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 email@example.com.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.