Blog Index
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Friday
Feb282014

WE ARE OPEN!!!!

Purple Porch Co-op is now a daily grocery in downtown South Bend.  We are open Monday through Saturday 7am-7pm.

We will continue to have our Wednesday market that is 100% local.  You may place an order through our online ordering system - or just stop in any time.

While we are financially supported by Member-owners, ALL are welcome to shop.  We hope that you will consider joining as a Member-owner.  But do come in and shop.

Thursday
Nov212013

Last appeal to help Purple Porch open the store!!

UPDATE (1/10/14): The graph below was created on 11/21/13.  The current need is at 4%. 

 Need a clearer view of this chart?  Try the PDF version.

Hello friend of Purple Porch Co-op

Believe it or not, it will cost $363,000 to open the Purple Porch Co-op Store at 123 N Hill Street.

The good - no, great - news is that we have over 90% of the money already! Construction is well underway.

Hundreds of our friends have helped. We are so inspired by their/your conviction that this is an important move for South Bend!

But we still need that last 9%. That’s about $32,000. We hope to get half ($17,000) in Food Credit (scrip) and donations, and half ($15,000) in Member-owner loans.

Could you please find a way to help? It will be OUR store - responding to OUR needs and keeping money in OUR community. The profits are shared by all Member-owners. This helps keep local farmers, committed to sustainability, earning a livelihood. And the food is fantastic!

We hope to open the store in January, along with our cafe (recently named "Cafe Max"), and will be open six days a week.

If you can help out, please do let us know right away!

And, whatever you do: Shop at Purple Porch! Spread the word! Come by and look at the progress of OUR CO-OP!

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Susan Blum
Vice President and Loan Coordinator
Purple Porch Co-op
sblum@nd.edu

Friday
Sep202013

Contract Signed - Construction to Start

Happy to report - The Purple Porch Co-op board approved a contract and it has been signed!  Ancon Construction will begin work next Tuesday (September 24).  So, when you come on Wednesday to pick up your food, you will likely see some progress.

Thursday
Aug292013

Open the Purple Porch Store! 

(Secret Code Name: Get Us Inside Before Our Veggies Freeze!)

 

Thanks to the confidence of the South Bend community, in early September we are starting the renovations of the exterior of the store that will provide a full-time, full-service grocery store in the East Bank Village, stocked with local produce, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, baked goods, and more!
 
Now we need to finish raising funds so that we can complete Phase II—renovations of the interior. Our contractor is Ancon Construction—a 100% employee-owned local company that has been working with us to design the building. Kil Architecture has been involved from the start as well.
 
For this to happen, in September we need:

  • $30,000 in Member-Loans—now accepting loans at the $500 level. (Larger loans will help us reach our goal faster, of course.)
  • $15,000 from a Kickstarter campaign (details next week)
  • Members to buy equipment when you order online
  • Members to “Round Up for the Co-op” when you pay on Wednesdays and Saturdays

If you planned to make a loan but have been hesitating, now is the time! If you have made a pledge but not written the check, the moment for action is now!
 
If you cannot help in any of these ways, please keep shopping at the Co-op and keep telling friends, family, and neighbors about us. Every form of involvement helps get fair, local, delicious, sustainable food to our community, and keeps the economic benefits local.

Thursday
Aug152013

We're On Our Way!

Monday
Aug052013

Purple Porch Has Met Phase I Member-Loan Goal - We're on Our Way!

The Purple Porch Co-op has met our member-loan goal of $100,000! Thanks to member-owners' enthusiasm and generosity, we will use these loans to begin renovation of our store at 123 N. Hill within the next several weeks!  A two-phase approach...

Phase I

With member-loans of $100,000 and a $25,000 grant from Downtown South Bend, we will begin almost immediately to replace the leaky roof, enhance the facade, and create a special entrance with a living roof.

Markets will continue outside on Wednesdays and Saturdays during construction.

Phase II

Phase II will complete renovations of the interior of the building. We expect our full-time store to open this fall, complete with foods prepared in the kitchen, coffee to get you started, a salad bar to show off the seasonal bounty, and more.

Details about the fundraising for Phase II will come soon.

Meanwhile, we are completing our calls to every Co-op member-owner in Indiana to talk about our plans and to seek loans from those member-owners in a position to make a loan. 
There will be other ways member-owners and well-wishers can contribute, too.
We aim to complete Phase II fundraising in time to continue the Phase II renovations smoothly from Phase I. Stay tuned for updates.

Celebrate!

Celebrate our collective accomplishment this Wednesday (August 7) with your fellow cooperators--and treats!

We're On Our Way

We are thrilled that so many of you have supported our plans to be a central part of the transformation and development of the East Bank Village and downtown South Bend.

Thanks to you, and to our callers, and to our Board, and the member-loan committee, we are on our way!

Your co-op friend,
Susan

Susan Blum
Member-Loan Coordinator and Vice President, Board of Directors
Purple Porch Co-op
Friday
Jun212013

Loan Campaign Deadline approaching

An important message to Member-Owners about the loan campaign.  NOTE: this is directed only toward Member-owners that live in the State of Indiana.  Opportunities for out-of-staters to come soon.

We want to thank the twenty-some member-owners who have already stepped up to help us with our member-loan campaign. Thanks to you, we are nearly 60% of the way toward our initial goal.

But we want to remind the rest of you that our deadline of June 30 is fast approaching.  

If you have been planning to send us a loan: the moment has arrived!

If you have not sent in your pledge form – please do so today.  If you've misplaced it, follow this link for another copy! If you have never received information about the loan program please let us know.  

Our callers have been a little behind but we are getting ready to call most of you to make sure you have all the information you need about the loans and the renovations, and to answer any questions you might have.

If you prefer an email exchange, please feel free to email us at the addresses listed below.

We certainly understand that not everyone is in a position to provide a loan at this time.  We dorespect that.  But those that are able – we do hope that you will send in your pledge form today.  If we can adequately finance this project with Member-owner loans, we are on our way to providing a beautiful place near downtown South Bend for quality, organic foods – and a daily market for our local producers’ produce, meats, eggs, dairy and value-added products.

What happens if we do not reach our goals by June 30?  It means that the project is delayed and thus the store opening is delayed.  The Co-op is relying on you – Member-owners – to do what is needed to avoid delays and take ownership of this business. 

New Information:

Our goals for a cooperative grocery store in downtown South Bend remain the same.  However, the Board of Directors has come to a new realization that the lending institutions view the Co-op as a startup with very little collateral.  In a quick nutshell, the Co-op will not be able to acquire a traditional business loan from a bank or credit union at this phase. 

In response, the Building Committee has been working hard to alter the scope of the project – reducing costs while maintaining the integrity of the project.  Likewise, our need for Member-owner loans has increased.  The glass is “half-full” – By relying more on Member-owner loans and not at all on traditional bank loans, we actually improve our business in the long run.  There is more work involved with acquiring the necessary funds, but there will be lower immediate debt payments (a good thing).

Your timeliness on providing a loan is important for several reasons:

  1. We can't start the renovation until we have all of the cash in hand.
  2. We want the renovation completed in time to show off the local bounty of late summer and early autumn harvest--in OUR STORE!
  3. The DTSB $25,000 matching grant requires us to have the façade completed by September 1.  It is all very doable.  The contractor is ready to be given the go-ahead and get the work done.  But the $25K will be reimbursed at completion – that means we need the funds up front.

If you have already provided a loan – thank you again for getting us on a good start.  And please help spread the word of this opportunity for member-owners to make a community investment.

This message is sent on behalf of.....

The General Manager, The Board, The Member-Loan Committee, and The Callers!

Greg Koehler, General Manager, greg@purpleporchcoop.com

Tama Crisovan, Board President, tamacrisovan@yahoo.com

Susan Blum, Board Vice President and Member-Loan Coordinator, sblum@nd.edu

Wendy Betz-Chapman, Board Treasurer, betzchap@netzero.net

Chris Hebron, Board Director and Caller, hebronfarms@gmail.com

Matt Doppke, Board Director, matthew.j.doppke.3@nd.edu

Judy Shroyer, Board Director, Member-Loan Committee Member, Caller, judy.shroyer@gmail.com

Quinn Lathrop, Board Director, q_17@yahoo.com

Paige Risser, Member-Loan Committee Member

Myles Robertson, Former Board Director, Member-Loan Committee Member

David Hurley, Member-Loan Committee Member

Judy Wein, Caller

Krista Bailey, Caller

Jen Starks, Caller

Friday
May172013

IMPORTANT: PPC to change location starting June 15

We are very excited to announe that we will be using the parking lot of our new location at

123 N. Hill St.


for our Wednesday Market and our Summer Saturday Market.

  • Saturday 8am-noon starting June 15
  • Wednesday 5pm - 7pm starting June 19

In the meantime - Please continue picking up on Wednesdays at Langlab 1302 High St.

 

Tuesday
Apr302013

Member Loan Campaign Details

If you are a Member-owner, you should have received their loan packet in the mail recently.  We encourage you to head off the inevitable phone call and submit your pledge for a loan soon (paper or online).  If you have questions - rightfully so - please email or talk to one of our loan committee members at the co-op on a Wednesday 5-7pm.  They'd be happy to talk with you and explain the details of the program. 

If you're interested in providing a loan, but you're not a member-owner - there's your first step - We do need you to join as a member-owner first.  And secondly, you do need to reside in Indiana.  If you don't live in Indiana and don't plan on moving just for the sake of the Co-op, then please  know that there will be other opportunities to contribute financially (more info later).  But as you can imagine, there are some rather involved Federal laws that we don't want to fall under - and therefore we're sticking within the State. 

Friday
Apr052013

Member Loan Campaign

Keep your eyes on this space for the upcoming announcement of our member-loan campaign. The official launch will take place at the MEET THE 300 potluck on Saturday, April 13.

But in case you’re dying of curiosity, here’s a preview to whet your appetite:

You have probably figured out that we have to raise some money to renovate our building at Hill and Colfax. How, you might wonder, will this happen?

We’ll do it partly ourselves! Sure, we can borrow from a bank, and we’ll do that too. But this is OUR STORE, and it is OUR CO-OP, so we will LEND OURSELVES the money for the renovations.

Lenders will get an official note spelling out the terms of repayment, including interest rates.

From April 13 to June 30 we will be sending you information; calling; and sitting at LangLab on Wednesday evenings to answer questions. By June 30 we will have enough funds to get the place in spit-spot shape so we can open during the 2013 growing season.

From small seeds great things grow.

Grow here! Help us water our seed.

With excitement from,

The Member-Loan Committee
Susan Blum, Coordinator
David Hurley
Paige Risser
Myles Robertson
Judy Shroyer