We are in the middle of a capital campaign to raise equity and half way to our goal.
Hendersonville, North Carolina (PRWEB) November 19, 2012
Hendersonville, a scenic historical town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina is on the leading edge of co-op shopping. Known as the city of four seasons, it was proclaimed by its mayor as “the friendliest city in America” and residents believe they are possibly one of the healthiest too. To carry on the tradition of friendliness, Hendersonville Co-op has the mission of “Everyone can shop. Anyone can join! We welcome your visit.”
As a farming community, Hendersonville boasts the distinction of America’s 7th largest producer of apples, with apple orchards dominating the landscape that surrounds the town. Hendersonville Co-op is the only grocery store to focus on locally grown natural and organic foods. “The co-op has risen in popularity so much that it’s hard to find parking”, states Beth Beasly the co-op’s President.
Back in 1978 a group of fifteen families had the idea of forming a buying club with the goal of saving money and supporting local farmers. The buying club purchased only locally grown, organic, and healthy foods. In 1983 the buying club was incorporated and became officially known as the Hendersonville Co-op.
The mission of Hendersonville Community Co-op is to provide organic and wholesome foods to the community as well as to encourage informed healthy food choices through education.
The co-op has provided its community with quality products, services, and education for more than twenty years, and approximately 1500 families and individuals share in ownership. It has a wide selection of organic and natural foods and produce, bulk foods, a wellness and body care department, and fair trade coffees and teas. It is also home to the Blue Mountain Deli and Bakery. Beth states “our Blue Mountain Deli is like the community hub.”
Hendersonville’s Expansion Plans
Currently the co-op is housed in a 2000 sq. ft. warehouse and offers a robust menu of community events such as cooking classes, wine tastings, educational classes, and owner appreciation days - the co-op is the gathering place in the community.
Plans for expansion next year include moving and building an 8000 sq. ft. facility on 2.2 acres, “we are in the middle of a capital campaign to raise equity and half way to our goal” says Beth.
With this growth they plan on expanding their services for their community by offering more workshops, classes, and cooking events for children and adults. Additionally, they will be offering a non-organic foods section from local farms. The energy-efficient store will also have more accommodating aisles, expanded deli seating and larger grocery departments.
What is a food co-op?
In its early years co-ops were formed by the social and cultural forces of the 60’s and 70’s. Interest in natural foods was growing but there were very few sources. To solve this dilemma, groups of residents decided to set up “buying clubs” or co-ops to meet the demands for natural foods.
A co-op is formed by a group of individuals who pool their resources to get what they want and need. It is voluntary in nature and organization is composed of a group of individuals for the mutual benefit of all. They are usually non-profit and have no owners other than their members.
In an organic food co-op they have a common interest of buying fresh, locally grown organic foods. Typically each member/owner pays a small yearly fee to purchase a share of the store, and they exercise their ownership by voting and electing a board of directors.
The year of 2012 was officially declared by the United Nations resolution as the International Year of the Cooperatives. It aims to share and celebrate the social and economic contributions of cooperatives businesses.
About Hendersonville Co-op
Hendersonville Co-op HCC has been the only cooperatively-owned and operated natural foods grocer in Hendersonville since 1983. Over 1,900 individuals and families who live and work in the area own the Co-op. Currently, HCC is enjoying strong sales growth and an average gain of 30 new owners every month.
Hendersonville Community Co-op
715 S Grove St