Pendleton Community Coop update – September 2009

Hi to all of you who have supported PCC – through donations, suggestions, work, and words of encouragement.

You may have noticed that PCC has been very quiet for some time now. We, the PCC Steering Committee, are still here and our vision still lives, but life happens. Many events – babies, new jobs, illness – have intervened and taken a priority in our lives. However, our mission of getting good, wholesome food to the community year round still percolates through the strata of our minds.

We recently met and came to some decisions about where we need to go from here. First, we are letting the PO Box go, since it is an unnecessary expense. Second, we will put the money that we currently have into an interest-bearing savings account, so that it can grow but be readily available to us. Our next necessary step, the assessment of food networks and needs in our community, is going forward under the auspices of CAPECO. Finally, we are keeping our collective ear to the ground for more opportunities to move forward.

So, to use a perfectly appropriate analogy, our stew of dreams and ideas and possibilities is bubbling along nicely on the back burner. All in good time.

Thank you for your support,

The PCC Steering Committee
Karen Wagner
Ellen Hartstirn
Smita Mehta
Jean Guidry


Pendleton Community Coop Meeting Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This meeting is open to all folks interested in getting a food co-op up and running in Pendleton. We’ll be meeting at 6pm, Wednesday 2/4/09 at the auditorium in St. Anthonys Hospital (1601 SE Court). Join the PCC steering committee as we meet with a couple of food co-op consultants to figure out how to jump start our process or determine whether now is a good time to try to start up a new co-op in Pendleton.

We’ll be meeting with Diane Gasaway from the Northwest Cooperative Development Center, and Kevin Edberg of Cooperative Development Services.

Hope to see you there!

In Local Food News

The local foods movement is advancing in Eastern Oregon. Local interest includes enhancing homeland security through regional food security, local economic development opportunities, farm-to-school program, local meat processing, and more – for the health and well-being of citizens, farmers, our town and our region.

Members of the PCC have helped form a multi-agency local foods committee, Columbia Plateau Food Links. This committee roughly represents our “food shed.” At this time, participants include CAPECO, RC&D, PCC, OSU Extension, WIC/Headstart, and local citizens. You are invited to join in.

The committee has submitted a grant through the Community Supported Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES) which would enable us to conduct a multi-county local food assessment.

With local partners, the PCC will be conducting meetings and outreach to continue the conversation and expansion of food production, sales, and entrepreneurial activities to help local restaurants, institutions and farmers produce more local food.

To move Forward or Not to Move Forward, That is the Question…

Co-op Development News Phase 1, the feasibility phase supported in part by a USDA feasibility grant has concluded. And we’ve accomplished a lot! Pendleton Community Co-op (PCC) received this grant through the Northwest Co-op Development Center (NWCDC) in October of 2007, allowing PCC to conduct a financial feasibility assessment and marketing analysis. It also allowed the PCC to retain an architect and a co-op development specialist to help provide professional advice. PCC has officially obtained incorporation in Oregon as a for-profit, cooperatively owned food store. Articles of Incorporation and organizational Bylaws were completed. Thank you Michele Grable, legal consultant, for helping PCC complete this task. Another special thanks to PGG and the Cunningham Sheep and Land Co. for major contributions! Equal thanks to those who contributed in smaller amounts which allowed us to match what was needed for the grant fund requirements.

What’s next? We need more information to complete the exploration stage. Several challenges still face PCC as we ask the “Go/No Go” questions. These include determining the potential size of the store, developing business models, financing, recruiting sufficient numbers of people to assist in this organizing and development phase, and of course, the uncertainty of current economic trends.

So the final step is to determine Pendleton community support through a consumer survey which should help us determine how we can be a viable business here in Pendleton, at what size, where , with what inventory. This survey is critical to assess the local need and interest – we hope you will respond with your input.

We will be sending out an electronic link for folks to take the survey, as well as printed copies as another means of distribution in February, when the holiday rush is behind us.

And to move forward

The Steering Committee needs your voice and participation! We need community input to determine if this type of food establishment will be supported. And assuming “it’s a go”, we need:

  • People with expertise in business development, grocery store management and retail experience.
  • More members on the Steering Committee/Board and sub-committees.
  • Financial backing, in the form of personal investment, loans, membership, community banking, etc.

It’s up to the community. Those of you who’ve expressed interest, now is the time to step forward and help. We cannot do this alone or with this small group with limited experience.

In order for the PCC to exist, we need you to get involved, and we have many ways for you to do so.

4/22/08 – Steering Committee Meeting

Come join us at our next Steering Committee meeting from 6-8pm at the John Murray building on Tuesday April 22nd.

CO-OP in the PO

coop-po-display.jpgCheck out the co-op display in the Pendleton Post Office! Pick up a brochure for more info. Congrats to the Outreach Committee for putting together a beautiful diorama!

2/12/2008 – Work Session

Pendleton’s community adventure continues! Our next meeting will be in the Community Room of City Hall, Feb. 12th from 6 pm until 8 pm. In that time we will examine the immediate goals and tasks to be undertaken in this first phase of co-op development (through Oct. of 2008). Work groups will be formed and chartered with roles and jobs, chairs and so forth, and determining how to go forth together.

We’ll have 3 broad categories — Spreading the Word/Outreach (media,
website, events, etc.), Nuts & Bolts/Organizational (bylaws, business
planning, etc.) and Dough/$$ (fundraising, accounting, etc.).

We’re going to keep the meeting focused on the groups and their tasks
rather than information-sharing about co-ops, so this is mostly geared for
people who are already familiar with what co-ops are, or at least have
heard about what we’re doing. So feel free to invite other potential
volunteers, but know that we won’t be doing the “what’s a co-op” spiel.

We are looking forward to working with you all, and seeing this store come to fruition together! If you know someone who missed our community outreach meeting last month, and is definitely interested in WORKING to make this food Co-op happen, please bring them along, or have them fill out this application.