Cedar Falls Food Co-op 2019: The Year in Review

As February commences, I’ve had time to gather statistics and reflect upon this past year of your Co-op and what a productive year it’s been! As with any business, there are highlights and challenges and I’ve provided my take on these below. While there is still much to be done, with everyone’s support and contributions, our goals are attainable. I’m grateful to all who have joined this journey.

– Melanie Drake, Outreach Coordinator

2019 Highlights:

  • Surpassed 1000 member-owners!
  • Nominated for the Best of the Best Award at Up & Coming, our national start-up co-op conference.
  • Welcomed four new board members who immediately rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the hard work.
  • Decided to change the name of the Co-op to more accurately reflect our growing community.
  • Hosted international author, Jon Steinman on his Grocery Story book tour.
  • Surge in support from more community businesses and other organizations.

2019 Challenges:

  • Securing a site for our future cooperative grocery store.
  • Finding individuals who are willing to assist in a few key roles needed (we have great volunteers but always need more).
  • Signs of some member-owner fatigue/anxiety as our co-op timeline and important work continues.
  • Getting word about the Co-op amidst elections, as well as other national and local issues that are vying for community members’ attention.

2019 By the Numbers:

  • 2884 Hours Volunteered (equivalent to 1.3 full-time employees)
  • 100+ Volunteers
  • 94 New Member-Owners (bringing us to 1020 total owners by 1/1/2020)
  • 80+ Committee Meetings Held (includes Board meetings)
  • 78 Area Businesses Providing Discounts to Co-op Members
  • Dozens of Potential Store Sites Suggested and Researched
  • 35+ Businesses Donating Items for Events/New Member Giveaways
  • 28 Co-op Events Held
  • 26 Events where we had a Co-op Booth/Representation
  • 25+ Phone Meetings with Peer Co-ops
  • 20+ People Marched in 1 Parade
  • 15 Businesses Co-hosted/Provided Space for Co-op Events
  • 11 Books Discussed by the Co-op Book Club
  • 11 Local Vendors Represented at our Fall Food Fest
  • 8 Potlucks
  • 3 Co-op Presentations to Community Groups
  • 2 Community Service Events
  • 1 International Author Hosted
  • Countless Other Co-ops Visited by our Member-Owners

To borrow the words of a fellow start-up co-op, Free Range in Grand Rapids, MN:

How can we make 2020 even better? We all have limitless potential as individuals, families, organizations, and as communities. Our only limitations are our own narrow perspectives and the perimeters we set upon ourselves. We CAN build our Co-op if we do it through cooperation (and collaboration)!

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