Spring is a time for growth — especially for the South Philly Food Co-op! A robust membership is the No. 1 key to finding a location for our store and opening our doors to the community.
With this in mind, we’re excited to announce that on March 1, we’ll launch our ambitious spring membership campaign, 599 and You, with the sole goal of reaching — or exceeding! — 600 member-owners by the end of April 2014. We’ll host tons of public events, recruitment parties, Coffee with the Co-op sessions and more, so keep an eye on the blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts for announcements throughout the campaign.
Why 600? We know it’ll take a village to make the South Philly Food Co-op a reality. Based on all of our hard work and research into best practices, 600 is the magic number the Co-op has determined it needs in order to support signing a lease and moving forward with the store opening. When we reach this important milestone, our pens will be ready!
Where will the Co-op be located? Our real estate committee has been working nonstop to find a space that fits our needs, pounding the pavement and coordinating with real estate agents and conducting site visits to assess square footage, parking, access to public transportation, costs and other important factors. Don’t worry – when a suitable location is found, you’ll hear about it!
What happens after 600? We’ll continue to grow, and work toward our next goal of 800 member-owners. The more member-owners we have, the stronger we are. We believe that when it comes to the monumental task of opening a grocery store in South Philly, slow and steady wins the race. Achieving our milestones is crucial to our success, and we will move forward only when we have the membership to support our financial and organizational needs.
How will we get there? If you want to help open the South Philly Food Co-op’s doors, the first step is to become a member. If you’re already on board, help us recruit more members! Think of it this way: If each of our current members recruited just one new household, we’d be 1,000 strong! During March and April, the Co-op will host a variety of fun events tailored to bring folks together and encourage not-yet-members to take the leap. Here’s what’s coming up:
- March 1: TEDxManhattan viewing party at Theatre Exile’s Studio X, 10am – 6pm
- March 12: Food-themed Quizzo at the Wishing Well, 7pm
- March and April: Member-hosted Eat & Greets
- April: Coffee with the Co-op
- April 28: Victory Party at Boot & Saddle, 6 – 9pm
More events and initiatives will be announced soon, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop!
Will you or someone you know be our 600th member?
The South Philly Food Co-op is hosting a Board Nomination Q&A and signature gathering event on Sunday, February 23 from 2pm to 4pm at Shot Tower Coffee (542 Christian Street). Representatives of our Leadership Committee will be present to answer questions and we will conduct a "speed dating"-style signature exchange to help you get the 15 signatures required for nomination. Potential nominees need not be present to gather signatures so if you can find someone else to bring your form along, you can still take advantage of this event.
Nomination forms can be downloaded using this link (pdf).
Full details about the procedure and requirements for getting on the ballot and a complete Board Member job description can be found on our website. The most important attribute for Board service is commitment of time and energy to complete the Board’s work. It is vital that every director accepts the responsibility to contribute and honors that commitment. Member-owners who serve on the Board of Directors for the two-year term beginning July 1, 2014 will be part of a group that will take the Co-op through one of the most critical points in its history.
Even if you're just curious about what it means to be on the Board or you want to offer your signature to some candidates, join us on February 23 at Shot Tower Coffee.
Questions and completed nomination forms can be emailed to Leadership Committee Chair Aubrey Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN: February 23, 2014 at 2pm - 4pm
WHERE: Shot Tower Coffee
542 Christian St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
TEDxManhattan 'Changing the Way We Eat'
A Viewing Party
Presented by the South Philly Food Co-op and Edible Philly:
A VIEWING PARTY
Saturday, March 1, 2014
10:00 am - 6:00 pm (doors open at 9:30 am)
Studio X at Theatre Exile
1340 S. 13th Street (at Reed)
This event is FREE to attend, but we ask that you please register on our event page here.
The South Philly Food Co-op and Edible Philly are teaming up to give you front row tickets to TEDxManhattan, “Changing the Way We Eat,” a one-day conference features a dynamic and diverse group of speakers addressing issues in the sustainable food and farming movement.
We’ll be streaming an exclusive LIVE webcast from The TimesCenter in New York City giving you FREE access to some of the most exciting ideas happening in sustainable food. If you care about what you eat and where it comes from, you’ve gotta see this…these ideas are definitely worth spreading!
2014 TEDxManhattan speakers include:
David Binkle, Director of Food Services, Los Angeles Unified School District
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree - US House of Representatives (Maine)
Alison Cayne, Founder, Haven’s Kitchen
Matthew Moore, President/Founder, Digital Farm Collective
Virginia Clarke, Executive Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
Peggy Neu, President, The Monday Campaigns
Tom Colicchio, Chef/Owner, Craft Restaurants; Head Judge, “Top Chef”
Andrew Gunther, Program Director, Animal Welfare Approved
Myra Goodman, Co-Founder, Earthbound Farm
Michael Rozyne, Executive Director, Red Tomato
More speakers listed at www.tedxmanhattan.org/speakers!
Complimentary breakfast refreshments (locally-roasted coffee included) will be provided and food trucks with a conscience will be on site for lunch. In the afternoon we'll enjoy a round of sustainable snacks and local craft beer to keep the conversation going from Studio X onwards into the evening.
Representatives from the South Philly Food Co-op, Edible Philly, Fair Food, GMO Free PA, How Does It Grow, Greensgrow, and more will be on hand to spark discussion and make connections as we share ideas in (and eat) sustainable food. Whether you drop in for a specific speaker or topic, come and go throughout the day, or stay for the long haul, we’ll be glad you came!
About The South Philly Food Co-op
We're a group of community-minded South Philly residents committed to bringing a member-owned grocery store that carries local, high-quality foods at a fair price to our neighborhood. While the end result will be a food store, we’ll be much more. The Co-op will actually be owned by our local community. More at southphillyfoodcoop.org.
About Edible Philly
Edible Philly, a member of the James Beard Award-winning edible Communities magazine family, tells the story of local food. From source to table, we spotlight the growers, producers, fishermen, vintners, retailers, chefs, homecooks, brewers and others who energize our culinary community. More at ediblephilly.com.
About Theatre Exile
Theatre Exile engages audiences by producing new and reinterpreted plays that explore the complexities of the human condition and contain Philadelphia grit and passion. Whether through humor, sarcasm or deep drama, Exile has proven to be a place where local artists can take their biggest risks by matching challenging scripts with Philadelphia’s top talent. More at theatreexile.org.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
WHEN: March 01, 2014 at 9:30am - 6pm
WHERE: Studio X at Theatre Exile
1340 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Google map and directions
We have this theory here at the South Philly Food Co-op that every single member (we're talking to all 533 of you lovely people) knows at least one other person who ought to join. We like to call these folks "not-yet members," and we need your help to realize their potential!
If you're a member of the Co-op and you're ready to help grow our membership by recruiting those neighbors, family members, block captains and businesspeople we need on board to help open our doors, consider hosting an Eat & Greet!
Here's how it works: These house parties are fun, informal gatherings — pot-luck suppers, dinner parties, wine-and-cheese events, brunches — hosted by current Co-op members. In between bites or hors d'oeuvres and sips of wine, a Co-op representative will share information about the Co-op, speak about the importance of joining, and answer any questions your guests may have. All you have to do is open up your home to your favorite folks and let the Co-op rep do the talking!
Three ways to help:
1) Most importantly, we need hosts! If you're willing to invite some friends into your home to share food and talk about the Co-op, let us know!
2) If everyone in your circle's already a member but you love throwing parties, become a venue volunteer and we'll do the recruitment work for you!
3) We're also looking for co-hosts — those who know a bunch of not-yet members but don't have the space to host. We'll match you up with a venue volunteer and together you can do great things.
Benefits for our Hosts: In addition to sharing some good food and hospitality with your friends and neighbors, hosts of Eat and Greets will receive the following perks:
- 8 hours of volunteering credit
- A Co-op coffee mug or $5 off a Co-op t-shirt (coming soon!)
- 1 raffle ticket for every member who joins are your Eat and Greet - raffle of gift certificates to take place at our 599 and You victory party on April 28th at Boot and Saddle
And don't forget, some our Shop South Philly partners may offer the perfect items for your party:
Interested in hosting or co-hosting an Eat & Greet? Please fill out this simple form or contact Membership Committee member Mary Kay at email@example.com or 215-839-8213.
And don't forget: If you already know someone who's ready to join, send them to our website!
The South Philly Food Co-op will hold its annual election for the Board of Directors at the Spring General Membership Meeting in May. Date and time of the meeting will be announced shortly. The Co-op is now seeking nominees to run for the six director positions that will be up in this election.
Eligibility requirements and a complete job description for director the director position can be found by clicking this link.
The Board of Directors Nomination Form can be downloaded with this link (PDF).
Nomination forms are due by 11:59pm on March 1, 2014.
Our Programs and Events Committee is organizing an event for February to help answer questions from member-owners who are considering seeking nomination and to help them get the 15 signatures of member-owners. (Check back here or on Facebook or Twitter for details.)
Member-owners who serve on the Board of Directors for the two-year term beginning July 1, 2014 will be part of a group that will take the Co-op through one of the most critical points in its history. By July 1 we hope to have surpassed the 600-member mark. Our Real Estate Committee continues to work to find a suitable location for the Co-op and we also hope to have that picked out shortly after we reach the 600-member mark. Having accomplished both of those goals will make us ready for the next phase of the Co-op's development - Pre-Construction. The Pre-Construction Phase includes a push to recruit new members based on the site location, finalizing external funding and launch a member loan campaign, and finalize plans for site design and renovations.
The Board of Directors will oversee this crucial work with the help of our various standing and ad-hoc committees. The Co-op is seeking member-owners who want to play a key role in this critical time and be instrumental in taking us to the "ribbon cutting."
While the Co-op could use candidates with experience in board leadership, community organizing, grocery/retail management, legal services, real estate and financial planning, the most important thing we need are people with time and energy to complete the Board's work. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Co-op's by-laws and stated on the nomination form, you can be a part of this.
Any organization is strengthened by having contested elections for its governing body. Out of the dozens of member-owners who have attended at least one General Membership Meeting and one committee meeting, we know there are plenty of folks who would bring a lot of great new energy to the board to complement the board members who have for the most part been serving since the inaugural board was chosen on June 29, 2011. If you meet the requirements and want to play a role in the phase of the Co-op's development, please consider submitting yourself as a nominee for the election!
Questions and completed nomination forms should be directed to Aubrey Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 was a great year for the South Philly Food Co-op. You can help us close it out with a tax-deductible contribution that we will use to continue spreading the word about the Co-op to people throughout South Philly and fund our many other pre-start-up planning costs. Give now to have your donation count toward your 2013 charitable giving.
This year, we increased our membership to 530, organized yet another successful garden tour, drew even more support from other local businesses by increasing our Shop South Philly business supporters to 30 (!) and welcomed hundreds of Co-op members and not-yet members to 20+ great events. Most importantly, our Real Estate Committee has been hard at work since we passed the 400-member mark in the spring, evaluating several different locations as we continue the search for the Co-op's home!
All of these accomplishments should make everyone who is involved with the Co-op — as member-owners, volunteers or supporters — feel proud. But some of the stories we've heard from members make this effort most rewarding. One member recently told us about the time he was tabling at the Dickinson Square Farmers Market with a volunteer named Matt, who mentioned that he and his wife had recently bought a new house just west of Broad in Newbold. Matt said that they had been looking all around the city for a place to buy and considered a bunch of other neighborhoods. Among the factors that went into their decision-making was this effort to open a food co-op that they had just heard about. This was enough to help seal the deal for Matt and his wife.
Knowing that the Co-op — before it has even served one customer — is already having that kind of positive impact on attracting people to settle here and become part of an area of the city where thousands of other families have lived for generations is a great testament to what we're trying to build. The Co-op is about more than just a food store. It's about helping to keep an already-vital community strong and bringing together long-time residents with families who are looking for their own place to put down their roots. We are most proud to count among our member-owners people from all over South Philly: folks who have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and for 30 days, young families, older couples, households of friends sharing a house together, renters, owners...
We're looking forward to an even better 2014, and we’re asking you to help make that possible by including the Co-op in your end-of-year charitable-giving plans. Your donation of $10, $25 or $50 will help us reach our goal of $2000. And thanks to our fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, your donations are tax-deductible.
Donate TODAY through Paypal and not only will you help the Co-op grow, but you’ll be able to deduct this from your taxes.
Thanks again for everything you do for the Co-op. Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Hey there, #ShopSouthPhilly social snappers. The moment you've all been waiting for is here:
It's time to vote for the grand prize winner in the South Philly Food Co-op's #ShopSouthPhilly Photo Contest.
We've posted the weekly winners below. Now it's up to you to take our survey to determine which photographer will win dinner for two at Fond.
Voting will take place from now through midnight January 5th.
The photo finalists and the link to our survey are after the jump!
In case you missed it, Saturday's Green Street Coffee Roasters/Kermit's Bake Shoppe Tasting was a blast! The weather held out long enough for us to have a great turnout of both Co-op members and "not yet" members.
Here's a recap of the event from Martin Brown of the co-op's programs and events committee:
"The Molieri brothers (Chris and Tom) from Green Street are so passionate about coffee, they were constantly interrupting each other mid-sentence to make sure we weren't missing anything. (That, and they're brothers and that's what brothers do.) Adam Ritter from Kermit's provided us with a huge tray of tasty treats that complemented the coffee experience perfectly.
As we waited to see the roasting process beginning to end, attendees were able to indulge in the some unexpected perks of the facility — lots of coffee grinds for their compost and empty coffee sacks for the home craft projects. The Arsenault brothers (co-op members) also brought a batch of seasonal home brew for attendees to sample, an oatmeal saison with Green Street's Ethiopian coffee."
Thanks to everyone who attended!
(More photos from Martin after the jump)
It's so easy to forget about yourself during the holidays — you've gotta stay on top of Santa's wish list, squeeze a giant tree into your tiny rowhome (and subsequently pick up one thousand pine needles per day), stop the cats from destroying all the ornaments, tip your servicepeople appropriately, and be mindful of your relatives' various and sundry picky eating habits (looking at you, uncle who only likes LeSeur peas). For me, it's not till December 26 that I feel like singing "Joy to the World."
So I'm making a new year's resolution to treat myself to a little holiday pampering, and I think you should, too. Shop South Philly business partner Fringe Salon will do just the trick: Offering haircuts, color treatments, blowouts, updos, deep-conditioning treatments and waxing, this neighborhood salon located on East Passyunk between Moore and Morris streets has everything you need to keep your spirits (and your hair) bright and shiny.
And let's not forget that the salon doubles as a gallery, hosting visual artists and First Friday receptions. Oh, and according to their website's Services section, each customer gets free cat therapy, courtesy of Salon resident Uli.
As a bonus to South Philly Food Co-op members, Fringe Salon offers a one-time $5 discount for men's haircuts and $10 off for women's. (Read more about this and other partner businesses on our website.) All you have to do is show your South Philly Food Co-op membership card to take advantage of this great member discount. And don't forget to share a photo on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account to be eligible for our #ShopSouthPhilly Photo Contest.
Not a member of the Co-op yet? Treat yourself!
Attention all lovers of delicious coffee and fresh morning pastries (aka everyone):
There are just a few spots left for our Green Street Coffee Roasters and Kermit's Bake Shoppe Special Tour and Tasting!
On December 14 at 10 a.m., attendees will meet at Green Street Coffee's roasting facility (1919 Alter St.) for a tour, explanation of the roasting process and a tasting of their finest selections of coffees. Kermit's Bake Shoppe will also be providing a selection of freshly baked goodies, baked on premises just two blocks away. Both local suppliers will be ready and eager to sell you their wares to make as fine holiday gifts and party treats — including discounted beans from Green Street, going for just $10 per 12-ounce bag instead of the usual $14 retail price; and $25 Kermit's gift certificates on sale for $20. Admission to the tour and tasting is free, so all you need to bring is your appetite!
It's a great way to meet your neighbors and enjoy some off-the-beaten path insider knowledge about how our local fare gets produced.
Sign up by clicking here!
WHEN: December 14, 2013, 10am - 1pm
WHERE: Green Street Coffee Roasting Facility
1919 Alter St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Google map and directions
(Image courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer)