Store update 12/13


Greetings, Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market Member-Owners,

This past week, we held our monthly board meeting and a special member-owner meeting at which the board recommended that M-O’s approve the following motion: “To instruct the board to consult with an attorney for the purpose of liquidating the Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market (AHCM) and, barring legal advice to the contrary, to proceed with said liquidation; and, further, to regard the liquidation of AHCM as signifying the dissolution of the cooperative entity.” There was some discussion around the complex issues that led to the need for this final act by the member-owners, after which the motion was approved without dissent.

We have begun conversations with attorneys and have let our staff know that the last day the store will be open is THIS WEDNESDAY (December 18th) from 2:00- 6:00pm. We will be putting ALL of the inventory in the cooler and freezer on a 25% discount [LOCAL MEAT NOT INCLUDED] for these final two days in an effort to empty those units so that we can turn them off and clean them out. We are also making the big bags of bulk items in our storage spaces available to buy at a 25% discount. We are not clear what the process will be for any inventory that is left at the end of the 18th, so we urge you to come shop for your last time in our store this Tuesday or Wednesday.

Again, I ask that we continue to proceed through this difficult time with grace and peace so that we can put our energy into supporting our local farmers and businesses in new ways.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sunshine Sullivan
President of Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market

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Recap of the MO Meeting 9/18/13

Greetings Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market Member-Owners and Supporters,

For those of you who were unable to attend Wednesday’s annual member-owner meeting, I wanted to take a moment to share with you my closing statement. It follows:

Eat Healthy. Buy Local. Build Community. This is our slogan. It can be easy to eat healthy. It can be easy to buy local. But to do both is not always easy but it is a choice and it can build community.

This is why I have chosen to volunteer 10-15 hours every week until December 21, 2013. This is why I have chosen to shop here before going to other stores…replacing my old favorite brands with new ones, building our menus around what is available.

These are my choices, but not everyone is able and/or willing to make similar choices and that is OK, and nothing to apologize for.

Over the past year I have realized just how diverse this area is when it comes to food. I realize now that meeting all of these diverse preferences is impossible for a small local store like ours. I realize now that there are only 100 of us member-owners remaining…OR I could say…

I realize now that there are STILL 100 of us who are choosing to be committed to our slogan, Eat Healthy. Buy Local. Build Community.

Now that we have a clearer picture of the weekly sales we must make (increase from $2,400 to $4,000) our membership responsibilities and opportunities, as well as our consistent volunteer needs, I’m better able to share with you that on October 9th (our next board meeting) we will use our September sales and volunteer reports to decide to

  1. move forward with seeking a part time manager, or

  2. move forward with closing our doors on December 21, 2013.

Whichever decision we choose as a board requires a great deal of work. Whichever decision we choose as a board will have to be responded to with peace so that we can all continue to work on building our Allegany community.

If you have any questions or ideas for outside funding sources for this kind of community business please e-mail me at

Respectfully Submitted,

Sunshine Sullivan

President of Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market

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Food Collection Donations for Locals in Need

Dear Member-Owners and Friends of the Allegany Harvest Co-Op,

 We are excited to announce a joint venture with the Center for Faith, Justice, and Global Engagement at Houghton College.  The Center is sponsoring a “Top 5 Drive” this September to collect food for local organizations that provide free hot meals.

If our member-owners and friends would like to contribute to this project, we will be assembling bags of groceries that you can pre-order, pay for at the store, and have delivered to the drive organizers.

We will have the following bags available:
For $10 (2 cans of fruit, 1 bottle of salad dressing, 1 can of tuna).
For $20 (4 cans of fruit, 2 bottles of salad dressing, 2 cans of tuna).
For $30 (6 cans of fruit, 3 bottles of salad dressing, 3 cans of tuna).

 Use this order form to indicate your selection of bags:

 The deadline for orders will be Tuesday, September 10th.  We’ll ask for you to stop in to the store before Friday, the 13th to pay for your donation by check or cash.

When your groceries are delivered, we’ll get them to the Center for Faith, Justice, and Global Engagement for distribution to local agencies.

 Thank you for your continued support of the store,

The Board of Directors

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Emails down- news update, 8/20/13

Friends of your local cooperative market and shoppers, 

Another new week brings fresh produce for us to enjoy from our local farmers! We have cherry tomatoes, swiss chard, kale, peppers, carrots, spinach, eggs, and dairy. From our friends at Torrey Family jams and Baked Goods- we have sandwich rolls for your hamburger or sandwiches,  cuba cheddar bread, honey wheat, cottage dill, sourdough, bacon-cheddar, and white.

ANNUAL MEMBER MEETING is set for Wednesday, September 18th, at 7:00pm in the store. A fun tasting will take place beforehand to sample products, details coming soon. You MUST be a member in good standing to attend the meeting- if you owe equity or renewal payments, please bring them along as you plan to attend the meeting :)  

Reminder: If you are a member in good standing or know a member in good standing who you believe would be a great fit for the co-op board, we are looking for new members. Terms are 3 years, require a monthly meeting and some volunteer work. Email Lynn Bliven for more info-

As we are preparing for a new school year, we are placing another order from UNFI for fresh bulk and other items requested by member-owners. We want to clean ALL of our bulk bins to prepare for this new inventory. There is a very clear procedure that we need to follow for this process, so we need a large cleaning space. We are able to use the Houghton Wesleyan Church’s kitchen space for this project this coming Saturday, August 24th from 9:00 am- 1:00pm, so if you are able to help, please confirm through our e-mail Knowing your availability ASAP will aide us in our planning and organization.

Thank you for helping us support our local farmers and producers as you continue to faithfully shop at our store.

Board of Directors
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Store Hours for Week of 7/15

Our store hours this week will be 4PM to 6PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will not be open on Saturday.
You can expect to see the following produce: summer squash, beet greens, radishes, dill, lettuce, kale, peas, baby swiss chard, potatoes.

We’ll also have the same selection of bread as last week in addition
to milk, eggs, cheese, butter in the dairy case.

Thanks in advance for stopping by!

Board of Directors

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Store Open Thursday and Friday

Hello Member-Owners and Friends of the Co-op!

Due to a great response at the Member-Owner meeting on Tuesday, we are able to open our doors both today, Thursday, from 4-6PM and tomorrow, Friday from 4-6PM.  In addition to our bulk bins and regular grocery items, the following will be available:

Organic green beans and organic eggs from Emory Springs Farm (Centerville)

New potatoes, eggs, summer squash, and Swiss chard from On River Farm (Belfast)

Honey wheat, Cheddar Bacon, Cuba-Cheddar, White, Cinnamon, and Cottage Dill bread from Torrey Family Produce (Angelica)

On Friday, we’ll also have lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, beets from Wabi Sabi (Little Genessee) and dairy items from Byrne Dairy.

Hope to see you either today or tomorrow!

Board of Directors

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Letter to Member-Owners

Dear Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market Member-Owner,

I greet you today with an introduction to the information your Board of Directors has gathered and organized in preparation for our meeting on July 9, 2013 at 7:00pm at the Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market. We ask that you attend this meeting if you are a current member-owner so that we can present to you what has occurred this past year that has led to our need to make a change in management and financial structure. We will be discussing the decision that we are facing between closing our doors or keeping our store open and the commitments related to that decision.

As your Board of Directors, we are committed to working beside you in keeping our store open and begin looking for a new manager with whom we will work closely with. We have now established a close working relationship with our accounting firm; we also have a thorough record of our current inventory and value and a clear understanding of what was selling and when it was selling. Our vendors are also committed to working with us closely and creatively.

If you desire to keep our store open, we need a few things from you related to 1) equity investments, 2) shopping commitments, and 3) volunteer commitment. We first ask that if you have not yet made your annual equity payment, to do so before or at our meeting on July 9. If you would like to make this and/or an additional equity investment or a member-owner loan please talk with Mike Cox, our treasurer and current financial manager. Next we ask that you commit to shopping at our store each week for your family’s regular needs (such as milk, bread, eggs, cheese, greens, or soy). In an effort to support your regular shopping, please communicate your needs to the board using the forms we will pass out at our meeting on the 9th. We will also have forms for you to complete if you’d like to make a pre-paid bulk order at the meeting. Finally we ask you to commit to regular volunteer action. We will have a calendar and form for you to use to sign up for items that meet your abilities.

When you come on Tuesday, July 9th we will have an assortment of desserts for you to enjoy with a suggested donation of $5.00. We will also have whole pies and packages of desserts for you to purchase for $15.00 for you to bring home to share with your friends and family. Funds raised through these sweet treats will be used to pay our outstanding bills.

If you are unable to make it to this meeting, please e-mail us at our new e-mail: and share with us your willingness and ability to support our store. If requested, we will arrange for another meeting for the last week of July.

We value you and this community we eagerly serve as customers and vendors united.


Sunshine Sullivan

President, Board of Directors




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Important Message from Board of Directors

To Member-Owners and supporters of Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market,

As we begin our second year of operations, we have experienced some unexpected fluctuation in our finances. The Board of Directors has found it necessary to take this juncture to re-evaluate our venture and do some restructuring of the store.

As of tomorrow, June 11, we are going to be offering a 25% discount off of all products to members in good standing.  This clearance sale will continue through Saturday, June 15.  At that point we will temporarily close our doors while the board confers on the most suitable way to continue to bring our community quality local and natural foods.

Members, please mark your calendar for  a Special Member Owner Meeting on July 9th at 7:00 p.m. at Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market.  We will be able to present a plan at that point.

We continue to value our customers, vendors, and community and we look forward to serving you for years to come.

Sunshine Sullivan

President, Board of Directors


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Memorial Day Weekend Events

Dear Member-Owners and Friends of Allegany Harvest,

Thanks so much to all of you who made our tasting event this weekend a huge success. We gave away lots of great free samples, chatted with community members, and made a little money.

We have another busy weekend ahead. On Saturday, we’ll have a booth at the Houghton Community Yard Sales with natural snacks, sodas and juices. At the same time, we’ll have some great sales running here at the store to celebrate the holiday weekend. The entire bulk section will be ten percent off, and we’ll have other great prices throughout the store. On Monday, we’ll have some Member-Owners walking in the parade, pushing shopping carts and handing out some of our tasty organic lollipops, spreading the word about our great little store. Feel free to join us! Contact me for more information.

We have another change heading our way. This Sunday we’ll start our summer hours, which means we’ll be open from 12:00 to 4:00 on Sunday afternoons and closed on Mondays. Stop in and see when you’re getting your Sunday dinner ready to go.

For those of you who were big fans of the brick oven bread we had for the last few months, I wanted to let you know that we’ll have one last delivery on Friday. Our baker has been way too busy with planting and prepping for the summer growing season to bring us bread every week, but he consented to make one last batch this spring (and we’ll see what we can do in the fall).

Happy Memorial Day!

Miranda Hunter
Store Manager

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Member-Owner Drive

Dear Member-Owners and Friends of Allegany Harvest,

How many towns with a population under 2000 people have opened independent grocery stores in the past year?  I know of only one.  The people in and around Houghton, New York decided that they wanted more healthy, convenient, and sustainable grocery options and their financial investment made the Allegany Harvest Cooperative Market possible. 

Northern Allegany County, with its small population base and struggling economy, is not the ideal location for a small-business start-up.  But sometimes, where another business might have trouble, a co-op can succeed.  The co-op model means that a dedicated base of shoppers invest in the store; their continued financial investment helps keep it strong.

With the store coming up on its one-year anniversary, it’s time to work again to expand our base of member-owners.  During the month of May we are launching a Member-Owner Drive.  We don’t want to have to spend the whole year thinking about member-ownership, so we’re going to focus on this important aspect of the co-op for just one month.

But we also need your help.  If you’re a co-op shopper who is not a member-owner, would you consider making an equity investment and joining those who have put their financial support behind the co-op?  If you’re already a member-owner, could you approach a friend or neighbor and ask about member-ownership?

Every month, the co-op is growing stronger as more people in northern Allegany County discover its healthy products, friendly service, and commitment to our local economy. But the co-op will only remain strong with the continuing investment of its shoppers.

I look forward to having conversations with many of you in the next month about member-ownership and how we can build our base of financial support to keep the co-op a flourishing enterprise in our community.

Susan Bruxvoort Lipscomb

Member of the board of directors and the Member Owner Outreach (MOO) committee

To find out more about member-ownership click here


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