Old Creamery Co-Op Welcomes Founding Member-Owners!

On behalf of the Old Creamery Co-op Steering Committee, Kimberly Longey of Plainfield, MA, writes:

Greetings: Just 6 months ago we gathered in Cummington to launch the effort to transition the Old Creamery (Cummington, MA) into a community owned cooperative. Today we’ve reach a major milestone – we are now welcoming founding member-owners to join the Co-op!

By joining now you will help us keep the momentum building and move us closer to the goal of purchasing the Old Creamery store from Alice and Amy. Your support will ensure that our vibrant local store remains in service to this community for years to come.

Our Co-op Steering Committee has been hard at work since February. We have conducted site visits to 5 area co-ops, outlined the business plan, analyzed the financial history, created future financial projections, and compiled estimates for purchase and start-up costs, received an architect’s assessment of the property and advice on approaches to future improvements, determined the member-owner costs and benefits, created new materials to help educate and recruit our founding member-owners. We’ve also created interim bylaws, adopted a conflict of interest policy, and conducted preliminary research on the liquor license transfer.

Last week we incorporated the Old Creamery Co-op as a legal entity in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We met with the Creamery staff to provide information about the transition to a co-op, including their role in answering questions from prospective member-owners.

We’ve learned a lot and have developed a high level of confidence that we can become the Co-op that so many people have been working on for many, many months.

The next milestone we need to reach is signing up at least 300 founding member-owners by the end of this year. When we reach that goal, and the related efforts to raise additional capital from gifts and grants and member-owner loans, then our Steering Committee will move forward with the decision to purchase the Old Creamery and we’ll start a new era as a member-owned community cooperative.

Help us come full circle. The Old Creamery started as a dairy farmer cooperative in 1886. Let’s make 2010 the year it returns to its roots.

Please consider joining the Co-op today. You can do so online now, or you can stop by the store to pick up our brochure and membership application. We prefer your equity payment to be made by check to avoid credit card processing fees. We will hold all founding member-owner payments in escrow until the Co-op is ready to open.

For more information or questions, email info@oldcreamery.coop, drop a note in the suggestion box at the store, or call the store at 634-5560.

1 Comment

  1. August 21, 2010 at 7:55 am

    On behalf of the Old Creamery for the Co-op Steering Committee in Cummington, MA, Michael Kalagher writes:

    Dear Co-op Supporters,

    Thank you for your enthusiastic support. Since July 30th, 117 of you have joined the Old Creamery Cooperative as Founding Member-Owners! This terrific show of support creates the momentum we need to keep going toward our goal of 300 founding member owners by year end. Thank you!

    We’re writing now to provide an update on other work in process and how you can stay involved and help us bring the Old Creamery Cooperative closer to purchasing the business from Alice and Amy.

    Member-Owner Enrollment: We received some helpful feedback and have made some improvements to our systems, which we hope will make it easy for more people to sign up and remit their founding member-owner equity payment. Here’s how:

    1) Stop by the Old Creamery and pick up a brochure, fill it out, and hand it to the Cashier with your personal check or cash.

    2) Visit the Website, and download a brochure to fill out and mail it with your personal check to PO Box 11, Cummington, MA 01026 (or drop it at the store).

    3) Sign up Online, click the Join/Pledge page on the website and follow the instructions to join right away by filling out the sign up form and paying by credit card or Paypal. Or, help reduce credit card processing fees and select the pledge option (please remember to bring or mail your check to the Creamery with your pledge form).

    The member-owner equity share payment is $150 and installment payment plans are available. See the brochure and website for more information. And thanks for signing up!

    Outreach Coordinator: The Steering Committee is searching for a paid Outreach Coordinator to help us educate the community about the values and principles of a co-op, invite households and businesses to become owners and supporters of the Old Creamery Co-op, and to work with our Volunteer Coordinator to help volunteers implement an array of activities designed to help the Co-op developoment efforts. We’re seeking someone who can work with us for the next 6-9 months in a part time paid consulting capacity. If you or someone you know is interested in this position we’ll send you a job description and application instructions. Please send a note to info@oldcreamery.coop – and put “Outreach Coordinator” and your name in the subject line. Please do so no later than August 30th and we’ll get right back to you with more information.

    Volunteer Opportunities: We need people to help with a wide range of work, including one time tasks and ongoing routines. Volunteer opportunities include: maintaining the Co-op bulletin board at the Creamery store, serving on committees, helping with outreach, conducting market research, building some brochure racks, creating signage for Co-op related events, and many other things we haven’t thought of yet. If you are interested in volunteering for the Co-op, please send a note to volunteer@oldcreamery.coop with your name, your daytime and evening telephone numbers, and a brief summary of your areas of interest or particular skills you can contribute. Our Volunteer Coordinator will then be in touch with you with more information.

    We’re so excited by the tremendous show of support since we officially launched the Old Creamery Co-op last month, and we look forward to keeping you updated about our progress and how you can remain involved.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Kalagher, Old Creamery Coop Steering Committee

    P.S: Mark September 19th in your calendar now; we have a surprise in store for you! More soon…..


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