In anticipation of next week’s Fall General Membership Meeting (October 25, 6:30 p.m., at the EOM Athletic Association; click here for more details), please take a few moments to review the minutes from the Spring General Membership Meeting, held on May 22.
Hope to see you on the 25th!
South Philly Food Co‐op
Spring 2012 General Membership Meeting
South Philadelphia Older Adults Center
1430 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147
May 22, 2012
Attendance: 63 member households
1. Welcome/Introductions (6:30pm)
a. Alison Fritz, Board President welcomes the membership, says we set a steep goal of 250 member households by this meeting, and we made it. The Co‐op officially reached 250 members on Saturday, and is at 256 as of the start of the meeting. Press release to be sent tomorrow.
2. Election/proposed bylaw changes/voting procedures
a. Matt Egger from Leadership Committee reviews voting procedure. Points out that there are 5 people up for election, and proposed bylaws amendments, copies of which are on every table with the changes in bold. Voting will close at 8:00pm, and results will be announced before end of meeting
b. Raffling co‐op mugs and a tote bag‐‐‐everyone who votes will get an entry
3. Approve minutes from October membership meeting
a. Maria Camoratto explains minutes from October’s meeting are on table and asks for a vote. Joe Marino makes a motion to approve, Dan Pohlig seconds, motion passes unanimously
4. Committee Updates
a. Business Outreach
i. Dana Mitchell explains how Business Outreach works, explains businesses can allow for palm cards to be left, hosting events or making donations, gives examples of various businesses that have been partners, including Shop South Philly program that includes 17 local businesses.
ii. 2nd round of letters has been sent out to businesses to strengthen connection with local businesses. Dana asks people to come see her for/with more information about business outreach initiatives.
i. Maria Camoratto give grants update and explains how the committee was formed.
ii. To date, we have received a grant from the Howard Bowers Fund for training, we have submitted a proposal to the Philadelphia Activities Fund and a proposal to the Reinvestment Fund is in process.
iii. Maria asked for anyone who is interested in helping discuss or write for grants committee to please contact her
i. Erika Owens explains how ad‐hoc IT committee has become standing committee, and describes recent focus on Civi‐CRM database program that tracks and organizes member information and communication
ii. Erika explains exciting opportunity for funding a position for someone who can dedicate time to build the system and asks for people who may be interested in helping out with IT
i. Matt Eggers explains how leadership committee works (pulling together ballots, ensuring we are following bylaws with eligibility requirements)
ii. Leadership could use help before next meeting to help with the nomination and ballot process
i. Josh Richards explains how ad‐hoc Legal committee meets only when needed
ii. Josh is currently the only person serving on the committee, asks if anyone interested in getting involved to talk to him, explains upcoming events that may require help.
f. Marketing and Communications
i. Dan Pohlig explains that the role of committee is reaching out to membership and public at large, maintaining consistency in voice and messaging
ii. Dan describes the efforts around the redesign of website and print materials, outreach to press for local PR, and that these initiatives have helped get coverage without needing to spend co‐op funds
iii. M & C is looking for anyone with experience in writing to get involved. The next meeting is scheduled for next week and anyone interested should talk to him or Stephanie Rupertus (current chair) for more information
iv. Explains how important it is to get the word out about the co‐op
i. Cassie Plummer explains how the co‐op tracks membership and where members come from, explaining that 40% of new members since January 2012 were on our mailing list in December.
ii. Describes how committee tracks membership data (equity, volunteer hours) and needs help with data collection and processing memberships, see Cassie if you want to help.
iii. Committee also is in charge of volunteer hours. Current volunteer coordinators are stepping down, and now we have new committee members to help manage volunteer activity.
iv. Member orientation training will be happening over the next few months, looking for hosts of 10‐20 members for the training on how to talk about the coop and help recruit new members. Contact Cassie for more details or to help out.
h. Programs and Events/Speakers Bureau
i. Sarah Radcliffe explains responsibilities of committee—recruit members, raise money and build membership community
ii. Explains how committee meets monthly and brainstorm events and gives examples of events like mushroom log, container garden workshops and gives ideas for future events like home brewing and soup swap
iii. There will be upcoming events—Spirit Night at Rita’s on May 31st, table at Fleischer ArtSpiration Event, Gold Star Park in July and August, Garden Tour on September 8th
iv. To help out, contact Sarah or Leigh Goldenberg (chair)
5. FY 12 budget recap
a. Jay Tarlecki explains Fiscal Year 2012 budget summary and that 100% of the equity collected to date is restricted is for costs directly related to opening the co‐op
6. Market Study from Keystone Development Center
a. Rachel Brennesholtz describes the Keystone Development Center Feasibility Study
b. Keystone completed a Primary Trade Area Analysis looking at our competitors, conducted community and member Focus Groups, and analyzed food spending in the PTA. The PTA is includes South Philadelphia from South Street to Oregon and Front to Broad Street. West of Broad in included in the PTA but it is a more jagged boundary and not all census tracks are included. Two census tracks were used in the analysis (2000 and 2010) because 2010 data was not always available during the project timeline.
c. Rachel explains demographics throughout the PTA, and then reports the description of the average person who shops for organic and/or natural foods based on national data trends. She went into depth comparing the co‐op’s PTA to national data (household size, education, income, home prices), discussing competing grocery stores, and explaining that the PTA is not a “food desert”
d. Review of food sources in South Philly and competitors
e. Explains results of focus groups and the main themes from the groups (price, label and choice fatigue, diversity of members, local food)
f. Overview of market potential based on food spending in Philadelphia
g. Explanation of Keystone recommendations and summary—be cautious moving forward because real estate and parking availability in the PTA are a concern, but there is room for optimism because of strong membership commitment, changing demographics in the PTA, and shopping behaviors among members and in the PTA generally.
h. Main take away: “Proceed, but with caution. Finding an appropriate location will be difficult.”
7. Timeline and proposed budget
a. Julia Koprak and Alison Fritz from Operations Committee and the Board present the timeline: where we’ve been, where we’re going
b. Explanation of timeline’s organization is based on the 4 Cornerstones (Vision, Talent, Capital, Systems) in 3 Stages from CDS Consulting Co‐op (Cooperative Development Services)
c. Large format of the full timeline was available to membership on back wall of meeting room
d. Explanation of Stage 1 – Organizing and explanation of Time Frame, Membership Target and Key Decision Points
e. Overview of Stage 1 accomplishments (membership drive, Garden Tour, Shop South Philly)
f. Overview of Stage 2a—Feasibility
i. Explanation of membership target and key decision for moving on to next stage.
ii. I stage 2A we will begin working on: Business plan, real estate committee, continued feasibility assessment. Co‐ops build their market base first (democratic association of people, i.e. membership), and then develop the sustainable enterprise that meets their needs, a different business model and structure than most people are used to.
iii. The Co‐op must make sure that internal systems and infrastructure can keep up with growing membership before we can move to stage 2b.
g. Overview of Stage 2b—Planning
i. formalizing business plan, secured site with contingencies in Stage 2b
h. Overview of future stages and membership goals for each stage
i. Overview of other steps ahead
i. Member loan campaign, site analysis, external financing, signing a lease, hiring general manager when confident of financing, continued membership recruitment
j. Operation Committee needs volunteers with business expertise to help with future stages
k. Anna Kisiel, member of the Operations Committee, presents the Sources and Uses budget
i. Key assumptions: 2,500 sq ft store retail space, and that we will lease the location
ii. Overview of start‐up costs presented in a table—estimated total of $1.2 to $1.5M for start‐up
iii. Numbers based on store size and comparison with other co‐op expenses
iv. Overview of potential sources include member equity, bank loans, member loans, city/community organizations, preferred shares, investors, pre‐selling and others
v. Operations Committee needs help with future fundraising and plans for raising equity, as well as putting together a comprehensive financing plan.
l. Alison Fritz gives an overview of “How do we get there?”
i. Challenges everyone in the room to get someone to join the co‐op, give money, help fundraise at events and raffles,
ii. Alison explains that the co‐op hasn’t touched any member equity to date and our fundraising events and initiatives help make that possible
iii. The co‐op needs more member involvement through the next phases— background or experience is not important, the co‐op needs people willing to give time and energy, and willing to learn.
iv. By working together and learning together is how we have gotten this far and how we will move forward
8. Q & A
Alison Fritz opens for questions at 7:45pm with Josh Richards (Board member) moderating.
a. What is behind the numbers for membership milestones at each stage of development?
i. Numbers based on common CDS benchmarks and ‘best case practices’ learned from other co‐ops
b. How many shoppers will be needed in a month for store to stay afloat?
i. Rachel Brennesholtz answers that $135,000/mo in revenue would be needed to stay open
ii. John Raezer explains that store will be open to non‐members, but financial assumptions are based on only members shopping
iii. Cassie Plummer explains that the more members the co‐op has, the more sources the co‐op has to rely on so it doesn’t need as much outside financing
iv. Joe Marino explains that the more members we have, the more likely we will be to get financing
v. Anna Kisiel explains that once the business grows, more people will see that coop is something they might want to join.
c. How is planning of co‐op being coordinated with other city planning programs?
i. Josh Richards explains we are in touch with civics
ii. Alison Fritz explains that PTA is too big right now to pin down a specific area to build those kinds of partnerships‐‐‐‐coming in next stage
d. How is building diversity of membership built into the plan?
i. Alison Fritz describes civic outreach from river to river and grant proposals for translating materials into other languages, partnering with local churches, etc. She asks for those with connections to any of these groups to let her know.
ii. Josh Richards says that we’re always at local tabled events, and Alison Fritz asks for any ideas or events where the co‐op should be
iii. Dan Pohlig says most outreach has been based on free marketing and asks for help reaching other communities and those not digitally connected
iv. Josh Richards explains that once we have a physical location in mind, it will be easier to reach out to local community
e. How will real estate committee be formed?
i. Josh Richards explains that real estate committee is directed by the Board and will persist even after location is found
9. Present election results (8:30pm)
a. Matt Eggers announces that all Board candidates were elected to the Board and all proposed bylaw amendments were passed.
Election Results (submitted via email May 25, 2012)
Ballots issued: 54
Votes for At‐Large Directors:
• Alison Fritz ‐ 54
• Anna Shipp ‐ 53
• Jay Tarlecki ‐ 54
• Josh Richards ‐ 53
• Julia Koprak ‐ 54
Votes for bylaw amendments:
• 4.5 Voting Rights of Members – 54
• 4.7 Decision Making – 54
• 5.4 Elections ‐ 54
10% of members were needed for a quorum. A majority of votes was required to pass each amendment and elect each director. Accordingly, all candidates were elected and all proposed amendments were passed.
10. Adjourn (8:15pm)