The Community Market, Inc. began in 2011 as the passion of a small, but dedicated group of local women who envisioned having a community-based grocery store that would give area residents an opportunity to buy local, organic and Fair Trade products without having to visit multiple stores and travel across multiple county lines. They also wanted to be able to give local and regional farmers a year-round facility in which to serve the community.
The idea originated with a few of the founding Board Members who’s work with Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church’s Covenant Community Garden and annual Fair Trade Store ignited their desire that the community have access to local, healthy food and fairly traded products.
So, in 2012, they began to research the cooperative business model and started the process of becoming the Fuquay-Varina Community Market (the name was changed in 2014). They worked tiredlessly to gain owners by visiting farmers markets, festivals, and speaking to area clubs and organizations.
See below for complete timeline beginning with incorporation…
- Incorporated and established our Bylaws in 2012 and started an owner drive, following the Food Cooperative Initiative’s guide to starting a food co-op launching a 3-phase program: Organizing, Feasibility and Implementation. Founding ownerships offered at an introductory rate of $100 to gauge interest.
- In the Fall of 2012, the co-op was awarded a grant that would pay for Consultants from the Cooperative Development Services (CDS) Co-op to help guide the project along. The grant included retreats, workshops and monthly meeting with the Chairperson.
- The co-op held it’s first annual Owner’s meeting, called “Founders Night” in February 2013. It was huge success gaining 20+members at the event!
- By May 1, 2013, the co-op had reached 300 Owners and the ownership fee was increased to $150 one-time fee per household.
- In November 2013, co-op commissions a market feasibility study that affirms that the Fuquay-Varina /Holly Springs area is the right place and the right time for a food co-op natural store to open.
- Early 2014, the Board votes to officially change the co-op name to The Community Market, dropping the Fuquay-Varina to better represent the local areas that the co-op will serve. Logo is updated to reflect the change.
- The 2nd Annual “Founders Night” is held in the Spring of 2014. Ownership continues to grow at a slower, but steady pace.
- In June 2014, the Executive Board votes to hire/contract an Outreach Coordinator to help with community engagment and growing the ownership allowing the Board to focus additional phase 2 tasks such as the financial pro forma, site selection, etc.
- Held first Owners Dish event in September 2014 to give owners an opportunity to socialize and share their ideas and input about growing the co-op.
- By mid-Fall 2014, the Co-op ownership reaches 360 and continues to steadily gain new owners.
- Celebrated National Co-op Month during October 2014 by hosting tours to one of our Producer-Owners farms & to the Chatham Marketplace Co-op & The Plant in Pittsboro, NC. Also featured “31 Facts for 31 Days” on social media sites. Launched Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Also participated in Holly Fest in Holly Springs for first time.
- On March 20, 2015, the Co-op released it’s re-freshed identity complete with a new logo design, tagline (Shop, Support, Sustain) and motto “Opt for the Co-op”.
- In April 2015 launched the T.A.G. Team (Taking Action Groups) with an initial interest meeting. There was a great turnout and by the end of the meeting all four groups had a Volunteer Lead!
- The 3nd Annual “Founders Night” in conjunction with the Annual Meeting is held in on May 3, 2015. Ownership is at 383 and continues to grow as the co-op’s awareness increases. Owners and guests are updated on the co-ops progress and plans.
Join our effort
We are always accepting new enthusiastic Owners to Southern Wake County’s first food co-op grocery store! Learn more about all the benefits you’ll receive and how you can become part of the co-op movement.
Already an owner but you wish you could do more? Consider becoming one of our volunteers and help out at events, with our social media and blog or just share with others the wonderful opportunities with the co-op. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can get involved!
Your association or club meeting could be next!
Would your group like to hear more about The Community Market? We LOVE to talk about our co-op and are happy to schedule a presentation for your next gathering or meeting. Contact us today!