Member Loan Campaign
Good food is closer than you think! Take the local, fresh foods of a farmer’s market, plus the one-stop shopping convenience of a supermarket, and add the specialty selections of a natural foods store, combined with your community ownership and that’s New Leaf Market Co-op.
Dear New Leaf Market Cooperative Member-Owners:
As you may be aware, a lot has transpired for New Leaf Market Co-op at the end of 2015. After four years of searching for a site in downtown Green Bay and assessing 25 sites based on a Dakota Worldwide Market Study without success, our board decided to pursue a second market study to identify sites outside of downtown Green Bay area. In 2015, this second Dakota Worldwide study identified eight sites outside of the Downtown Green Bay area. Of these eight sites, a location scenario at 310 N. Wisconsin St. in De Pere (next to the Shopko East) was ranked at the top. There were several reasons for this:
- Profitability. Financial analysis shows profitability after the first three years.
- Affordability. A leased scenario reduces the cost of the project from $6.3 million to $2.85 million.
- Great Parking. The site has 75+ surface parking spaces, which are all maintained by the City of De Pere.
- Ample square footage
- Has excellent retail synergy.
- Great visibility. The site is located on a high traffic count street, has easy entrance and exits from the site.
- The site is an existing building (site used to be the former Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly)
- 66% of New Leaf member-owners live in the Astor Park/Allouez/De Pere corridor
A Letter of Intent to Lease with terms needs to be secured by this February 1st. We have been working on many parts of the financing package to make this happen. We expect to hear the results of our efforts this month. These include:
- We applied for a WEDC Grant Application submitted by the City of De Pere for $250,000 in November.
- A bank is currently examining our business plan, pro forma and market study.
- Two CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) are currently considering participating in a finance package, including North Country Cooperative Development Fund and Forward Community Investments.
- We are also pursuing a possible USDA loan guarantee.
What can you do to ensure that New Leaf Market Co-op finds a home in De Pere?
Become a Member-Owner & Encourage Others to Do the Same! Our goal is 1,000 member-owners by the time our site is secured and 1,500 member-owners by store opening. We currently have 850 members, so please encourage your family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues to consider becoming a New Leaf Market Co-op member-owner. Details about membership and the Member Loan Campaign can be found on our website at www.newleafmarket.org.
Thank you very much for your interest and support of New Leaf Market Co-op’s vision.
Locavesting in New Leaf Market Cooperative
Maybe you’re like me, with savings in some CDs earning around 1.5% and mutual funds that took a 30% hit during the Great Recession. If so, you might want to consider locavesting—investing a portion of your savings in Main Street rather than Wall Street. Right now, New Leaf Market Co-op is asking us member-owners to invest in a Member-Loan campaign to capitalize our store.
I’m locavesting in a New Leaf Market Co-op Member Loan because New Leaf is my very own healthy local food store--mine and 850 other like-minded community members’. We walk into the co-op as its owners as well as its core customers. As customers, we benefit when our families have year-round full-service access to healthy local food. As owners and customers, we benefit when the store makes a profit by receiving patronage refunds, and we get discounts on specials items. As investors, we earn interest on the loans we make to New Leaf Market—at a higher interest rate than most banks are paying.
Farmer-philosopher Wendell Berry reminds us that “eating is an agricultural act.” We benefit when we invest in area family farms and artisan food producers by purchasing their food at New Leaf Market. When we invest in them, farmers invest in growing more healthy food for us; and everyone benefits, when local dollars recirculate locally.
Locavesting in New Leaf is a long-term investment strategy for the health of our community. New Leaf Market Co-op is a social enterprise--an organization that builds a more just, sustainable world by applying market-based strategies. New Leaf Market’s revenue will support our mission--to create a sustainable local food system that provides good food for good health, now and for generations.
You and I are investing our resources in New Leaf because we will benefit from it and because our friends, family, and neighbors will too. We are investing because we want our investment portfolio to reflect our values and future returns. We are investing in New Leaf because we can afford to and because not everyone is so fortunate.
There is risk in locavesting, as there is in any investment. So think about how much you can afford to invest and how much you benefit. As a member of the Board of Directors of New Leaf Market, I’ve seen how much depth of professional knowledge and due diligence have gone into making our business plan a solid one—and that gives me confidence. Locavesting in our own business in our own community makes good sense—just ask any Packers fan.