Owner Update Meeting

Columbus Food Co-op held a public meeting August 17th at City Hall, featuring guest speaker and food co-op consultant, 11898731_1010766882267165_2806183619426279372_n.jpgJacqueline Hannah. More than 50 people attended and each received an update on the development of the co-op, an explanation of how the Columbus Food Co-op compares to start-up co-ops nationally, and how the co-op will likely impact the community.

The co-op is raising capital through a combination of owner loans, commercial financing, foundation support, corporate funding, and angel investors. In order to fully fund the approximately $2M project, the co-op board is focusing raising the last $400,000 of the owner loan campaign. The co-op launched the next phase of owner-loan efforts and will continue until October 1st.

Jacqueline Hannah, a consultant with the national non-profit Food Cooperative Initiative (FCI) told those in attendance that of the more than 140 start-up food co-ops in the country, Columbus Food Co-op is among those most likely to open and achieve success. She praised the co-op for successfully raising more than half of the owner-loans needed to fully fund the project and expressed optimism that the co-op will successfully fund the entire project.

Hannah, a former general manager at Common Ground food co-op in Urbana, IL has more than 20 years’ experience working in the natural foods industry. She spoke about the impact the co-op will have in the Columbus community, including generating $560,000 in additional sales of products from farmers and producers within a 100-mile radius. By year 10, that amount would rise to $1.3M. Also the co-op would create 25 jobs in the first year and add an additional 35 jobs—all paying a living wage—by year 10.

11921668_1010766932267160_1224583693963083530_n.jpgHannah said, “Columbus Food Co-op will create a new market for local farmers, stimulate the local economy, create living-wage jobs, and teach people how to buy and prepare affordable, healthy food. In addition, it will serve as the foundation of an emerging food culture in this community.”

Columbus Food Co-op is a start-up full service, natural food grocery store. For more information contact Kevin McCracken at 812-603-1964.


Right: Liz Brownlee from Nightfall Farm takes orders for holiday turkeys.
Above: Jacqueline Hannah, Kevin McCracken, and Mike Johnston report to the attendees and answer questions. 

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