In honor of National Co-op month, SunCoast Market Co-op is running a month long education and ownership growth campaign. SunCoast Market is a 100% community-owned grocery store that will open in Imperial Beach. They will provide fresh and healthy items, while making it easier to buy local and organically grown foods. Grocery co-ops have been a part of the national grocery landscape for decades with a recent resurgence of new co-ops opening across the country. Because they are locally owned, they provide more jobs, benefit the local economy, and they also focus on community education, inclusion, and are quick to respond to the local needs. For example, during the initial stay at home orders, SunCoast quickly started a curbside fresh produce pick up in Imperial Beach. They also plan to offer a Healthy Staples program where everyday food staples are offered at reduced pricing.
While the store will be open to all, opening the doors is reliant on households purchasing ownership shares for $200 with a $10 per month payment plan option. As a shareholder, owners vote and can run for the board of directors, have a voice in the direction of the store, and when it opens, participate in profit sharing through in store discounts and rebates. With 573 current owner shareholders, SunCoast has begun looking for a store location in Imperial Beach. The next goal is 700 owners before proceeding with a lease agreement and 1200 owners before opening day. The store is funded through share purchases, grants, donations, and loans, with fundraising set to launch mid-2021.
Ownership growth has slowed during the coronavirus pandemic. Since many local families are financially impacted, SunCoast launched an Ownership Assistance Program for those experiencing financial hardship, $100 of the share purchase is covered by donations. To support this project, learn more and become a shareholder at www.suncoastmarket.coop