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Press Release Jan 1, 2015

RE: Ideal Green Market Co-op

Barb Mann, Coordinator
Ideal Green Market
34988 Co Rd 39
Pequot Lakes, MN 56472

The Ideal Green Market Cooperative of Ideal Corners, is busy realizing a community dream, to provide access to local, sustainable and healthy food and products.  It began with a side comment three years ago by building owner Judy Kidder that the building could become the site of a food cooperative.  People heard, and the questions began, and the dream grew to incorporate more dreamers, community-wide.

They're ready for the next step, establishing a governing board.  A Steering Committee has met regularly since June 2014 and has established Articles of Incorporation, and the base of their By-laws.  Community members have cycled in and out and the core group, consisting of Ron and Judy Kidder, and John and Mary Plein, both couples of Ideal Corners, and Eleanor Rice, of Alder Song Farm in Merrifield, have been dedicated to fleshing out the dream and setting a base from which to grow the vision.  They are committed to products locally grown, non-GMO, organic, bulk goods, and environmentally responsible goods and practices. They've done the hard work of establishing a foundation. This will make it easier for the governing board to fine tune and implement the vision.  Once a governing board is established, the tasks of building membership investors can begin, which will hopefully lead to the opening of the food co-op.

To date, the group has coordinated a buyers club through supplier Azure Standard Foods (www.azurestandard.com), based in Oregon, which specializes in natural, organic, earth-friendly foods and products.  Participants place orders individually, on-line, and select the Ideal Green Market as a delivery/pick up site once a month.  There are currently about 15 families participating in the buyers club. The Kidders, who own the building and are very committed to the vision of a local food co-op,  hosted weekend mini-sales in December featuring a few products, some local, some via the freeze-dried food company of Mountain House Prepper products, as a way to draw people into the shop to learn more about the food co-op vision, build the network, and hopefully secure community leadership for the board.

Local businesses are excited about the possibility of a local food co-op and what it can mean for the local economy and better serving residents.  Year round community residents as well as seasonal residents are also excited about the food co-op.  There are currently about 100 residents ready to make the commitment to be members/investors and to volunteer once the retail store is ready to open, which could be in Spring 2016, though there are hopes of opening, in some capacity, this Spring.  

"One of the challenges lies in regulations associated with starting and running a food co-op, and we are required to have a board in place before approving by-laws governing operations, before setting up a bank account, before accepting memberships/investors," said Judy Kidder, steering committee member and land-owner.  Mary Plein, another steering committee member said, "every time we hit a low point and think we'll have to give up this dream, another piece of the puzzle comes into play, and so we keep plugging along, hoping/trusting that qualified people will come on board."

A few community leaders are already committed to serving on the board including John Plein, Ideal Township clerk/treasurer and long-time community resident, and Dan Yavner.  Additional community leadership is needed in order for the vision to come to fruition.  "This is a critical stage in development as it will truly indicate if the community is ready, willing and able to make this dream a reality," said steering committee member Ron Kidder. He said, "As a  steering committee, we've done what we can do. Now a board of community leaders, dedicated to making it a reality, is necessary."   The Kidders have made the commitment to contract with consultant, Barb Mann of Backus, to serve as the Co-op Coordinator to help establish a board and move to next steps in implementing the vision.

For more information, to serve on the Board, and/or get involved in the buyers club, visit www.idealgreenmarket.com, stop by the store any Monday at 3:00 p.m (located next to The Old Milwaukee Club on CR 39). or call Coodinator, Barb Mann at 218-838-6058.
 

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