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 firstname.lastname@example.org, drop a note in the suggestion box at the store, or call the store at 634-5560.