And the Winner is…The Mustard Seed!

The Mustard Seed wins the National Co-op Challenge!

A huge thank you to all our members and supporters for helping us rise to the top in the National Co-op Challenge! We had the most votes of any co-op in our region. We already received our $25,000 cheque from The Co-operators Insurance, the co-op that organizes this annual contest to help emerging and expanding co-ops.  What are we going to do with all that money? Well, right now we have a whole lot of refrigeration, and lighting, and kitchen equipment to buy. This extra boost has allowed us to buy more energy-efficient equipment, which will save us money and the planet’s resources in the years ahead. It also helps us open our doors sooner and keep costs lower for our members.

An amazing team of Volunteers!

We could not have won the National Co-op Challenge without an amazing group of volunteers.  In particular, we would like to thank everyone involved in making this video – even if you didn’t make it into this 90-second version.  In particular, thanks to our production team of Board member Sarah Botham (producer/writer), Jonathon & Ashleigh Patterson (filming/editing), and Jenn Friesen (narrator) from our Membership Action Team for volunteering hundreds of hours to create a very professional video!

What is the National Co-op Challenge?

NatCoopChallengeThe National Co-op Challenge was created in 2012 to engage Canadians in supporting emerging and expanding co-ops across Canada.  Funded by The Co-operators, the format reflects co-ops’ commitment to democratic control of their organizations by their members.  The sixteen finalists chosen from amongst the national applicants each created a short video to share how their co-operative can impact their community. After a month-long online voting period, two co-ops in each region win $25,000, enabling them to expand their businesses.

+ A $25,000 Grant from the Hamilton Future Fund!

Not only were we recognized nationally, we were also recognized in our community from the Hamilton Future Fund with a $25,000 grant! The mission of the Hamilton Future Fund is:

To preserve and manage a permanent, self-sustaining fund (the Hamilton Future Fund) as a lasting legacy for current and future generations of Hamiltonians to enjoy economic prosperity, enhanced social fabric, and enhanced community life.

We are very thankful that the Board of Governors has recognized our vision for social change with this grant! As an engine for local food & agricultural development, we believe The Mustard Seed will pay back to the community with this innovative capital many times over.

We are very excited to have received these two grants, and look forward to all that this will bring in the months ahead!

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