The lease has been signed between the Orcas Food Co-op and Patty Miller, owner of Doty’s Marketplace in Eastsound.
The co-op will be leasing the space previously occupied by the Orcas Homegrown Market. The design/renovations team will be making some significant cosmetic and structural improvements to the space over the next few months prior to opening in the spring.
“We’re all very excited to give the space a much needed facelift,” says Ken Katz, who is a board member and head of the design team. “The remodel will be something members can participate in, and in the end, all will be very proud of.”
Before entering into a lease contract the board of directors set certain benchmarks for securing memberships and startup capital. The minimum goals prior to signing the lease were that they would have 250 founding members signed up and at least $200,000 pledged in the form of loans from our members.
The membership number is currently over 350 and there are pledges in place for more than $200,000 in loans from members and continue to seek additional pledges to fill out startup capital needs.
“I am very excited to support the launch of the new co-op,” Miller said. “It is exciting to see it take on its new form as a community owned cooperative providing a fantastic source for healthy foods and a means to distribute our local products. It is a win-win for our community.”
Membership covers the primary member, their domestic partner and any dependents 18 years or younger. Representatives will be at the Artisan's Faire this weekend at Oddfellows Hall to sign people up.
“Each person who has joined the co-op, loaned money, volunteered, given feedback or spread the word has helped get The Co-op this far,” said Board President Lisa Byers. “We’ve made a tremendously strong start, and now we need to focus our efforts on getting the store open.”