The Co-op's Success

A:
  1. Can the Co-op be financially successful?

    Yes. A professional market survey produced a solid sales forecast used in financial projections prepared by the board of directors with the assistance of Cooperative Development Services. The result is a successful business projection. If you are interested in further details about our business plan or sales projections we would be happy to review those with you in detail.
  2. Where did you get the numbers in your business plan?

    The numbers in our business plan come from our financial pro forma - a very detailed estimate of income, expenses, revenue and other items. The pro forma format was originally created by industry experts at Cooperative Development Services, and is used by co-ops across the country but customized to the Columbus market. We have used this format for the last six years to develop and refine estimates for every site we have considered. Our projections begin with industry averages and are refined over time as we develop more exact estimates. Some concrete numbers, including our lease, are included and reflect actual projected costs. As the project develops and we engage the services of store designers, architects and contractors these numbers will become more and more concrete.
  3. How much operating capital have you built into the pro-forma and for how long?

    For the size and scope and risk of this project, experts recommend having at least $150,000 of working capital available throughout the first 10 years of the project. Our current financial projections include having an average of $286,000 in working capital every year for the first 10 years of operation.
  4. How will Columbus Food Co-op's location assist the local economy?

    Co-ops are a critical part of local neighborhoods and economies because they are owned by community members who care about where they live. Co-ops are a community resource, a place where people gather, learn and grow. Co-ops on average donate more to the local community (13% nationally) compared to conventional grocery stores (who donate on average 4%). A co-op on average purchases from over 100 local farmers and producers and for every $1,000 spent at a co-op $1,600 is generated in the local economy.  Also, our physical location serves an underserved population and our City’s neighborhood surveys show that the neighborhood is asking for a healthy grocery store that is within walking or bicycling distance. Our local food study shows that 30% of the region experiences low food access. The Co-op’s physical location and educational outreach will help to address nutritional food access.
  5. How will the Co-op affect other local grocery stores?

    Columbus Food Co-op believes that the rising tide raises all ships. Our feasibility study indicates the demand for fresh, local organic products far exceeds the current supply in our community. In addition, we have seen a steady (double digit growth) in demand for organic products over the last 10 years. Our belief is that all local vendors will continue to benefit from the increased demand for these types of products. The Columbus Food Co-op’s goal is to make local a priority and supporting our local farmers and vendors differentiates us from traditional grocers.
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