By: Mar Lee, Campaign Coordinator
This is it! Two phases down, and one to go. We are excited to announce the launch of Phase III of our Capital Campaign, as we continue to work towards our goal of raising $1.5M by May 2023 for our relocation to the Telegraph District. We need your help now more than ever to make this historic project a reality.
If you haven’t heard, our co-op is moving! The new location at 330 S. 21st St. will provide us with a spacious 10,300 square foot space in the same building as The Mill Coffee & Bistro, 402 Creamery, Allo Communications, and Naughty Buddha Burger. The Telegraph District is a thriving area of our community, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.
Our new location will be centrally located, easily accessible by walking/biking, and will provide a more efficient and appealing shopping experience with improved parking and an expanded product selection. Not only that, but it will be filled with new energy efficient refrigeration systems, equipment, point of sale system, and thoughtfully designed workspaces so staff can work safely and efficiently. Ultimately, we believe this move will help us better serve our community.
This project is a large undertaking, and we need your help to make it happen. After years of planning, we officially launched this campaign publicly in Spring 2022. Now, less than one year later, we are proud to share some important financial milestones for this $4.4M project.
-In January 2023, we closed on a $1.65M loan with Shared Capital Cooperative
-164+ co-op owners have invested a combined $638k+ in preferred shares. We have an additional $90k in pledges that we hope to convert into finalized investments soon.
-We’ve received over $150k in donations from individuals and local businesses. These contributions are tax-deductible, thanks to the Lincoln Community Foundation, who has set up a fiscal sponsorship fund for Open Harvest. Business sponsors will receive the special perk of recognition as part of the new store’s design.
-Our development partner, Speedway Inc., is making significant tenant improvement contributions that will reduce our overall project cost by $595k.
-We plan on bringing $389k of the co-op’s cash to the table
-In 2022, we were awarded a $200k grant by the Reinvestment Fund’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative in an effort to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in the Lincoln community.
This all sums up to over $3.7M, or over 84% of the way there. We are calling on your support to bring us to the finish line by June 2023.
We invite those who have already invested or donated to contribute more and double down on the project. For those with multiple B-Shares, consider making additional monthly contributions until you reach $10,000+ so that you can receive A-Shares that yield 3% instead of B-Shares that yield 2%.
We understand that not everyone has the means to invest. Every contribution counts, and we are grateful for whatever support you are able to give. We love seeing small recurring donations of $10-$100. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made via the Lincoln Community Foundation’s online portal. You can visit their website here.
If you are not able to invest financially, there are other ways you can help. Spread the word about our project and encourage others to invest. You can also support the co-op by simply shopping with us, or becoming a volunteer caller to speak with other co-op owners about the project. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, please reach out to Mar at email@example.com
Who’s Mar? Glad you asked! We are thrilled to welcome our new Campaign Coordinator, Mar Lee onto the team. Mar has over 5 years of experience with grassroots campaigns in Lincoln and around Nebraska. Their background includes fundraising, campaign/volunteer coordination, and both get out the vote and legislative engagement efforts. They started at Open Harvest in December 2022 as a grocery clerk and now get the opportunity to utilize their background in grassroots organizing to support the co-op’s relocation fundraising!
Meet Mar and the rest of our cooperators at the Phase III Launch Party! We’ll be making calls and sharing positive vibes at the Jayne Snyder Trails Center on Monday, March 6th at 5:30 PM. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a few brief construction updates:
-In January, we unveiled an early-look at our interior floor plan. (See here: https://www.growthecoop.com/interior-floor-plan/)
-Our equipment list has been finalized and ordered!
-Construction has begun! The ALLO warehouse was cleared in late January and Speedway has begun the tenant shell buildout.
-We continue our work with architects, builders, and designers. We’ll have much more to share in the coming months!
We are excited about the future of Open Harvest Co-op Grocery and the positive impact we will continue to make in the Lincoln community. We hope that you will join us in this historic project and help us make our relocation to the Telegraph District a reality. Thank you for your support and investment in our cooperative.
Together, we grow.