Name: Food Co-op Initiative

Year Founded: 2005 / Incorporated in 2010

Sector(s) Served: Food Co-ops

How many co-ops have incorporated with your center’s assistance?: Over 100!

What is your center’s greatest accomplishment over the last five years, or the thing that you are most proud of?
We have built a comprehensive resource library, host a range of live and recorded training opportunities and provide personal technical assistance for startup organizers. These interrelated resources allow our small staff to provide critical support to around 100 active organizing groups at any given time. As interest in food co-ops has grown in different kinds of communities, we have shifted our focus and created new resources and partnerships to keep up.

How has CW supported your work?
The professional development and networking opportunities in CW have been invaluable for us in improving our services and collaborating with regional centers to support startup food co-ops.

What is the most unique co-op your center has assisted?
The last one we worked with. (They all are!)

Has the pandemic affected your work? How so?
We have had to shift a series of regional workshops and our annual conference to virtual formats and cancel in-person site visits. Face-to-face contact has always strengthened the relationships we have with startup organizers, but a new series of live webinars and expanded peer networking calls has helped keep people engaged.