Montavilla Food Co-Op membership surges

But, time is running out on their ‘IndiGoGo’ fundraising campaign. Check in here and see what happened at their annual breakfast …

At the door, Joe Bailey, a Montavilla Food Co-Op volunteer, stands ready to sell tickets to the annual Pancake Breakfast.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Setting up an independent food source – a neighborhood food co-operative – isn’t easy. But, that isn’t discouraging a group of neighbors from starting the Montavilla Food Co-Op in outer East Portland.

As of this writing, the volunteers have secured 197 of needed 300 members to get their non-profit store off the ground.

The community room is filled with diners who have come to breakfast – and to support – the creation of the Montavilla Food Co-Op.

The next step, member/volunteer Tina Granzo said during their annual Co-op Pancake Breakfast held on June 15, is to conduct a marketing and feasibility study.

“We’re going to hire an independent consultant who specializes in Food Co-op studies,” Granzo said. “This study lends third-party legitimacy to the project, and will help us solidify the business plan we’ll use when approaching lenders.”

In the kitchen, founding Montavilla Food Co-Op member and volunteer Luby Wind gets ready to pour another batch of pancakes from this huge bowl of batter.

Kalliste Edeen serves herself a delicious-looking breakfast from the buffet.

It’s important to have a food co-op and the area, Granzo told East Portland News, “because there are few choices for grocery stores here. There are several ethnically-oriented markets in outer East Portland, but what is needed is a store with a more general selection of foods.”

In addition to gaining lower costs – as a participating food co-op member, having high-quality food is important, Granzo added. “I like locally-grown food whenever possible. Locally made food, and organic food – things that co-ops offer.”

[Also on our Front Page] Young diner Melia Curtis contemplates the deliciousness of her jam-covered pancake.

“Food co-op members are owners; this is important because shoppers have a say in the kind of food and policies that take place at the store, Granzo added. “And, co-ops tend to be into sustainability, and try to have a low impact on the environment. These are things that are important to me.”

Musician Neil Mattson serenades folks while they enjoy their breakfast.

Montavilla Food Co-Op Board Member Ben Cutler signs up another co-op member on the way in to the Pancake Breakfast.

In addition to the Pancake Breakfast, held once again at the Montavilla United Methodist Church at 232 SE 80th Avenue, the IndeGoGo fundraising campaign was a focus of attention. The organizers hoped to raise $20,000, but with only days to go, the campaign has raised only $2,370. To contribute, CLICK HERE, and see their donation page.

And, to keep up with their activities, and perhaps join, see their website: CLICK HERE to open their homepage.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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