HARDWICK – Since it started in 1975, Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op has a history of growth and change. A local, community-owned institution, the co-op has moved twice to meet the evolving needs of its community while also responding to a continually changing grocery business. It is now getting ready to move again, as it purchases the Hardwick Village Market and combines the two stores into a bigger, community-owned grocery store.
The relocation will provide many benefits to the co-op, including better accessibility and parking, and will keep the Village Market store open and serve the community with a merged inventory of conventional, local, and organic foods. It will also provide room for co-op growth and additional community services.
The relocation plan gives its Vermont members the opportunity to make loans as part of the co-op’s overall financing. Member financing enables other loans and keeps money in the community.
“Buffalo Mountain Co-op is loved by so many. Now we are giving the community a chance to support our big move and help us start a new chapter – one that has so many benefits for Hardwick shoppers, our local food producers, and staff.” says Emily Hershberger, General Manager.
The co-op will be raising $500,000 in interest-yielding loans that will be used to purchase, renovate, and move into the new store in 2022.
“These community loan programs are widely used by food co-ops all over the country,” says Ben Sandel, a consultant who works on these programs with cooperatives across the US. “Member and community financing is great for people who want to keep their money close to home and work on something they believe in.” he adds.The minimum loan amount is $1,500. Vermont residents may make loans on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the program or Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op, contact Lydia Parker, campaign coordinator at (802) 522-8068 or see CapitalCampaign@bmfc.coop.