The model that we are following for the development of the Co-op consists of three stages with various goals at each stage. As of this time, we are completing Stage I, and then we can move to Stage II.
Stage I – Organizing
We have accomplished four of our five goals: incorporating as a business, creating an owner equity structure, electing a board of governors, and developing by-laws. Our last goal of Stage I will be to acquire 400 owners. We have a little more than 100 owners now, so we need approximately 300 more.
Stage II – Feasibility and Planning
We’ve already completed a market feasibility study, and are in the process of developing a business plan. We will also begin fund-raising. This stage can take anywhere from 6-12 months. It consists of acquiring owner loans (from those willing to invest), and bank financing. Then we can secure a site and hire a manager.
Stage III – Store Preparation and Opening
At this time, we would be ready to outfit the store and open for business! We will share more details of each stage as we progress.