The East Aurora Cooperative Market’s Capital Campaign came to a successful close in November 2014. This fundraising effort was crucial to our progress and second only to your member-ownership in importance. We are proud of our success on this front and are currently closing in on the remaining capital that comes from outside lending. We expect to complete this and begin construction at the end of March, opening our store in 2015.
What does it all mean? To position our store on the best possible footing, we have asked New York State to extend our prospectus to allow us the opportunity to raise additional funds from our member-owners. Specifically, we are attempting to raise an additional $25,000 in Preferred Shares, to provide extra cushioning of our operating capital.
We know that we can rally together to raise this extra capital in the next month and a half and I hope you will consider helping us. Here’s how it works:
Member-owners will receive a call from a fellow East Aurora Co-op member-owner, giving you the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about investing in the Co-op. We ask that you please give them a little of your time and consider investing in OUR Cooperative.
This year as we prepare to open our Co-op, dozens of people will be helping to make it happen. Many will work on our building. Volunteers will continue manning events. The Board of Directors and our Co-op consultants will be steering us toward success. Each of those people will be lending their expertise and putting a personal touch on the store. By taking this opportunity to contribute to your Co-op, your hard work, expertise and personal touch will be making it all possible.
There is a lot to think about, we know. If you have questions, would like more information, or to begin arranging your investment now, please call Sheila Conboy (716-912-0672), Mike Benzin (716-316-1090) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Offering by Prospectus only to bona fide residents of New York State. NY # I14-6754.
Yesterday was a pretty amazing day at the East Aurora Co-op. Here’s a recap. Where we started: Going into the final day of the Capital Campaign, we had a $68,800 gap to fill to meet our minimum required investment goal. We gathered at the Co-op, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work reaching out to fellow member-owners. It was an energized group, fueled by coffee, adrenaline, and the strength of our shared vision. How it unfolded: We started out strong. Member-owners were showing up. Writing checks. Investing in the future of their Co-op. And they kept coming. All day long. Where we finished: Together, we raised $108,300. $108,300! That’s amazing! That helped us reach and exceed our minimum required goal of $800,000. And together, we wrote the next chapter of the East Aurora Co-op story. What it felt like: Remember the final scene from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” when Bedford Falls pulls together to save George Bailey? Well, that’s what it felt like at the Co-op. Today, collectively, we are all George Bailey – the richest man in town! Now we put our investment dollars to work building the Co-op we’ve all been envisioning. What it means: Is there still more to do? Yes, there is. We know some folks wanted to be a part of the Capital Campaign and haven’t been able to sign on the bottom line yet. That’s fine. We can still accept investments to bridge the gap between our required minimum and our pro forma target of $875,000. We’ve had great discussions already with outside lenders, but we need to get those commitments solidified as well. What’s next: On Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Aurora Town Hall, 300 Gleed Avenue, member-owners are getting together to talk about the path forward and celebrate our incredible campaign success. Kindly RSVP to email@example.com if you can attend. See you there!...read more
It’s a very big day at the East Aurora Cooperative Market. We’re pulling out all the stops to reach our Capital Campaign goal and we’re SO CLOSE! So we’re coming together at our 595 Main Street location to do everything we can to make today THE day. We’ll be there from 10 am-4:30 pm. Member-owners like you are coming down to make calls, sign up new member-owners, encourage investment, and be part of the excitement. Please join us and do what you can to make our Co-op a reality! Over the summer and throughout the fall, we’ve been reaching out to you, our member-owners, and you’ve come through. With just $68,800 left to reach our required minimum, we can’t stop now. Today is the day it can happen. Today is the day we can reach our goal, capitalize our Co-op, and get on with the important and exciting tasks of hiring a general manager and choosing wall colors. How exciting is that? So stop on by! Can’t make it? call: 912-0672 or 316-1090 or email:...read more
Yesterday was a good day! With one week left in the Capital Campaign, we are a Co-op closer to being capitalized. Yesterday, a core group of dedicated member-owners chose to spend their Saturday morning calling fellow owners and spreading the word: We are so close, but now more than ever we need to embody the cooperative spirit and come together to make the Co-op a reality. That message was received and understood, to the tune of $17,000 in investments. That’s the momentum we need to make this happen! Did you miss our call yesterday? No worries! Just give us a call and we’ll call you right back. Or send us an email, and we’ll respond straight away. It’s an exciting time for the Co-op. Be part of it! Call: 912-0672 or 316-1090 Email:...read more
As we count down the days and count up the campaign totals, every investment gets us closer to capitalizing the Co-op. The Capital Campaign is second only to your member-ownership in importance, and is the embodiment of Cooperative Principle No. 3: Member Economic Participation. Over the course of the Campaign, we’ve heard from owner-investors who have indicated that they may be able to come through with an additional investment as the Campaign draws to a close. With the November deadline approaching, now is the time! Our average preferred share investment is $3,000 and our average member-owner loan is $4,000. If you are able to make an investment at the $5,000 or $10,000 level or more, you can make a very real impact and help the Co-op community realize our collective goal. Want to fully embody the cooperative spirit? Consider issuing a challenge to help everyone maximize their investment. Please call Sheila (912-0672) or Mike (316-1090). They’re full of great ideas and can help get the word out should you choose to issue a challenge. Or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!...read more
It’s the final two weeks of the Capital Campaign and energy is high. As we enter the final stretch and pull out all the stops to bring the campaign to a successful conclusion, it’s easy to focus on what we still need to do together: namely, get $211,300 more in investments by November 15. But it’s equally important to focus on what we’ve accomplished together already, because it speaks volumes about the strength of the community of Co-op member-owners that has come together to bring something very special to East Aurora. When we launched the Campaign June 30 we were a community of 830 member-owners with a Campaign total of $0 (that was a sad-looking Campaign asparagus-meter…), but a shared vision of building a community-supported cooperative market and a belief that we could pull together and raise the $875,000 required to get it done. Fast forward four months and we are a growing Co-op community of 986 member-owners with $663,700 in our Campaign fund. That’s amazing progress and something we should all be proud of. Thank you! We’re also a stronger community, with the same shared a vision of a cooperative market that offers fresh healthy food, supports local farmers, and bolsters the local economy, but with a strengthened resolve to bring it to fruition. Our volunteers and callers hear it every day. We all want to make the East Aurora Co-op a reality. That resolve is what has brought us so close to our goal and our continued resolve is what’s going to help us reach that goal by November 15. We are so close to making this happen! But it will take effort from everyone in our community. If you’ve invested already, please reach out to friends and family who have been sitting on the sidelines. If you haven’t invested, but you’ve been meaning to…now is the time! Please call Sheila (912-0672) or Mike (316-1090), or send us an email at email@example.com. Thank...read more
Myth: Only member-owners can shop at the Co-op. Truth: The Co-op will be open to everyone for shopping, just like Tops, Wegmans, or Dash’s. Myth: Membership has a yearly fee. Truth: There is only a one time member-owner fee. Once you own it, you own it. Myth: Co-op member-owner shares are $500. Truth: Co-op ownership is a $200, one time investment. That’s it. Owners will be eligible to receive special sales, and patronage dividends once the Co-op is profitable. Myth: The East Aurora Co-op start-up process is different, and more complicated, than other Co-op start-ups. Truth: Like all startup businesses, the Co-op needs capital to get off the ground. But the capital to fund Co-ops is, in large part, derived from member-owners. In fact financial investment by member-owners is an established principle of cooperative business worldwide, and the model used across the country to finance all startup Co-ops. Myth: The Co-op has backup funding. Truth: There is no magic money. The Co-op must raise initial capital – in our case $875,000 – from its member-owners. Here’s another truth: Our Capital Campaign deadline is approaching fast. We need to raise $232,000 more in investments by November 15th. It sounds like a daunting task, but we know the East Aurora community is committed to bringing a Co-op to town and we know we can make it a reality together. Please call Sheila (912-0672) or Mike (316-1090), or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank...read more
By Mike Benzin, East Aurora Cooperative Market Board Member and Treasurer I received an offer in the mail today. A major financial institution wanted me to open a savings account with them. Their hook? That their 0.80% interest rate was many times higher than the national average. They seemed quite proud of what they would do for me. Really. Bragging about an interest rate of less than 1%! Okay, so my money would be insured. But that’s it. Never mind that, with an annual inflation rate of about 1.5%, I’d actually lose money. And never mind that the institution would give my dollars to others to use through its credit card or other financial programs. And that they’d see returns averaging as much as 13%. That’s a nice profit for them, isn’t it? And what would my money be doing? Buying sneakers, meals at restaurants, concert tickets or groceries? There’s nothing wrong with these things, but don’t I want my money to do more? To mean more? Shouldn’t my dollars reflect the values I hold near and dear? Enter the East Aurora Cooperative Market. As a member I have the right to put my dollars to use right here in my community. To help the Co-op build something that will bring returns at many levels to my family, my friends, and my neighbors. The Co-op’s capital campaign is raising money right now to build out our store. These dollars are critically important. They will bring a broad selection of locally-sourced goods to our grocery carts. They will build a new hub for our community where good health and nutrition contribute to our quality of life. It will be a place where we – you and me – come first. That’s something I can be proud of. That’s something I want to be a part of. Oh, and can I tell you that my dollars could come back to me even stronger than they went in? If I buy preferred shares I could earn an annual dividend of 2%. If I make a four year loan I could earn an interest rate of 1.5% – – even higher if I choose a longer term. As much as 4.5% for a ten-year loan. Take that, inflation! Sure there’s a risk – my money isn’t guaranteed and I might lose it all. But I know there are many bright people doing their best to make sure that doesn’t happen. And they are receiving sage counsel from advisors who have opened and supported hundreds of successful co-ops all over the U.S. So that offer from that major financial institution? It’s in the recycling bin. My money is on the Co-op. My money is on our community. My money is on our farmers, our producers, and our quality of life. But my money can’t do it alone. It needs you. It needs your investment alongside of it. Together we can do some great things. Together we can build a market to be proud of. So join me. Step up. Let’s make this happen. Today. Call me at 316-1090 and we’ll get it done. And I’ll see you at the Co-op when it opens next...read more
Just a friendly reminder…October is National Co-op Month and we’re celebrating tomorrow at Craft Tap House (701 Main Street) with a Happy Hour from 6-8 pm. Curious about the Co-op? Come tomorrow and we’ll fill you in. If you join tomorrow, you will be eligible to win a yoga gift certificate for Healing Waters! Already a member-owner and have a friend who is interesting in becoming a member-owner, too? Come tomorrow, bring your friend, and get a special drink on us! Already a member-owner and want to hear how the Capital Campaign is going? Come tomorrow and we’ll get you up to speed. Thinking about becoming an investor, but need more information? Come tomorrow and we’ll answer your questions. Cash bar, light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. See you...read more
With Election Day fast approaching, our airwaves and mailboxes are overloaded with political campaign messages. Mailers, radio spots, campaign stop coverage, and TV spots – which are by far the worst. Charges of political corruption, misuse of tax dollars, questionable dealings, and ineffective leadership all illustrated through grainy, unflattering pictures and narrated by voiceover actors who have mastered the not-so-subtle art of infusing every syllable with disgust and innuendo. Is it any wonder we find ourselves wishing there was a campaign committed to telling it like it really is and focused on building a better future? Well, there is: the East Aurora Co-op Capital Campaign. We even have lawn signs! So, here’s telling it like it is: Over the last three months, we have raised $625,500. Every dollar is a reflection of the commitment and support of our 950+ member-owners and we thank you. We need to raise $249,500 more by November 15. It’s an ambitious goal, and it may come down to the wire – some of the greatest campaigns in history have. Voting for the Co-op by investing in the Capital Campaign is a vote for fresh, healthy food that supports local farmers and producers and strengthens the local economy. And that’s a campaign promise we can’t wait to keep! Our only opponents in this campaign are time and the misconception that someone else will make this campaign a success. It’s up to each one of us to step up and be counted. So we humbly ask for your support and your investment to capitalize the East Aurora Co-op. Are you ready to invest? Please contact Sheila Conboy (912-0672) or Mike Benzin (316-1090) or send an email to email@example.com. Thank...read more
…and come together to help make the East Aurora Co-op Capital Campaign a success! Come to our happy hour to socialize, share in the excitement, become a member-owner, and learn more about the East Aurora Co-op Capital Campaign. Member-owners who bring a guest interested in joining will get a special drink on us, and anyone who becomes a member-owner that evening will be eligible to win a $45 gift certificate for yoga classes at healing Waters. Light hors d’oeuvres provided, cash bar. Craft Tap House Tuesday, October 14, 6 – 8 p.m. 701 Main Street, East Aurora ________________________________________________________________________ Salut Wine & Spirits is graciously hosting a free wine tasting to benefit the East Aurora Co-op and help bring the Capital Campaign to a successful conclusion. Come learn about the co-op and join! Anyone who becomes a member-owner that evening will be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate to the EA Farmer’s Market. Special thanks to Salut for donating a percentage of wine sales to the Co-op. Salut Wine & Spirits Thursday, October 23, 6 – 8 p.m. 658 Main Street, East Aurora October is Co-op Month… Let’s Celebrate! ...read more