Ben Sandel, Coop Consultant
"From Living Room Conversations to Retail Store: Food Co-op Development in a Nutshell."
Regional Distribution Solutions
Angelic Organics Learning Center
Food Hub Collaboration study co-leads:
James Barham, USDA AMS and
John Fisk, Wallace Center at Winrock International
Kate Collier, Local Food Hub, Virginia
Dan Carmody, Eastern Market, Detroit
What Does it Take to Start a Food Co-op?
Starting a co-op is just as complex and time-consuming as starting any business, and will require thorough and careful business planning.
New co-op development
progresses through the following steps:
- Gather background information
- Assess community interest
- Organize within the community
- Recruit owners
- Research feasibility
- Create a formal business plan
- Plan for financing
- Select a site
- Secure financing
- Prepare for opening
- Begin operations
Some steps, such as recruiting owners, will continue up to and beyond opening the store.