Members of The Mustard Seed Co-op are owners, and with ownership comes the responsibility to help build our common goal of a sustainable local food business.
Our Co-op carries a debt of $400,000 in startup capital, money that was originally loaned thanks to the generosity of close to 75 members along with the Hamilton Community Foundation and other partners. Now that we have passed our five year mark, we realized we need some extra help to pay off this debt outside of day to day operations of our Co-op. Some of our superstar members had already registered for membership renewal through our voluntary renewal campaign, but in order meet our obligations to our lenders we need to make this a requirement for all members to maintain active member status. At a special member meeting on June 24, 2019 the Board of Directors announced that we will be asking all our members to help us with a plan to pay back our original member-lenders with a new annual membership renewal fee of $50. This annual investment entitles members to keep receiving Co-op Credits on all purchases, along with a range of new and broader member benefits (eg. bigger discounts, member-only special offers and events, etc.)
All Co-op members remain voting rights, but membership renewal qualifies active members for financial benefits including the 2% Co-op credits on all purchases, special member pricing, and discounts on workshops etc.
To maintain your active member status and receive these benefits, you will need to review your membership annually by September 30th (before our year end). You can renew your annual membership 3 ways:
- When you are next at the Co-op buying groceries
- By completing this form (download link)
- Online via Paypal:
You will need to renew your membership before September 30th, 2020 in order to continue your benefits for the upcoming fiscal year starting October 1st.
Annual membership renewal, together with regularly shopping the Co-op, are the two things that will move us to where we need to be financially.
A reminder of why The Mustard Seed Matters
The Mustard Seed opened its doors in 2014 with 1,200 members, which provided $120,000 in start-up capital. The remainder of the required $600,000 in capital came from our members in the form of loans and other lenders, including the Hamilton Community Foundation and Vancity. We now have over 2,750 members, but we need each members’ engagement to meet the business realities of tight margins and cash-flows in the grocery business. We strongly believe this is a path to financial sustainability for our Co-op.
We know our members love the Co-op and our membership has more than doubled since our doors opened. Our Co-op sells $2.1M in groceries each year. We support 230 local producers and farmers and sell local products and we know that our food comes from many of our friends and neighbours. We are a Co-op because we believe we can do more together than we could on our own. But we present you with this challenge: we need you to shop, renew, support. Together, we know we can ‘Beet the System!