East Aurora is an amazing place to live, to work, and to raise our children and in part, our business growth in recent years has made it so. To materialize, a business concept requires vision, talent, and capital. There are a lot of moving parts, complications, and unpredictable hurdles. Now imagine bringing that business from concept to opening day utilizing an all-volunteer staff and needing to motivate a whole community to own it. That has been the East Aurora Co-op Market’s journey over the last five and a half years. I have lived here all my life and I have never seen such an incredible community effort. Their work makes me both grateful and proud to have joined their team in June, as the Co-op’s general manager and first
This effort, no matter how great, could not succeed without the continuous, steady support of our community. As the East Aurora Co-op Market moves forward to build out our store, we thank all of you for your ongoing encouragement. It has helped us considerably and we are truly grateful.
To date, we are 1,161 member-owners strong and growing. Our goal is to have 1,500 by the time our doors open. Though all are welcome to shop at the Co-op, our member-owners are our foundation and we exist to serve them.
Like many start up cooperatives across the country, we have experienced our share of challenges along the way. Working together with you, we have met each of them. One of the most recent hurdles has been our construction schedule. As you may know, we have been delayed due to latent building defects found during demolition. We were forced to halt our construction for many weeks while those conditions were studied, and a way forward was discerned. Over the last week, that work has begun. We plan to have a more solid sense of our opening date in the next three weeks, when the repairs are completed.
While we continue to build the physical Co-op, we invite you to learn about and help us build on the philosophy behind it. Please join us on Saturday, October 17 at 11 a.m. at the Aurora Theatre for a sneak peak into the culmination of our work together. Along with Lexington Cooperative Market, Bread Hive Worker Cooperative Bakery, and Great Erie Federal Credit Union, we will present Food for Change, a provocative film that offers great insight into the immense value a food cooperative will bring to our community. At the screening, you will be able to talk with some of the co-ops that thrive right here in WNY. They have played, and will continue to play, an integral part in our story. Come by to meet them, ask questions, and try some of their products. Attendees will also have a chance to enter a free raffle for a number of local products. We hope to see you there and be sure to bring a friend!
Thank you again for your support in making East Aurora a great place to live. Go Co-op!