Letter: Supporting food co-op is community investment

From: Michael Greven


As many of you have heard and/or read, the Columbus Food Co-op is working diligently to bring a new grocery and market to our community. The effort has been going on for a few years, and finally all of the critical considerations have come together, providing an excellent opportunity for success. In order to get the doors open, the co-op needs more members and for the community to consider participating in the member loan program. You may be asking yourself, “Why should I join the co-op?” or even as important, “Why should I consider making the co-op a loan in order for it to open?” Good questions that need good answers so you can feel comfortable joining.

1. The co-op will provide a new market for our local farmers, growers and meat producers. Our community has a strong agricultural base, and it is critically important that local growers and producers have access to more markets. The Columbus Food Co-op is dedicated to prioritizing locally sourced foods. As a community we will benefit as we will know the people producing the food we will be buying and serving to our families. Enhancing that sense of connection to our food is a strong community attribute.

2. The co-op will provide numerous employment and training opportunities for people interested in the food and grocery business. Additional good-paying jobs are always welcome in the community, and food co-ops historically provide good training for people entering into the food distribution business.

3. The co-op will provide additional opportunities for synergy around the production of food in our community. Columbus has a great group of farmers and farmers markets, but nothing is going year-round. The co-op can help provide a stable base of business opportunities for existing growers year-round as well as new growers entering the marketplace.

4. A great deal of the money spent at the co-op will stay directly in the community in lieu of being shipped out of state to pay growers or grocery chains from other regions. This will be an important first in the community, as none of the big-box groceries in town does significant business with our local growers and meat producers.

5. The co-op is a solid investment opportunity for anyone seeking to enhance our community and strengthen their portfolio. The returns are attractive, and you can readily monitor how your investment is performing when you shop at the co-op. Columbus has a very good track record of supporting new local businesses, and this community-owned business is an important new opportunity.

Creating jobs, enhancing the knowledge of who supplies our food, supporting local growers and producers, that is what the co-op is about in the community of Columbus and the surrounding area. Please consider becoming a member of the Columbus Cooperative Grocery and Market. Your support and involvement will help make Columbus even a better place to live.