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West Chester Food Co-op informational page

West Chester Food Co-opWest Chester Food Co-op Receives Grant from West Chester Downtown Foundation | March 26, 2015 | submitted by Suzanne Adams

The West Chester Food Cooperative is pleased to announce that the West Chester Downtown Foundation (WCDF) has contributed $3,000 to support the Co-op's efforts to bring a full service grocery to the Borough.  The gift was awarded at the WCDF's monthly meeting on March 25.  According to Suzanne Adams, Chair of the Food Co-op's Board of Directors, "The Downtown Foundation is a wonderful resource for our community-- they promote the things that make West Chester a special place.  As a community-owned, full-service grocery store, the Food Co-op will provide healthy food from local sources and will be easily accessible to the people of West Chester.  I think the Foundation's support for the Co-op springs naturally from the goals that we share-- to contribute to the vitality and livability of our town."

Matt Holliday, Vice President of the WCDF Board of Directors sees the Food Co-op as an important addition to the downtown.  "The directors of the Downtown Foundation are happy to contribute to the mission of the Food Co-op as they strive to bring a vital resource to our borough", Holliday said.

Holliday noted that the Food Co-op has also pledged to offer educational classes to the public and work with the local food bank to assist residents in need.  "This will make our 'perfect town' even better", Holliday continued.  "Ultimately, people caring for each other is one of the things that has made West Chester great and the Food Co-op's work will contribute a great deal to our community's caring spirit."

Find out more about the Food Co-op at wcfood.coop. Information and forms for member-ownership applications are available on the website and at the offices of the West Chester Business Improvement District.

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 West Chester Food Co-op community survey results are "loud and clear"

January 26, 2015 | Malcolm Johnstone

West Chester, PA – A survey conducted by the West Chester Food Co-op has been completed with the Co-op leadership expressing that they are "extremely pleased with the results."

Nearly 250 people completed the survey, which questioned participants about their present grocery buying habits, what improvements they would like to see in their food options, and their understanding of, and interest in, a food co-op. Most (94%) of the respondents were located close enough to West Chester to be potential Food Co-op customers.   

"The survey results were loud and clear on what West Chester folks want in their food choices," said Co-op Steering Committee Chair Suzanne Adams. "More local produce, local meat, and local business were all identified as top preferences."  

Additionally, there was a tremendous response to the idea of a food co-op in West Chester with over 66% expressing a strong interest in joining West Chester Food Co-op, nearly 60% said they would consider making the Co-op their primary store, some 83% have interest in helping make it happen, and 30% are willing to become equity stakeholders at the Co-op share price.  

“We, at West Chester Food Co-op, are overwhelmed by the community response," continued Adams. "And we want to say thanks so much for sharing! We love you back!”  The Co-op is working with Weavers Way Cooperative and a market research consultant to utilize the results in shaping the Co-op’s future.   

Community members can stay informed of the Co-op’s progress by subscribing to the West Chester Food Co-op newsletter. Send an email to wcfoodcoop@verizon.net and follow on Facebook.

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West Chester citizens seek to start a food co-op | July 30, 2014 | submitted by Suzanne Adams

West Chester PA - Community members have been volunteering their time to organize, plan, and build a member-owned cooperative grocery store in West Chester. Residents see many benefits to a community owned store, including more transparency and security in their food supply, convenient access at fair prices to the foods and other products that they prefer, the ability to support local food producers and the local economy, and the opportunity to build community through cooperation, education, and care for others.

Food co-ops are member owned and controlled with membership being open to all. While the store will be open to the public, members will determine the direction and development of the store and its services. Co-ops encourage member participation and feedback, and operate to meet member determined goals. The growing food co-op movement is making it possible for consumers to take back control of their food supply.

The West Chester Food Co-op is expected to expand the market for locally produced food. Organizers have reached out to the producers at the West Chester Grower's Market and hope to offer new opportunities for these and other local producers to reach consumers. Food co-ops typically form close and mutually beneficial relationships with producers as well as with the community at large, where they have historically supported efforts at hunger relief, nutrition education, environmental protection, and other causes of benefit to the community.

Building membership is critical to the success of the West Chester Food Co-op. If you would like to participate in this start-up venture, or just want to stay informed of the co-op's progress, contact wcfoodcoop@verizon.net.

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West Chester Food Co-op Seats Steering Committee | August 11, 2014

West Chester, PA – Leadership is now in place to prepare for next phase of development for the community movement that seeks to build a member-owned, cooperative grocery store in West Chester.

Last week community members elected a five person Steering Committee to carry the project through to incorporation and the transition into feasibility and planning. The Steering Committee will focus on continued outreach, building a community vision for the store, and completion of a preliminary feasibility study in preparation for a community wide meeting expected later this year.  

Steering  Committee members are Lori Thornton, Marnie Rhen, Samantha Skerchock, Andrew Turner, and Suzanne Adams.

"Each member brings a passion for the project and a diverse set of skills for tackling the challenges of a start-up organization," said Suzanne Adams, who facilitated the group of local interested citizens. "With experience in community development and planning, financial management, non-profit leadership, business development, and local government, the leadership team plans to move quickly towards incorporation."

The West Chester Food Co-op continues to seek supporters and invites community member to participate. Several fund-raising and infomation events are being planned.

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