News

DFC Board Welcomes Ann Curran and Kristina Castañeda

Congratulations to Kristina and Ann.  Their three-year terms will begin upon their acceptance of their offices at the upcoming directors' meeting.  We look forward to working with them as the vision for our Dubuque Food Co-op becomes a reality!

Special acknowledgment belongs to outgoing directors Jamie Easley and Will Hoyer for their dedicated efforts in the planning and development for the Co-op during the past three years. 

Thanks to those who assisted in the task of running our first election:  Nominations Committee Chair Katie Giannakouros for her significant time in the planning, oversight, and administration of the election. Lisa Pence for candidates' portraits which appeared on the ballots.  Tasha Lippold for the design, lay-out, and posting of the paper ballots, and related marketing and communications work.

Last night's photo-tour

We hosted our Annual Member Meeting last night and had the delightful time giving our members a photographic tour through the space.  Here it is again for your viewing pleasure (all photos by our pals at Digital Dubuque):

Catch-up

It's been so busy that we didn't even get more recent photos posted, so here they are!

Walls, lights and paint

Yet more pics!

Progress has picked up!  Click on any picture for a bigger version, and then scroll over the image for text.

More pictures

Recent progress has seen the addition of more HVAC ductwork, additional dehumidifiers, more plumbing, and concrete topping poured at our entrance and back office, prep, and storage areas.  Click on any picture for a bigger version, and then scroll over the image for text.

Board of Directors seeks candidates for 2014 election

The Nominations Committee for the Dubuque Food Co-op is pleased to announce plans for the upcoming election of two new directors to a 3-year term on our board.  The following time-line describes the process for filing a nomination for candidacy, announcement of candidates, voting, and approval of the two new directors at our annual meeting this spring.

January 1 through February 3, 2014   

Nominations accepted  

Members in good standing (having a fully paid membership) interested in running for a director position should send by post or email a one-line statement of interest  in candidacy to:  

DFC Secretary Karla Braig 

955 Washington St., Suite 107 

Dubuque, IA 52001

or

k.braig@dubuquefood.coop

Eligible candidates will then be asked to respond to a brief questionnaire and to sit for a photo.  All candidates’ photos and responses will be compiled to comprise the ballot for the election.   Announcement of the slate of candidates will be made to the membership in the February member newsletter.

February 12 through March 7, 2014   

Election period

On-line ballots will be sent electronically to those members with email addresses, and paper ballots will be mailed by post to those without email.  Remember, each membership qualifies for one ballot.   Following the close of the election, the ballots will be verified and counted.

March 12, 2014   

Annual Meeting of the Dubuque Food Co-op

The two candidates receiving the two largest vote totals will become the new directors.  At the annual meeting, the current board of directors will approve the two new directors and will retire the outgoing two directors.   Officers of the board of directors will be voted upon by the board at the next meeting of the directors.

For further information regarding the qualifications, powers, and duties of board directors, please see Article IV in our By-Laws on the DFC website.  For general information about service as a director, contact Katie Giannakouros at katie.giannakouros@gmail.com or Mary Moody at m.moody@dubuquefood.coop or (563)-584-9300.

A Word From the Board

Happy New Year to all 1350+ Dubuque Food Co-op member-owners!  After several long years of waiting the opening of your co-op is just months away.  Thank you all for your patience, support and enthusiasm.  2013 was a great year for us as we reached our fundraising goals, signed a lease, made significant progress on buildout and hired our very first employee.  We know 2014 will be even better, and everyday we can see the store taking shape and getting closer to finally opening its doors to you and the rest of the Dubuque community.  Believe me when I say that day can't come soon enough, but we want to make sure we do everything right beforehand, even if it means taking a few extra days or weeks.

I won't bore you with too many financial details but thought you might like to hear that both our build out and equipment packages have come in well within our budgetary projections.  I temper that good news with the reminder that it isn’t over yet and some unexpected expenses may still be encountered.  A quick tip of the hat to our GM Patrick is in order here as he has done a masterful job of sourcing equipment and knowing where quality is paramount and when to safely explore lightly used options – thanks Patrick! 

At the core of a successful co-op are active and involved member-owners and we have two openings on our Board of Directors that will be filled at our Annual Member Meeting to be held March 14.  If you have interest in being a part of the Board and helping guide the store in its infancy I highly encourage you to consider running for the Board. More details are below.  I also want to take the time to thank Jamie Easley and Will Hoyer, the two Board members whose terms are up, for all their service over the last few years.

Thanks again to all of you, the rest of the Board and Patrick for all that you have done for the co-op and I can't wait to see you all shopping in the store in 2014!

Andy Mozena

DFC Board President

Update from the general manager

Happy New Year!  We’re getting this update out a little later than we had planned because of the holidays.  We’ve also had sub-zero weather and more snow than we’ve seen in a long time, so we’ve needed to bundle up a bit.  But all in all, it’s been a festive end to 2013… so much has gone on in the last month, and I’m really looking forward to 2014.

Milestones

The remainder of our refrigeration package has arrived since our last newsletter.  This means that if you take a walk around our store site you’ll see a collection of coolers and refrigerated display cases in various stages of installation.  One of our Dairy cases was delayed when its glass doors shattered in transit, but a replacement was sent along and all is well (these types of delays are expected, and are the reason we’ve not yet announced a specific opening date).  You can join us for a quick 1-minute tour of the space here, but please note that the video was taken a few weeks ago, and since then the cases have been reorganized and the space looks much more open.

On that note, construction is now fully underway and we can see the store taking shape day by day.  Our condensers have been installed in the newly constructed basement compressor room, and walls have started going up around the perimeter of the store.  I have to mention that I’ve been so impressed with all of the contractors on the project… each person has been so professional and detailed, and this is reflected in the quality of the work being done.  More details and pictures can be found on our website’s ‘News’ page, where we’ve been documenting our build-out progress.

Other Stuff

Another exciting aspect of this build-out work going forward is that now we’ll be able to focus on the multitude of other priorities needed to open a store, including Board elections, vendor relationships, staffing, outreach & education, and more.  Our next newsletter will be sent out later in January (2014 already… wow!), and we plan on sharing more information about all of these endeavors.  If you have any questions or ideas in the meanwhile, just send a note our way at info@dubuquefood.coop, or you can also send a note through our Contact page.

Thank you for your energy, your enthusiasm, and your support in 2013, and here’s to a bountiful 2014!

 

Cheers,

Patrick

Pipes

Now that the larger refrigeration equipment has arrived and walls have been (partially) framed, much of the work being done in the space is intensive and unglamorous. These good gents from AAA Mechanical are in the process of piping together all of our refrigeration, and there is a LOT of piping to be done. Thanks AAA!

Compressor room

This is the fancy new wall in our fancy new compressor room. Those metal frames are racks that will hold the condensers, and huge fans will begin installed in the window area for air exchange.

Walk-through

Cases have arrived and construction has begun! And if you have a minute, please join us below for a quick tour of the facility in process. It looks like chaos, but it's really just a lot going on in a small space. 

Walk-ins!

Look what's going on at the DFC!  Coolers have begun to spring up.  Here are some pics from today... including one of our festive courtyard!

Front of Dairy cooler, with partial view of Produce cooler and Grocery freezer at back right of space

Side view of Dairy cooler (the door will open into a prep space)

Door leading into Grocery freezer

This is a better view of the start of our Produce cooler

This will be our Prep Foods cooler

Ok, this isn't a cooler, but the holiday greenery in our courtyard is beautiful and we wanted to share!

Interested in being on the Board?

We will have two vacancies on our seven member Board of Directors in 2014. This will be an incredible exciting and important time to serve on the Board and help to guide the store in its infancy.  Board terms are for 3 years and elections will be held at our annual meeting, tentatively scheduled for March 12, 2014.  If you are interested in serving please contact Katie Giannakouros for more details.

From the President

It’s that wonderful time of year where each of us reflects in our own way on the many blessings and events that have shaped our lives over the past year.  On a personal level I remain grateful for continued good health, a strong close knit family and most importantly that the Dubuque Food Coop has finally moved into the construction phase!  Just this past week our walk-in coolers arrived onsite and our friends from AAA Mechanical have started the process of assembling them onto their permanent footings.  Progress folks, real progress!

I am also grateful to our General Manager Patrick Brickel and his lovely family for taking a leap of faith with the Dubuque Food Coop and for uprooting their comfortable lives in Iowa City to take on this amazing opportunity in Dubuque.  Patrick’s early body of work has been impressive and I am totally confident we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit with Patrick yet then you are in for a real treat!  I am also grateful for the continued cooperation of Gronen Properties as we toiled over the past couple years to get our sea legs and raise the funds necessary to open the store.  Their patience and understanding has been key to securing our future in the Millwork District – what a team they have!

On this next one I am going to take the liberty to speak on behalf of the entire board of directors;  Thank you to our membership for the unbelievable support and energy this past year.  From reassuring and kind words to countless volunteer hours we have leaned heavily on you guys to see this project through.  We are also deeply grateful to our investors who believed in the concept of a locally sourced and community- owned natural food store – without their financial support this dream would never have come to see the light of day. 

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and we look forward to seeing you in early 2014 at the Co-op!

Together in food,

Andy Mozena

President, DFC Board of Directors

November Update from the General Manager

Hello friends!  There is a dusting of snow outside, but inside the work has been continuing at the Dubuque Food Co-op, and we have more progress to report.

Milestones

In our previous newsletter I mentioned that we were working on a new website, and I’m happy to announce that it’s now live!  The redesign was done primarily to give us a more flexible site that we could use as a destination for any and all information regarding your own Dubuque Food Co-op, and I hope that we’ve achieved that.  When you go there you’ll be able to find build-out updates, local events, contact information, membership information, a FAQ, and more.  Plus, we now have our floor plans posted so that anyone can explore the store before we open the doors.  It’s still in the early stage, but please do take a look and offer any feedback you might have: www.DubuqueFood.Coop

Also, in the last two weeks our condensers and our walk-in coolers have arrived!  The company doing the installation is on site as I write this, and they’re hoping to have the condensers installed on racks in the basement and the walk-ins constructed in the back of the store later this week.  We’ve been talking about refrigeration for a long time, so it’s pretty exciting to actually see the equipment stacked up in our beautiful space.  We’re still awaiting our refrigerated display cases and those are currently due to arrive on December 10th, at which point our various contractors will swarm into the building to run power and plumbing, to build walls, and to really kick this last building phase into gear.

Below are just a few pictures of the walk-ins, which shipped as panels but which will be complete structures when they’re finished (photos courtesy of our pals at Digital Dubuque).  The panels are a combination of wood and insulated urethane pressed between galvanized metal sheets, and they will be assembled into boxes of sorts, with doors and insulated floors, and plumbed drainage and power.  The coolers will then be piped to the condensers, which will also run our display cases.

Other Stuff

We’ve had so many wonderful vendors express interest in partnering with us, and unfortunately we’ve been so busy working on our build-out that we haven’t had a chance to follow up with many.  We’ll very soon be sending out a vendor letter to discuss our timeline and next steps, and my personal thanks for your interest and your patience if you are one of those vendors.

In addition, last I checked we were up to 1333 members and growing!  Thanks for being a part of this amazing collective experience, and we’ll continue to post news about our progress on our new website and on our Facebook page.

I hope that you have an excellent, warm, and safe Thanksgiving!

Cheers,

Patrick

Refrigeration work has begun

More fun news. Currently our walk-in coolers are scheduled to arrive this Wednesday so, pending any unforeseen hurdles, our fine installers should be on hand to start building those coolers and constructing the condenser racks. 

Refrigeration update

Just met with our refrigeration installer, our General Contractor, and our plumbing and electrical contractors. The first set of refrigeration equipment ships this coming Monday! 

Store floor plan

We've put a copy of the updated floor plan on the website for your viewing pleasure. The lines are about as dark as we could make them, so our apologies if some of the details aren't as clear as you would like.  Just click on the image and a lightbox will pop up with a bigger version of the image.

New (used) Bulk equipment & shopping carts

We're happy to report that we are now the proud owners of a slightly antiquated but very loved bulk department for future use in our store.  That is to say, we own the wooden fixtures and plexi storage bins, which our volunteer (and hero) Perry S. drove to north central Iowa to pick up with his own vehicle.  The fixtures came to us by way of Fresh Connections Co-op in Algona IA, who previously took possession of them from Wheatsfield Cooperative in Ames IA after they upgraded their bulk department.  We also purchased a stack of shopping carts in very good condition.

Unfortunately Fresh Connections recently closed, but they were kind enough to allow us to purchase this equipment from them on a budget.  Our sincere thanks to Chris, the membership, and the Board of Directors at Fresh Connections… we wish them the very best and appreciate the work they’ve done to create a more healthy-food-centric community in Algona and the surrounding area.