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September 23, 2009

My days are filled with a whirlwind of activity preparing to open the doors of FreshLocal, and the workmen have been busy as well.  We’re much closer now to announcing an opening day, but not there yet.  Fresh paint is on the walls and the floor is prepared for laying new tile.  We expect delivery of the tile this week, and the installation to take no more than a few days.  Then we can start moving in equipment, get a sign in the window, and bringing in stock.  We’ve been hoping for an October opening, and it still looks like that could happen!

I’ll be setting a meeting soon for all of our producers, taking registrations and explaining how the business will operate.  FreshLocal is a non-profit corporation to be operated for the benefit of producers to give them maximum access to a market to sell their products and maximum return on their sales, accomplished by eliminating intervening steps such as storage, transportation and packaging, which add to the cost of food but don’t benefit either the producers or the consumers.  Products in our store will be marked up over wholesale, of course, in order to pay for the operation of the store, but the store itself, which has no stock or ownership, will keep no profit.  Both producers and consumers will benefit from this system.

Here’s a question for everyone.  Should we accept debit and credit cards for payment in the store?  It would seem that the answer should be yes, of course, but consider, before answering, that there is a significant cost attached to credit card use, all the fees and charges imposed by the card processors, and ultimately, these costs must be paid by the consumers.  We’re thinking that we will accept card transactions, but ask people not to use them if they have an option, and we’re also considering charging a small fee for charges under $10.  This is a store by and for the people who use it, and so please let us know what you think.

That’s enough for now.  We may have a little party on the day the lease is signed (or soon after), and let people have a look.   We always welcome your comments and questions.

Farmers are the core food producers for FreshLocal, but not the only ones.  Other members of the community ready and willing to make products such as baked goods, cereals, soaps and teas are also welcome.  I’ve heard from quite a few of you, and others who have great ideas ready to turn into small businesses are welcome to contact me and get on our list of potential producers.  All producers will be members of the corporation, paying annual dues of $50, and have the right to use the commercial kitchen across the street from the store and market their goods in the store.

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