What we’ve accomplished from 2009 to date:

  • Winter 2009: We held the first of a series of community meetings about starting a produce cooperative on Delridge Way SW, followed up by the Produce Partners’ Potluck held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
  • Spring 2009: We applied for and were awarded a $15,000 Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund grant to demonstrate the feasibility of food security cooperation in our Delridge neighborhood.
  • Summer 2009: For four weeks, we held a ‘Mobile Market’ at four locations along Delridge Way SW. We collected produce donations from small backyard farmers, local businesses, and Pacific Northwest organic farms. We invited neighbors to visit our booth, learn about various health-related community events (translated in seven different languages), complete an informal survey (also in seven languages) of healthy food shopping questions, and receive free produce, as well as free washable shopping bags.
  • Fall 2009: We invited neighbors to celebrate the success and hear the results of the ‘Mobile Market’ survey at the Thank You Party, at the Delridge Community Center.
  • Spring 2010: We held Borscht and Bagels, a community event designed to ascertain more exactly what the neighborhood wanted from a produce cooperative in the neighborhood, and adopted these principles to our working ideology.
  • 2010: We learned about the types and development of cooperatives, explored governance models, and defined our vision through volunteer attendance at a cooperative conference, and consultations with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center.
  • Fall 2010: We incorporated in the State of Washington.
  • 2011: We established the Delridge Grocery Co-op Buyer’s Club to purchase produce wholesale from local farms to explore produce retailing and establish relationships with farmers. We purchased a business license . and began raising funds by selling strawberry- shaped shopping bags identical to those popularly given away for free at the ‘Mobile Market.’
  • Late 2011: Mentioned in the West Seattle Blog as a prospective tenant in the Downtown Emergency Services building, we responded by establishing talks with the DESC.
  • 2012: Because of the furnished rental space presented by the DESC, we had a unique opportunity to build a business plan that includes lower-than-normal startup costs. We partnered with staff from StartZone, a non-profit entrepreneurship development center, and MBA students from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, to develop a business plan.
  • 2013: We ran a founding member campaign and developed store plans, furthering partnerships with DESC and other stakeholders and received a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to do member outreach in the community.
  • Early 2014: We continued to increase membership and partner with the HEDI incubator program, as well as other mentors and volunteers, build member loans, and are in conversations for external financing with several lenders.
  • Summer 2014: We ran a 10-week Friday Farmstand project, selling local, organic fruits and vegetables on Delridge Way SW once a week across from the future store location.
  • Late 2014: Launched full membership and member loan drive.
  • 2015: Membership and member loan drive continues. Another summer farmstand offers produce to the neighborhood.
  • 2016: We continue to add new members and raise funds for the new store. Through grants, donations and using our reserved capital, we will undertake a market and feasibility study. Another summer farmstead offers produce to the neighborhood– this time with extended hours from June-September!
  • Soon: The Delridge Grocery Co-op becomes a reality. Store doors open.