Week in Review: Building Momentum

With over a year under our belt, there's a risk that our efforts to organize a co-op will lose steam but if last week was any indication, we still have plenty of steam left. The week started with our monthly educational event during which we hosted Shruthi of Cardamom Kitchen fame. (In fact, you may have already read about it.) The Newbold Civic Association welcomed Outreach Committee Co-chair Rachel Linstead Goldsmith on Monday to talk about the Co-op at their monthly meeting. Our outreach to the neighborhoods on the west side of Broad Street continues to pick up. On Wednesday, our good friends at Hawthornes Beer Boutique and Gourmet Eatery (738 S. 11th Street) hosted a fund raising event for us. The happy hour featured several delicious hors d'oeuvres (okay... I'll list them again: Smoked Salmon with cream cheese on crostinis, Pulled pork on slider rolls, Roasted red pepper hummus on Pita, Pico on tortilla chip, Bruschetta on Baguette, Tuna tartar on won ton, BBQ chicken quesadillas, Oven-roasted turkey on multigrain with sauerkraut and poblano aoili). Over 50 people enjoyed the hors d'oeuvres and drink specials (growlers, anyone?) helping the Co-op raise nearly $500. Some lucky folks won gift certificates or tickets donated by Calm, Zipcar, and Eastern State Penitentiary. All proceeds from events such as this go toward expenses we anticipate down the line including the market analysis and feasibility study that we'll need when we approach lenders for financing or the marketing materials that will help with our upcoming member-owner drive. A special thanks goes out again to South Philadelphia Tap Room for another such event back in December (before this blog was really up and running) and the Philly Community Wellness Center for donating a gift certificate that was awarded during the event. The end of the week arrived and we were just getting started. On Friday night, several of our more talented volunteers began dropping off some of the best looking baked goods South Philly has to offer. Somehow, Alison and I were able to resist the temptation to eat every single cookie occupying our dining room table just long enough to hand them over on Saturday morning to other committee members and volunteers who peddled them at the LoMo Spring Flea Market and Community Fair. Braving the breezy, sunshine-filled weather, this group brought in another $140. Meanwhile, a few blocks to the north, Amanda, Kat, Andy and I staked out a spot on East Passyunk Avenue to hand out brochures and solicit survey takers at the Flavors of the Avenue event. So while part of our group spent the day with cookies and cakes, the rest of them got to sit downwind from a big top tent filled with samples of Passyunk Avenue's finest restaurants. At least a hundred or so folks stopped by to learn about the Co-op and many of them have joined our growing list of potential member-owners. Thanks to everyone who filled out a survey. Any information and research that we compile ourselves is that much less that we have to pay professionals to find for our market analysis. And if you missed out on any of these events, we'll have plenty of additional opportunities for you to see us or volunteer to help out. On Saturday, May 7 we'll be tabling at the PEP Plant Sale (Broad and Federal) from 10am to 4pm. Interested in volunteering? Learn more about volunteer opportunities and fill out our Volunteer Interests Survey. I can almost guarantee you that someone will be in touch with in a day or two to take you up on your offer!