IN THE HEART OF LINCOLN. Since our inception, we have proudly served the core of Lincoln. With this relocation, we will continue to serve our diverse mix of customers that we love.

MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE. We will still be the same co-op you know and love, but now we can offer more parking spaces, expanded indoor & outdoor seating, better walking/biking accessibility, and more shelf space for products including beer & wine!

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. By repurposing a historical building, we have the opportunity to create a more sustainable co-op. We will improve energy efficiency by upgrading refrigeration, freezers, lights, and kitchen equipment.

NOURISH OUR COMMUNITY. When you shop at the co-op, more dollars recirculate within our local economy compared to big-box chains. A vibrant co-op means a healthy marketplace for our local producers.

WHAT IS AN OWNER INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN?

Put simply, an Owner Investment Campaign is a long term fundraiser.

More complexly it is a concentrated, organized, and goal-driven fundraising endeavor that seeks to raise a substantial amount of money for a large-scale project or organizational expansion. In the case of Open Harvest, it’s both!  We intend to relocate Open Harvest to a larger and more accessible location as part of our Owner Investment Campaign, allowing us to provide more and better service to our community.

WHY ARE WE CONDUCTING AN OWNER INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN?

Co-ops, because of their unique legal structure, have the ability to raise capital from owners through loans and donations.Owner-generated capital is less expensive than bank funding, more flexible, and allows owners to practice the cooperative principle of Economic Participation  Members of the Open Harvest Co-op Grocery are excited and motivated to participate in their local co-op in order to assist ensure the cooperative economy’s long-term viability.

WHY ARE YOU MOVING? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE CURRENT LOCATION?

We are relocating in an effort to expand our cooperative business and assist more local farmers, invest in better equipment, and continue to pay our employees a decent wage. Additionally, we are facing an expiring lease at the current location that cannot be renewed. The Management Team and Board of Directors have decided that relocation is our only path forward.

WHERE IS THE NEW LOCATION?

We have executed a Letter of Intent to Lease (LOI) with real estate developer Speedway Inc. Open Harvest and Speedway will work toward the execution of a definitive agreement where Open Harvest will lease approximately 10,000 square feet of retail grocery store space in the Telegraph District, in the historic Allo Building at 330 S. 21st Street, Lincoln, NE 68510. In the event this location does not work, investments may be held for another location.

ISN'T MY OWNERSHIP ENOUGH?

Your ownership is the first and much appreciated step in financially supporting the Co-op. As an owner, you have the exclusive opportunity  to invest in your store -and earn a fair rate of return. Preferred Shares are a long-standing mechanism used by co-ops across the country to raise  money needed for various projects. Issuance of Preferred Shares demonstrate a loyal customer base and reduce debt service, making the Co-op that much stronger.

HOW MUCH DOES OPEN HARVEST NEED TO RAISE?

This is a $4.2 million dollar project. Two million of those dollars will need to be raised via Preferred Shares –approximately 48% of the project total.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN?

Co-op owners have the opportunity to purchase non-voting Preferred Shares and/or make a tax-deductible donation. The opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation is available to anyone, whether they are an owner or not. 

 

PREFERRED SHARES: The opportunity to purchase Preferred Shares is available to active & in-good-standing Co-op owners who reside in Nebraska. There are two types of Preferred Shares that eligible owners can purchase.A-Shares offer a 3% cumulative dividend rate with a par-value of $1,000 per share and minimum of 10 shares ($10,000). Please see our Investor Packet for full details.  B-Shares offer a 2% cumulative dividend rate with a par-value of $1,000 per share and minimum of 1 share ($1,000).

 

DONATIONS: Tax-deductible donations of any size can be made through the Lincoln Community Foundation.

HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?

Construction, new equipment, professional fees, including lawyers, architects, and consultants, working capital, and other relocation-related expenses will all be covered by Owner Investments. You can find more information about how we will utilize funds raised in our Owner Investor Campaign in our Owner Investment Offering packet

CAN BUSINESSES PURCHASE SHARES OR MAKE A DONATION?

Simply put, no. Our current bylaws limit ownership to individuals. Any business who wants to support the Owner Investment Campaign should have an individual active & in-good-standing owner facilitate the investment, or make a donation through the Lincoln Community Foundation.

CAN BUSINESSES PURCHASE SHARES OR MAKE A DONATION?

Simply put, no. Our current bylaws limit ownership to individuals. Any business who wants to support the Owner Investment Campaign should have an individual active & in-good-standing owner facilitate the investment, or make a donation through the Lincoln Community Foundation.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR INVESTING?

Preferred Shares must be purchased by an active & in-good-standing owner of the co-op, who is a resident of the state of Nebraska. Tax-Deductible Donations, facilitated by the Lincoln Community Foundation, can be made by anyone without restriction. All purchases of Preferred Shares require the investor to carefully read and acknowledge the information contained in the Owner Investment Offering Packet before signing provided forms and contracts.

WHY CAN YOU ONLY TALK ABOUT INVESTING WITH OWNERS?

State and Federal Securities Laws dictate how we can promote the campaign.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR PURCHASES SHARES OR MAKING A DONATION?

We are working towards reaching our $2M goal by December 31, 2022. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can move on to the next steps of building our store and making our new dream home a reality!

WHAT ARE PREFERRED SHARES? HOW DO THESE COMPARE TO COMMON STOCK?

Preferred shares represent ownership in a cooperative, and have a priority claim over common shares on the company’s assets and earnings. The shares are more senior than common stock but are more junior relative to senior debt in terms of claim on assets. Holders of preferred stock are also prioritized over holders of common stock in dividend payments.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A-SHARES and B-SHARES?

  • A-Shares – Owners can purchase 10 or more shares of Class A nonvoting, preferred shares at $1,000/share, earning a potential dividend of 3%.
  • B-Shares – Owners can purchase 1 or more shares of Class B nonvoting, preferred shares at $1,000/share, earning a potential dividend rate of 2%; their terms are otherwise identical to A-shares.

HOW ARE DIVIDENDS PAID?

A- and B-shares must be viewed as patient, non-liquid investments, as any future payment of dividends or redemption depends on the Co-op’s long-term financial performance and remains subject to final approval by the Board of Directors of the Co-op. 

CAN I REDEEM MY SHARES AT ANY TIME?

Investors do not have the right to demand early repayment of the face amount of the shares, and Open Harvest is not required to make payments of the face amount prior to December 31, 2034, and even then the face amount payments are at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Preferred Stock is a long term investment.

SO, WHAT IS THE CURRENT PLAN FOR DIVIDEND PAYMENTS?

The Co-op currently anticipates issuing dividends on all A & B shares on an annual basis but retains the ability to defer payment in any given year in the sole and absolute discretion of the Board of Directors. If dividends are not paid, they will accumulate for payment at a later date as decided by the Board of Directors of the Co-op in their sole and absolute discretion. 

IS MY MONEY SAFE IF I CHOOSE TO INVEST IN THE CO-OP? WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

As a small-business venture in a community that competes with other local and national branded grocers, there is a material risk that the venture may fail.  It is important for all investors to understand that there is NO GUARANTEE about when the cumulative dividend may be repaid, nor is there any GUARANTEE about when the owner investors may be able to sell their A-shares or B-shares back to the Co-op, and preferred shares should be viewed as a long-term, patient investment.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I PASS AWAY, WHO WILL RECEIVE THE REPAYMENT OF MY PREFERRED SHARES?

 A-shares and B-shares cannot be transferred or sold to any party other than the Co-op, without the express written consent of the Board of Directors of the Co- op. A-shares and B-shares cannot be redeemed until authorized by the Board of Directors.

You will need to work with your lawyer to carry out your wishes via estate planning. Your preferred shares could be handled in the same manner as your other assets. Should you desire to transfer them to another person, who is eligible for membership, a request for change in ownership could be submitted to the Board and handled accordingly. Requests for equity transfers due to death will be carefully considered by the Board, on a case-by-case basis. Redemption will be handled as a separate action, per Board discretion and approval. Alternatively, your preferred shares could be donated to the co-op.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE/FAIL TO SUSTAIN OWNER REQUIREMENTS?

To be considered an Owner in Good Standing and receive full benefits of Ownership, including the right to vote, attend the annual meeting, and the right to run for Board, you must uphold all owner responsibilities including:

  • Shop annually at the co-op
  • Pay annual equity
  • Keep contact information up-to-date
  • Abide by co-op bylaws and articles

If you are unable to meet these owner responsibilities for any reason, your status will become inactive. Members who are inactive remain stockholders (holders of common stock, any additional paid-in equity, and preferred shares) without the right to vote. Accordingly, preferred share dividends will still be issued per Board discretion.

I PROVIDED A MEMBER LOAN FOR THE 2009 EXPANSION PROJECT. I WOULD LIKE TO DO A LOAN INSTEAD OF PREFERRED SHARES.

We received $200,000 in member loans from 85 dedicated members for the 2009 Expansion Project. We do not plan to receive loans from owners for this project, as owner equity provides more leverage for the senior debt that will also be necessary to fully finance a successful project. Preferred shares are truly the best financial offering for the co-op at this time.

OK, THIS ALL SOUNDS GREAT--HOW DO I PURCHASE SHARES?

The first step in becoming an Open Harvest shareholder is to thoroughly read the Owner Investment Packet. This packet contains required disclosures of investment risks and financial projections. After careful review of the Owner Investment Packet, contact us at invest@openharvest.coop . We will confirm the details of your investment agreement and prepare  and send your form back to you – either via electronic or paper copy –  for your signature. 

CAN I PURCHASE SHARES VIA CREDIT CARD?

No, you cannot buy shares with a credit card. The fees associated with credit card processing at these dollar amounts make it an unreasonable form of payment. We accept checks (not ACH). 

I DON’T HAVE THE MINIMUM INVESTMENT AMOUNT FOR A B-SHARE AND WANT TO HELP!

You can make a donation in any amount, facilitated by the Lincoln Community Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.

HOW CAN I MAKE A DONATION?

Through The Lincoln Community Foundation. LCF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations made to Open Harvest through the Lincoln Community Foundation are tax-deductible. Check with your financial advisor or accountant for details on how making a charitable donation may affect your individual tax situation. Proceed with a donation here. 

WHAT IS THE PARKING SITUATION IN THE NEW LOCATION?

The parking lot surrounding the Allo Building has approximately 220 parking spaces that are shared among four building tenants and the city ball field to the east. In addition, there are 56 parking spaces located to the north of the immediate parking lot. We are working to secure exclusive parking rights to the spaces immediately outside our front doors, adequate for the square footage and use of our space. For comparison, our current location has a total of 100 parking spaces for the existing tenants of the South Street Plaza.

HAS THE CO-OP CONDUCTED A MARKET STUDY?

Open Harvest has been working with G2G Research Group to conduct site evaluations and sales forecast analysis. More in-depth information from these evaluations can be found in our Owner Investment Packet.

WHEN WILL THE CO-OP OFFICIALLY MOVE?

The goal is to be in the new store by 2024!

WHERE IS THE STORE LOCATION?

We have executed a Letter of Intent to Lease (LOI) with real estate developer Speedway Inc. Open Harvest and Speedway will work toward the execution of a definitive agreement where Open Harvest will lease approximately 10,000 square feet of retail grocery store space in the Telegraph District, in the historic Allo Building at 330 S. 21st Street, Lincoln, NE 68510. In the event this location does not work, investments may be held for another location.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE THIS LOCATION?

In relocating, the Co-op will remain in the core of Lincoln and will continue to provide the community with access to more fresh, local and organic products, and grow the market for sustainably produced food. The relocation of the Co-op will also provide an updated shopping and dining experience, with greater product selection and improved parking.

HOW ELSE CAN I HELP TO MAKE THIS CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS?

Thanks for asking! We welcome ALL forms of aid and assistance with regard to this campaign. You can help by:

  • Encouraging your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to join the Co-op and invest
  • Shop at the co-op!
  • Volunteering to be an active part in the Owner Investment Campaign –we need people to make fundraising calls and potentially assist in other areas.
  • Liking and sharing our social media posts, and spreading the word any way you can!

Here's what Co-op Owners are saying...

“I’m investing in Open Harvest because I want to support all of the local farmers and small businesses that supply our shelves, because I believe in the cooperative structure, and because the co-op makes Lincoln a more vibrant and community-friendly place to live and work.” - Carla McCullough, Co-op Owner

“When we shop at Open Harvest, we can support multiple Nebraska owned businesses in one stop! We also appreciate that they offer organic produce and affordable healthy food options. We have been members owners for many years and look forward to supporting the co-op for many more.” - Anna & Lenny Hernoud, Co-op Owners

``As a long-time co-op member-owner, I am thrilled to be able to invest in the long-term sustainability of the store. As my primary source for groceries, I am excited to see Open Harvest grow and develop, and I love that I can invest my money locally in a place that matters to me and that benefits the community.`` - Ingrid Kirst, Co-op Owner

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