Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Daily Market Cooperative seeks to raise $150,000 for full-time store

The Daily Market Cooperative is attempting to become a full-time operating store. Formally known as the Sweet Onion Co-Op, the Daily Market will offer a wide range of local, organic and fair trade fruits and vegetables from over 50 local vendors as well as locally produced honey, applesauce and air freshener. There will also be meat, dairy, eggs and wine for sale. Daily Market Cooperative seeks to raise $150,000 for full-time store | Photo by Ellie Klein

To open as a full-time grocery store, they need to raise $150,000 in base capital for a down payment. This money will come in the form or member shares. The membership kick-off event was held at Verve Coffee & Art House on Sept. 20. It was the first time people could become members-owners of the Daily Market. Shares cost $140 plus a $10 yearly member equity. In effect, owning a share is like owning a piece of the co-op itself. Member-owners will have a say in what is stocked in the store.

Community member Christy Clark feels a co-op in Walla Walla has “been a long-time coming.” Clark grew up in the valley before changing locations for several years. When she returned, the changes to the town were incredible. Now there is local and organic food available in several locations; however, “It still feels like it’s missing something. I think the co-op is just what we need,” Clark said.

“With all the tourism coming through, the co-op would be a great way for people to see what we’ve produced locally and it’s not just wine,” said new Daily Market member Brenda Criss. “Sometimes I want something like fresh basil and it wouldn’t be available. With the co-op, that will change.”

Walla Walla citizens like Criss and Clark feel the Daily Market becoming a full-fledged store will encourage community members to join. The Sweet Onion Co-Op had close ties to Whitman as it started as a student-run business project and was founded with a grant from the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC). The name was changed to “Daily Market Cooperative” to appeal to a wider clientele.

“I’m so impressed with how many people were at the Verve from the very beginning,” said senior Kari Martin. “There were so many people from the community too, not just Whitman students.”

Martin and her household have a membership. Having a household own a share is a practical way for money-strapped students to get involved in the co-op by splitting the cost.

The Daily Market will have one public event every mouth to reach out to the community and gain member-owners. The goal is to have one thousand member-owners by the end of the year. The next event is a Harvest Party and Hoedown on Oct. 13 at the Welcome Table Farm.

To become a member-owner one may sign up online at dailymarket.coop using a credit card, apply and pay on location at 508 East Main Street or download an application off the Web site and mail it with a check.

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