After a long and arduous location search, The Mustard Seed Board of Directors is thrilled to announce our retail store location at 460 York Boulevard (Locke St.North & York Blvd.). We have leased a 4,000sf retail space that will ideally meet the needs of our growing membership, while benefiting our local and broader communities. We could not be more pleased that this space will become the home of The Mustard Seed Co-op.
An Ideal Location
460 York Blvd. has an ideal combination of the features most important for our co-operative grocery business.
The Mustard Seed’s members come from across the city and region, not just downtown Hamilton neighbourhoods, so we need to be convenient to access. 460 York has great visibility from all directions and 20+ parking spaces, there is a public transit stop in front, and it is within easy cycling and walking distance for hundreds of our member households downtown.
We have a physically accessible building without stairs so anyone can shop there. This was big challenge for most of the heritage buildings we toured.
The space is the right size – 4,000sf – with plenty of hydro capacity, sturdy floors, a walk-in cooler and a loading dock. With these features and an affordable lease rate, we have the room to stock the best products from our region while buying large enough quantities to achieve affordable pricing. The site is also zoned appropriately, and doesn’t need a lot of costly work to convert it to our uses.
Renovation Plans and Hands-on Volunteering
We take possession of the space October 14th – that’s less than a month away! Until then, you can check out the space on your own, but please be considerate of the current operators – and take home some of their available imported foods. Our Store Design Action Team includes members who work professionally in architecture, store layout, graphic design, and grocery retailing. Their plans will create the warm, welcoming space our members want for The Mustard Seed including exterior alterations, colour selections, lighting, equipment, signage, accessibility upgrades, kitchen designs, etc (read this previous post “Food Co-ops that Feel Like Home” for some of our inspirations). The rendering above represents what the store might look like from York Blvd. There is much to do to achieve our ambitious plan for a soft launch date before Christmas 2013. Do you want to get involved in making The Mustard Seed a physical reality? Why not spend a few hours volunteering with our Operations Team. Full details on the various projects will be posted shortly.
We need more Capital to open the Store!
We have already raised half of the $560,000 we need through membership fees, grants, and member loans. We thank The Hamilton Future Fund for a $25,000 grant towards capital purchases. We are working with First Ontario Credit Union and the Hamilton Community Foundation about providing social-impact financing to The Mustard Seed. We also could win another $25,000 from the Co-operators through The National Co-op Challenge, so please vote for us if you have not yet done so!
But we still need you – our members – to finance this business and get our doors open. Could you provide a direct personal loan to The Mustard Seed? Any amount over $1,000 is appreciated, and we will pay you a competitive interest rate. Check out www.mustardseed.coop/investing to find out more. Now that we have our location, we need this capital soon. Please contact our Finance Team today to discuss your options.
Mustard Seed members: congratulations and thank you for your patience throughout this location search! Now let’s make this co-op grocery store a reality together!