New Developments at Food Co-op 500

Third round of funding

The Food Co-op 500 program received 22 applications for funding in its third round. The Blooming Prairie Foundation made this round possible by adding another $25,000 to the Seed Fund this year. On November 7, 2006, the following awards were announced:

  • Community Market in Audubon, Iowa: $9,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Hockomock Retail Food Co-op in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts: $3,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Lost River Community Co-op in Paoli, Indiana: $9,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Sierra Vista Market in Sierra Vista, Arizona: $9,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Sweet Onion Whitman Community Food Cooperative in Walla Walla, Washington: $5,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Urban Greens in Providence, Rhode Island: $9,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Valley Co-op Market in Staunton, Virginia: $9,000 Seed Fund grant
  • MOON (Miami/Oxford Organic Network) Cooperative in Oxford, Ohio: $25,000 Sprout Fund loan (MOON Cooperative was also a prior $10,000 Seed Fund grantee.)

The above groups joined the following prior awardees of funding:

  • H Street Community Market in Washington, D.C.: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Soul Foods Co-op in Oakland, California: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Vancouver Food Cooperative in Vancouver, Washington: $2,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Chatham Real Food Market in Chatham, New York: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Harvest Moon Natural Foods Cooperative in Orono, Minnesota: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Medford Market in Medford, Oregon: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Yelm Food Co-op in Yelm, Washington: $10,000 Seed Fund grant
  • Fiddleheads Natural Foods Cooperative in New London, Connecticut: $25,000 Sprout Fund loan

New food co-op development specialist

The program also recently announced the hiring of the first national food cooperative development specialist focused exclusively on creating new food cooperatives in the U.S. Stuart Reid will provide direct technical assistance to the start-up food cooperatives that were recently awarded funding by the program and will also develop proactive tools to support and boost the performance of all start-up food cooperatives.

Most recently, Stuart has been serving as general manager of Just Food: Northfield Community Co-op in Northfield, Minnesota. He had full operational responsibility for its opening and then led the store through its first two years.

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See other articles from this issue: #128 January - February - 2007