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November 13, 2014

Portland Food Co-op membership tops 2,000

file PHOTo / Tim greenway
file PHOTo / Tim greenway
Rachelle Curran Apse a board member of the Portland Food Co-op, with her baby, Tobin, in a March 2014 file photo at the food buying club, which will become a storefront co-op this fall.

Membership in the Portland Food Co-op is nudging toward 2,100, exceeding earlier predictions of 2,000, several weeks before its planned opening celebration in early December.

General Manager Kevin Gadsby told Mainebiz in an email that there will be a "soft opening" to test run the co-op's systems toward the end of November, followed by a grand opening celebration at an as-yet-to-be-determined date in early December.

He said the membership equity (dues) are a one-time payment of $100 that can be paid upfront or in four installments of $25. "We also have a low-income membership available with proof of public assistance for $10," he wrote.

Members will receive special discounts and have a vote toward electing the board of directors. When the co-op reaches profitability with surplus income, member-owners are eligible for a patronage dividend or rebate at the end of the fiscal year.

"We aim to boost the Maine food economy by sourcing Maine-produced goods as much as possible," he wrote. "This might not start out as extensive as we'd like, but will grow over time."

He added that between the soft opening and the grand opening, the co-op will focus on gathering community feedback to assure its systems are in place and that it is the co-op the Portland community wants.

"We will be having a grand opening celebration subsequent to the soft opening and will have featured Maine producers, live music and many holiday sale items," he added.

The number of member-owned food co-ops in Maine is on a course to almost double to 11 this year, leavened by a taste for locally produced food that is safe and healthy, as Mainebiz reported in its March 10 issue.

Read more

Portland Food Co-op tops membership goal

Investor aids with opening of Gardiner Co-op

Food co-ops on the rise as Mainers seek local foods, buying power

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