The Fundraising Contiunues

Clark Case
July 13, 2024

Our first week of local fundraising has gone well. We matched our challenge grants and have over $23,000 to add to the building fund. Thanks to all of you who brought in your generous donations to the store or donated at spotfund.com. It’s far from over, so if you haven’t had a chance to contribute don’t hesitate. We have started the construction with excavation and forming for concrete work beginning.

I’ve been involved with the Dixon Coop from the beginning. Way back in 2003 we were looking at a town without much of an economy. All of the stores and gas stations had closed. The bar had shut down and there were no restaurants open, with only one winery, the school and post office to find a job in Dixon. At that time we were getting a reputation as the center of organic farming in the north, and the Embudo Valley Library had recently purchased an important piece of land that included the old store building and Doc and Lydia Zellers’ old house. While the house was soon filled with books to become the community library, the store building was usually empty, used as a community center and teen center through the library. KLDK-LP radio station had an office in the corner of the building to organize the fundraising for an effort to get on the air by the end of 2005. Other than that, we had nowhere to buy a newspaper, let alone food. So a few of us got together and decided to put up a flyer on the Library bulletin board that said “Who wants to join a Coop?” We got sixty people to come to a meeting in the community center and formed a board that started organizing and figuring out how to run a small store in a small town. We started a Farmers’ Market that gave people a reason to come to the store to buy food even before it opened. We convinced the Library to rent us a little space in the community center after we got a start-up grant from the USDA and some generous donations of refrigerators from a local hero. From that small beginning, we have grown into something of a local institution. Little by little we have grown each year, adding more space and a deli, putting water into the building (it had none when we started, we built an out house!), and grew our sales to over one and a quarter million dollars a year. Meanwhile, others in town created a great restaurant, a brewery, a couple more wineries, expanded and built the Library, started the radio station, built a new fire station, and made Dixon the envy of every small town north of Santa Fe.

Now we have another challenge ahead of us. The store proved itself indispensable during the pandemic. We had built a safety net that kept us isolated from danger and provided the needed goods to sustain a community. We have grown enough that we need to build the capacity to continue our mission of bringing food to a rural food desert. That is what we are asking you to help us achieve: the capacity to serve the community to the best of our ability. Ask people in any nearby town if they wish they had a Coop like ours in their village and I guarantee everyone would say yes. We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to create something even better. At a time when most small stores are closing under the pressure of big box competition, we have recognized the importance of investing in ourselves. Most of us spent hundreds of dollars on our streaming services last year, and thousands on our phones and phone services. We’re now asking you to invest in your neighbors’ future. Let’s build something that we can be proud of. Thanks again, Clark 

Letter from the Manager

Clark Case
July 6, 2024

The joys of construction have begun! As I write this, a loud noise from a hammer drill on the outside of the office wall is tickling my eardrums, reminding me that some day we will have the space to actually let three people work in the office at once. That annoying noise means that some day we will have access to deliveries by pallets, and enough back stock space that I can order a pallet of something for a reduced price per item. But we need your help to make the store abetter place to shop. We have started a *Spotfund account to help us finish our fundraising needs and we are asking for your help to complete our project. Go tospotfund.com and search for BuildTheBackBetter and you will find our request. As we raise money from our members and community we are also applying for other grants that will give us the capacity to make the store bigger, better, and more efficient which helps to grow sales and lower prices. If you have questions about the building or how it will help our store, please talk to me. And the sooner you can contribute the sooner they will be able to stop this noise. Please, for the sake of our sanity, MAKE IT STOP!

Meanwhile, the summer is progressing with more local produce being sold at the store. The local fruits are starting to come in starting with cherries and apricots.I’m looking for peaches in the next few weeks, picked ripe and sold as quickly as they can be put out. We’ve been getting great greens and roots from Diamond SowGarden, Romero Farms and Luna Farm fresh every week. Matt Romero is bringing in some local broccoli now, too. Our tomatoes are from Alcalde, micro greens and mushrooms from Taos, and zucchini from Dixon. All of these are half price if you use EBT.

The Dixon Deli is open seven days a week and is starting to offer a few new items. We have a New Mexico Philly Cheese Steak (think added green chile) that has been popular, so come in and give it a try. The sandwiches are all made to order and hot off the grill, so check us out again, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for supporting the Coop with your generous contributions and your shopping dollars. Every dollar we receive gets put back into the store to benefit our community. We look forward to being able to better serve you. See you at theCoop, Clark

Fresh News from the Co-Op

Clark Case
May 22, 2024

There are a few bits of good news I would like to share with the shoppers of the Dixon Coop this week. First of all, we are staffed and trained in the Deli. It’s been a long time coming, but we can finally give you fresh made sandwiches for lunch seven days a week. We will make you any of our deli sandwiches fresh and made to order. Our breakfast burritos are available every morning by 8 a.m. as well, so come on in and get your favorites before they are gone.

The second piece of news is that our local produce has started to really come in for the season. We have incredibly fresh produce coming in from Romero Farms, Luna Farm and Diamond Sow Garden every week, as well as our usual bounty from Midori Acres of Taos, and Growing Opportunities in Alcalde. You can find the local goods in the first door of the refrigerated produce case, and all local produce is half price if you use your EBT card thanks to the New Mexico Farmers’ Market Association’s Double Up Food Bucks Program. Right now we are getting arugula, bok choy, salad greens, head lettuce, spinach, radishes, red scallions, kale, tomatoes, English cucumbers, micro greens, cilantro, and other delicious and farm fresh produce delivered throughout the week. It’s my favorite part of the job to receive such incredible product and sell it to people who appreciate how special it is for a store to have produce picked that morning.

The third update is about our building project. We will be starting in force next week, as soon as the contractor is available. We have updated our h-vac, refrigeration and freezer section to allow the closets behind the store to be taken down so we can start the ground work. Full steam ahead!

All three of these bits of good news are hopeful reminders that we are lucky to live in a place that will support a locally owned and controlled grocery. This fact should not be taken for granted, our margin is so slim that even slight adjustments to income can have significant effects on our ability to remain in the black. This year our sales are down 6% so far because people are getting used to driving out of town for their groceries. We need you back. I’m looking for ways to make you shop here more, like garden fresh produce and a reboot of deli service and quality. Another way to support is to order in bulk because it saves you substantial amounts of money while you support one of the last independent grocery stores in small-town America. I know we can’t be everything to everyone and you might have to get some of your groceries elsewhere, but use us as best you can so we can be around to bring you good food for years to come. Hope to see you soon at the Coop,

Clark

"Edible" Award Nominations

Jennifer Goyette
April 29, 2024

Greetings fellow Dixon Cooperative Market community members,

This is just a short note to announce that the co-op has been nominated for a Local Hero Award from Edible! It is an honor to be considered, and we deeply appreciate the recognition of how hard the co-op works to stabilize our local food economy.

We are not the only local businesses nominated! Old Gem Farm and Sugar Nymphs Bistro are also up for recognition.

Please vote and share some love for your hard working neighbors. Voting closes May 6th.

The Dixon Cooperative Market Board of Directors

https://www.ediblenm.com/local-hero-awards/