|Much of our direction has been guided by Food Co-op 500 an organization that helps food co-ops get started, and their many qualified consultants who lend support to start-up co-ops. In particular, Stuart Reid has been invaluable to our process, given his personal experience starting and managing co-ops in Minnesota. More information about our consultants can be found at www.foodcoop500.coop.|
|The following is a timeline of Harvest Moonís history to-date:|
- March 2006
Began our first local fundraising efforts and were awarded a $10,000 matching grant from Food Co-op 500.
- April/May 2006
Articles of Incorporation were filed and Bylaws were adopted by the acting Board of Directors. The first public meeting was held to announce our intent to form a co-op.
- May 2006
Pete Davis, a nationally known consultant, was hired to conduct a Market Feasibility Study. His research confirmed that the Orono/Long Lake downtown corridor is a prime location for Harvest Moon. We began attending local events, met with many Minnesota co-ops to research and learn from them, and organized volunteer committees. Weekly meetings began in earnest and the Founding Team was organized to provide oversight of the day-to-day work.
- Summer/Fall 2006
Harvest Moon began partnering with local businesses and schools to host events and classes to create public awareness about the co-op. Research began on membership logistics, potential sites, and financial projections.
- December 2006
The website was re-designed with new branding and logo design, and the membership drive was launched.
- Spring 2007
With membership growth in full swing, we were approved for additional financial support from Food Co-op 500, in the form of a $25,000 matching loan commitment. No funds have been drawn on this loan to-date.
- September 26, 2007
The first Harvest Moon Annual Meeting was held and the current Board of Directors voted in: Megan Bennett, Michele Krolczyk, Kari Pastir-Smith, Cindi Barthel, John S. Jaffray, John OíReilly, and Tom Geiger. Biographies of the Board members are in Appendix I.
- September 2008
Officially launched the Capital Campaign at the second Annual Meeting.
- Spring 2009
Responding to slower-than-hoped-for Capital Campaign results amidst a difficult economy, the Board set a fundraising deadline of May 30. If $1 million could be raised by that date, Harvest Moon would be a go. If not, we would finally call it quits.
- June 2009
In six weeks following the fundraising deadline being set, our amazing membership had contributed $850,000 toward making Harvest Moon a reality. While not fully up to the $1 million needed, this was enough to prove we had the community support and solid financial footing necessary to move forward. It was announced that Harvest Moon was a GO!
- August 2009
Harvest Moon announced its plans to locate in the west end of the Otten Bros. building in Orono/Long Lake. Also in August, Harvest Moon announced its agreement with the National Cooperative Grocerís Association Development Cooperative. Under this agreement the Development Cooperative will assist with project management to open the store. Itís an honor to have been selected from co-op start-ups across the country to be the pilot project for this new expansion entity of the NCGA, based on promising sales forecasts, Board involvement and convincing community support.