Making History

In the coming weeks, the San Clemente Community Market will be rolling out our member-ownership campaign.  Our goal is 1,500 member-owners by year-end, with an opening date in mid-2012.  In becoming a member-owner, you will be making history, as we will be the first cooperative grocery store in Orange County!

Much volunteer work has gone into this endeavor.  From community meetings and shopping surveys completed by 468 San Clemente residents, we’ve been working toward a community vision for a one-stop, centrally located, professionally staffed, grocery store in the range of 6,000 to 10,000 square feet.   San Clemente Community Market will specialize in providing local and organic produce; domestic organic meats and sustainably caught seafood.  Desired is a full kitchen, where staff will prepare nutritious whole food dishes, a full service deli, a children’s play area, a juice bar and a coffee bar.

Although the physical attributes of the store are still to be determined, what won’t change is our business model.  As a cooperative, the store will be democratically owned.  As a cooperative, store profits will be returned to you, the member-owner.   As a cooperative, you will have control over the products the store will carry for you.  As a cooperative, the store will provide trusted natural and organic foods from known local sources.  As a cooperative, the store will secure lower product pricing by being a member of the NCGA, a virtual chain of 160 stores with annual sales of $1.3 billion dollars.  As a cooperative, the store will not rely on marketing gimmicks, stock junk food, genetically modified food, artificial sweeteners, use packaging tricks, or other deceptive marketing techniques.

But with all of these benefits, the greatest part of a Cooperative is that it brings diverse people together for a positive and practical purpose, mutually benefiting all, and making our Community both healthier and economically stronger.

What will San Clemente Community Market physically look like?  We are not exactly sure yet, but if our cooperative store is a typical cooperative, it will reflect the personality of the Community from which it is borne.  We are excited to be one step closer to bringing the first cooperative in Orange County, borne of San Clemente.

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