The meeting Thursday was open to Owners and interested community members.

The purpose was, and is, to report on the status of our recent Capital Campaign. We intend for this presentation to reflect the facts as we know them and to do so in a manner free from hype or emotion. 

We (all Co-op Owners) have been working for many years to realize a vision for a full-service, community owned grocery store. Some of you have been involved since the beginning. Others have joined along the way. All were welcome.

Many of us have invested our money and time towards making that vision a reality.

For an in depth look at the presentation please visit the presentation slides

Most importantly, the Co-op is facing a serious decision in the next few weeks. Do we continue to doing what we've been doing, do we pursue bankruptcy, or do we pursue a smaller store?

What's Happening Next?

The Co-op is facing a critical decision at the end of August.  Because the decision in front of us is so important, we want to ensure we have heard the voices of our ownership, so we will spend the next few weeks soliciting your input.  

We will conduct open meetings on August 16 and 23 to answer questions and solicit suggestions. Meetings to be held at the store site from 6 to 7:30.

It is BYOC (bring your own chair!)

Surveys will be available at the site and online. 

The Board will review the results of the input at its meeting on September 4.

The results of the input and Board action will be announced on Wednesday, September 5.

Please participate early and often!

For any questions or input in advance of the meeting, email info@columbusmarket.coop.



2018 Election Ballot

Columbus Cooperative Grocery and Market, Inc.

DBA Columbus Food Co-op


Annual Meeting Ballot - 2018

Cooperative Principle #2 is Democratic Member Control:

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).

All Owner-Members of the Co-op are invited to cast a ballot to help elect new members of the Board of Directors.  You may cast your ballot in one of three ways:


By Mail:  Fill out the ballot below and mail it to:

Heritage Fund

The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County

538 Franklin Street

Columbus, IN 47201


By Email:  Fill out the ballot below and email to:



In Person:  At the Annual Meeting

Thursday, April 26, 2018

5 – 7pm

1580 Central Avenue

Columbus, Indiana


Mail and email ballots must be received no later than 11:59pm on May 3, 2018.  The Heritage Fund collects and counts our ballots.

Section I:  Please identify yourself


Your updated contact information helps us maintain accurate records for future communications.


Name: ___________________________________________________________


Mailing Address:   _______________________________________________




Email Address: _______________________________________________


Telephone: _______________________________________________


Section II:  Board of Director Elections


We are electing three (3) Board members.  Each will serve a three year term. Candidate biographies are available on the Co-op web site, here:  


Please vote for up to three (3) candidates by placing an “X” next to his / her name.


______ Shirley Trapp

______ Jennifer Corsi

______ Terry Law


Section III:  Additional Ballot Question

Question:  The board will be making several important decisions over the next several months and it will be important that we get our member feedback.   A mailing to all owners can costs as much as $1300.  We want to ensure we are being fiscally responsible and are communicating with our members by their preferred means. 


How do you prefer to receive communications from the Co-op?


__   Postal mail   __ Email    __ Co-op web site    __ Facebook


2018 Election Candidates

Jennifer Corsi

My name is Jennifer (Jen) Corsi, I have been a resident of Bartholomew County since June 2008 when my husband got a job with Cummins. I am currently a stay at home mom of two small children and I have a passion for our community. Believing that you should take pride in the place where you live has led me to becoming involved with many organizations in Columbus. It drives me to seek out new opportunities and participate in various civic events. I am the President of MOMS Club of Columbus, Indiana (over 84 families are members) which is a chapter of MOMS Club International and I am also a board member of Learning Tree Preschool at First United Methodist Church.

With my participation in various organizations in Columbus I have made many contacts that I believe could be interested in becoming member/owners. I believe that we need to focus more on how the co-op benefits families and our children. Teaching them about community involvement and healthy foods will guarantee that Columbus Food Co-op will be around for many years to come. With this, having cooking demonstrations, meet the farmer events, and something other co-op have done like $4 dinner (Bloomingfoods), I can see that there will be a tremendous opportunity to serve Columbus.

I became a member of the Columbus Food Co-op in 2010 after my husband went to a meeting at the library and learned more about what the co-op was trying to bring to Columbus. He and I have always believed in supporting the local economy wherever we are able and the decision to join this movement was a no-brainer. I first signed up to stuff envelopes and send out mailings with part of the volunteer committee in 2010-2011 when I was between jobs. My family has grown since then and we do our best to make it to all the Annual Meetings so that we can stay updated on the progress. We have also made the decision to loan to the co-op which means that we know what that process is like and it has helped answer questions that some of our friends have.  


Terry Law

My name is Terry Law. I have lived in Columbus since 2003. I have been married for 37 years to my wife Glenda and we have 4 children. We moved here to relocate with my company, Wal-Mart My family and I love to be outdoors, camping, fishing, riding bikes and hiking. I am a member of Terrace Lake Community Church and have served on Staff there in the past. We live in Downtown Columbus in the Historic District in a home that was built in 1903 on Franklin Street. We spend a lot of our current time working on remodeling and bringing this home back to its original glory. We love the downtown area and the growth and are committed to do our part to help columbus downtown grow.
I have extensive retail background. I have been a General Manager for Wal-Mart for 40 years in August. I have managed 12 stores for them in the last 37 years. Before that I worked to open new stores in the Texas market and South Carolina. Wal-Mart success is not accidental. They have a great culture of respect, team building and giving back to the community.
In my 15 years here I have been involved in many non-profits. I have been involved in DARE, Red Cross, United Way, Turning Point, Bicycle Coop just to name a few. Our store has adopted part of the trail and has picked up trash on the trail in Columbus for the last 10 years. I have a personal strong belief in giving back.
I would like to see the CO-OP succeed and strongly believe that they could bring new and exciting food opportunities to the Columbus Market.


Shirley Trapp

Shirley Trapp has lived in Columbus for over 40 years.  She is a retired Bartholomew County School Corporation Elementary School Counselor.  She was employed with the school corporation for over 40 years. She has been the BCSC Teachers of the Year, the Wal Mart Teacher of the Year, and the Republic Woman of the Year.  She has been a member of the Heritage Board, the United Way Allocation Committee, a CASA worker, the BCSC Teacher Association and other organizations. As a retired teacher in addition to be on the CO-OP Board she is a volunteer for Book Buddies, Turning Point, Brighter Days, and is a member of the Bartholomew County NAACP.  She is a member of the Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church. She believes in the seven CO-OP Principles. Her major interest in working for and believing in the CO-OP is to provide quality and nutritious food to the Columbus community. It is especially important to provide education, training and information (Principle 5) to our low-income community.   


Local Food: Information for Your Community

Local Food is defined in many ways, but most importantly, it means food from farmers in your county, state, or region — whether chickens_sue.jpg you buy it at a farmers market, restaurant, or grocer.

You can buy most of the food you need from Indiana farmers, including flour, popping corn, beans, veggies, fruit, syrup, honey, jam, meat, sausage, chicken, eggs, and fish, to name a few.

The advantage of buying local is that you support a local food economy that sustains our agricultural heritage and family farms, addresses food security and land use concerns, and retains food dollars in our state economy. 

Click HERE for more information about Indiana Agriculture. 

Our Hometown Food Guide

Our Cooking Across Cultures Classes


Farmer's Markets in the Area:

Columbus Farmer's Market
Brown Street
Sat, 9am-12:30pm, May-Sept

Columbus City Market
Fairoaks Mall, Sat, 
9:30am-12:30pm, June-Mid-Sept

Columbus City Winter Market
Fairoaks Mall
Sat, 9:30am-12:30pm, Dec-April

Cummins Mid-Week 
Farmer's Markets
Jackson Street, Weds, 4-6pm,
Columbus Engine Plant
Weds, 2-4pm, 

Seymour Farmer's Market
Walnut Street
Sat, 8am-Noon, May-October

North Vernon Farmer's Market
City Park, Shelterhouse #2, Tues, 
Thur, Sat, 7:30am-1pm, Apr-Oct

Shelbyville Farmer's Market
Shelbyville Public Square
Saturday, 8am-Noon, May-October

Hope Farmer's Market
On the Square, First Fri. of May, 
June, Aug; Every Friday in July
Nashville Farmer's Market
51 SR 46
Sunday 11-2, May-October
Bean Blossom Farmer's Market
St. David's Episcopal Church
Friday 4-7, June-October
Want to add your market? Contact info@columbusmarket.coop or call Liz at (317) 258-5217.

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