A group working to create a community food co-op in Ticonderoga has adopted a mission statement and plans to formalize committees. The group will meet again Monday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Downtown Gallery on Montcalm Street. Meetings are open to all interested people.
A group working to create a community food co-op in Ticonderoga has adopted a mission statement and plans to formalize committees.
The mission statement reads: “Our mission is to create and support a community-owned co-op that believes in the importance of healthy living, sustainability and offering locally produced products. We are committed to providing high quality goods and services at affordable prices through member-participation and employment opportunities.”
That idea may change, but it’s a starting point, said Sharon Reynolds, PRIDE executive director and a leader of the co-op group.
“Our statement will evolve and change — or not — as we continue to organize and become more knowledgeable in our effort to establish a community-owned food co-op in Ticonderoga,” Reynolds said.
The group will meet again Monday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Downtown Gallery on Montcalm Street. Meetings are open to all interested people.
A study conducted by a Minnesota consultant last year showed a community food co-op could be viable in Ticonderoga.
“According to the market study, the population size, including seasonal residents, and demographic composition of the market area, as well as the weak competitive environment with respect to other natural and organic food stores, combined with the experiences of other natural food co-ops in similar market situations, it appears that there is sufficient sales potential to support a co-op food store,” said Sharon Reynolds, executive director of PRIDE.
Ticonderoga officials turned their attention to the possible creation of a food co-op after failing to generate interest from large grocery chains in locating in the community.
A food cooperative or food co-op is a grocery store owned, organized and operated by members. Since decisions about how to run a cooperative are not made by outside shareholders, cooperatives often exhibit a high degree of social responsibility with an emphasis on local, natural foods.
CDS Consulting Co-op from Minnesota completed the study in December. The study was funded by a Quality Communities Grant submitted by the town of Ticonderoga.
The study included a sales forecast analysis and an evaluation of proposed sites.
In presenting the study results, CDS offered a financial outlook followed by a training session for people interested in possibly forming a grocery co-op.
At one time Ticonderoga had three grocery stores. It now has one, Wal-Mart.
A grocery co-op can take as long as three years to become operational, the study noted.
People interested in the coop project can reach Reynolds via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 585-6366 ext. 103.
Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney hopes a Ticonderoga co-op can be similar to the Middlebury Natural Foods Cooperative. That store is open seven days a week 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Operated by a board of directors elected by membership, the Middlebury co-op emphasizes healthy foods, making a positive impact on the local economy and stresses environmentally sustainable and energy efficient practices.
The Middlebury Natural Foods Cooperative began in the early 1970s as a pre-order buying club. Its purpose was to provide members with wholesome, natural foods that were not available elsewhere. To maximize savings, members bought in bulk and packaged the food themselves. During the last 40 years, the co-op has expanded several times to include a store-front operation that is open to members and the public. It includes a prepared foods section and deli with indoor and outdoor seating.