Food Co-op 500 Hires Development Specialist

Oct 30, 2006

The first national food cooperative development specialist focused exclusively on creating new food cooperatives in the U.S. has been hired for the Food Co-op 500 program. Stuart Reid will provide direct technical assistance to the start-up food cooperatives that were recently awarded funding by the program and will also develop proactive tools to support and boost the performance of all start-up food cooperatives.

"Stuart's first-hand experience makes him an ideal fit for this position. He has successfully led a retail grocery cooperative from start-up through successful, profitable years of operation," said Richard Dines, NCB Program Manager for Cooperative Development and Coordinator of the Food Co-op 500 program. "His expertise and passion for expanding cooperative enterprises to new communities will undoubtedly benefit both the program and new food cooperatives nationwide."

Mr. Reid has an extensive background working with a variety of cooperative and investor-owned businesses. Most recently, he served as General Manager of Just Food: Northfield Community Co-op in Northfield, Minnesota. He had full operational responsibility for its opening and then led the store through its first two successful years.

Prior to joining Just Food, Mr. Reid was General Manager of Seward Co-op, a retail grocery cooperative in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also worked for other food service businesses in Minneapolis over a 20-year career. In his new duties, Mr. Reid will continue to work from Minnesota, where he may be reached at (507) 334-0403 or by email at coop500stuart@msn.com.

The Food Co-op 500, a program to increase the number of retail grocery cooperatives from the current 300 to 500 in 10 years, is a collaboration of NCB, NCB Capital Impact, National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), and Cooperative Development Services (CDS). The program provides funding for new food co-op projects through its Seed and Sprout Funds. Funding has been awarded to groups forming cooperatives in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Washington, DC.

The Blooming Prairie Foundation matched $50,000 from NCB to capitalize the Seed Fund and added another $25,000 to the Seed Fund this year. NCB and NCGA are providing funding for Mr. Reid's position.

The Food Co-op 500 is part of NCB's cooperative expansion initiative designed to spur the development of new co-ops and increase investment in the communities served by NCB. Additional information is available at www.foodcoop500.coop.

NCB is dedicated to strengthening communities nationwide through the delivery of banking and financial services, complemented by a special focus on cooperative expansion and economic development. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCB also has offices in Alaska, California, Connecticut and New York. In addition, NCB has a growing community banking network in southwestern Ohio. To learn more about NCB, visit www.ncb.coop.

NCB Capital Impact, formerly known as NCB Development Corporation, provides financial services and technical assistance to create more affordable cooperative homeownership, assisted living, housing and services for the frail and elderly, and facilities for healthcare centers and charter schools. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCB Capital Impact has offices in California and New York. To learn more about NCB Capital Impact, visit www.ncbcapitalimpact.org.