After negotiating with our very accommodating landlord, we are happy to announce that Just Food has signed a 15 year lease to stay in this location! Owner surveys told us loud and clear that you want us to stay in this location, and we could not agree more. We love our home on Water Street. The new lease secures this space for 15 years and also provides us with an additional two 5 year options. Just Food will remain at 516 Water Street for, at least, the next 15 years!
If we are staying in this space, we need to ensure it is working for us and not against us. Currently, the store is not set up efficiently, it is too small to support our current sales, and we run the risk of no longer being able to meet the needs of our Owners. We MUSTdo this expansion and for us to take on this project, we MUSThave investment from our owners.
Many of you have asked for an update on fundraisingefforts. We have a goal to raise $1.5 million in C-Shares or contributions for the project, added to a $1 million loan for a total project cost of $2.5 million. To proceed with the start of the project, we need to have secured a MINIMUMof $1 million in Owner investments and I am pleased to let you know that we are halfway to that first mini-goal! However, what’s the old saying…halfway only counts in horseshoes?! Right now, we have approximately $500,000 from our owners. This is amazing, and for those of you who have already invested, please know how appreciative we are – Thank you! For those of you who have not invested – nowis the time.
Our architect has drawn up the plans, the contractors and subs have been chosen, the equipment has been selected. We cannot knock down any walls, or begin any improvements, or order any equipment until our fundraising is complete. We are on hold until we can raise the remainder of the funds. Work could begin tomorrow, if we had your investment.
Our staff work hard every day to accommodate the hardships that the current set up provides. We unload frozen pallets in the hallway because they do not fit through the door to the freezer. We schedule time in the cooler because we cannot fit all the departments in the cooler at once. Our deli staff make soup for you in a stock pot on the stove (just like I do at home) instead of in a soup kettle. Staff do not have a break room to relax in and eat their meals. Our equipment is decades past its life expectancy, and regularly fails, costing us time, money and lost sales. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairing broken equipment over the past 3 years – over $325,000repairing failing and past its prime equipment. That is money straight from the bottom line – money that could have been patronage refunds or better yet, could have been saved to use on this expansion. Just Food Co-op does not just wantthis expansion. Just Food Co-op needsthis expansion to survive.
Please, if you have not invested, take this as your invitationto get an investment packet from any staff member at the front end. Call or email me and let’s set up a meeting to discuss any questions you might have. Want a tour of the store so you can see the conditions yourself? Lori or I would be happy to show you around.Help us help you– what do you need to know to get invested?
Your Co-op needs you.Please answer our call with an investment so that we can move forward with a safe, fun, inviting, efficient store layout that meets your needs. The staff is ready, are you?