Post Number: 650
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 5:04 pm: || |
It would be a very time consuming process but there is such a demand for such a place in the D. Although the last co-op had its problems it was successful for many years when the corridor was much less populated. I know that there are many within the community who would like to see this happen.
(Message edited by urbanoutdoors on December 06, 2007)
Post Number: 483
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 5:20 pm: || |
That is a fantastic idea! I think that the DEGC would support it. Make sure you have a focus on locally grown food. What are the first steps?
Post Number: 266
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 5:21 pm: || |
Is the Cass Food Co-op completely dead? No hope of returning?
Post Number: 1520
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 6:16 pm: || |
There's one of these in Hyde Park in Chicago, and it's pretty much agreed to be the worst excuse for a grocery store ever. I'd be hesitant, based on that.
Post Number: 651
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 6:33 pm: || |
I am not saying that an all member run co-op is the way to go. There are many different types of co-ops and that what type of coop is right for the area is what could come out of the findings. There is a huge need for organic produce as well as the many other services that a co-op can provide. These other value grocers provide a service but they do not satisfy the need for natural foods within the city limits.
Post Number: 486
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 6:37 pm: || |
The Ann Arbor food co-op is pretty cool...
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 6:46 pm: || |
i used to work at the co-op when it was on cass and peterboro. i didn't know it had closed but i guess i'mnot surprised. the last time i stopped in it was in a larger space but had an empty depressed atmosphere about it.
Post Number: 1678
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 6:49 pm: || |
When people can use money to pay in instead of labor, it changes the dynamic a lot. Sure, there are lots of ways to run a co-op, but they change the way it's done. Ideally, this is where people who've contributed to a co-op one way or another chime in with their points of view...
Post Number: 3193
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 10:21 pm: || |
Hows about a co-op automobile company?
y'all could kill two threads with one stone that way
Post Number: 134
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 8:27 am: || |
I really identify with this idea, anyone interested in setting up a live meeting to discuss it?
Post Number: 1188
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 9:20 am: || |
I would encourage you to contact people who were involved with the last co-op to learn what worked for the, what did not, etc. Also, I would reach much, much further than this forum in your search for interested parties to being the planning process.
Post Number: 73
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 10:48 am: || |
Focusonthed, That Hyde Park store was once one of two. Now, that store is preparing to close too. Food Co-Ops are bad ideas.
I was in town for Thanksgiving and was pleasantly surprised at how much the Spartan brand has helped the smaller stores. There has to be more than a few Spartan-backed grocery stores taking a good look at the Downtown area.
Post Number: 1679
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 11:27 am: || |
Now, why are food co-ops bad ideas again? A recent study described Detroit as a "food desert." It seems, with food options often limited to gas stations and party stores, any infusion of fresh whole food into a city would be a welcome change, chain or co-op. And I sense excitement for new ideas in the area, including the revamp of Eastern Market and the success of even on-again, off-again farmers' markets in NW Detroit.
Post Number: 74
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 12:29 pm: || |
They are generally bad ideas for urban areas.
The real question is: If the Cass Co-Op closed how could another Co-Op succeed?
Co-Ops can't compete with chains on things like meats and vegetables unless those chains are far away (a bit farther out than Southfield.) The quality just isn't there. You would think, given the choice, that going down the block would trump driving 15 minutes to the nearest chain store. The "food desert" moniker will probably hang around until a chain store opens or a Spartan-backed store invested in the area.
Both Hyde Park Co-Ops and a Co-Op in University Park near me closed as a result of soaring debt. Once there are empty shelves in a Co-Op it's just a matter of time.
Post Number: 1680
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 12:39 pm: || |
I asked why they are bad ideas, though. I know a friend who is a member of an active food co-ops in Brooklyn, New York, and she says it's doing well. I had heard that the Cass Corridor food co-op closed after a poorly managed expansion plan that saddled them with excessive debt. Sounds to me as though co-ops do make poor decisions sometimes, but that doesn't make them bad ideas in and of themselves.
I get the sense that you're satisfied with what chains can offer, which, right now, is no chain supermarket whatsoever in a city where as many as 1/3 of the residents don't own the cars that will take them the miles they need to drive. Is that a good idea? I don't think that's very encouraging, frankly.
Rather than hope for chains to solve their problems, some people choose to combine into co-ops. I think we should welcome any new source of fresh food in the city.
Post Number: 75
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 1:04 pm: || |
I'd never say that status quo for Detroit is good! But I'm saying that bad business models don't work twice.
Again. My point is Co-Ops in urban areas generally don't work because there is no fail-over when either management screws up something or employees steal or just don't show up (like at the Cass Co-Op.) There is no chain of stores to lean on. There is no supplier relationship.
That being said there will always be an exception to any argument. But, is Brooklyn really the exception? I know nothing of this store and how it's run but it's probably safe to say that Brooklyn, with its density, and its proximity to jobs definitely isn't Detroit by a long shot.
Post Number: 1681
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 1:27 pm: || |
Ummm, I don't think it's a bad business model so much as it's a business. Some businesses fail, some do well.
If you were to judge by failure, though, the chains have failed Detroit, big-time, by any measure. There are zero big grocery chains in Detroit right now, and that's a fact. And that's why, increasingly, it seems like looking to them for solutions is the "bad idea for urban areas."
Post Number: 351
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 3:32 pm: || |
I know a friend who is a member of an active food co-ops in Brooklyn, New York, and she says it's doing well.
As a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, I can tell you it is doing exceptionally well. In fact, a quality chain like Whole Foods was intimidated to open in the area because of the popularity of our coop. The PS Food Coop, I've heard, does something like $13 million a year in gross sales. Can't confirm that but it sounds right, judging from the generally long lines you find there. Also it is the largest member-owned food coop in the country. (Only Members can shop there.) They are a model-coop and have offered consulting for other coops around the country. I know there were other Food Coops start-ups in Brooklyn, but I haven't heard anything about them in years.
The PS Food Coop started in 1973, just offering fresh produce and has gradually expanded to its current size of some 13,000 members. I've been a member for ten years or so and I find that it all depends on who your Squad Leader is for your shift. Like most things, things were friendlier when there was a smaller membership, but I work a shift with a couple of friends and it makes all the difference. Great food, but not cheap as practically everything is organic and top quality. Their pricing is wholesale plus 20%. Definitely, a plus for the neighborhood.
Post Number: 383
|Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 1:17 am: || |
New Day Co-op?
I'll take Prop Joe's position!
Post Number: 61
|Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 6:33 am: || |
Are co-ops limited to food stores? I would be interested in a co-op that dabbles in electronics. As far as I know there's only one electronic store in Detroit (Radio Shack on Woodward).
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 10:01 am: || |
I don't think an electronics coop would work--people don't buy electronics often enough to spend time running an electronics store, and the competition from the Internet is just too tough--CompUSA is liquidating because they can't compete, and Tweeter went bankrupt. Radio Shack isn't doing very well.
I think a food co-op has a lot better chance of working.
Post Number: 1684
|Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2007 - 4:36 pm: || |
Thanks for the input, XD. That's where my friend is a member!
Post Number: 1308
|Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2007 - 11:11 pm: || |
Won’t Work for Food
Horror stories of the country’s largest member-owned cooperative grocery store
By Diane Mehta
When my husband and I moved from Manhattan to Park Slope, Brooklyn, last year, people would inevitably ask, “So, are you going to cave in and join the Coop?” They meant the Park Slope Food Coop, the largest member-owned and -operated co-op in the country. Something between an earthy-crunchy health food haven and a Soviet-style reeducation camp, the Coop offered great groceries at low prices but required its members to work in the store for the privilege of shopping there. No way were we joining.
But I soon found that Park Slope, a yuppified, leafy neighborhood 20 minutes from downtown Manhattan, was a wasteland when it came to perishables.[read the full article and reader's comments]
The article itself is a hoot, but the reader's comments provide a valuable insight into the pros and cons of belonging to a food coop.
Post Number: 137
|Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 2:44 pm: || |
Maybe those that want to debate the Park Slope Food Co-op could start a thread in Non-Detroit.
Co-ops, like any other business, restaurant, non-profit, or even church fail. However, many people that choose to make a life in Detroit have determination, optimism, energy, and a belief that perseverance can result in success where others have only found failure.
Post Number: 2247
|Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 12:53 am: || |
The Ypsilanti Food Co-op likely has similar demographics to Midtown (Midtown might have better demos now) and they are doing record business. Their prices are quite competitive with the chains and it's very clean and well run. A well-run co-op can do very well in urban locations.