On Wednesday, July 19, from 5:30 to 7:30, we had a wonderful turn out for our Member-Investors Celebration. We so much appreciate all of our Member-Investors who have made our store possible. This was an opportunity to thank them with a special walk-through of the store; sample lots of good food, mainly prepared by our fabulous Deli Manager, Noah and sushi platters which were from our sister co-op, Common Market, in Frederick; and a selection of wines from Walsh Family Wines. Walsh staff, Dawn and Artie, were immediately part of the family. All nine LCM Board members were on hand to mingle, answer questions, view the store progress, and enjoy the evening.
The event also was a chance for everyone to hear updates on final store completion details from our General Manager, Garland McQueen. Eco-Developers Principal, Gary Large, provided updates on our business neighbors in the Town Commons development. As you probably know by now, we are the anchor store and a demonstration project for more sustainable building practices that also will help keep operations costs lower. The overall development is now 80% leased. Gary also shared that we will have an additional delay for opening due to Loudoun County imposing a moratorium on permits until mid-August. Apparently, the County is transitioning to a new data system.
John DeSaix, LCM Chair, thanked our Member-Investors for their financial support, helping to make the Co-op a reality. He announced that we have $1.8 million in Member-Investor loans to date! This surpasses our goal of $1.7 million by opening day. However, we continue to welcome additional member loans and for current Member-Investors to increase their original loans with the potential to get more interest. Additional member loans will reduce the amount we need to borrow from the National Co-op Bank (NCB) that is charging us 9% interest.
Julie Harner, LCM Vice Chair, announced that we are now 1125 members strong. Just within this year, we have increased membership by 250 new members. Every week we are adding to our membership rolls and realize that we may need an entire new wall in the store to add everyone’s name that becomes a member before opening day.
Garland McQueen, our General Manager, and his management team are working diligently to make sure every detail of the store is spot on, all the supplies are delivered and the staff are trained and ready to go. Once the permits are final, we will be ready to open our doors!
Once again, thank you to all our members and especially our member-investors for making this possible. For all of you members-to-be, sign up to join and support your local co-op grocery store today.
If you are a member and want to invest in your co-op, please contact John DeSaix at Campaign@lovettsville-grocery.com to discuss terms and arrange a tour of the store.