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How to Start a Food Co-Op
1. Do a lot of people besides me want to do this too? Are people wanting food justice as much as I do? Am I just crazy? Do I need 1,000 new business partners? Media, petitions can help determine.
2. Is there a dire need for affordable good food in our area? There’s the $5 perfect organic heirloom tomato in the tasteful grocery and then there’s the cheap ones covered in pesticides in the bodega. Lots of people really need good food but can’t afford it.
3. Is the range of talent we’ll need available in the community? Makers, lawyers, finance people, IT, branders?
4. Is there a model we can follow that’s already out there? To work or not to work, that is the question. Park Slope and Greene Hill both chose work. Flatbush did not. Check them all out. Ask them questions. They will want to cooperate.
5. Where can we hold a first meeting? Will they have enough chairs? Post flyers, use social media, and don’t forget to make an agenda and bring sign-up sheets. Get people to take on tasks and roles. Start committees. You’re off and running.
DK Holland is a founding member of the Greene Hill Food Co-op
photo from the Greene Hill Food Co-Op