The momentum for the Portland Food Co-op started in the spring of 2006 in response to the loss of locally-owned grocery stores. Just a few people around a table with a collective vision emerged from shared interests, including: supporting the local economy, local farms and providing families with healthy, affordable food.
The first two years of our work focused largely on pulling together a group of community members who were committed to making the vision of a co-op a reality and laying the groundwork for the launch of the organization.
In June of 2008, we officially became incorporated under Maine’s cooperative statute and are working hard to bring a storefront co-op to the Portland community. Since that time, the Steering Committee for the co-op and buying club coordinators have managed the growth of the buying club while spending time envisioning the future of the Portland Food Co-op.
We moved in to the the Meg Perry Center in the Fall of 2008, which has been funded by the buying club’s purchasing as part of our overhead. As we grow, a new space will be needed, and we project a move sometime in September of 2010.
After completing near-final versions of our bylaws and policies, as well as finalized our first Board of Directors, we started a member-owner drive in February of 2010 with a goal of 150 member-owners by September os 2010, at which time we will be able to afford moving to our own rented space to continue growing the co-op and providing local and healthy foods to our community.