Volunteer for your Co-op
Penelopea can't spread the word about our mission all by herself! We need community support from folks like you who care about our food, our families, and our co-op! We have so many opportunities to help with our Capital Investment Campaign. We are calling each and every Member-Owner about the investment opportunities and can really use more help both on the phone and off! Interested in getting involved? Email us!
June 7, 2016
For Immediate Release
Great NH Restaurants Supports New Food Co-op
Restaurant Group Urges Other Businesses to Join Forces to Launch This Member-Owned Cooperative
Bedford, NH – Tom Boucher, owner and CEO of Great NH Restaurants headquartered in Bedford, NH has announced their support and investment of $25,000 to help meet the Manchester Area Food Co-op capital campaign goal. Once the necessary start-up capital is secured, the Food Co-op can sign the long term lease at 209 Route 101 for the space currently home to Harvest Market. The location is a convenient and familiar spot that will easily serve the Bedford and greater Manchester area with local, organic, fresh, fair-trade, non-GMO, and natural products. The mission of the co-op is to support local farms and producers and strengthen the local economy. “We are so happy that Great NH Restaurants can spearhead this effort and hope our commitment will encourage other area businesses to participate,” says Boucher. Boucher made the commitment to invest as a local resident as well, stating “it just make sense for neighbors to work together on this…it benefits all of us!” It is estimated that the co-op will purchase over $1.4 million in local produce and goods during the first year of operations.
Patrick Neily, General Manager of the Manchester Food Area Co-op is grateful that Great NH Restaurants stepped up as the first business investor in the Food Co-op by pledging $25,000 in Preferred Shares, to begin once the co-op reaches the $100,000 mark. Neily states, “We are thrilled for this investment and it has already sparked other local businesses to follow suit! Such support by the local business community shows one of the principles of our cooperative come to life - keeping our money local, recirculating dollars where we eat, work and play, and connecting people together toward common good.”
The Food Co-op is currently owned by over 1350 families and businesses, and anyone can become a Member-Owner for a one-time investment of $100 per family. All Member-Owners now have the opportunity to further invest in the Co-op by purchasing Preferred Shares, for which dividend returns range from 3-5% (based on the amount of shares purchased). The store will be operated democratically by its voting members and is open to everyone, providing a much needed choice for those seeking out local foods. For more information about the Manchester Food Co-op visit www.ManchesterFood.coop. Great NH Restaurants is the parent company of the five T-BONES Great American Eatery locations: Bedford, Salem, Hudson, Derry and Laconia, two Cactus Jack’s Great West Grill locations: Laconia and Manchester, the Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford, and T-BONES Meats, Sweets and Catering in Manchester. For more information, visit www.greatnhrestaurants.com.
May 21, 2016 - The Union leader
Manchester Food Co-op ready to grow the green
By ELI OKUN
Sunday News Correspondent
BEDFORD - The Manchester Food Co-op is moving full steam ahead with an ambitious fundraising effort over the next month, as its leaders ready plans for renovations and upgrades at the site.
An investment campaign that launched earlier this month has a goal of $1.5 million by June 30 - money to provide the co-op with about $730,000 in working capital in its early years and to cover a variety of startup costs while it gets going.
At a member-owner meeting Thursday night, general manager Patrick Neily unveiled renovation plans for the Route 101 site, which is currently a Harvest Market. One of the biggest components: adding a 1,000-square-foot commercial kitchen for co-op staff to prepare soups, salads, entrees and more in-house, Neily told the New Hampshire Sunday News.
The co-op plans to add a large department for bulk foods, ranging from flour and sugar to more unusual items.
May 9, 2016
Contact: Heather Avella
The Manchester Food Co-op Set to Launch Investment Campaign
Manchester N.H. – On May 9, The Manchester Food Co-op will officially launch a Capital Investment Campaign with the goal of raising $1.5million by June 30 in an effort to assist the Co-op with signing a long term lease for space in Bedford which is currently owned and operated by Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE). The Manchester Food Co-op has plans to take the current Harvest Market and transform it into a new 100% community-owned store. Shoppers will be able to enjoy local, organic and sustainable food and products, as well as benefit from a lineup of continuous educational and community programs.
“This really is a critical step for us,” said Sarah-Marie Cole, Board President of the Manchester Food Co-op. “We need to raise these funds to cover startup costs and the working capital necessary in the first few years of business. With projected profitability in our third year, our Member-Owners should be really excited about this investment opportunity. We are taking an existing business with a loyal customer base combined with a proven successful location. If we were to lease a location and do a full fit-up, we would have been looking at more than double the total capital needs.”
Coinciding with the Investment Campaign, the Manchester Food Co-op is seeking 1,000 new Member-Owners. “The additional Member-Owner investment will give us the people power that we need to succeed,” added Cole. “In order to invest, you must be a member so realistically this is a Member-Owner campaign and an Investment Campaign at the same time. For those of us who want this store, we will all have to invest to make it happen – one way or the other.” Heather Avella, Manchester Food Co-op’s Project Manager, explains the two options available to investors; “We are offering our Member-Owners the option of either investing in preferred shares or through member loans. Preferred shares give Member-Owners dividend producing shares (or stock) in the Manchester Food Co-op and these investments are equity for the store.
Each share costs $100 and a minimum of ten shares must be purchased. Dividend returns for preferred shares range from 3%-5% based on the total number of shares purchased.” Avella added that 150 Member-Owners purchasing an average of $5,000 of shares will reach the preferred shares goal of $750,000.
Manchester Food Co-op Launches Investment Campaign
“A second option is Member-Owner loans,” said Avella, “These loans typically have a lower interest rate than bank financing, so borrowing from our Member-Owners now enables us to avoid taking on too much high-interest debt early on in our operations. Member loans begin at $2,000 with an interest rate up to 3.5% based on the size of the loan. We need 150 members to make an average of $5,000 loan to hit our goal of $750,000 in member loans. Member investment is the tried and true method that food co-ops use nationally to raise the capital to open doors. It is the cooperative principle of economic participation.”
The Manchester Food Co-op says they plan to stay fully operational during renovations which will include a wider variety of foods according to the the Co-op’s new General Manager, Patrick Neily, “We will be a crossover store, we will continue to offer well known name brand products but also have local, organic natural foods. We will be improving access to ‘good, healthy food’ in southern New Hampshire by offering fairly priced, organic products. Plus, we have the advantage of continued cooperation from Associated Grocers as our wholesaler, so we will be able to continue to leverage the best pricing available. I’m excited about the positive impact this store will have on our community. We truly will be embracing locally grown food - we will be supporting a large network of locally owned and operated farms and producers that will compliment the national brands that customers expect to find at their Co-op. We will be YOUR community-owned full-service grocer." Neily added you don’t have to be a member to shop at the store, “Non-members can of course shop here, but being a Member-Owner has it advantages; you have benefits like voting rights, or the ability to run for a Board position, plus once the store is profitable, money will be returned back to you. The synergy that will be created between this store and the community is something I’m really looking forward to.”
For more information or to request a member investment packet please email or call Heather Avella, Manchester Food Co-op’s Project Manager at at Investments@manchesterfood.coop or by calling 603.305.6340. More information about the Co-op can be found at: www.manchesterfood.coop
About the Manchester Food Co-op
The Manchester Co-op is a member-owned food cooperative. Currently the Co-op has more than 1,300 Member-Owners and continues to grow daily. Our mission is to sell and promote the best local foods and products including produce, meat and grocery items as well as bulk foods and health-care products. But we are much more than a grocery store; our Co-op’s impact and goals are far-reaching. We will engage the public in a dialogue about healthy and sustainable living through community programs including workshops, cooking classes and other educational resources.