Newsletter 8th June: Issue 3

Well done all!!!

Somehow or another, we pulled it off and we’re open for business. THANK YOU to everyone who helped along the way, especially those who were there to the bitter end last Friday night/Saturday morning – the best staff there’s ever been! And a big thank you to all those customers who came down for the stocktake and working bee and volunteered their time and energy. We live in the best community anywhere. You guys are awesome. We had a delicious celebratory pot luck dinner at Tommy Chang’s on Saturday 2nd, and it was wonderful to meet some of the shareholders, and talk about our ideas for the future.

Opportunity awaits

Speaking of the future, an enormous opportunity is awaiting our collective action. Across the road, that once uninspiring supermarket is now beckoning like a blank canvas for us as a community to paint on. Imagine a multi-use retail space: indoor, seven-day-week Farmers Market, fridge space for Africa, a butcher, fishmonger, baker, a small general/hardware/bits-n-bobs store, expansive bulk bin selection, and even possibly a once famous Lyttelton deli that needs a new home. Multiple individual stallholders, spreading risk and sharing costs of overheads. The potential of the space is limitless - it could even be reconfigured for special functions or events. Our first focus would be to provide the goods that our community needs – and I’m not just talking about for us seed & sprout munchers - this space should represent us as Lytteltonians – the new and the old – offering the basic goods that we all need. Not to say that we will start selling rubbish – we need food, not food flavoured substances, but we also don’t need to be boutique or exclusive either. Our goal should be to support local producers who make honest food or produce quality goods. And while we provide for ourselves, we will also lure people through the tunnel who are attracted to our unique Lyttel (ain’t it Super) Market. And by the way, the back office of that building with the phenomenal view would not only be a fine shared office space for some small displaced businesses, but could also make a lovely home for a much missed radio station or….

These are just some ideas, but if anything is to happen, we need action. As many of you may have noticed – the deadline for submissions to lease the space close on the 14th June. In any other community this would be an impossible proposition, but we’ve already seen time and again that we are exceptional at coming together in times of need. If we let this go, we may never again have a say in what happens in the middle of London Street, if we act now and together, than it can be our space to provide for us. Please, if you feel you have any skills or resources to contribute to the process of creating a business plan and successful submission, or just want to offer your support and ideas – contact me directly on brian@harbourcoop.co.nz by the 12th. And if this makes some of our loyal customers nervous – please rest assured that if we decide to all go forward with this venture – I know that none of us would want to jeopardise the integrity or viability of our original little shop at 12 London Street – and I would hope to continue trading there and retain the focus on products for health and well-being, specialty diets, natural remedies, and generally supporting organic/sustainable lifestyles.

A word about Memberships

As with everything in this process, we are learning as we go. We lost our Membership Co-ordinator a couple of weeks before opening and we’ve been scrambling to keep up with all the legal requirements involved. For every batch of new memberships, the board needs to pass a special resolution in order to issue the new shares. This will happen weekly. Please be patient if your card hasn’t arrived in the shop as there are many steps in the process. When everything has been approved, your card will be on file, along with a Share Statement. Please take note of the 4 digit number on both as this identifies you, or your joint shareholder, as members. If you don’t have your card with you, simply tell us your number. Please do not be offended if we ask you to verify your home phone number. Extra cards can be issued for joint shareholders for $5 per card.

For all questions regarding membership – including current, pending and potential – please direct them to our membership co-ordinator at membership@harbourcoop.co.nz, or ask in the shop for the co-ordinator to contact you. Please leave the shop staff to concentrate on shop things as much as possible and membership people to handle the membership things.

Workshop updates

13th June 4-5pm – Tommy Chang’s – Giulio teaches butchering of chicken and fish… (gasp! This does not mean that the shop will suddenly start stocking meat, we understand that this is a sensitive issue, and besides – we simply do not have the space in our current location and won’t be rushing into any major changes without consulting our members…)

20th June 7-8pm – Shop Kitchen – Bek has another go at Lip Balm (winter weather be damned!!!)

 

Well done everyone – ONWARDS &UPWARDS!!!