Organizers For Apple Street Market Have Accomplished Amazing Things
As members of the Apple Street Market Organizing Committee and the Northside Community, we believe it is all of our Community Members’ right to have access to healthy, fresh affordable food. That is why, about a year and a half ago, when the Save-A-Lot in Northside shut down, that we, the Community Members of Northside, decided that we were not just going to sit on the sidelines while our community became “food insecure.”
As many of you know, with the help of our cooperative incubator, Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI), we surveyed over a quarter of the households in Northside and 98% of respondents said it was “very important or somewhat important that they have a neighborhood source of groceries” (CUCI Neighborhood Grocery Survey, 2014). And so, we responded, working diligently to start our own grocery store cooperative- Apple Street Market, in the former Save-A-Lot building. And because this will be OUR STORE, unlike the Save-A-Lot, lacking quality fruits and vegetable and affordable as well as local and organic options, OUR STORE will provide these choices, serving our entire neighborhood.
Since we have been working on Apple Street Market in the Fall of 2013, we have accomplished some pretty amazing things including:
• Completing a feasibility study and business plan.
• Identifying a local architecture firm and contractor to redesign and renovate the building.
• Identifying a distributor that can provide the range of products we need – from affordable items to organic.
• Incorporating the co-op, electing our start-up Board, and holding our first Community Owner meeting.
• Raising over 560 Community Owners and thus over $56,000 in owner equity.
• Raising over $36,000 in Owner Loans.
• Securing a $100,000 grant from Interact for Health for equipment.
• A commitment from the Landlord to make a $100,000 + in-kind contribution toward the project.
• A commitment from the Cincinnati Development Fund to provide up to a $1 million low interest loan once we reach our community fundraising goal.
We have a clear path and plan to raise the additional $250,000 + we need to reach the $1.5 million to open the store, but WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
1. Goal: Sign up 940 additional Community Owners
Action: Become a Community Owner or recruit your friends to become owners by signing up:
In Person on Tuesdays at our Weekly organizing meeting from 7-8 p.m. – at Happen Inc., 4201 Hamilton Ave.
At the Northside Farmers Market Wednesdays from 4-6:30 p.m. at Northside Presbyterian Church, 4222 Hamilton Ave.
Drop off checks to Northside Bank, 4125 Hamilton Ave.
By Mail at P.O. Box 24192 Cincinnati, OH 45224
Online at applestreetmarket.coop/community-owners/community-ownership-form/ (subsidized shares are also available through C.A.I.N)
2. Goal: Secure $130,000 + in Owner Loans or Gifts
Action: Consider becoming an Owner Loaner (or Gifter) Want to put your money to work in your local economy? We are looking for gifts or loans of $1000 + for terms of 5-9 years at 0-3% interest rates. If this sounds like something that interests you contact Ellen Vera, email@example.com; 513.807.3898.
3. Host a House Party to help recruit Community Owners or Owner Loaners: Inform your friends about how awesome Apple Street Market is going to be and encourage them to become Community Owners or donate/loan to the cause. We will come present about the co-op at your party if you want, provide you with all the materials you need, and even walk you through step by step how to have the most successful party. Contact Heather Sturgill firstname.lastname@example.org, 513.885.8666.
Finally, we are saddened by the fact that Picnic and Pantry has decided to move their store downtown and wish the best of luck on their new endeavors. Now the whole city will have access to their awesome products. However, this gives us all the more reason why we have to make this full-service grocery store happen in our neighborhood in 2015. Just as everyone who comes into Northside comments about how remarkable the community is, we know that we can make this grocery store a reality, but only if we come together, as we have done so many times in the past, and each of us does our part. So please, imagine for a moment just how awesome it would be to walk down the street to buy your groceries…think about what you can commit to make this a reality…and then ACT.
Together WE can make Northside a neighborhood in which everyone can have access to healthy, fresh food.
To find out more about the campaign visit www.applestreetmarket.coop or visit us on facebook and twitter.
By Ellen Vera