On June 12, the East Aurora Cooperative Market held a member-owner event at Aurora Brew Works on Main Street.
Called “Suds ‘n Buds,” current member-owners were encouraged to invite a non-member to the event so they might learn more about the co-op and consider joining as well.
With nearly 40 in attendance, by the end of the evening, the membership bell had rung four times, bringing co-op member-ownership to 750. Several others stated their intentions to join as well.
“Our events geared toward growing member-owners have been successful in the past, and this one was no different,” said Peg Potter, East Aurora Co-op events and outreach coordinator. “It really feels like we’re hitting our stride in terms of awareness, and it’s getting easier to share our message.”
The co-op’s next membership goal is 800, which is an important threshold for launching the third and final stage in the “four cornerstones in three stages” development plan.
Member-ownership is the backbone of the cooperative business model, which is democratic by nature. Member-owners have a voice in the way the business is run, voting for policy changes and participating in an annual election of the co-op’s board of directors.
A one-time cost of $200, membership may be paid at once or through an eight-payment plan. Once the store is open, member-owners get special discounts and promotions, and once profitable will be eligible to participate in a patronage dividend program.