We are very close to the $5 million goal and moving forward with our Easthampton store!

 
 
 
June 7 Update: Our Co-op Owner Loan Total has reached $4.75 million. We are getting even closer to our goal.  Thank you for your support!
 
 
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June 5th Update: Momentum on our Wild about Growing Local 

Co-op Owner Loan Campaign

THANK YOU to our owners who have loaned (or pledged to loan), and all of those who have cheered us on along the way.

We are very close to our $5 million goal and moving forward with our Easthampton store!

Over the past two months, we’ve had hundreds of enthusiastic, supportive and thoughtful conversations about the project to build a second co-op store in Easthampton. It has been encouraging to hear from so many of you! It’s clear that our community wants to support local farmers & businesses, wants more union jobs, wants a community space that is sustainably stewarded, and wants more accessible local & organically grown food. You can still help-- just 50 more co-op owner lenders are needed to reach our goal!

We have gone over $4.6 million! (This does include some pledges, which we expect most people to make good on soon.) This is more money than we’ve ever raised and faster than we’ve ever raised it. Importantly, we wanted to let you know there is still time to participate! Reaching our goal of $5 million in Owner Loans will leverage the other funding we need to build and open our Easthampton store, including $4 million in economic development funding that will not need to be repaid. Thank you so much for the awesome support for Expedition Easthampton!

We just need 50 more loans. Are you ready to hop on board?

If we don’t reach our goal very soon - it may push our construction start date back, our goal is late August or Early September. If that happens, we’ll lose important pre-winter conditions for construction, which could negatively impact construction costs and our opening timelines. At this point, we expect the project will still move forward, but we need more co-op owner support to keep our project on track. If we do not reach our goal, we will need to consider alternative options.

If you have questions about the project, owner loan terms or interest rates, please let us know so we can send you the information. Email invest@rivervalley.coop, call us at (413) 486-0097 or stop by the customer service desk at the store to let us know you are interested in making a loan.

If you’ve already asked for the info but didn’t receive it, please check your spam/junk mail folder, or let us know so we can make sure you receive it. Please make sure to review the subscription agreement and offering documents before making a loan.

There are three ways to complete your loan upon the decision to invest:

1.) Print (if you received an electronic version of the subscription agreement), sign, and return the Subscription Agreement with your check by USPS to:
River Valley Co-op
Attn: Finance
330 North King St.
Northampton, MA 01060

2) Drop off at the Co-op Customer Service Desk:
ask for the Manager-On-Duty to take your paperwork.

3) If none of the above work for you, please let us know by emailing invest@rivervalley.coop and we can set up an appointment with you!

Once you have submitted your loan:
You will receive an email confirming receipt of the check & paperwork.
In the following weeks, we will mail you a copy of the signed Subscription Agreement & Promissory Note.

We sincerely appreciate your time and consideration and we can’t wait to see you in the aisles in Easthampton!

 

Over $4.2 million raised! There is still time and we need your support now!

We’ve had so many people expressing interest in the last few days we will keep the investment open until May 31st so everyone who wants to participate has the opportunity.

 

Invest in our Wild About Growing Local! Co-op owner Loan campaign to help us open the Easthampton store

Can you help us open the Easthampton store?

Opening a store in Easthampton is the next step in the co-op’s journey. It will help us serve our customers better, offer more employment opportunities for our staff, and move us forward in our shared aspirations for a growing local foods movement.

 For more information about our Wild about Growing Local Campaign click here.

 

Board Perspective on Expansion

Why Expand?

Meet the Wright Builder Team

Easthampton Update!

Dear River Valley Co-op Owners,

Thank you for all your support in 2018 in both our Northampton store and with progress on our efforts for a potential expansion of the co-op in Easthampton. Expanding to two stores will strengthen our capacity to bring quality food choices from great local sources to all the families we serve. The enthusiasm and energy you have contributed to our efforts are as inspiring as when the community came together to open our Northampton store ten years ago. Support from you, as well as from the communities in Northampton and Easthampton (and throughout the region of our proposed expansion) to add a new store in Easthampton has been overwhelmingly positive.

We’ve been busy in 2018 with exploring the feasibility of opening a second River Valley Co-op store in Easthampton on the former car dealership property located at 228 Northampton Street. We secured the option to purchase the nearly 10 acre parcel which includes the former car dealership, adjacent meadow and wetlands, as well as property currently rented month to month by Captain Jack’s Seafood Shack,(our designs include incorporating Captain Jack’s in our plan) and we will be finalizing our decision for purchase by July 2019. The store is envisioned and planned to be about the same size as the co-op’s Northampton store with twice as much parking onsite.  It will feature the same fresh local food selections we are well known for in Northampton including an extensive prepared foods department with a larger seating area inside and out. 

As you know, the co-op specializes in supporting local farmers and food producers. We have a ten year track record of building many wonderful partnerships with local farmers and businesses to help support their growth and success. The Northampton location has purchased over $40 million in products from hundreds of local food producers over the last ten years.Many Easthampton residents have long been River Valley Co-op owners, shoppers, and suppliers and we look forward to the possibility of serving you better and supporting even more local farmers and producers with this store.

In keeping with our mission and our commitment to doing business differently than some others, we’re taking great care with every aspect of planning our new store. We are committed to this expansion to support our community's hopes for a brighter future and stronger local food movement. Together through our cooperative food business we can build the kind of community that we (co-op owners, shoppers, local farmers/food producers, and co-op employees) aspire to.

We wanted to share some facts with you that we encourage you to share with family and friends about these early stages of the effort:

Our facility size limitations in our Northampton store are limiting our full potential to serve our community and fulfill our mission.  The second store in Easthampton will relieve some of the crowding in our Northampton store while providing better access for more shoppers and co-op owners. There will be more growth opportunities for local farmers and vendors we partner with now (with the opportunity to add even more), as well as the chance to add more great retail union jobs and management opportunities for our employees. The new parking lot will be larger and we hope to include solar panels for shade and electric car chargers. There will be solar panels on our roof that combined with parking lot solar panels will power our store's electric needs.

We have returned to a trusted friend, Wright Builders, the same locally owned and operated general contractor and construction company that we’ve worked with on several important remodel and repair projects over the last 8 years in our Northampton store. Wright Builders founder, Jonathan Wright, who lives here and knows us, is also one of our co-op’s founding owners and knows our business and physical plant and mechanical systems needs very well. He is renowned for his award-winning ground breaking work to build environmentally sustainable projects right here in our valley, like the Hitchcock Center for the Environment,  a beautiful and inspirational, 9,000-square-foot “living” environmental education center and the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, a building that has one of the most rigorous design standards in green building.

Many of the staff of our construction partners are local crafts people as well as co-op owners and shoppers. Many are Easthampton residents. They care about their craft and about their community as well their co-op. Jonathan Wright has been in contact personally with organized labor representatives, asking for them to submit suggested Union contractors for us to consider. They have received two referrals and reached out to both, one they already have a long working relationship with from other projects. Others have reached out directly and they have been welcomed to participate in the bidding process. It is very important to us that local contractors are considered and that we seek out opportunities for inclusivity of women and people of color in our project.

Every step of planning and preparing this effort has been weighed by what we believe is important to our co-op owners and the families we serve. Environmental sustainability is very important, as is supporting our local community, supporting local farmers and businesses, supporting social justice, supporting labor, supporting fair trade and cooperative businesses.  This path has competing priorities for us daily as we navigate our way through the highly competitive grocery market providing a grocery offering that meets our communities needs for selection, service, and price, working to support fair wages and advancement opportunities for employees, fair prices to local business partners, and support for our communities’ needs.

We believe local community based and cooperative enterprises are the key to building a better future. We believe the food business has a pivotal role in building community self determination and vitality. As we realistically assess our sustainability as a small community owned independent within the aggressive and super-competitive grocery industry, we see expanding our store operations as the key to remaining relevant and achieving our goals for serving our community and supporting a system of local food production.

We have serious competitors in the region, many are part of large corporations who do not share our values or mission of building community. As we think about how, and if we can make this project happen, we have to be realistic about the competition. Now, and even more so in the future, we are up against the market domination impacts of Amazon –and ever increasing corporate consolidation in the food business. By working locally in partnership with other businesses and in cooperative partnerships regionally and nationally we are striving to build something more sustainable that supports the health of our community and food system. We’ve grown together to build something very special through our store in Northampton and look forward to the possibility of strengthening our position and capacity by expanding to another store in Easthampton. Stay tuned in the new year for more information on how you can help with funding through a co-op owner loan or with co-op ownership outreach to make the new store a reality. Amazon is changing the grocery business, but we are working for positive change in our communities for a better future. 

So, we appreciate your spreading the word about our efforts. Continuing to work together the way we have and do, everyday, is going to be the difference in making this project a reality.

 

May the Holidays and the New Year bring all great things to you and yours! Thank you.






River Valley Co-op Open House to Discuss Easthampton Grocery Store Plans

River Valley Co-op invites you an open house to review the plans for our proposed grocery store in Easthampton. Saturday, December 15th10AM-Noon located in the West Side Event Room in the Eastworks Building across from Riff’s Joint.  We’ve been exploring the feasibility of opening a second River Valley Co-op store in Easthampton on the former car dealership property located at 228 Northampton Street. We have secured the option to purchase the nearly 10 acre parcel which includes the former car dealership, adjacent meadow and wetlands, as well as property currently leased by Captain Jack’s Seafood Shack. We are preparing to start the permit process in January and invite your feedback and questions.  This is an opportunity to preview the plans before they are finalized and submitted to the Easthampton Planning Board for the permitting approval process.

Saturday December 15thmeet River Valley Co-op Board Members as well as members of co-op management and our local project team including our architect Tom Douglas of Thomas Douglas Architects and Jeffrey Squire of the Berkshire Design Group, (our civil engineering and landscape design consultants). 

The store is planned to be about the same size as the co-op’s Northampton store. It will feature the same fresh local food selections we are well known for in Northampton including an extensive prepared foods department for eating in or take out.  Our prepared foods department includes a salad bar, hot bar, coffee and juice bar, deli with made to order hot and cold sandwiches, pizza and a selection of baked goods which will all be made fresh from scratch in our onsite kitchen. We plan seating for dining inside and out and we’ve incorporated Captain Jack’s into the outdoor dining space. 

River Valley Co-op specializes in supporting local farmers and food producers. Over the past 10 years the Northampton location has purchased over $40 million in products from hundreds of local food producers.  Many Easthampton residents have long been River Valley Co-op owners, shoppers, and suppliers and we look forward to the possibility of serving you better and supporting more even local farmers and producers with this store.

Our local Easthampton store project partners:

Wright Builders: General Contractor and Project Management

This 45 year old Northampton construction company’s commitment to sustainability and community runs deep wide, and long.  

  • Wright Builders is the only firm in the world to complete two Living Building Challenge buildings. The Challenge seeks an integrated regenerative approach to the built environment, including elimination of toxins from the workplace and from the sourcing of materials.
  • Ithas achieved over 40 LEED certifications.
  • The company has built and or developed affordable ownership and rental housing for over 30 years. Currently, Green river Commons in Greenfield provides for net zero carbon neutral home ownership at 80% of median income.
  • As the first builder-developer to sign on to market rate housing development at the old Northampton State Hospital site, Wright Builders Inc. has designed, developed and delivered 52 units of LEED certified housing, the only such neighborhood in New England.
  • Wright Builders has talented and accomplished women in key positions throughout the company, including project management, marketing, and operations management.
  • The company has successful partnerships with many area subcontractors including both union and non-union contractors.
  • Wright Builders founder Jonathan Wright is also founding River Valley Co-op owner #8 of the now over 10,000 co-op owners. He has volunteered many hours to assist the co-op in its site search for a second location over the last four years. Jonathan lectures and presents around the region, and beyond, on sustainability and climate change response. He is the author of two published volumes of his poetry and photography, from 2014 and 2018. His third book, Living Building Makers, celebrates through stories the lives and work of those who make Living Buildings, and how that work transforms the individual and the work. It is due out in spring 2019. He is a regular contributor to Gazette columns and reporting, including features on Post-Maria Puerto Rico, universal health care initiatives, food, education and housing.
  • Wright Builders has completed multiple projects for River Valley Co-op over the last 8 years including a walk-in cooler addition, several renovations to accommodate growth in the meat and prepared foods departments, as well as the major remodeling of the whole store over 2015-16 with many energy efficiency improvements and improved capacity for operations. Wright Builders is very familiar with the co-op operational and physical plant needs and well aligned with the co-op’s values.

Berkshire Design Group: The Berkshire Design Group, Inc. is a nationally recognized award-winning firm of landscape architects, civil engineers and land surveyors headquartered in Northampton, Massachusetts.The Berkshire Design Group, Inc. has been leading sustainable design strategies for the New England Region since 1984. They work with clients holistically to craft an integrated project that minimizes negative impacts on the environment and improves a project’s immediate surroundings. They have been reducing greenhouse emissions, improving water quality, and developing cutting edge design solutions since the firm began.

Not only has the firm developed many of the prototypes and standards used by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for Stormwater Design, but they have lead the site design and construction of the:

  • First Certified Living Building Challenge in the United States
  • First Net Zero Community in New England
  • First PassiveHaus Childcare Center in New England

Across the country there are several voluntary accreditation programs which a client or project may pursue. Of these, USGBC’s LEED Rating System is the most common; others include: The Sustainable Sites Initiative, The Star Communities Rating System for Cities, Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System, and the Net Zero Building Challenge. The Berkshire Design Group has completed numerous projects within each category and serves as a regional expert for many of these programs.

Berkshire Design supported River Valley Co-op’s first store project built in 2007-2008 with civil engineering and landscape design and has worked with the co-op on feasibility studies for several potential sites over the last four years. 

Thomas Douglas Architects provides a full-service model, which tightly integrates architecture and interior design. They provide a comprehensive range of services, including programming, master planning, site planning, conceptual design, and all the way through construction documents and administration.

Experience
Thomas Douglas has been practicing architecture since 1980, working on a variety of residential and commercial projects. He has design experience with theaters, restaurants, multi family housing, and commercial developments. He has worked extensively in the Northampton and Amherst area participating in the renovation of many local landmark buildings.

Education
Tom has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida, a Masters of Architecture from North Carolina State University, and he attended the Architectural Association in London, England as an exchange student. He also attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thomas Douglas supported the co-op in its remodel store designs and rebranding project in 2015-16 and are very familiar with our branding standards and all our physical plant needs for store operations and mechanical systems.

More background:

Why Easthampton? River Valley Co-op is exploring Easthampton for a second store because:

  • Easthampton is well locatedfor a second store for the co-op.It is already within the co-op’s circle of customers and vendors and a store there will expand our circle further. The Northampton store is doing more than twice as much business as we had originally planned for and this Easthampton location is close enough to take a little pressure (but not too much) off our current store, making both stores financially sustainable.
  • Easthampton is a community that supports local businesses. There is a thriving network of like-minded local businesses in Easthampton that support and care about community building and working to shape the future to be in alignment with those values.
  • Easthampton has a site available that appears to be able to meet our facility and operating needs. It is a challenge to find adequately sized real estate for grocery store operations in locations that would sustain an independent grocery business. River Valley Co-op has secured the exclusive option to purchase the former Fedor car dealership property on Northampton Road in Easthampton.

The Co-op’s goals for expanding in this location include:

  • Expanding local foods production with increased purchases from local farmers and food businesses to serve two stores.
  • Improved access and service for our Easthampton area co-op shoppers.
  • Expand co-op ownership to more people.
  • Expanding local foods production with increased purchases from local farmers and food businesses to serve two stores.
  • Many new jobs including advancement opportunities for our employees.
  • Making the Northampton store less crowded while growing the cooperative overall for more employee and vendor opportunities.
  • Utilizing energy efficiency and green technologies in the store design.
  • Making the overall co-op operations more financially sustainable for the long term.
  • Creating a welcoming community/events space.
  • Working to incorporate Captain Jack’s as a potential part of the new development and/or supporting other local foodservice entrepreneurs.

We are very happy to be working with the City of Easthampton and our co-op ownership on this exciting project to extend our cooperative and fresh local foods focused services to Easthampton. Thank you for your ideas, questions, and concerns about this project.

Contact Rochelle Prunty, General Manager for more information: (413) 341-5686 email: rochelle@rivervalley.coop

 




An Update on the Easthampton Store Project

 

August 30, 2018

In January we announced that we are exploring opening a second store and that we had secured an option to purchase the former Fedor Car Dealership property located at 228 Northampton Street in Easthampton. We’ve been working on our due diligence and planning over the spring and summer and have made a lot of good progress. We’ve received feedback on preliminary site plans and are currently working on revisions for a formal review and the permitting process.

Some of the steps we’ve completed include:

  • Market Study
  • Draft Financial Modeling
  • Traffic Study
  • Topographical Survey and Wetlands Delineation
  • Soil Testing
  • Draft Site Plans
  • Exploration of Building Design/Materials Options
  • Preliminary Construction Cost Estimates
  • Started Store Design Process
  • Hired a Project Manager
  • Raised $2 million in phase 1 of our Co-op Owner Loan Campaign

We still have many steps to go before we can make a final decision, but so far so good. We will be planning for some presentations on draft plans for community feedback this fall. We hope to complete all our planning and financing for a decision to proceed with the purchase and sale by early 2019. We project construction will take about a year and our goal is to open by July of 2020.

River Valley Co-op is exploring Easthampton for a second store because:

  • Easthampton is well located for a second store for the co-op. It is already within the co-op’s circle of customers and vendors and it will expand our circle further. The Northampton store is doing more than twice as much business as we had originally planned for and this Easthampton location is close enough to take a little pressure (but not too much) off our current store.
  • Easthampton is a community that supports local businesses. There is a thriving network of like-minded local businesses in Easthampton that support and care about community building and working to shape the future to be in alignment with those values.
  • Easthampton has a site available that appears to be able to meet our facility and operating needs. It is a challenge to find adequately sized real estate for grocery store operations in locations that would sustain an independent grocery business. River Valley Co-op has secured the exclusive option to purchase the former Fedor car dealership property on Northampton Road in Easthampton. We’re working through all our due diligence to determine if this is a feasible location for our second store before finalizing the decision to move forward with the purchase and sale for this project.

The Co-op’s goals for expanding in this location include:

  • Improved access and service for Easthampton area co-op shoppers.
  • Expand the co-op customer base.
  • Expand co-op ownership to more people.
  • Expanding local foods production with increased purchases from local farmers and food businesses.
  • 100 new jobs with many advancement opportunities for our employees.
  • Making the Northampton store less crowded while growing the cooperative overall for more employee and vendor opportunities.
  • Utilizing energy efficiency and green technologies in the store design.
  • Creating a welcoming community space and community events.
  • Working to incorporate Captain Jack’s as potential part of the new development.

How can you get involved?

  • Sign up for our email newsletter to follow our progress.
  • Participate in store planning feedback sessions that will be upcoming this fall.
  • Send questions, comments, and ideas to us via email at askursula@rivervalley.coop.
  • Become a River Valley Co-op owner, or if you’re already an owner, encourage others to join.

River Valley Co-op Explores Potential Second Store Site in Easthampton

January 22, 2018

Contact:
Andrea Stanley, River Valley Co-op Board President (617) 519-6950
Rochelle Prunty, River Valley Co-op General Manager (413) 341-5686
Natasha Latour, Marketing Manager (413) 341-5627
Mayor Nicole Lachapelle (413) 529-1470 

(Easthampton, MA) River Valley Co-op has secured an option agreement for the potential purchase of the Easthampton property at 228 Northampton Street, (formerly the Fedor Automobile Dealership), as a second store location. River Valley Co-op is a cooperatively owned grocery store with one location in Northampton. Since 2014 the cooperative business has been discussing a second store location with co-op owners, customers, and employees in order to accommodate its growth as well as furthering the mission of building a strong local food system.

Andrea Stanley, Board President, reported, "We’ve been looking for a suitable location for a second store for several years to serve our community better. Our goal is to expand our community owned grocery business to further our local economic impact and build the resiliency of our local food system through year-round purchases to even more local farmers. We believe that Easthampton is an ideal match for River Valley Co-op. In fact, we have many co-op owners and vendors from Easthampton already, so we feel a strong connection to the community and look forward to expanding our working relationships even further with this project.”

The option agreement gives the co-op a year to conduct its due diligence, planning, and fundraising before exercising its exclusive right to purchase the property. River Valley Co-op’s leadership team met Friday with Easthampton Mayor Nicolle LaChapelle to discuss the dynamics of the plan. Mayor LaChappelle commented, "River Valley Co-op is a natural fit for Easthampton residents as consumers and job-seekers.  High-quality food and jobs is a combination that is hard to beat! I had the opportunity to sit down with the River Valley team last week. They conveyed deep understanding of Easthampton and shared their plans with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. As the co-op is ready to grow, Easthampton is ready to support that growth to ensure success for everyone."

Owner of the property, longtime Easthampton businessperson Eddie Fedor said: “Our family is enthusiastic about the potential of River Valley Co-op expanding in Easthampton. This is a great location and will be very convenient for a lot of people. River Valley Co-op’s support of local farmers and other local vendors would make them a great addition to our community!” 

“Growing our co-op community with an Easthampton location gives River Valley Co-op’s local producers an expanded market and supports opportunities for new vendors. We are looking to build a store of the same size but with a larger parking lot than the Northampton store. This location meets many of our site criteria very well. We know there are some traffic concerns and we look forward to working with the community to determine how to best alleviate them. Now that we’ve secured the site, engaging community members and our staff to develop our plans is our next priority.” Rochelle Prunty, General Manager.

The co-op expects the store will employ 100 people in its Easthampton store. Northampton store employees are over 95% full time with benefits and are represented by the UFCW Local 1459.

 

About River Valley Co-op

River Valley Co-op, located at 330 North King Street in Northampton, is a community-owned grocery store open to the public daily 8AM-10PM.  Owned by over 9,500 area families, the co-op opened the store nearly 10 years ago with a mission to support local farmers and build a stronger local food system.

For more information please visit www.rivervalley.coop

 

 




Preliminary Drawings

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How would Captain Jack’s be impacted by a decision to open a second store at this location?
The co-op deeply supports local businesses and believes there could be very good synergies between Captain Jack’s and the co-op. Upon securing the option agreement on the property the co-op reached out to Captain Jack’s to express a desire and openness to working with them. We look forward to exploring the possibilities for working together over the coming year.

Why didn’t the co-op include Captain Jack’s in its announcement?
The announcement was about the option agreement and process for exploring the potential of a second store. It was not an announcement of a purchase with a plan for a second store. This was our first announcement about the proposal. There will be a time in the future to talk about other aspects of this project. We did not think it right to discuss conversations we've had or hope to have with neighbors.
The option provides security for the co-op to begin the process of exploring feasibility and planning options before deciding whether to exercise the option. The next steps include digging into details for site design and permitting. This includes beginning conversations with Captain Jack’s and others.

Why doesn’t the site plan show Captain Jack’s?
It is not a plan, it is a study sketch overlay we included to show the projected store size and parking scaled to the lot as a starting place for future plan development to give people an idea of the proportions of building, parking, loading docks for deliveries, etc. As the planning process proceeds over the coming 12-18 months (including discussions with Captain Jack’s) there will be many new working sketches that ultimately, we hope to develop into building plans.

Why did the co-op make this announcement so long before completing its plans and making a final decision?
Announcing the start of a process of exploring the feasibility of a second store and starting the planning process in such a transparent way is not the typical way business is done, but it is how the co-op does
business.

We look forward to a positive and engaging iterative planning experience that results in building a co-op store in Easthampton that will be something the broader community has had a part in developing and that will support the community in building the future it wants for Easthampton.


How is an option agreement different from a purchase and sale agreement?
The option agreement provides the option to complete a purchase and sale agreement as outlined in the agreement for a specified period. This allows security for a prospective buyer to conduct due diligence, planning, and fundraising as needed before making the final purchase decision. Our agreement provides a year for this process with the potential for an added extension if needed.

What is the timeline?
If the co-op decides to go forward with the purchase and sale, we project the best case timeline is that we will break ground by Spring of 2019 and open for business by the Spring of 2020.

What size will the store be?
The preliminary plans call for a store of about the same size as our Northampton store: 11,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, plus additional space on the ground floor for prep and staff areas. The plans also include a "mezzanine" style second floor for offices, staff spaces, community meeting space.

Will the Easthampton location have a big enough parking lot?

We are planning for approximately 150 customer parking spaces (compared to 92 at our Northampton location). We are also planning for additional onsite staff parking.

How will the new store affect traffic?
We are aware of this concern. We will be conducting a traffic study and working with the city to determine how to best address traffic issues. A plan for alleviating traffic concerns will be a key part of the permitting process.

Why Easthampton?
One of the goals of the second store planning is to alleviate some of the pressure on our Northampton location by finding a second location that would serve a significant number of our current customers more conveniently. Easthampton has hundreds of River Valley Co-op owners and is the ideal distance from our current store. A second location within 5-8 miles serves both existing customers and potential new customers. As the Co-op expands, we have a continued and growing ability to impact positive community changes. We acknowledge that there are unmet needs in the surrounding communities where we also have some current customers and we have an interest in continuing to look for property that’s the right fit for the co-op as we grow.


When will we have an opportunity to provide input?

We are planning for a series of open house events for sharing information, gathering ideas, and listening to your concerns and questions. Stay tuned for details.

How will we fund a new store?
Like our first store, our second store will be primarily funded with many individual interest-bearing loans from our co-op owners as well as bank funding.

What are the next steps?
We will be working with the city to determine what all the permitting requirements will be and that will include a traffic study. Concurrently we are having a market study completed that will help inform our financial modeling. We will also be gathering feedback and ideas, networking, and starting the site and store design process. We project six to nine months of design work to complete.

Whom are we working with on this project?
Wright Builders, Thomas Douglas Architects, Berkshire Design, NCG Development Co-op, and of course the City of Easthampton are our primary partners on this project so far.

What will happen to Captain Jacks?
They will remain for the upcoming season and we will be discussing potential scenarios with them as we proceed with our store planning process.

More Questions? Ask Ursula (our co-op bear) by emailing your questions to askursula@rivervalley.coop.

Sign up for our weekly emails to stay informed. Link below!

 
 

Feedback!

“The new store will be 4 minutes from my home and I plan to be there daily. This is fabulous and I am thrilled! I feel like getting a shovel so I can speed up the building process.”Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian

"We live in Easthampton and we are delighted to know that there will be a River Valley Co-op in town.We are regular co-op shoppers, and we will certainly make good use of the new store. We are very happy to see our local cooperative grow and serve a broader community." Dan Lemaire

"That is thrilling news. Just yesterday, I was wishing there was a source for more local, natural foods nearer to me in Easthampton. This will be a boon to our community, as more grocery options will mean more positive impact in all of Easthampton, and more for our local farmers." Audrey Hyvonen 

"River Valley Co-op in Easthampton!?!?!?!Hearing about a new location for my favorite grocery here in Easthampton is one of the most exciting things I've heard in years!With so many local businesses sprouting up in Easthampton, support for local businesses like the co-op and it's local vendors is growing stronger than ever! Another location could make finding heathy local and organic food in our community more convenient than ever!" Sam Dibble New City Brewery