Starting a food co-op is an exciting process, but it takes a village! We’d love to invite you to join our organizing efforts. We are looking for folks who are potentially interested in becoming involved with the start-up process, including involvement with our board of directors. Only member-owners can serve on our board of directors, so if this interests you and you are not yet a member-owner, click here to join! If you aren’t yet in a position to become a member-owner but would still like to be involved, we invite you to get in touch with us to find out how you can volunteer.
This is a critical time for the Co-op: We now have just over 200 member-owners and are well on our way to the 300 member-owner mark. This is the point at which most start-up co-ops consider commissioning their feasibility studies. In concert with getting the next 100 member-owners signed up, we’ll be raising the funds to hire our consultants at Cooperative Development Services (CDS) to conduct a market feasibility study and financial pro-forma. With this consulting work in place, we can then move forward with the process of finding a location for the store, determining its size, and other basic elements involved with starting a food co-op.
The Board of Directors is the essential link between the Amherst community’s dream of having its own full-service cooperative grocery store and the reality of building such a store. As a member of the Board, you will help guide this process.
The Amherst Community Co-op Board of Directors will have the following duties:
- Supervising the Co-op through its startup phase
- Helping to build the member-owner base
- Making the community at large aware of the co-op and its mission
- Using the consultants’ study as the basis for identifying and securing a store
- Participating in negotiations to secure a location
- Monitoring the Co-op’s governing policies
- Performing financial oversight of the Co-op
- Responding to shareholders’ concerns
- Making decisions that can only be made by the Board as defined by the co-op’s bylaws
- Ensuring that the purpose, mission, and principles of the co-op are part of every decision.
Board Member Expectations
- During the startup phase, Board members will be expected to attend monthly meetings
- Attend and participate in the Annual Member-owner Meeting and other meetings of member-owners
- Board members are expected to arrive on time for scheduled meetings and fulfill rotating duties, such as tabling at events.
Should You Run for the Board of Directors?
You should run for a seat on the Board of Directors if you care deeply about seeing to it that Amherst has a cooperative grocery store that is consistent with our community’s values. The Amherst Community Co-op will be a worker and consumer owned full-service grocery store that is governed according to democratic and inclusive principles, providing wholesome, affordable, and locally-produced foods that reflect the diversity of our community.
You should consider getting involved if:
- You have experience in starting or running a business, preferably food-related
- You have experience as a community organizer
- You have experience with (or interest in) democratic management structures
- You have any other skills or experience that you believe would be of value to the Amherst Community Co-op
But more than anything…
You should join us if you are care about making the co-op a reality as a cornerstone for all members of the Amherst community and its surrounding areas.
The Amherst Community Co-op needs you!