July 2016 Newsletter: A Time for (Hyperlocal) Cold Brew

Blast those A/C units, embrace the cold shower, hang out in the basement, or just eat lots of ice cream at all hours of the day: These are a few ways I plan to avoid meltdowns (both physical and emotional!) during this blistering South Philly heat wave. I hope you're staying cool, too, and if ice cream for breakfast isn't your thing, might I suggest whipping up a batch of homemade cold-brewed coffee?

In case you haven't heard, the Co-op is partnering with Philly Fair Trade Roasters for a monthly Coffee Program! Sign up today and use our exclusive South Philly Blend in place of your usual joe for a refreshing caffeine buzz. Orders for July must be placed by midnight tomorrow, July 14! Click here for more information.

Read on for all the latest South Philly Food Co-op news, resources and volunteer opportunities for the month of July.

Cooperatively yours,
Carolyn Huckabay, Member, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Board News: Farewells and Welcomes

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This month marks the official start of two new board members' terms in office, so we'd like to give a warm welcome to Katy Travaline and Emily Wyner! We excerpted our favorite parts of their bios below so you can get to know them better:

Katy Travaline: I am working to open the South Philly Food Co-op because I believe the cooperative model is essential to a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system. Eager to make the Co-op a reality, my husband and I joined the Co-op and I started volunteering at tabling events in 2012. Passionate about spreading the word, I have served as the Speakers Bureau Manager since 2012. Outside the co-op, in the process of developing and teaching college courses such as 'Sustainable Food Systems' and 'Cities and Sustainability,' I sought out food producers and distributors as well as city officials and brought them to the classroom. As a Co-op board member, I will represent South Philly as a whole, but I will also bring much-needed representation to residents west of Broad Street.

Emily Wyner: Four days after moving to the neighborhood, I went to my first South Philly Food Co-op general membership meeting. From that point on, I knew this was an organization to which I was deeply dedicated. Coming to the table with passionate experience in food justice organizing, I felt energized to join forces with a community of neighbors who share a common vision: to open a member-owned, cooperative grocery store that makes good food available at a fair price to the residents of South Philadelphia. Outside of the Co-op, I work at a large public health institute, where I lead mission-driven business integration initiatives and have honed my skills in strategic, organization-wide thinking and planning. The South Philly Food Co-op has provided me an avenue to express my values and deepen my connection with a community I am proud to call home. 

P.S. We'd be remiss not to give a huge shout-out to our outgoing board members, Josh Richards and Anna Shipp, for your hard work over the years. You will be missed!

 

Buzz-Worthy: Order Your Coffee by Thursday!

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Calling all coffee lovers: Philly Fair Trade Roasters and the South Philly Food Co-op are excited to announce a new partnership, the South Philly Food Co-op Coffee Program! Place a monthly order in advance -- for as many bags as you like -- and pick up anytime between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at Cinemug.You can join anytime, but to pick up a July bag, place your order by Thursday, July 14 and swing by Cinemug on the 21st. Click here to get started! 

P.S. This special South Philly blend isn't sold anywhere else, so sign up today to give it a try!

 

Calling All Volunteers: Join the Member Services & Outreach Committees!

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Looking to get more involved in the Co-op? Members of our amazing Member Services & Outreach Committees get to have an active hand in engaging our membership, planning educational and social events and interfacing with the community. Even if you don't have time to attend our monthly meetings, you can fulfill your volunteer hours by signing up for one-off committee projects. 

Learn more about this dual committee by clicking here, and emailgeneral@southphillyfoodcoop.org to join us!

Where We Live, Where We're Looking, What We Want

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Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and South Philly is no exception. From Pennsport to Point Breeze, Italian Market to Girard Estates, Hawthorne to Newbold, each neighborhood within the larger South Philly community has its own personality, flavor and identity.

One thing that binds us all together is the South Philly Food Co-op! If you've ever wondered where your 660+ fellow member-owners call home, here's a peek at our current member map.

Click here to learn more about where we're looking and -- once we find it -- what we're hoping to stock for the South Philly community.

South Philly Food Co-op
http://www.southphillyfoodcoop.org/

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Where We Live, Where We're Looking, What We Want

Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and South Philly is no exception. From Pennsport to Point Breeze, Italian Market to Girard Estates, Hawthorne to Newbold, each neighborhood within the larger South Philly community has its own personality, flavor and identity.

One thing that binds us all together is the South Philly Food Co-op! If you've ever wondered where your 660+ fellow member-owners call home, here's a peek at our current member map:

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As you can see, we're not simply clustered along East Passyunk Avenue. To that end, the parameters of our search for a permanent location reflect the geographic diversity of our membership. Here's exactly where we're looking:

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We can't confirm a location just yet, but rest assured that even if the Co-op is in a neighborhood other than your own, we're doing our best to ensure it's easily accessible by car, bike, foot and public transportation -- so that all of our members, and all of South Philly as a whole, can feel welcome to enter our doors.

Speaking of which, what will the Co-op carry? Our community members let their voices be heard in this recent Product Preferences Survey, in which folks expressed their interest in local, affordable and sustainable options. Check out the full results of the survey here!

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Spring General Membership Meeting Recap

Thanks to all who attended last week’s Spring General Membership Meeting, to the East Passyunk Community Recreation Center for hosting us, and and to South Philly Barbacoa for the delicious snacks! 


Coop Meeting

Missed the meeting? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a recap of what we discussed:

State of the Co-op:

The search for a space continues, and as we have said previously, given the inventory and pricing of today's South Philadelphia real estate market, opening a successful co-op will mean finding a development partner who is as dedicated to and passionate about this community as we are. The great news is that we are in conversation with such a partner, about an extremely promising space to call our home.

We are farther along in the negotiation process than the Co-op has ever been before. We've been down this road before (although never quite this far) and things haven't worked out, so nothing is final yet. We'll share more details when we can, so stay tuned!

In financial news, the Co-op generated $5,393 in net income this fiscal year and has $144,055 in total assets. The Board has also engaged local business consultants Elysian Fields to further refine the Co-op’s financial models.

Board Election Results:

Thanks to all who made your voices heard in this year’s Board Elections. Congratulations to returning board members Jessica Calter, Angel D’Ippolito, Alison Fritz, Anna Kiesel, Matt Stern and to brand new board members Katy Travaline and Emily Wyner! And of course, a big thank you to our outgoing board members, Josh Richards and Anna Shipp, for your hard work over the years!

Introducing the South Philly Blend:

Coffee Program

This smoky, savory blend of South and Central American coffee with chocolate undertones is now available through our new buying club partnership with Philly Fair Trade Roasters. Pick up your coffee monthly at Cinemug starting June 16th.  Try it out for just a month, or commit to 3 or 6 months for additional savings. Sales benefit the South Philly Food Co-op and member-owners get $1 off per 1-pound bag, so place your order today!

Product Preferences Survey Results:

The results of our Product Preferences Survey are in with over 160 responses! As a cooperative store, our member-owners will decide what we carry and how we source it.  At the meeting, we dug into how our members eat and shop, and what concerns them most when choosing their groceries (hint: local, fresh, high-quality products at reasonable prices).  To see the full results of the survey, click here.

New Member (Or just want to get more involved)?: 

Attend our upcoming New Member Orientation on June 8. Click here for details and to RSVP.

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Product Preferences Survey Results

The results of our Product Preferences Survey are in with over 160 responses! As a cooperative store, our member-owners will decide what we carry and how we source it.  In this survey, we dug into how our members eat and shop, and what concerns them most when choosing their groceries. 

See the full results of the survey here.

 

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May 2016 Newsletter: Let your voice be heard. Let your vote be counted.

May is here, the sun is out (finally), and it's time for our Spring General Membership Meeting! This gathering has been months in the making, and we've got a ton to share. We hope you'll be there in person on May 25 as we:

  • Present the results of our Product Preferences Survey, through which 160+ folks (both members and not-yet-members) weighed in on how we envision our future store;

  • Report on the state of the Co-op, from our current financials to the recent work we've done with local business consultants to position us to find a great, viable location for our store;

  • Vote on the next slate of candidates for our Board of Directors (learn more about this smart and dedicated bunch here); and

  • Get a (caffeine) buzz on! We've got a special treat for our coffee-loving co-operators, so be sure to join us on the 25th for the scoop.
I hope I'll see you later this month at the East Passyunk Community Rec Center! Remember, voting for the Board is the right of all fully paid member-owners, so if you haven't joined or you have outstanding equity, you have a few more weeks to get that in order. 

Cooperatively yours,

Leigh Goldenberg, Member, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors



Board Elections: Know Before You Go

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Did you know that seven of your fellow member-owners are running for positions on the Board of Directors this spring? We hope to see you at our General Membership Meeting, where all members are encouraged to cast their votes.

Please spend a few minutes reading our nominees' bios and voter FAQs, so you can make an informed decision on the 25th. See you there!

WHEN: Wednesday, May 25, 6:30-8 p.m. (check-in begins at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: East Passyunk Community Recreation Center, 1025 Mifflin St. (click here for directions)

This spring's nominees:

Jessica Calter
Angel D'Ippolito
Alison Fritz
Anna Kiesel
Matt Stern
Katy Travaline
Emily Wyner

More information on this year's candidates can be found here. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can still vote via absentee ballot until 5 p.m. on May 24. 

Welcome our Newest Shop South Philly Member!

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We're excited to welcome another Shop South Philly partner to the fold: CityCare Pharmacy

This locally owned independent pharmacy on West Passyunk accepts most major insurances, and offers services including free delivery within a 1-mile radius. 

Best of all, our newest partners is offering Co-op members a 10% discount on over-the-counter purchases over $10!

Be sure to pay them a visit, and don't forget to flash that membership card for all sorts of sweet discounts at CityCare and dozens of other local businesses. 

 

Co-ops in the News

From the St. Catharine's Standard: A grocery co-op in Ontario, the Garden City Food Co-op, has launched a capital campaign to raise money for renovations; the former night club with 660 members is awaiting renovations. Good luck, co-operators!

From the Sierra Vista Herald: The Sierra Vista Food Co-op in Arizona celebrates its five-year anniversary this spring! This Co-op began with a community meeting in 2006 with the grassroots efforts of a dedicated group of neighbors. Congratulations!

Upcoming Conferences: The 2016 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference, Disrupting the Future: Cooperative Food and the Next Generation, will be held June 9-11 in Amherst, MA. Locally, the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Association (PACA) will host Co-Up: A Teach-In for Cooperators on May 14 at Temple. The South Philly Food Co-op will be in attendance at both events, so stay tuned for updates and lessons learned!
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March 2016 Newsletter: Five ways to make the best of a short weekend

Daylight saving time is around the corner, so don't forget to set your clocks forward this weekend! While you're sipping your Sunday morning coffee, lamenting that lost hour of precious time, remember this: You've still got plenty of good hours ahead, so we hope you make the most of them! Here are some ideas to help you spring forward: 
  • Save the date for our 2016 Spring General Membership Meeting: Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.! As is always the case during our spring meetings, we'll be voting in new members of the Board of Directors. 
  • Speaking of which, did you know that you could spend some of those precious life-hours attending board meetings as one of our newest Board members? It's decision time if you're considering joining the BoardNominations are due March 15.
  • Not sure the Board is right for you, but still want to give some of your time to the Co-op? Consider joining a committee. If you're not sure which committee is right for you, dive in and attend an upcoming meeting. Coming up this month:
  • Visit our newest Shop South Philly partnerChaat & Chai!  
  • Finally, if you haven't yet completed it, fill out our Member Product Preferences Survey. I promise that -- unlike daylight saving time -- it will take less than an hour! 

Cooperatively yours,
Nathaniel Cauldwell, Member, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

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Due March 15: Board Nominations

Are you considering joining our Board of Directors? Here are the basic requirements:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Member of a share-holding household for at least eight months prior to election (since September 2015 or earlier)
  • Prior attendance at one General Membership Meeting
  • Prior attendance at one committee meeting
  • In good standing with equity payment(s)
  • Not associated with interests contrary to the general interests of the Co-op
  • Successful completion of Nomination Form
If elected, your term would begin in July 2016 and end in June 2018. Nomination forms are due on March 15; if you have any questions about the election process, we invite you to watch this Google hangout or email us with your questions!

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Calling All Volunteers!

If you're interested in becoming more involved with the Co-op, we have a couple of great open volunteer slots that need to be filled ASAP:
  • We're looking for a dedicated individual to be our Volunteer Coordinator! This person is responsible for making sure events are fully staffed, and for placing volunteers with committees and projects that need them most. Most volunteer coordination can be done via email, so if you only have a few hours a month to help but would like to get involved, this might be a great position for you! Please email general@southphillyfoodcoop.org for more information.
  • Join our Outreach and Member Services Committee! This joint committee coordinates all activities relating to our future and current membership, including member recruitment, event production, new member on-boarding and local business relationship building. Read more about this committee here, or click here to sign up!

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Shop South Philly: Welcome Chaat & Chai!

Have you visited our Shop South Philly page lately? It's bursting at the seams with local restaurants, bars, boutiques and service companies offering discounts to all South Philly Food Co-op members. We'd like to welcome the newest member of our Shop South Philly family, Chaat & Chai

To use your discount, just show your Co-op card at the restaurant and receive a free small chai with your order of $15 or more.

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Last Chance: Member Product Preferences Survey

We're wrapping up our Member Product Preferences Survey on March 15! Please take a few moments to let us know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why. We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.

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February Newsletter: Are you our next board member?

This month, we want to give a special shout-out to all our members who've so generously donated their time as volunteers for the Co-op. In January, we welcomed a new crop of committee members (including three new Marketing and Communications Committee members: Nadine, Ashley and Shana!), and it's been really great to see so many new faces getting involved. Keep it up!

If you've ever wondered what you can do to help the Co-op reach our goals, the answer is simple: Volunteer! You get to meet great people and work on really rewarding projects. Committees currently looking for additional support include:
  • Real Estate (to help us find our permanent location)
  • Outreach and Member Services (to plan and execute events, and to engage our membership)
  • Marketing and Communications (to support the team with public relations and social media)
  • Leadership (to help us run our spring elections)
  • ...and more! Click here for a full list of Co-op committees.
Remember: Working on a committee is one of the requirements to become a member of the Board of Directors. And speaking of which ... we are gearing up for our spring Board elections! We are member-owned and -governed, so we rely on our members to help steer the strategic direction of the Co-op. 

Read on for more information about elections, upcoming events and more. And thanks for being part of our community!


Cooperatively yours,
Jessica Calter, President, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors










Become a Local Leader: Board nominations have begun!

At our annual Spring General Membership Meeting, the South Philly Food Co-op holds its election for the Board of Directors. These local leaders are responsible for guiding the Co-op and acting as stewards of the equity contributed by our members.

You could be one of these local leaders! Serving on the South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors is an opportunity to give back to your neighborhood and help bring to life to the community-owned grocery store we’ve all been waiting for. Directors elected in the spring will serve a two-year term beginning at July’s Board meeting and ending in the June 2018. 

The basic requirements for candidacy are as follows:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Member of a share-holding household for at least eight months prior to election (since September 2015 or earlier)
  • Prior attendance at one General Membership Meeting
  • Prior attendance at one committee meeting
  • In good standing with equity payment(s)
  • Not associated with interests contrary to the general interests of the Co-op
  • Successful completion of Nomination Form
Nomination forms are due on March 15. If you have any questions about the election process, we invite you to watch the Google hangout we hosted last year about what running for and serving on the Board means -- or email us!

Do you know someone else who would be a great addition to the Board of Directors? You can suggest them here, and a member of the Co-op will reach out to further gauge their interest.


Last Chance: In Defense of Food Screening

The South Philly Food Co-op is excited to present a free screening of the PBS Documentary In Defense of Food, Wednesday, February 24 at Cinemug!

About the film:

Join New York Times best-selling author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet-related diseases.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the screening will begin at 7. The film runs 78 minutes, and we'll hold a short discussion at the end if you'd like to stick around and talk about how we can use the film's lessons to improve our food choices in the community.

This event is free, but registration via TicketLeap is required, and only 30 seats are available (and they're selling out quick!). Cinemug will offer food and beverage for sale, and you can BYOB ($2 corkage fee).

WHEN
February 24, 2016, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

WHERE
Cinemug
1607 S Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148



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ICYMI: Take Our Product Preferences Survey!

Don't forget: There's still time to take our Member Product Preferences Survey, to let us know the details of your grocery shopping habits. We want to know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why. We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.

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January 2016 Newsletter: Congrats to the neighborhood of the year!

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Happy New Year! Now that January is in full swing, we're ready to look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Already, we're getting indications of a positive year ahead. (Speaking of good omens, scroll down to see which South Philly neighborhood was crowned with the 2015 Curbed Cup!) 
 
We warmly welcome our two newest committee members, Nadine and Ashley, who will be supporting our Marketing and Communications Committee.  We also welcome our new bookkeeper, Stas, whose 15 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant will no doubt be an invaluable resource as the Co-op continues to grow.
Additionally, the Board and Operations Committee continue to make progress on alternative financial models and other substantive items from our October Board Retreat, all with the end goal of opening our store. We'll have more details on these developments soon, so stay tuned.
 
If you're interested in getting more involved in our efforts to open a cooperatively owned grocery store in South Philly, simply reply to this email, and I'll help direct you. You can help make 2016 our best year yet!


Have a happy, healthy new year,
Anna Shipp, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Membership News: New-Member Orientation, Broth Giveaway and More

wild_is.jpgIn mid-December, we hosted a dozen Co-op members and prospective members for conversation and cocoa at one of our New Member Orientation sessions. It was great to get to know each other, walk through the member handbook, answer questions about the Co-op's history and development, and discuss the values behind cooperative enterprise. One prospective member talked about his experience with worker co-ops on the West Coast (where he moved from), while a current member explained his passion for a variety of consumer co-ops as a means to shift economic power. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Also, on Sunday, January 3, East Passyunk's Occasionette hosted a Wild Is! veggie stock giveaway for our members (see photo above). Don't forget, you can use your membership card for discounts at the Occasionette, as well as 40+ other Shop South Philly partner businesses! And be sure to tag your Wild Is! soups and stews on Instagram using @spfoodcoop.

Lastly, we'd like to thank everyone who donated to the South Philly Food Co-op as part of our annual fundraising campaign! For those of you who missed it, we'll leave you with this great quote from Co-op guru David Woo, who was featured in a recent fundraising email: "This isn't just about local food, this is about the economic power we can push down to the consumer and worker to make big business less relevant and less powerful in our lives. More economic democracy can mean a stronger political democracy for all of us." Hear, hear!

Curbed Philly's Neighborhood of the Year: Pennsport!

The readers have spoken: Pennsport has won the 2015 Curbed Cup! 

Curbed Philly's annual people's choice award is set up bracket-style, with Philadelphia neighborhoods pitted against each other until an ultimate victor is declared by popular vote. This year, our southeasterly friends -- home of Mummers headquarters galore, revitalized pier projects, Two Street and a burgeoning restaurant scene -- beat out Kensington for the win!

With this win, South Philly neighborhoods are three for four in the Curbed Cup: According to Curbed, "Passyunk Square took the inaugural title in 2012, followed by East Passyunk Crossing in 2013." (Fishtown won in 2014.) Newbold, Point Breeze and Lower Moyamensing, we've got our eye on you for 2016!

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Take our Product Preferences Survey!

survey.pngDon't forget: There's still time to take our Member Product Preferences Survey, to let us know the details of your grocery shopping habits.

We want to know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why.

We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.

Co-ops in the News: Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative

Here's an inspiring story from Down East: The Maine Farm & Sea Cooperativeaccording to the Bangor Daily News, aims to take on big corporations like Sodexho and Aramark to transform nearby university dining services options, providing institutional sourcers with fresher, farm-to-institution options.

“We have the operations experience and skills and ability and production in the state. We are saying you don’t need outside companies,” board member Jonah Fertig said. “This is a Maine food campaign that is also about sustainability.”

Keep on fighting the good fight!

Signing off,

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Remember the Co-op for your Holiday Giving this year!

Shop-South-Philly_web-version-292x300.jpgWe are so thankful for all of our members and supporters, and we ask you to remember the Co-op during your year-end giving.  Thanks to our partnership with fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, you can help the Co-op achieve its goal of opening a community-owned grocery store with a tax-deductible, charitable gift.

Please help us continue to grow one of the most exciting projects in South Philly by making a donation to the Co-op today! (If you give before December 31, you can count the tax benefit for 2015.) Your donation will go toward outreach, events and Co-op education, keeping our community connected and growing the Co-op’s local impact.

Making a donation is easy. Make a secure online donation here, use the button at the bottom of this page,or write a check, made payable to our fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, and mail it to us at: South Philly Food Co-op, P.O. Box 31506, Philadelphia PA 19147.

In addition to being a member (JOIN NOW!), attending our events (and bringing other folks with you), volunteering or offering discounts at your business as part of Shop South Philly, supporting the Co-op with a charitable gift furthers your investment in an enterprise owned and controlled by a pretty awesome group of South Philadelphians! You can always get all the latest information on what’s going on at southphillyfoodcoop.org. We hope to see you at a Co-op event soon!

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

 

P.S. Since we're on the topic of the holiday season, are you still looking for a gift idea for the "not-yet-a-Co-op-member" in your life?

Give the gift of membership!

We've set up a form that allows you to easily give the gift of membership to friends or family who you know want to be part of the Co-op but who haven't taken that next step.

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Big Circle, Little Circle

DONATE.pngIf you've made it out to a South Philly Food Co-op committee meeting or event in the past few months, you might have heard us refer to the Co-op's "big circle" and its "little circle." Relax, this isn't geometry class and we're not going to ask you to calculate the circumference of either circle. (This is a "no Pi zone.") But we are going to ask you to harken back to lit class, because we're going to talk about what those circles symbolize. 

The little circle stands for our store, the place we're working together to build — a grocery store in South Philadelphia, run by South Philadelphians, where South Philadelphians can shop for the products we choose to put on the shelves. We're working hard every day to make that little-circle dream a reality by searching high and low for the perfect location to call home.

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But what's the big circle all about?

We recently asked David Woo, one of the area's biggest cheerleaders of and advocates for cooperative ownership, to tell us why he thinks co-ops are so important. What he said has stuck with us:

davidwoo.jpg"This isn't just about local food, this is about the economic power we can push down to the consumer and worker to make big business less relevant and less powerful in our lives. More economic democracy can mean a stronger political democracy for all of us."

The big circle is a symbol for everything the little circle — the store — will support. The South Philly Food Co-op will create jobs. It'll feed the local economy with local money. It will create a community of folks committed to a common goal. As David says, the big circle is about economic democracy. And that's a pretty powerful notion.

Will you help us move toward economic democracy in South Philly by making a gift to the South Philly Food Co-op?

Click here to make your tax-deductible donation by the end of the year, and to help ensure that the big circle will be really big once the little circle falls into place.

Looking for another way to help grow our big circle? Gift the gift of membership to the South Philly Food Co-op, or email us to see how you can pitch in.
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