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Press Release July 1, 2015

FOR KIMBALL LAKE ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
To: Kate Larsen
RE: Ideal Green Market Cooperative

The Ideal Green Market Cooperative (IGMC) has been developing since Spring of 2013. Building owners Ron and Judy Kidder believed the building would make a great food co-op and that the Ideal area has a history of neighbors working together to achieve great things. The work of the Kimball Lake Association is a great example of the strong cooperative values of this community. The seed was planted and a Steering Committee formed in May 2014 to begin the work of developing the vision.

With the help of many individuals, the Committee was able to accomplish much to establish the foundation of the organization. A mission statement was created:  to provide access to local, sustainable, and healthy food and products. Articles of Incorporation were filed, a website was launched, proposed By-laws were developed, and, thanks to the Kidders’ funding, Barb Mann was hired to serve as co-op coordinator.

To continue the work of the Steering Committee, an incorporating board of nine was established in January. A member campaign began in March ($100 entitles you to become a member-owner), and a fundraiser was held in April at The Old Milwaukee Club ($3,000 raised). Thanks in part to a grant from Crow Wing Energized ($2,100), IGMC hosts a Farmers' Market every Saturday, 9am-1pm. And, IGMC is one of two organizations in consideration for a Crow Wing Power Impact Grant worth $12,000 (to be awarded in August).

The Farmers Market currently features vendors from Crosslake, Ideal Corners, Jenkins, Merrifield, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager, and Pine River. Goods include: beef, chicken, eggs, greens, radishes, sunflower oil, mushroom logs and kits, blended organic teas, breads-including gluten free options, honey, goat-milk soaps and products, herbal personal care products including bug repellent and sunscreen, up-cycled garden art, hand crafted-recycled rag rugs, alpaca products-including alpaca poo tea, and more.  As the season progresses more and more produce will be available.

So, what is a Co-op? The overall goal of a cooperative is to create organizations that serve the needs of the people who use them. They are member-owned, member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their members, rather than primarily to maximize profits. When you join, you own it! Co-ops provide goods and services in a way that keeps community resources in the community. Members pool resources to bring about economic results that are unobtainable by one person alone.

Member-owners of IGMC (currently at 94+) are committed to realizing the vision of a viable, sustainable food cooperative in Ideal Corners that will be open to the public year-round and feature local and sustainably produced goods. These goods will be supplemented from a broader area to offer a wide range of goods desired by the members. When the co-op is actually able to open, depends on the support and participation of the community it is pledged to serve.

A dedicated member-owner recently contributed $25,000 towards the effort to have the store open this summer. If we can match that with additional capital contributions, the co-op will be well on its way to a sustainable future. YOU can help! If you’ve already joined the co-op, GREAT! See if you can do a little more towards the match. If you haven’t joined yet, JOIN NOW! Be part of making the dream a reality this year! Let’s keep working together to create a more sustainable food system in our community! We CAN do this!
Visit www.idealgreenmarket.com for more info, call 218-543-6565, or talk with a member at the farmers' market Saturdays, 9am-1pm.  THIS dream is WORTH realizing!

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

218-543-6565 / barb@idealgreenmarket.com

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