From our eXtension community, Entrepreneurs and Their Communities, welcome to Small Business Week+. Extension supports small businesses and their development as a part of our land grant mission. For the next several days, we are going to highlight small businesses around that country that have partnered with us.
Guest Blogger: Louis (Brian) Raison, The Ohio State University Extension
Stone’s Throw Market Co-op
Neighbors, farmers and local organizations collaborated in a grassroots effort to organize and establish a new cooperative grocery in Miami County, Ohio. The Stone’s Throw Foods Project was incubated through the leadership of two full-time organizers, Laura Hanson and Jake Schlachter. In February 2010, they established a pilot online grocery to support the organizing process. OSU Extension assisted with early board and co-op development background work. The online grocery kept $52,000 circulating in the local and state economies that year.
In 2011, the co-op leadership transitioned as Laura left for grad school. OSU Extension was called in to assist the still nascent organization with transitioning issues, mission and vision work, strategic action steps, board development, annual meeting plans, and marketing.
The Market has now kept over $150,000 circulating in the local and state economy and boasts nearly 200 member-owners. It collaborates with several dozen local farms and businesses. Local vendors earn an average of 65 cents per dollar which is more than the national average. More information is available online at: http://www.stonesthrow.coop/ or contact Brian Raison, OSU Extension, Miami County at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo – USDA.gov, Flickr, CC