News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 6, 2013

Terre Foods just 80 member-owners away from mark needed to open

TERRE HAUTE — Eighty more member-owners are needed before Terre Foods reaches the magic number of 600.

As of Saturday morning’s farmers market in the Clabber Girl Marketplace, the member-owned retail grocery store had received its 520th membership, said Milli Hoffman-Patrick of membership committee.

She hopes that soon, the cooperative market will reach the 600-member mark it needs to acquire a bank loan and 800 members by the store opening date, now anticipated for mid-2014.

“This is an opportunity for us to meet with new people in the community who want to sign up,” steering committee member Holly Hudson said.

The group finished its Countdown to Co-op! membership drive on April 30 and surpassed the 500 member-owner goal that was set. Purchasing a $200 equity share gives members a right to vote on the board of directors, reduced prices and discounts.

Steering committee member Jim Speer said that reaching the 600-member mark will prompt serious discussions with local banks about funding the new grocery. The Terre Foods board is tuned in to the local property market, he said, and while no location for the co-op has been determined, the board hopes to locate the store downtown, which has been designated a “food dessert” because of the lack of retail grocery operations there.

The goals of Terre Foods include providing organic and local food and natural household products, bulk spices and grain, and education and resources about eating locally and naturally.

Some of the current downtown farmers market vendors have already expressed interest in supplying their products at a Terre Foods store, Speer said.

While the public can purchase a membership by going online to www.terrefoods.org, Hudson said the group plans to have an online computer set up at its farmers market booth this summer so that people in the community who want to sign up for membership can do that before leaving the event.

Terre Foods will have a booth at the summer market every Saturday, and is now gearing up for the annual Blueberry Festival on July 11 at Central Presbyterian Church on North Seventh Street. The public is invited to that event to purchase locally grown produce, foods and products, as well as bowls of blueberries.

For more information about Terre Foods and its future plans, go online to www.terrefoods.org.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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