Concert to help raise funds for new market

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 10:42 p.m.

Citizens Co-op of Gainesville is attempting to form a community-owned food market from the ground up - with your help.

To raise awareness and money for its cause, the group is holding a Winter Festival Benefit Concert today at The Garden, 1006 NE 12th Ave., from 2 to 8 p.m.

Local bands performing at the concert include 3rd Stone, Mindrise, The Tazers, Karl Miller, Soundpire, Susan Perko, Gatorbone and Tin Heart.

Local cuisine will be provided by The Jones Eastside.

Tickets to the concert are $10, and memberships in the cooperative can also be bought there.

"None of the money that we are raising for membership is actually being spent right now," said Elizabeth Nesbit, co-chair of the steering committee for the food market. "In order to hold other events and do community outreach and education workshops, we're having to raise separate money."

Membership in the co-operative is $100, or $25 per semester for students, and payment plans are available.

"The idea is basically that the people who would shop at the store also are co-owners of the store," Nesbit said. "It's open to the public, but you have the option of purchasing a lifetime membership for $100 and basically you get to vote for how the store is run and you can run for the voluntary board of directors or you can serve on the committees."

By investing in the creation of this grocery store, members will also receive a share of the profits based on how often they shop at the store once it's formed, Nesbit said.

Producers will also have the benefit of always having a place to sell their products, she said.

The group has about 140 members so far, according to Nesbit.

"Once we have 500 members, we will have our first general membership meeting and they will vote on the first board of directors," she said.

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