Time for the co-op's annual meeting

The Great River Co-op's annual meeting will convene at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 29, at the Congregational Church on the square in Walpole.  If you plan to come, please RSVP to ben@greatriverfoodcoop. com and state the number of people who'll be coming with you. 




You'll see and discuss the building design that Tedd Benson and the architects and Bensonwood have created for us.  Your board of directors will explain the financing plan and detail proposed changes to the membership structure.  And we'll project possible dates for the store to open.


Mark your calenders now and RSVP to ben@greatriverfoodcoop. com.

Neighboring Food Co-ops Celebrate Our Third Annual Meeting

On March 29th, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association held its third annual meeting, hosted by the Putney Food Co-op at the Putney School in Vermont.  The meeting brought together a record 100 co-operators from more than 40 food co-ops, start-up initiatives and partner organizations from across our region, including reps from farmer co-ops, co-op support organizations, food security organizations.  Kim Mastrianni and Rob Kasper, the Great River Food Co-op's board presidfent and secretary, were there.  Read more about it here


The Great River Co-op board has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Benson Woodworking Co. and the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to build the co-op’s future store.  The location is in Walpole’s commercial district on Route 12, between the Pinnacle View Equipment Company and the Walpole Scoop Shop.


Under the terms of the agreement, Benson and a team of partners will build a building of about 4,000 square feet designed to the co-op’s specifications.  The building will be designed to be easily expandable when the co-op needs more space.  The completed building will include all the equipment and inventory that the store needs to open for business.  The co-op then will lease the stocked and equipped store from Benson and will have the option to buy the building at a future time.  MEDC and Benson also will invest directly in the project.


You haven’t heard a lot from the board for a while but we have spent the last year working hard on the co-op’s business plan and developing these relationships with Benson and MEDC.  Our time has been well-spent because we couldn’t ask for better partners.  Tedd Benson is an enthusiastic supporter of the Great River Co-op and MEDC has been an essential partner in  the building and opening of the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.  Benson and MEDC are known and respected for their skills, their integrity, and their ability to ensure the success of the projects they take part in.    


Now it's up to us, the Great River Co-op's member-owners, to make it happen.  The store’s construction depends on our ability to raise a portion of the necessary financing – about $650,000 – through a combination of grants, loans and donations from members, and sales of membership shares.  This is the same approach to financing that enabled the Keene co-op to succeed.  Our fund-raising campaign will begin in the near future and we’re confident that our community can provide the Great River Co-op with the same level of support.


 If the fund-raising effort is successful, the store could open during the spring or summer of 2016, maybe even sooner.


As we move together into this exciting and crucial stage of the project, your board of directors asks for your support and involvement.  We need assistance from member-owners in managing the website and our Facebook communications.  We need more members to serve on the co-op’s board of directors.  And we need members to help with fundraising and membership campaigns.  If you are interested in helping your co-op move forward by participating in any of these capacities, please contact us at 603-445-2200 or info@greatriverfoodcoop.org.


We are glad and grateful to have reached this stage of the project but there is much more to do.  We look forward to the opportunity to make this happen through the combined efforts of all our member-owners.  Together we will create something great – the Great River Co-op.


Your Board of Directors,


Kim Mastrianni, President

John Lippmann, Vice President

Rob Kasper, Secretary

Anthony Santorelli, Treasurer

Katie Dearborn

Matt Andrus

Bruce Bickford


On March 14, the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition will host  Farmer Appreciation Night from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Heberton Hall at 60 Winter Street in Keene, next to the Keene Public Library.


A buffet dinner from 5:30 to 7 will be prepared by volunteers and by Denise Meadows of In & Out Hospitality and will feature dishes with a cornucopia of local ingredients.  If you like, bring a potluck dish of your own to share.  A cash bar will be open as well.


From 7:30 to 10, dance to the Bump Road Band and the Cold River Ranters.


Awards will be given to the oldest farmer and newest newcomer.


If you would like to help cook, serve, decorate, greet, clean up or anything else, call Roe-Ann at 603-852-3198 or e-mail coordinator@mfccoalition.org.


Make your reservation now by clicking here.



The Chris Caserta and Family Support Fund has blown through the $40,000 mark on the way to its $60,000 goal.  The money will be used to pay Chris's medical expenses and his family's other costs as he recovers from severe head and facial injuries.  Join the team and please be as generous as you can.


  • You can share in the co-op’s profits. 
  • You can help bring much-needed foodstore competition to our region.
  • You’ll shop at a community market stocked every day with meat and produce raised right here.
  • You’ll help strengthen and expand local agriculture and protect open land.
  • You’ll shop at a family-friendly store that won’t stock sugary cereals at kids’ eye level, stack candy bars by the cash registers, or have what retailers call a “Mommy, I want” aisle filled with impulse purchases.
  • You’ll have a say in the products the store carries.
  • You can have a voice in governing the co-op.
  • The co-op’s profits stay in our community.
  • You can help to develop community education programs through the co-op.
  • Joining now can make it possible. Your memberships and donations will give the co-op additional capital and demonstrate the community support this initiative needs to stay on track.


Click here for news.


A message from member-owner Minna Good:

Upgrading my membership from one share to a full voting membership of four shares was something I’d been meaning to do for the last couple of years but something always "came up".  But now is the time for all of us, including myself, to upgrade.  We all need to support our local farmers and to help create a year-round market that features produce and food products created locally.  It is getting close to the time for our dreams to come to fruition.  The more of us who upgrade our memberships, the quicker the co-op becomes a reality.  So I urge all of my fellow member-owners of the Great River Co-op to become voting members, if you are not already, by purchasing a total of four shares.

See the latest progress in store design.  Click here.

What you're saying...

Your comments about the Edwards Lane site have been numerous as well as thoughtful.  To read what your fellow member-owners think, click here.  To see the questions that some have asked, click here.


The Great River Co-op has joined the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, a collaboration of more than 20 New England co-ops.  Click here to learn the benefits that membership will bring to your co-op.

Membership Form

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Adobe Acrobat Document [1.9 MB]

Photos courtesy of: