The Nourish board of directors called a Special Meeting of the member-owners to discuss a recently-discovered challenge with the co-op’s development. The following is the letter the board sent out via email immediately following the meeting. The board is still seeking input, so if you haven’t already, please read the letter and send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
To our Member-Owners and Supporters:
Hello from your Nourish Board of Directors.
As we hope you know, we just wrapped up a Special Meeting of the Member-Owners earlier this evening. We wanted to make sure that we got a report out to our member-owners and supporters as soon as possible. We’re very sorry you weren’t able to make it. We have included in this email more opportunities to talk to the Board in person. We hope one of those events will fit your schedule, and if not please let us know.
The Board came to a bump in the road recently and we are seeking all our members’ input to decide how to proceed. Now that we’ve had the opportunity to discuss the situation with many of our member-owners at the meeting tonight, we want to share the details of our challenge and the results of the meeting.
THE CHALLENGE: In updating our financial projections to prepare for our capital campaign, the Board encountered limitations in the model that we could not overcome. The Board hired a professional from CDS Consulting Co-op to do the final edits and he confirmed that rent is too high and sales projections are too low at our chosen location, 2352 Dallas Street. We need to figure out a scenario where we can eventually reach profitability.
THE PATHS FORWARD: Having reviewed the primary issues, the Board asked the group gathered tonight which of two options they supported.
Option A was to move forward with the current location we have chosen, 2352 Dallas Street. In order to make this location work, we would need $700,000 in grant support, plus a rent subsidy of $150,000 per year. Additionally, we would will still need the additional $150,000 in member equity (700+ new members) before opening, and $1,500,000 in preferred shares through our capital campaign. If we could get these by July 1st, 2017 then we could move forward in that space.
Option B was to immediately start looking for a different location where we could get a lower rent and/or higher sales projections.
NEXT STEPS: The group that gathered tonight was most interested in Option A because of the momentum we already have with the current location. They also weren’t opposed to going with Option B if the conditions for Option A aren’t met.
We also need to hear from all of our member-owners who were not able to attend. You can do so by emailing email@example.com, attending one of the follow-up events listed below, or by giving the board a call at this number: 720-949-0300 (board member Anita’s number, please leave a message). The board will keep you updated through monthly newsletters, and will send out an update through email by July 1st, 2017.
Please join Nourish Board members at one or more of the following events to ask questions and make comments:
THIS Wed, April 12th, 6-7:30pm @ Cheluna Brewing Company in the Stanley Marketplace
THIS Thurs, April 13th, 9:30-11am @ Logan House Coffee Company in the Stanley Marketplace
NEXT Wed, April 19th, 6-7:30pm @ Cheluna Brewing Company in the Stanley Marketplace
Mon, May 1st, 6:30-8:30pm @ Hangar 61 (May Board Meeting)
One of the most important things to emphasize about these next steps, which was reiterated by the member-owners gathered tonight, is our need for member-owner involvement. Specifically, we need three new board members to get us back up to a total of seven. (And we had a volunteer tonight!) We need even more motivated volunteers than we already have, including folks who are able to take on leadership roles. We need expertise in grant writing, fundraising, and connections to relevant foundations. Please contact us if you want to learn how YOU can best help the co-op through this challenging time.
Thank you for all of your support.
-Your Nourish Board of Directors