Durham Co-op Market/2013/03/12

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This was received as an email sent to DCM's opt-in mailing list on 2013-03-12 and archived here.

Some links have been added for reference purposes.


Dear Durham Central Market Owner,

We are excited to report our progress towards the opening of Durham Central Market! We have a location, plans for ground-breaking and are projecting an opening date!

Durham will have a co-operative grocery store again!

At our annual meeting in November, we let you know about the possibility of a partnership with Self-Help Ventures. In line with the City of Durham’s long-term plans for revitalizing the historic area around the West Chapel Hill Street corridor, SHV is seeking to develop the corner of Kent and West Chapel Hill Streets with an office building (whose first floor could in time become retail space), with ample parking, green space, and a 10,000 square foot building for lease to Durham Central Market. With the approval of our owners, we followed through on our explorations, and are happy to report that we have recently signed the Letter of Intent to occupy this space!

This is not the marriage, but the engagement announcement. The Letter of Intent spells out the general terms of the proposed long-term lease. We hired Dakota Worldwide to study the site and give us sales projections, and our financial projections indicate that with the support offered by SHV, the site should be successful.

The agreement will place our new store in a prominent location, less than half of a mile from the Chapel Hill Street exit of the Durham Freeway, an artery that many use for their daily commute. Situated right at a bus stop, convenient to downtown Durham and Duke, and nearby to neighborhoods such as West End, Burch Avenue, Lakewood, Morehead Hill, Duke Forest and Forest Hills, we believe it will serve our vision—to contribute to the development of Durham’s community—in ways we did not originally envision. For example, the new site is almost contiguous to the Pauli Murray historic area, and right down the street from The Cookery, the location of our predecessor co-operative. While many of us continue to be disappointed we have not been able to build an initial store in North Central Durham, we are positively excited about the possibilities offered by this location, and by our partnership with SHV.

We will need your help to get from here to our opening. SHV will contribute significantly to the cost of developing the store, and we have over $400 thousand in the bank, invested by our owners. We will need to raise additional funds from a number of sources, including another $700 thousand from our community. This is an investment in our community that yields a triple bottom line. The dividends are economic, ecological and social. You can help make it happen by sharing this vision with your neighbors and participating in DCM community investment efforts.

Here is what we are asking of current owners:

  • Read our monthly newsletters. We will keep you abreast of our progress, events and ideas.
  • Attend events we sponsor. This is a great way to meet the Board and participate in the network of friends centered around a dedication to having healthy food available to all people, with an emphasis on local farmers and products.
  • Volunteer to help with events. These are food and friend-centered events, and as a volunteer you have even more fun. There are a number of events coming up, including the 4th Annual Family Farm Day at Elodie Farms on April 7th. You can register your general interest in serving as a volunteer or respond to specific opportunities by writing to Judy Stafford at volunteerspam@spamdurhamcentralmarketspam.spamorg
  • Consider becoming a Board member. We currently have three vacancies. We are particularly interested in people who can bring their retail, farming, marketing, financial and/or legal experience to our Board.
  • Tell your friends about it! We have a regular table at the Durham Farmer's Market where folks can stop by, chat, and become members. The forms are also available on-line at our website.
  • Place some of your investments into Durham Central Market's preferred stock. An investment in local food and employment in your own town is one of the best long term investments you can make.
  • Come to the special owners meeting we will schedule in early May.

Finally, we thank you, Durham Central Market Owners, one and all, for being part of this venture. As owners in a food co-operative, your voice and thoughts matter. We look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

The Board of Directors
Durham Central Market
Preliminary rendering of potential Durham Central Market store viewed from W. Chapel Hill St. Courtesy of DTW Architects and Planners, Ltd.