MFC Newsletter - September 2020

Dear Montavilla Food Coop members,

It has been a few months since we’ve reached out and we apologize for the lack of updates. We are in unprecedented times, and these months have been more difficult for some than others. Our hearts and minds are with those that have experienced tough times.

The board has been overwhelmed with COVID and wildfire-related activities outside the scope of the co-op and unfortunately, our plans for MFC lost some momentum as our volunteers dealt with other priorities. Additionally, we have had to take a close look at our business plan and model given the challenges of opening and operating a grocery store amidst a pandemic, especially with real estate prices higher and margins for in-person retail slimmer than ever. Despite the additional risk and challenges, we remain hopeful and committed to our MFC vision.

Board Updates

We held a quick virtual meeting in the summer to check in with board members, and we apologize for not sending out a quick recap.

Current Board Members

  • Christian Parker (since 2019)
  • Courtney Yan (since 2018)
  • Sabi Horvat (new!)

Please join us in welcoming Sabi. We also want to sincerely thank Paul Dewey (Site Selection), Bruce Foley Jr. (Outreach), and Jane Somerville (Social Media and Newsletter) for so much of their time and effort attending meetings, putting together newsletters, flipping pancakes, digging into market studies and pro formas, and so much more.

Per the bylaws, the Board must have at least 4 members to make decisions. Additionally, with so few board members, an interruption in any single person’s ability to volunteer their time has an outsized impact on MFC operations in general. One of the biggest things you can do to support MFC and make our vision a reality is to volunteer on the board and give the gift of time and energy. If interested, please email or attend a board meeting.

Our next board meeting is Tuesday, October 6, 6:30-8pm on Zoom. MFC events are posted here. Minutes from past meetings can be found here.

Return of Equity

We’ve received questions recently about membership termination and equity. Per the MFC bylaws, members can terminate their membership at will. However, because we still hope to open a storefront, we will not be returning member equity at this time.

We continue to look for ways to support memberships for families or individuals unable to afford the membership fee. Examples of this include the membership “donation” drive that we have organized in the past. Membership and member equity remain non transferable.

For reference, the relevant bylaws are as follows:

2.7 Return of Equity. Equity shall be returned upon termination of membership in the Cooperative, under terms determined by the Board, provided that the Board has determined that the equity is no longer necessary for the reasonable or prospective capital needs of the Cooperative.

2.8 Unclaimed Property. If a member voluntarily or involuntarily terminates membership in the cooperative, and fails to inform the cooperative of his or her mailing address, then the equity and patronage dividend amount allocated to that member will be forfeited by the member to the cooperative.

2.9 Non transferability: Membership rights and member equity may not be transferred in any manner.

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