Montavilla Co-op store on the horizon

Take a look, and see how close the member-owners of the Montavilla Food Co-op are getting to opening their market in outer East Portland …

Outreach Committee Member Gar Tuyls (he’s the “yard sign guy” for the Montavilla Food Co-op) checks in guests at the annual meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Member-owners of the Montavilla Food Co-op (MFC) were in an ebullient mood at their Annual Meeting on October 7 at the Wix Agency offices.

MFC’s first member-owners signed up at their first Pancake Breakfast held on June 4, 2011; those 41 people went on to establish the foundation on which the organization is now being built.

The some 40 people who attended this year’s meeting started off by enjoying a potluck brunch, and mingling, before the official meeting began.

Good food is part of most all MFC activities, including this brunch buffet at which member-owners help themselves.

“Today, we’re updating our member-owners about the progress made over the last year, and telling them about our next steps for this coming year,” explained MFC Board President Amanda Lamb.

“The most important thing we’ve done this year is to bring on a project manager, who is enabling us to professionalize our volunteer recruitment, retention, and training programs,” Lamb told East Portland News.

MFC Project Manager Colby Coipston spends a moment with Board President Amanda Lamb, moments before they officially begin the Annual Meeting.

In addition, Lamb said, they’ve worked with both national and local experts for services including:

  • Updating their market feasibility study;
  • Building detailed financial projections; and,
  • Providing IT and database support.

“We’ve reached a major milestone by attracting 600 members,” Lamb announced. “And, we’ve updated our Market Study, and we find that we are in a favorable location to open a food co-op!”

And finally, with detailed financial pro forma’s at hand, their financial feasibility assessment will allow the organization to show potential lenders that opening the food co-op is a credit-worthy effort, Lamb remarked.

It’s difficult to predict the future, but the next major milestone – reaching 700 members – appears close at hand. “We’re just 100 members away from looking for real estate; and about 150 new members away from signing a lease,” Lamb said. “In the interim, we’re working to increase our volunteer capacity, and to encourage more member-owners to sign up.”

Folks enjoy their brunch and chat during the MFC annual get-together.

If you’re interested in seeing a full-service community-owned grocery store for Montavilla and other nearby neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to open MFC’s official website =and consider becoming a member-owner.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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