FCFC raises $600,000, reaches funding goal

Alex Sirney -- May 19th, 2010

The Friendly City Food Co-op has raised the money needed to move forward with opening a local and organic grocery store at the corner of Wolfe and Mason streets.

The FCFC was required under the terms of its lease to raise $600,000 by May 20, but when the lease was signed in April the FCFC had only raised about $370,000. The FCFC passed the $600,000 mark on Tuesday and is still receiving member loans, Suzi Carter, the FCFC outreach coordinator said Wednesday.

The FCFC’s cooperative business structure gives it the ability to solicit loans from its members, and the $230,000 has been raised through a push for these member loans. Loans ranged from $1,000 to $94,000 under terms determined by the member lender – for 5 to 10 years, and from 0 to 4 percent interest. More than 16 percent of member households have participated in the loan program, which Carter said is higher than most cooperatives see from similar programs, and these micro-financed loans make it possible for the FCFC to move forward with design and rennovation at the downtown site.

Carter said that the FCFC has been working informally with Blue Ridge Architects and, after confirming with the property owners and primary lenders, will be able to move forward more formally.

“If everything goes as planned and permits are in place, we can open as early as January, 2011,” Carter said.

For now, though, Carter said she’s excited about the success and the FCFC has planned a celebration this Friday at the Blue Nile from 7:30 to 9:30. The event is free and open to the public, and the final fundraising total will be announced at 8:30.

4 Responses to “FCFC raises $600,000, reaches funding goal”

  1. Congratulations to all those involved in achieving this!

  2. Scott Rogers says:

    I am a member, though not a lender, and it has been amazing (and inspiring) to see how quickly our community has jumped on board over the last few months. Some exciting momentum seems to be building, and I’m sure the hundreds of people living downtown will be glad to have the FCFC so close by!

  3. kuato says:

    This is great news for Harrisonburg. I can’t wait for the FCFC to open its doors!

  4. Sam Nickels says:

    Little update for those still following these comments. As of Friday May 22, the co-op finished its big 30-day push to get the loans in. The goal of $600,000 was crushed as member owners brought in a whopping 644,393 in checks and another 27,000 in firm commitments, for a total of $671,393.

    Now we will be moving ahead with hiring a General Manager, taking surveys from members about what YOU want in store products and services, then on to finishing the design work and store buildout. Hope to open by Jan 2011.

    Haven’t joined? Please do so now. Community members can also continue to make loans at up to 4% interest, for a 10 year term. The more member loans we have, the less we’ll spend on additional regular higher-cost financing over the next few years. For more info, go to our website: http://www.FriendlyCityFoodCoop.com

    Sam Nickels
    Chair, Member Loan Campaign
    Board Member
    Friendly City Food Cooperative, Inc.

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