OK, here's the plan

OK, here's the plan

When I first began my work with Re:Vision, the Westwood Food Co-op site was essentially the remnants of an old junkyard. There was a giant warehouse made of scrap metal, stocked full of more scrap metal and strange debris.

For the last few months, I have written you newsletters and updates that put a lot of emphasis on the grocery side of the Westwood Food Co-op; finding the right products and producers, and the journey of testing these products through La Tiendita. That’s because this market is a really big deal! For the first time ever there’s going to be a grocery store in Westwood that is owned and operated by the community it serves.

First Member Meeting! (Updated)

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE! 

Cooperative ownership is all about each member having a voice--a vote in the decisions, a say in the process, and a place in the community. And next week you will have your first real opportunity to use that voice - face to face with your peers and co-members. Thursday on July 23rd, from 6-8 pm, we are having our very first Westwood Food Co-op General meeting, in the very space that will soon be transformed into our community grocery store. Again, here is what you need to know to attend:

General Membership Meeting
Why: To learn what it means to be a member-owner and how to get involved 
Where: 3738 Morrison. Rd. Denver, CO 80219
When: Thursday, July 23rd from 6pm-8pm

At this big gathering you will learn more of what it means to be a part of the Westwood Food Co-op. This includes how we elect board members, how we collectively make decisions, and what you can do to build a solid foundation for our collectively owned cooperative grocery store. The meeting is also a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow co-members and to see what kind of incredible people you will be partnering with for years to come. We will also have some food to snack on during the meeting!

We will also be hosting A community design meeting on Thursday, July 16th 4-7m and on July 30th from 9am to 12pm (no need to attend both meetings!) These meetings are a place for you— the building blocks of the Westwood Food Co-op— to come together, to give feedback to the design team (hurray Studiotrope!), and to share your ideas for the building-to-be. This experienced team wants to hear what YOU, as members of this community and co-op, have to say. How cool is that?

So come on by and bring your best ideas.


Update

A huge thanks to those who came out to our first community design meeting on July 16th! We had 40 - 50 folks attend! Participants were able to lend their voice and vote to questions ranging from how they would get to the property (bike, car, walk, etc.) to what components of the plaza area were most important to them (fountain, kid play area, seating, lighting, etc.). The summary of results is not available yet, however it will be presented for feedback at the second community design meeting.

Announcement regarding the second community design meeting: the time has changed!  We will now be meeting from 5:30-8pm on Thursday, July 30th. Same day, different time. We mentioned before that there is no need to attend this meeting if you attended the one on the 16th. However, we were incorrect! We want you there! We will be asking different questions that build on the first meeting and want as many members there as possible. 

Another reminder is that THIS THURSDAY, July 23rd we will be having our very first general membership meeting in the soon-to-be co-op space. Again, here is what you need to know to attend:

General Membership Meeting
Why: To learn what it means to be a member-owner and how to get involved 
Where: 3738 Morrison. Rd. Denver, CO 80219
When: Thursday, July 23rd from 6pm-8pm

We are excited to see these ideas begin to materialize and look forward to hearing your input this week!

How to Recruit Your Neighbors

So you're excited about the Westwood Food Co-op. You're in. You're sold. And now you're wondering, "How do I get involved? What's next?" Well, we believe that good gifts are meant to be shared, which is why we are asking YOU as a fellow building block of this endeavor, to tell your neighbors. So here are some useful hints and tools to help you share and foster excitement around the Westwood Food Co-op. 

Facebook

Did you know that you have your own Facebook group? This is a great platform to see what's happening on ground floor day to day, and to contribute your own thoughts and ideas. You can also invite your friends to join the group. Check it out!  

E-mail

Send your friends an e-mail with a short blurb on the Westwood Food Co-op and why they should be a part of it.  Here is a great template that you can  e-mail or post in your own Facebook account:  

We're all growing a movement in Denver, CO, and we want you to join us.

We are part of Re:Vision, a non-profit that partners with neighborhoods like Westwood in Denver, CO - to train resident leaders, to grow community food systems, and to build self-sufficient economies. Since starting our work in 2007, we have become one of the largest urban gardening programs in the country, with a network of 400 active backyard gardens and 12 resident leaders (called Promotoras). After building this community base, We partnered with Westwood to build the Westwood Food Co-op (WFC) the first cooperative grocery store in Denver of its kind, one that is owned and operated by a community living in a food desert.

So venga! Come, join us, become a member, volunteer, and grow something absolutely wonderful.

Storytelling 

Word of mouth is the best way to spread the news--your voice is powerful! Invite friends over for a meal and tell them about the Westwood Food Co-op. You can use some of the fresh fruits and veggies from the CSA to showcase the benefits of being a member (Reminder: you can still order your AVOG CSA share. There are 16 weeks of fresh produce available this season!) Show them this video of the property!  Tell your own story of how you got involved in Westwood and what it means to you. Here is what you can say:

The Westwood Food Cooperative (WFC) will be a full-service grocery store in Denver, CO that is owned and operated by community members. It will be one of the first grocery stores of its kind, providing communities living in a food desert access to affordable and healthy food. And starting this June, membership is open!

Why join? Do you want to see a grocery store open in Westwood? Do you want to become a member-owner of a business that truly values and reflects the community it serves? Do you want a place to shop for your food that features authentically grown, fresh, healthy produce with a Latin vibe? Invest with us today. 

Become a member-owner, and join the movement.

The WFC operations and products reflect deep community values through working primarily with Colorado’s rural farmers, partnering with other cooperative services, and providing a space where food can be grown by the community, for the community.

How many people have you told about the Westwood Food Co-op? What are you doing to grow YOUR neighborhood grocery store? Share your recruitment stories with us!