What does a local co-op mean to Hudson?
There has been a great deal of buzz and support regarding the future Hudson Grocery Cooperative. Questions such as “Where will it be? When will it open? What will it carry?” can be heard every day. At the same time, there are a number of people who wonder why Hudson is exploring a co-op and what needs, if any it fulfills. The following “food for thought” is offered to those who are still wondering whether or not to become members of Hudson Grocery Cooperative.A co-op is a food store that takes on the character of its community. It has a local focus as it carries goods from local farms and producers. Given that it is owned by consumers, not investors, there is no conflict between shareholders and customers—they are one and the same. Members decide how socially conscious, sustainable and healthy the co-op’s products will be. Furthermore, the revenue raised at the local co-op stays local and is put back into its own community.
A co-op is not designed to replace other types of food stores. More often, a co-op is a complement to the foods available in a community. Co-ops add a “flavor” and dimension all of their own. In many ways they augment the area grocery stores by introducing unique or niche varieties of foods and by attracting co-op shoppers from other communities. Often, they become a favored destination of tourists.
A co-op ties a community together. Because of the way in which a co-op is owned, organized and managed, it has the ability to connect, educate and support a variety of people in many ways. Local board members collaborate with one another on the future of the co-op. Family members have a means of finding jobs close to home. Charities have a sponsor that is committed to giving back locally. Local farmers and producers have a way to put their products in the hands of their neighbors and friends.
There is no one-size co-op that fits all. Just as no one community is exactly alike, no one co-op matches the features and characteristics of another. There is simply no blueprint from which to build the perfect co-op for any one community. That is why the current and vital function of the Hudson Grocery Cooperative is to conduct a market study so that it can proceed with the location and construction of its building.
The market study will focus on five main areas:
Market – It will include a market study that evaluates the potential sales in the Hudson trade area;
Location – It will consider the physical needs and amenities of the co-op such as parking, access and surrounding businesses;
Financial – It will analyze the co-op’s potential to cash flow, especially within the first few years;
Design – It will look into design practicality, scalability and aesthetics; and
Organizational Capacity – The study will also evaluate the co-op organization’s current skill sets and education.
The Hudson Grocery Cooperative is excitingly close to having the owners necessary to proceed with its market study. In fact, to date, there are fewer than fifty ownerships outstanding before the study initiates. Once the study is complete, Hudson Grocery Cooperative can proceed with confidence that it is moving forward with the interests and needs of the Hudson Community in clear view.
The owners of the Hudson Grocery Cooperative welcome your participation. If you or someone you know is interested in joining, share the information on this website and we encourage you to Join Now!
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