Ensuring there is a strong solid foundation for the coop to be built on has taken longer than we expected, but is essential for long term sustainability. So while we await approval from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) of latest changes submitted, this felt like a good time to share the preparatory stages so far and to assure everyone that things are indeed still progressing for a late autumn opening.
As most of you know we started out at the beginning of the year under the working title of Preswich Wholefoods, with our first public meeting back in April. This had brilliant attendance, and together with our on-line survey, has helped us shape the vision for Village Greens and what it will offer to you, the members and shoppers.
So since April, and with the help of Co-ops Enterprise Hub, we have:
- been accepted as a bona fida coop – Village Greens (Prestwich) Co-operative Ltd, incorporated under the Industrial & Provident Society Act 1965, approved by the FCA, with Registration No 32113R
- compiled our Community Share Offer document, so that you can become a member and invest when we launch shortly
- drawn up a detailed and informative Business Plan
- appointed a Treasurer to finalise our start up costs and cash flow projections for the first 3 yrs in business
- co-opted new Board members to spread the work load
- visited lots of other grocery coops to see how things work on the ground, inc Green Valley, New Leaf, Unicorn, On the 8th Day, The Real Food + spoke to many more on the phone.
- attended meeting after meeting after meeting, drinking far too much coffee and eating too much cake!! but gaining fantastic experience and being inspired by amazing people along the way
- shown our faces at as many local events as we could to talk to people and spread the word, inc Clough Day, Prestwich Carnival, Philips Eco Day, farmers markets
- visited and talked to lots of exciting suppliers and local farmers, as well as a smelly but informative trip to the fish market!
- set up our website, twitter and facebook pages and talked to everyone everywhere we go
- met with incredible generosity, enthusiasm and inspiration which has fuelled us through the bleak days of seemlingly endless proofreading and editing
So we have been incredibly busy little bees.
There are more steps to go though to open our doors before Christmas.
The main one now is planning a launch date for the Community Share Offer once we have FCA go ahead, so that you can be a part of making this happen, and bringing to Prestwich a fantastic alternative way to shop based on good, clean, fresh and whole foods, with natural ingredients, ethically and fairly sourced. We can’t wait!!
Owned by the community for the community – how fantastic will this be?