Troy Food Co-op gets new funding

troy food coop now open signThe recently-opened Troy Food Co-op, which apparently has been on shaky financial ground, announced late last week that it's gotten a $270k loan from the Empire State Development Corporation. From the email sent out to members:

We have good news to share with you! The Empire State Development Corporation's loan for $270,000 has been released to the Pioneer Food Market. This planned-for capital is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by your Finance Committee, beginning in early 2009. The best part of this news is that this is a "convertible loan", meaning that if the market reaches employment goals in its next five years of operations, the loan is fully converted into a grant...and we will owe nothing!

The full email is after the jump. It reports the co-op is getting some outside consulting help, and will be focusing on marketing and outreach. It also says sales to member owners have increased (the co-op had been pushing for owners to shop more at the market).

The head of the market's board of directors tells the TU that the co-op still needs to secure more funding, but "We're cautiously optimistic."

Also: In a nod to 1/11/11, Troy Food Co-op is offering 11 percent off on purchases today.

(Thanks, person who sent this to us)

Earlier on AOA: A first look at the new Troy Food Co-op

_____

Dear Owners-

We have good news to share with you! The Empire State Development Corporation's loan for $270,000 has been released to the Pioneer Food Market. This planned-for capital is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by your Finance Committee, beginning in early 2009. The best part of this news is that this is a "convertible loan", meaning that if the market reaches employment goals in its next five years of operations, the loan is fully converted into a grant...and we will owe nothing!

As you know, the opening of the Pioneer Food Market in October was quickly followed by mounting concern that unforeseen delays in receiving the ESDC funding risked our ability to be open.

The development of the Pioneer Food Market over the previous 5 years has been about capitalization. There were many financial challenges due to the bleak economic picture, but you persisted-and continued to invest your owner equity and owner loans. Thank you!

In the spirit of "cooperativeness", our sister co-op, River Valley Market in Northampton, MA has paid for some consultant time, and there is a pending proposal for funding from the National Cooperative Grocer's Association for additional time. Some of these consultants were engaged early in our development, and are familiar with our market and its challenges.

Now that the Pioneer Food Market is open, we will concentrate on marketing and outreach in the next months. We all know there are thousands in the immediate Troy area alone; business owners, employees, residents, and students, faculty and staff at our adjacent colleges. All are potential customers. All were factored into the feasibility of establishing a market to serve the broadest customer base when we began this venture in September 2005.

We heard you at the recent owner's meeting and read all of your blogs. The good news is that sales to owners have increased from 42% to 55% since our meeting! Many of you offered to help in our outreach efforts. Welcome aboard! There is room on our Outreach Committee and we're pleased to have you join us. The first item of business has already been implemented-volunteer staffing at the Services Desk. Our first Outreach Committee meeting will be held January 13th at 6pm. All are welcome to join us at Christ Church to share ideas and help put them in motion!

Have a wonderful new year--it's reassuring to know that you feel the Pioneer Food Market is important. In the words of Bernice Bornt-an early investor, "Don't forget to SHOP CO-OP FIRST-it's your business!"

Alane Hohenberg, for the Board of Directors.

Comments

Maybe they should have gotten outside consulting help and an experienced executive/team of executives before opening with a bunch of nanny-minded yuppies?

are they going to hire back all of the poor people that they laid off and finally pay back all of the vendors that they owe money to? way to support the locals guys...really.

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