Join us at these events to find out more about making a member loan:
- Tuesday, May 15, 6:30 p.m., The Backyard, Weavers Way Chestnut Hill
- Tuesday, May 22, 6 p.m., Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave.
- Wednesday, June 6, 6:30 p.m., The Café, Weavers Way Ambler
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we’re launching “Together We Grow Phase II,” a capital-raising campaign where Weavers Way members can support the Co-op and receive benefits. It has two components, one focusing on equity, the other on member loans.
- Member Equity: Add $400 to your equity account and receive $100 in EasyPay!
- Member Loans: Loan the Co-op a minimum of $1,000 for 6 years and receive 4% interest.
These capital-raising programs are designed to strengthen the Co-op at a time of extraordinary growth and significantly increased competition, while also putting money in the pockets of members.
In Phase I of our “Together We Grow” campaign, we sought to raise funds for the opening of the Ambler store. The campaign was incredibly successful: We beat our goal by nearly double, raising over $1.5 million in member loans from about 300 households. These funds enabled us to rely less on commercial loans and more on members (who, in turn, earn interest from us). Because of this unprecedented support from the membership, we now have a third Weavers Way store — a beautiful place that welcomes new shoppers every day, growing the cooperative economy and advancing our mission.
Since the conclusion of Phase I, we have seen more than 3,700 new households join the Co-op. That represents growth of 40 percent in our membership in just over a year! Moreover, each store continues to increase in sales. With more members and more sales, our entire organization has had to scale up, adding 68 employees since the last loan campaign. In addition to employees working on the grocery side, the Co-op has had to add more outreach programming, and more employees are working on membership services. To be sure, this across-the-board growth of the Co-op has been capital-intensive!
Meanwhile, the natural-foods market has continued to be fiercely competitive, and the grocery industry in general has sought to find ways to respond to the growth of grocery delivery services. The Co-op has to remain competitive and also demonstrate how we are very much more than just a store.
To keep up while ensuring the Co-op remains financially strong, we seek to raise funds through this equity and loan campaign. If “Together We Grow, Phase II” is successful, we will achieve greater financial flexibility and be in a better position to pay down our debt. Our cash reserves will be increased, giving us the safety net we need as we welcome increased opportunities to do good work with new members and in a new market area. Plus, paying interest to our members instead of commercial lenders is our preference!
As individuals who have been members, volunteers and staff, we know the Co-op as a place of community-building and support. We have seen firsthand the impact we have in our communities, whether through the nutrition and education programming of our affiliated nonprofit Food Moxie (which Laura served as Board Chair) or through the grassroots efforts of the start-up Ambler Food Co-op (of which Kathleen served as President).
We welcome the opportunity to invest in Weavers Way Co-op and we hope that you will give it your consideration too.
Together We Grow Phase II ends on June 21. Visit www.weaversway.coop/member-loans for more information, and feel free to contact us, at email@example.com, or call Membership at 215-843-2350, ext. 119.
We look forward to another fun and exciting campaign!