Were you ever that annoying kid on a road trip asking "are we there yet" relentlessly from the backseat of your parents station wagon? I know I was.
My husband and I recently drove cross-country from Arizona to North Dakota with our 2 children and had to answer this very difficult question ourselves. If you say yes, the anticipation builds and they suddenly think the "Welcome to North Dakota" sign will appear momentarily. If you say no, the whining ensues and you are left with 2 grumpy children in a really messy mini-van in the middle of Wyoming.
Organizing a start-up food co-op can feel much like a long road trip, except that we have patient, understanding members and no one is throwing shoes at the back of my head (at least not yet).
We are working to make this journey fun and while we are excited to get there too, we know we need to follow a road map to get to our destination. As you know, we are following a co-op development model that has proven to be successful for others start-up's just like us. We have 500 members as of May 5th (yipee!) and are working with a site selection committee and commercial real estate agents to find an appropriate site. Does this mean when member #600 joins we will have a site? In a perfect world, yes. But we are at the mercy of the market here in Bismarck and are looking for an ideal location that has all the elements that we want for our community food co-op. We'd like to be centrally located, on or near the bus route, and we are striving to be a bikeable/walkable destination.
We are also working with a talented graphic artist who is creating an info graphic that will illustrate our timeline and next steps so our members have a better idea of the process we're following.
So hang in there, Bismarck-Mandan! We are inching closer to our destination with each new member. In the meantime, we have several fun events planned for this summer and appreciate your continued support. Be sure to check our calendar of events periodically. Members are also encouraged to host a house party (can you say fun?) to help grow this movement. Please tell your friends, family and co-workers about the food co-op. And, most importantly, don't forget to enjoy the ride!
Heidi Demars, Outreach Coordinator