FAQs

I thought food co-ops are expensive. Will this one be affordable?

Healthy food does not mean expensive food. We are responsive to our diverse community by offering a broad range of quality food products at fair prices all the while supporting local farmers and producers and contributing to a healthy, sustainable food system.

Is there a site selected yet?

Not yet. Granite City Grocery is committed to opening a store in downtown Barre. We have chosen a short list of several sites in the downtown and have hired a market analysis company to assess them this summer.

When will the store open?

The short answer is, when you buy a share! Because the capital to open a cooperatively-owned grocery comes from individuals across the community instead of a single private investor or corporation, we rely on owner shares (YOU!) to provide the necessary funds to open our store–it is our owner equity that will leverage further financing to open the doors. The best way to accelerate the opening process is to become an owner!

Where will the rest of the financing come from to open the store?

Just like any business, we will need to get business loans in order to open. By selling shares, we are gathering the equity we will need to leverage financing from lenders. Once we have sold enough shares, we will begin an owner-loan campaign to receive interest-bearing loans from Granite City Grocery owners. Outside of Granite City Grocery owners, potential lenders will include traditional banks as well as non-traditional lenders that exist specifically to help start-up co-op businesses.

Why become an owner?

Co-ops exist to serve their owners. Without members, a co-op can’t exist! By purchasing a share in Granite City Grocery, owners help build and shape the organization. They also have a say in how it operates through voting. Owners may also get additional benefits, such as discounts, dividends and more.

How many Owners do you need?

We will ultimately need at least 1,200 to open our doors, but 1,000 will enable us to transition from planning and feasibility to actually securing a site, hiring a General Manager and preparing for opening!

What is the Owner Share amount?

$200 is the owner share set by the Board. The share is assigned to the household which is defined as people who live at the same residence and prepare and share meals together. Questions on payment plans? Read further!

When are you collecting the Owner Share amount?

Right now! You can download the Owner Agreement here.

What if I can’t afford the Owner share of $200 but want to participate in the co-operative from the very beginning?

If you are unable to pay your owner share of $200 in full, you can request a payment plan of $50, $25 or $10 a month. If none of those options work for you, please contact us and we will be happy to come up with an alternative arrangement to ensure that you can participate in this important start-up.

I don’t want to become an Owner. Will I be able to shop at Granite City Grocery?

Absolutely. Anyone will be able to shop at Granite City Grocery, owner or not.Is Ownership open to all? Absolutely. You don’t have to be a resident of Barre City to be an owner. In fact, we hope that many people who work in Barre, shop in Barre, and drive through Barre will consider becoming an owner.

What are the benefits of becoming an Owner now as opposed to becoming an Owner after the store opens?

First, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you were one of the people to make this grocery store happen. You’ll also be part of our annual owner meetings. You will be able to vote in electing the board, solidifying the vision, developing and approving policies, and giving direction to the enterprise.  Second, you'll get access to some great discounts from local businesses:


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