Growing Forward by Cultivating Our Co-op

2018-10-03T11:58:45+00:00

By Heidi Adami and Laura Buttenbaum, Capital Campaign Coordinators

As shoppers at GreenStar, you’ve probably already heard the buzz building around the store these last few weeks about our Owner Investment Program. As the momentum for our Capital Campaign gains speed, so does our enthusiasm about what lies ahead for GreenStar. With record-breaking voter turnout, and record-breaking numbers of new member-owners joining the Co-op in 2018, we feel the excitement, too! Our Owner Investment Program is your opportunity to turn that excitement into action — it’s your opportunity to Cultivate your Co-op!

What does it mean to Cultivate your Co-op?

Cultivate your Co-op refers to GreenStar’s Capital Campaign, an opportunity for New York State member-owners to have a direct role in the relocation and retail expansion project through GreenStar’s Owner Investment Program. Cultivate your Co-op provides our owners the unique opportunity to make a socially responsible, local investment that receives a fair rate of return. Investing in the Co-op means investing in the cooperative values of equality, equity, solidarity, social responsibility, and sustainability. To Cultivate your Co-op is to help grow a local, sustainable, and just food system that cares for people and planet. Owners who participate will be investing in our Co-op’s future, which, in turn, allows us to offer more of the things you know and love about GreenStar! An investment in the Co-op is an investment in your community.

What is the plan for GreenStar Co-op’s new store?

GreenStar’s new main store, to be located at 770 Cascadilla St., has an anticipated opening date of January 2020. We’ll be repurposing a 30,000-foot warehouse to meet the growing needs of our co-op, including approximately 15,300 square feet of sales floor with accessible aisles and an expanded product line. Our café will seat approximately 68 guests with additional outdoor eating areas capable of seating another 56. The combined Space and Classroom will accommodate up to 125 guests. The remaining square footage will encompass storage, receiving, kitchen and preparation areas, as well as a mezzanine space for administrative offices and meeting spaces. All of this will finally be under the same roof as our main store! And, not only will our parking lot be safer, we anticipate it to nearly triple in size!

Who can invest?

Current GreenStar owners who live in the state of New York can purchase our Investment Shares. If you’re not a GreenStar owner, but you’re interested in this amazing investment opportunity, don’t worry — it’s easy to become a Co-op owner! Simply stop by any of our store locations and ask staff how you can become a GreenStar member-owner, or contact our Capital Campaign coordinators.

Why should I invest?

Our Owner Investment Program benefits both GreenStar and our owners, because less outside financing means owners maintain control of the Co-op. Investing builds equity in the Co-op and the community, minimizes expensive bank fees and interest, and keeps local money local. Investing builds community wealth and brings the benefits of cooperation to more of our community. Since this is an investment, not a donation, owners who invest will receive a fair return on their investment!

What is the Capital Campaign Goal?

We are seeking to raise $2.5 million in Investment Shares by Nov. 1. The minimum investment is $1,000, but, in order for us to reach our goal, we need to achieve an average investment of $9,000. Investments up to $10,000 will receive 3% simple interest, while investments of $10,000 or greater will receive a 4% return. We’re all in this together, and it will take each of us investing as much as we can to Cultivate our Co-op!

What if I can’t invest, but I’d still like to help?

There are so many ways to Cultivate your Co-op! If you can’t invest, consider volunteering your time to the Capital Campaign! It will take many talents and many voices for us to reach our goal. We’d love for you to share yours by becoming a trained caller, reaching out to our owners to encourage, educate, and ask about investing! There’s also room for behind-the-scenes help ­— contact us to find out more about joining the Capital Campaign team!

New York State member-owners who are ready to invest can contact Laura Buttenbaum or Heidi Adami at capital@greenstar.coop or 607-220-7887 for a copy of our detailed prospectus.

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