Veggin’ Out at SALSA Fest

The MVFC vegged out at SALSA Fest, but not like couch potatoes! Several fruits and vegetables were in attendance at last week’s SALSA Fest in Lawrence, MA, and they were all excited to talk co-ops.

Tomato

The partly-cloudy weather held as Merrimack Valley Food Co-op volunteers and members handed out delicious Equal Exchange fruit bars and chatted about the benefits of a food co-op in Essex County, MA. “Despacito” played across the beautiful South Common Park, and gleeful kids ran from table to table to play games and grab goodies. We had a blast playing the “Fruits and Vegetable Game”!

suzanne with kids

New and familiar faces stopped by the tent to hear more about our upcoming events, like the upcoming Savor Series featuring the Kennedy Hill Farm, and our vision for the first food co-op in the county. We signed up 19 new people to our email list, each of whom were entered in a raffle for natural cleaning products. We are also so excited to announce a new member family. Please welcome Kendrys Vasquez and his family to the co-op!

New members to the co-op family!

New members to the co-op family!

SALSA Fest highlighted local organizations committed to community health and wellness: the perfect place to talk co-ops. Food co-ops encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by providing far more fresh, local, and organic produce options than regular grocery stores. Many food co-ops offer classes on healthy eating and nutrition, because co-ops are dedicated to the community that supports and runs them. Supporting your local food co-op not only saves you money on your healthy groceries, but uplifts and educates your community!

Thanks again to Moderno Appliance and Equal Exchange for their generous donations, and to Groundwork Lawrence for another successful SALSA Fest.

We hope to see all of you at the last Savor Series before summer, June 24th from 4-6 PM!

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Congratulations, Stephanie

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Congratulations, Stephanie our Raffle winner and co-op member! She won the tickets to A Christmas Carol as part of our recent membership campaign. We hope you enjoyed the show and are so glad that you are part of our Merrimack Valley Food Co-op community.

June is Membership Month

Screen Shot June Mini

Our membership goal for June is to sell 35 new memberships. A co-op membership means that the person buying a membership owns one share in our start-up cooperative grocery store.  Any one person can own only one share. That is why it is so important that many people buy shares so our community will own and make decisions about this local business together.

MVFC shares cost a one time amount of $150. We also accept payment plans of $25 each month the six months.

Bonus during “Help Us Grow the Co-op” membership month is the first 35 people to pay for their membership in full will get a free MVFC t-shirt.

Click here for a MVFC Membership Agreement

You can mail the completed form with a check for $150 made payable to Merrimack Valley Food Co-op. We are working on easier ways for you to join.

Questions? Email Suzanne@mvfood.coop.

Let’s grow the co-op together.

Annual Meeting follow-up

MVFC_Annual_MtgWe had great participation at our 1st Annual Meeting and it was terrific to meet several new members. Thanks to Lakeview Kitchen, once again, for allowing us to host the meeting there and for the delicious soup.

We discussed our accomplishments from the past year, including our increased FB following and the many public events where we met like-minded co-op fans.

There is still much work to be done and we will focus our efforts in the next year to continue selling member shares and to spread the word about how much a co-op can help the local economy with jobs, healthy food choices, and a group of members dedicated to their community.

Please join us today and become a member!

 

Possible Dreams a Great Evening

Possible Dreams MVFC group 1 MVFC Board members led a topic discussion about how a cooperative grocery could be a positive for Haverhill and the surrounding communities. The community response was very positive and we are excited about the new friends we made and interest that continues to grow.

The evening was planned by Team Haverhill and allowed for community members to propose and lead discussions. The range of topics and people attending showed a broad cross-section of Haverhill from parents, students, community leaders and elected officials.

We asked people to share our contact info and are looking forward to a continued discussion – the next opportunity being Monday, March 16 from 5-7 at Lakeview Kitchen.

Why would a cooperative grocery store be good for Haverhill?

MVFC

Economic Benefits-

Co-ops help the local economy by supporting and selling local food, produce, and products, thus keeping money in the local economy. MVFC, like many co-ops, plans on paying a living wage that will make it possible for employees to support themselves and their families.

Health-

Our co-op plans to carry fresh, local and sustainable food whenever possible.

Education

We will support our co-op members and the community by creating a place where everyone can share information & learn about food, health and good eating habits.

Community building

Share your opinion! Unlike traditional grocery stores, co-ops give every member a voice in how a co-op is run. Every member gets a right to vote when they join a coop & buy a “share”.

Support your community by food shopping! Food co-op profits are re-invested in the community; which can create additional jobs and greater economic activity. MFVC plans to operate in an environmentally friendly manner, including donating unsold items, composting, and recycling.

Quick FAQs

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What is a co-op?

A co-op is a business that is legally incorporated to meet the needs of its members and is controlled by those members. Unlike other businesses, co-ops put their members and communities first.

Where are we located?
We are in the start up phase and do not have an actual location yet. Please join us so we can make this happen sooner than later.
When is it opening?
We will open after we sell enough member shares, conduct a feasibility study, raise capital, select a location, hire a General Manager, you get the idea… It can take a couple more years and that is why we need to get the word out and need your support.

Are you a 501 (c) 3?

No, the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is incorporated in the State of MA as a cooperative business.

What is the mission of the MVFC?

Our mission is to build a community-owned, cooperative grocery store offering fresh, local and sustainable food, to engage the community through outreach, education and a place to meet and empower members to support the local economy.

Who can become a member?

Food co-op membership is open to anyone that would like to join and purchase a share.

What is a member share?

A member share is your investment in the co-op, this money is used to cover many of the co-op’s start-up costs and other expenses once the co-op is running. Members who relocate can sell their shares back to the co-op.

MVFC share price has been set at $150.

Why be a member?

By becoming a member you are helping to support the co-op in your community. Membership also gives you the right to vote for the Board of Directors and co-op policies. Many co-ops also give members patronage refunds in years when the co-op is profitable, this is a specific amount of money members get back that is based on how much they spend.

Do I have to be a member?

No, you do not have to be a member to participate in co-op events, like the co-op or shop at the co-op once we open.