~first 150 conversations are being scheduled over the next few weeks~
You might ask why we are taking time for conversations and the answer is simple, relationships. As we rebuild Valley Co-op, authentic relationships will be the key to success in every stage of development. Meeting face – to – face is the most effective way to start a new relationship or strengthen an existing relationship. The number one reason people give money is because a trusted person asks them to give. The number one reason people attend a meeting or volunteer is that they are asked to participate by a person they trust. Relationships are the key.
Our face–to–face meetings will benefit us in many ways:
- More customers will shop the online market
- More people will become permanent owner/members
- Owner/members will invest in our future by offering personal loans
- More people will volunteer for co-op activities
- Annual Meeting attendance will increase
- More people will attend our Film Nights and Community Workshops
Look for more information about our Listening Campaign in future Valley Co-op newsletters.
Please review each candidate’s application prior to voting.
- Michael Evans – Michael_Evans_BOD_application_2017 (PDF)
- Peter Johnson – Peter_Johnson_BOD_application_2017 (PDF)
- Clifford Lane – Clifford_Lane_BOD_application_2017 (PDF)
- John Winger – John Winger_BOD_application_2017 (PDF)
Existing BOD members are Julius Goepp and Susan Rosenberg whose terms are up Jan 2019.
Current members will receive an electronic ballot via email. Please be sure your email address is up to date in the online ordering system.
Voting will be open for one week. If you have questions about your membership, please contact the co-op manager, Cori Rohrer at firstname.lastname@example.org
The VC BOD still has up to 3 vacant seats, and encourages any current members to consider becoming part of our Leadership team and contribute to our future development and the realization of our ambitious dreams. If you are interested, please email Julius Goepp at email@example.com, to receive information on what’s involved. We will hold special elections once we have a slate of well-qualified new candidates.
The dust has settled a bit from the move and we will now offer Saturday hours to our members for order pickups. The historic City Market is open during this time. Grab a bite to eat and mingle their vendors. Access our space through main Market doors at parking lot.
Read more about the Market’s history and list of vendors.
Our address: 25 West Church Street, Hagerstown, MD (map)
Times of pickups and deliveries will remain unchanged:
Deliveries 11 AM-2 PM Thursdays
Pickups 3-8 PM Thursdays and 3-6 PM Fridays.
On Saturday May 6 we will be adding Saturday pickup hours 9 AM-1 PM.
Pickups and deliveries will be handled at the back of the building (Market Pl). Valley Co-op’s door will be marked and is in the middle of the building. You may park in the alley off to the side for your delivery or pickup. Please do not block the alley! If you prefer, you may use the metered parking and walk around the building.
Note: The front doors facing the metered parking area will only be open on Saturdays.
We look forward to seeing you there!
We are excited to announce that on April 4, 2017, Board of Directors President Julius Goepp signed a 2-year lease agreement with the City of Hagerstown for Valley Co-op to occupy the 2,500 sq ft space in the back of the Historic City Farmer’s Market, located at 25 W. Church St. Valley Co-op leadership is working closely with City officials on a joint press release providing details about the exciting new public-private partnership.
The move will take place on April 17. Co-op manager Cori Rohrer does not expect to skip any weekly order cycles unless unforeseen complications arise. The first delivery and pickup cycle at our new location will be on Thursday, April 20. We will post any last minute changes on our Facebook page and via email.
For the immediate future Valley Co-op will continue as a member-only buying club with orders placed online. We will maintain the same pickup hours as currently offered: Thursdays from 3-8PM and Fridays from 3-6PM. Cori will provide details about pickups and deliveries prior to the move.
Beginning on Saturday May 7, we will start offering regular Saturday pickup hours while the market is open for regular business, from 9AM-1PM.
We will need volunteers to help pack up the store on Saturday, April 15 and volunteers to unpack at the new location on Tuesday April 18 and Wednesday April 19. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
The Valley Coop Board of Directors met in Special Session on 20 February 2017, for several important purposes.
First, the Board welcomed its three new members, John Winger, Michael Evans, and Cliff Lane, who were selected and appointed by the existing BOD, per VC by-laws, and will stand for re-election at the end of their 3-year terms.
These members bring a wealth of experience, ideas, and commitment, and we anticipate their active involvement as the Coop moves into its evolving future.
This brings our active Board membership to six, with one late-announcing candidate shortly to be confirmed, for a total of seven members moving forward.
With this announcement, the nominations for Board members are closed. New elections will be held as seats become vacant, and will follow the usual procedures for nominating and voting by the general membership.
The bulk of the Special Session, which was attended by four BOD members and members of both the Transition Team and the City Market Working Group, was devoted to the short- and intermediate-term issues facing us as a group.
Vince Loflin, who heads the Transition Team, provided an update on the various locations under consideration for locating the Buying Club’s operations. The two leading sites that are available are one in Boonsboro, and another, farther away, on Lehman’s mill road.
However, an appealing alternative may be the use of a portion of space in the City Market in downtown Hagerstown. We are excited to be in very preliminary discussions with City government representatives to explore that possibility, and have high hopes that further discussions might lead to a longer-term, more ambitious collaboration.
Members should check the Newsletter frequently for updates on the Buying Club’s status and potential locations. We must vacate the current Route 40 location as of April 30, 2017.
It is our strong hope that Buying Club ordering and pickup will continue without interruption during this transition period!
Further discussion at the Special Session focused on outlining the medium- and longer-term plans for reestablishing a physical food cooperative in Hagerstown.
The Board unanimously approved efforts to begin this process, which will include weekly planning meetings of the City Market Working Group, initiation of feasibility and market studies, and solicitation of grant funds from a variety of organizations to support this work.
Please note: We intend to follow very carefully the Food Coop Development Model developed by the Food Coop Initiative. Click here to go to the FCI website – we encourage ALL MEMBERS to become familiar with this model, to understand that doing this right will take up to 5 years before doors open anywhere, and to attend our Working Group sessions (Tuesdays at 3:30 on the HCC Campus: please email email@example.com to let us know of your interest and to get specific directions).
Again, please read this Newsletter regularly to follow what we are doing and to get involved – this is an ambitious project, and a big lift for our community, but we are confident that we can succeed, as do 80% of coops that follow the NCI model.
~REMINDER: Task Force Meeting this Monday & Call for BOD Applicants~
Our store will continue to be open to the public on Thursday thru Saturday each week in January. In February we will operate as a buying club, where only members with active accounts on VCShop will be able to order products online.
There is a lot of energy regarding continuing to operate as a buying club after our lease ends at the end of February. The Buying Club survey almost ready to go out. We continue to look for locations (see specs at https://goo.gl/gzcina) and may even be able to afford to pay a bit more rent. Next meeting of the Task Force will be on Monday, January 9 at 7 PM, at Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, 20402 Beaver Creek Rd Hagerstown. If you care about continuing to have easy access to products from our local vendors after our doors close, this is the meeting to attend! All who contributed to our capital campaign will be receiving an email with details about refunds. Refunds are already in process for those who contributed via GoFundMe.
Thank you again! If we cease buying club operations after February, we will refund pro-rated membership dues to those who paid $35 on or after September 2016 and who request a refund. Please consider being part of Valley Co-op’s Board of Directors, as we regroup as a buying club and work to reopen with an improved storefront! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in receiving an application.