We had a fabulous time yesterday at our 1st Annual Meeting! We had around 100 people in attendance and celebrated with good food from Northside Market, many shared dishes, root beer from Laughing Sun Brewery, wine from Glen's cellar, coffee from Mighty Missouri, tea from Steep Me, and Buffalo Commons beer from McQuade's. We had a special co-op kids corner where the co-op kids played, had their faces painted, and made homemade bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and flax seed. Matrix Designs developed the rendering of the building and we had that on display for members to see. Thanks to Paul for his hard work on this! The music was provided by the McMahon Brothers and we saw many new members mingling and getting to know one another. Ahhhh, commmunity :)
Many people made this event possible and we are continually amazed by the support from the community. At the heart of all of our efforts is to make a food co-op a reality in our community. This goal is shared by many and each successful event like this takes cooperation, time, and energy on the part of those who want to get involved. And that is the beauty of a start-up cooperative like ours, it belongs to everyone who wants to be involved. This is principle #1 from the 7 cooperatives principles that we embody with our work. Principle #1 states that cooperative organizations must have an open and voluntary membership.
According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, "Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination."
Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.
So, what are you waiting for? We've heard from a few people that they are waiting to sign up for membership until the store opens. Well, if there are enough people out there with that same mentality, the co-op might not open! We need you, the founding members to help plant the seeds for this community-owned food cooperative to thrive. So, don't hesitate, cooperate!