We are your friends and neighbors. We care about local agriculture and our community. We want to see the continued growth of a thriving food culture here in Doylestown.
We began in September of 2009 when a group of local residents formed a Food Club to provide our families with better access to locally raised and produced foods. We organized a biweekly ordering, pick up, and distribution system to collect local goods and get them to member families, and we opened up membership to any interested family.
We had very strong community support and interest and capped our all-volunteer group membership due to numerous bottlenecks. In the meantime, knowing that our food club model was unsustainable for a large number of families, we began exploring the possibility of founding an actual brick and mortar cooperatively owned store in Doylestown. This store would be owned and governed by its members, and its primary mission would be to provide centralized and convenient access to locally raised and produced foods. Our very first outreach to the community was at a well attended Town Hall meeting in May of 2010. Buoyed by the response, we incorporated and plowed forward with a steering committee which worked hard, with the help of Weaver’s Way and other regional cooperative organizations, to mold the cooperative model we hoped would work for Doylestown.
In May of 2011 we launched our membership drive with a showing of Food Fight at the County Theater and in August of 2011 we formed our initial board. We continued to work hard to get our message out and to raise money with fun and educational community events.
In the beginning of 2012, we suspended the food buying club so that we could devote our efforts and energies to building the co-op.
In the spring of 2013, our then 250 members voted to use member equity to start a small store in the Doylestown area rather than wait until we could fund a larger, full-size cooperative grocery store. And in January 2014 we opened that small store thanks to
- the financial equity of our owners,
- countless hours of sweat equity by our board and many devoted volunteers,
- and financial contributions from supportive community members.
Our mission, “to provide convenient access to a variety of locally raised or produced foods and other products and to foster a healthy and economically viable environment for our farmers and community”, continues to be met more and more each month!
- In 2014 we put more than $200,000 into the pockets of our local producer community.
- So far, in 2015, we have put MORE than an additional 200,000 into those pockets.
- In store, we have more than 100 local producers represented – and that is without counting that several of our local distributors represent many, many more local farmers. In fact, 74% of our sales are to local farmers and small business people!
- We’ve created five jobs.
- We have a devoted board of directors and a committedgroup of volunteers who help on our many committees – supporting membership and education, outreach, fundraising, marketing and financial systems. They do an amazing job of helping to be our face in the community, share knowledge and talents, and keep our operations running smoothly in support of our paid staff.
- Our member-owner community now numbers 535 households in good standing.
- We offer the opportunity for people to Know their Producers with in-store demos
Here are links to a our farms and small business owners you'll find in the store. : http://doylestown.coop/local-producers/.
We want you to join us. Together, we can make a lasting positive impact on our own community. Let’s go co-op!
If you want to read some of the news articles about us from the very beginning, click here. (link to all news articles - coming soon.)