In 1973, fifteen local families banded together as a buying club to bring a new way of purchasing food to Chico. More than 40 years later, Chico Natural Foods Cooperative’s owners and staff are still focused on nourishing themselves with the finest, freshest foodstuffs on Earth. CNFC has created a prosperous cooperative economy that supports many dozens of local producers and directly employs more than fifty people in-store. All of us fortunate enough to work for you in the Co-op take great joy in providing opportunities to purchase products that are healthful for humans and kind to the planet. Thank you for allowing us to play a part in the decades-long success story that is the Chico Natural Foods Co-op.
As you may know, we have been preparing for a major remodel of our Main Street store. We have conducted market studies, garnered the support of the national Co-op community, and taken intelligent, cautious steps to grow our business. We thoughtfully crafted an ambitious plan to better meet our owners’ needs. We planned to upgrade equipment, relocate the kitchen and administrative offices, implement a more efficient check-out system, fix the floors, and generally improve the look, feel, and function of the store we all love.
However, in the last several months, we have had to reassess our plans. Despite our intentions to sign a long term lease, our landlord recently expressed his desire for us to vacate the 8th & Main location at the end of our lease. Without a long term commitment to the building, it is not prudent to undergo a full-scale remodel.
A major remodel would have been a moderate step towards realizing the Co-op’s potential in Chico. Now that this intermediary option is no longer available, we recognize that we are in a position to make a more significant move. In order to fulfill our goals of growing a thriving cooperative community and providing easy access to incredible food, we will be taking this opportunity to relocate and expand the Co-op.
To be clear: CNFC will be moving to another location at the end of its lease term, in three-to-six years.
The Co-op has served our downtown community for 25 years, and our absence will change the area. We understand that our relocation may represent a loss or unwelcome change to your shopping experience with CNFC. However, a new location will open up many new opportunities for our owners and shoppers.
The investments that we have made in preparation for our remodel are far from wasted. We will go forward with a more modest remodel at our current location. Our position within the larger community has been strengthened, and we are primed for phenomenal growth and expansion. We have done the research and have the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding the store’s new future.
Our community has clearly communicated that it is ready and able to support a larger, more dynamic food co-op. CNFC’s staff and board are excited to seize this incredible opportunity to make an even bigger impact on Chico’s food and culture. We know that our success at Main Street has been driven by a great staff and, even more, by you—the owners and shoppers that remind us, day after day, why this store exists.
We are keenly aware of how important it is to keep you up-to-date about our work and to hear your concerns, ideas, and goals for the Co-op’s future. Please talk with our General Manager and/or board members, come to a board meeting, the annual meeting on October 10th, or one of the upcoming relocation forums. Relocation specific feedback forms and more information regarding the move are located at the Co-op Information Board in the store. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and concerns.
Board President, on behalf of all CNFC Board of Directors