Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Veggie Wednesday: The Lehigh Valley Food Co-op

Did you know there was a food co-op in the works for the Lehigh Valley? Good stuff, isn't it? I am reprinting here (with permission) the most recent email from the LVFC Board of Directors. If you're interested in a food co-op here, or you know of someone who is, please take a moment and read this through. Thanks!

Hello All,

We, the Board of Directors, have been working hard to get the Lehigh Valley Food Co-op up and running. We apologize for the length of this letter, but there is a lot of ground to cover. Some good things are about to happen!


1) A Change of Strategy

2) Our Model

3) How it will work

4) How you can help

1) A Change of Strategy

For several reasons we have decided to change strategies. Rather than pursue an immediate opening of a storefront, we believe it wiser and more fiscally-responsible to take things one step at a time. What does that mean? The opening of a virtual farmers’ market where members can order online and pick up healthy and local food at a site near their home.

Do we still want a storefront? Absolutely. Why then are we not attempting to open one immediately? First of all, it would mean at least six more months of work before any storefront opens its doors. Secondly, with the economy in its present state and considering that we have a widely-dispersed membership, we think it better to begin at a point that will not put us in a significant amount of debt. Lastly, it has always been a part of our vision to service the entire Lehigh Valley; the virtual farmers’ market is a way to do that.

2) Our Model

The model we intend to imitate can be found at This model will help us establish relationships with our members and our member-producers while we raise capital for a physical store-front. Check it out and let us know what you think. We are retooling our business plan to include this model. We are working on our website to include a shopping cart; we anticipate that it will be up and running by the end of February.

3) How it will work

Members will be able to order once per week online through the Virtual Farmers' Market. Each Producer will have their place on the website for members to shop. We aim to have Fruits, Veggies, Meat, Poultry/eggs, Dairy, Bulk Foods, Personal care products, Household/paper goods, and Artisan items. Purchased items will be delivered weekly to an operation center in Macungie. They will be separated according to member and drop-off site. Members will pick up their food from a choice of several pick-up sites, located across the Lehigh Valley. We aim to make this convenient for people's work schedules. For those who cannot pick up their orders, we hope to allow for a direct drop-off (home delivery), albeit with some extra charge.

4) How you can help

Take a survey!

As we would like this part of the Co-op to be representative of your wants and needs, please take this survey about the Virtual Farmers’ Market:

Donations are now tax-deductible!

We have been approved by the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Sustainable Communities to have them be our fiscal agent for like-minded sustainable community efforts. The Alliance has agreed to oversee grants and tax-deductible donations given to the Lehigh Valley Food Co-op that are aligned with their purpose.

Drop-off Locations!

If you know of a place that would like to be a drop-off location, we would like to know!

Lastly, we welcome anyone with time or ideas to share.

Thanks for your patience,

The Board of Directors
Lehigh Valley Food Co-op

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