Coteau Community Market is a member-owned, near-zero-waste, cooperative, local food market opening in Watertown, SD. The market will provide local, healthy, sustainable, and affordable food for Watertown and the surrounding area.
51% of the way
Our goal is to reach a minimum of $120,000 to open the storefront. All funds raised over that will set the market on a firmer financial footing, covering operating expenses over the next few years, rather than paying month to month.
Please consider making an investment in your health, your community, and the environment by participating in this cooperative endeavor.
THREE WAYS TO DEMONSTRATE SUPPORT
1. BECOME A MEMBER
The one-time membership equity investment* makes you a member-owner of the market, along with other members of the community. It gives you additional benefits (beyond having the market!) such as members-only sales and patronage refunds.
Can't make the full membership equity investment all at once? You can spread the payments out over four months. Fill out this form in addition to the membership form:
* We have three membership types:
- Individual ($100, one-time, non-refundable equity payment)
- Institutional ($500, one-time, non-refundable equity payment)
- Student ($20 annually, non-refundable equity payment)
Individual membership is for adults. Institutional membership is for any business, organization, political agency, etc., that wishes to support the co-op or businesses who wish to order in bulk to prepare foods for resale or feed a large population. Student memberships are for individuals currently enrolled in post-secondary education. (What happens to my money if the market doesn't open?)
2. INVEST: BUY STOCK
Forget Wall Street--make a direct, socially responsible investment in an independent Main Street business!
Unlimited stock at $100 per share not only benefits the market, but may provide you a financial return through future dividends when the market is profitable. Stock can be purchased in $100 increments ($100, $200, $300, $400, $500, etc.--the sky's the limit), but the minimum purchase is $100. (What happens to my money if the market doesn't open?)
Only current members in good standing who are residents of (individual members) or headquartered in (institutional members) South Dakota can purchase stock because of federal and state securities laws. See #1 on this page for info on how to become a member.
Please read these documents, fill out the purchase agreement and W-9, and send them in with your investment:
3. DONATE: GIVE A CONTRIBUTION
All donations in any amount are welcome. For those who itemize their taxes, you can give a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor, the Cooperative Development Fund of CDS. If you don't itemize, you can donate directly to the market (direct gifts are not tax-deductible). Non-tax-deductible donations can be made online in any amount.
If you'd like to make a qualified charitable donation (QCD) from your IRA or another way of donating not mentioned here, please contact Annie Mullin via email or call/text (605-868-8814) to get the info you'll need to fill out the paperwork.
Please download and mail in the donation form below:
You know some of our business donors:
Invest in your health, your community, and the environment today. Together we can make the market happen!
Have a group or business we should talk to that you know and have personal contacts at? Let Annie know and she'll help get you set up with the information and materials you'll need or will find someone to talk about the market to that organization.
|Member challenge #2: $2,500
All investments made (memberships, donations, and stock) will be matched up to this total.
|Member challenge #1: $20,000
All investments up to this combined total amount will be matched. DONE: we met the total to receive this matching investment on Sept. 7, 2021!
HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?
All funds raised will be used to open a small retail storefront to provide year-round access to foods that are locally grown, raised, or produced and that are produced in a sustainable manner that regenerates our environment.
Specifically, they will be used to fix up the location, buy equipment and fixtures, purchase food from local and regional producers, hire staff, and comply with state and federal licensing requirements.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
A small retail store open year round, filled with staple foods in bulk, meat, dairy, green living options, and in-season produce.
WHEN WILL THE MARKET OPEN?
When we’ve raised the money! The faster we meet our goal, the faster we can get the market opened. Did you know most food co-ops take 5 to 7 years to open?
WHAT IS A FOOD CO-OP?
A food cooperative (co-op for short) is a local, member-owned, independent, retail cooperative. That means the market is owned by members of this community, not by distant investors. Coteau Community Market is a for-profit business (like nearly every other co-op in the state), incorporated under the South Dakota Cooperative Association Act.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE…?
Local: Within a 150 mile radius of Watertown.
Regional: Produced in the rest of SD (outside the local boundary) or in one of the six surrounding states (Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming).
Near-zero-waste: The market will be a “bring your own bag” store. As many products as possible will be available in bulk, so you can bring your own reusable containers to refill with as much as you want, rather than selling foods in single-use plastic packages. It is impossible to be 100% zero-waste in the whole store, mostly because of health code laws.
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
Have you been searching for a socially responsible investing opportunity? Stock in Coteau Community Market has a direct and immediate impact on your community:
- Local business owned by local member-owners
- Local food purchased from local producers you can meet in person
- Stock may pay dividends in profitable years
- Fair prices paid to producers for their products
- Fair, living wages for employees
- More money stays in the local economy
- Near-zero-waste store
- Everyone is welcome
- Farming practices regenerate, improve, and sustain the soil and ecosystem
- No synthetic chemicals (herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, etc.) used
- Fields aren't tiled and drained
- No confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
- No genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T RAISE THE MONEY?
If the start up money isn't raised in a timeframe the board deems reasonable, what hasn't been spent (mostly on marketing and legal fees) will be returned. (Keep in mind that food co-ops can take an average of 5-7 years to open a storefront.)
Coteau Community Market is a cooperative in good standing registered in the state of South Dakota. (You can verify that by visiting the South Dakota Secretary of State's website. Search for Coteau Community Market or business ID #CO156655.)
Part of the legal requirements to incorporate as a cooperative in SD is that you need to include what happens in the event of dissolution (if the co-op closes and is no more). Article 8 and article 5 section 8 of the market's articles of incorporation cover that. What it comes down to is this: any outstanding bills are paid off, and then invested money is returned. Stock will be returned first, then memberships.
A cooperative is the original crowdfunded enterprise. Kickstarter and Indiegogo didn’t come up with the idea of people investing their money directly into a local project they wanted to make happen. Co-op members have been pooling resources and expertise for centuries to accomplish together what they couldn't do on their own. We have the opportunity to do the same.
Yours in cooperation,
Coteau Community Market Board of Directors
Annie Mullin, Catherine Gjerdingen, Jan Mullin, Mike Mullin, Ron Hagen