December 17, 2020
Dear BriarPatch Owners,
We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that we have signed a lease for our second store at the former Kmart site at 2505 Bell Road. BriarPatch Food Co-op is growing to Auburn!
As we outlined at our 2019 Owners Meeting, we’ve identified three top reasons to make BriarPatch a multi-store cooperative and expand its impact.
We Can Help Improve the Food System. A second location gives local farmers and producers more opportunities to sell higher volumes to two stores. BriarPatch will be able to support organic farming even more by having opportunities to increase our organic purchases, and through our expanded footprint and branding, we’ll increase awareness of and access to good, local, clean food to more people. The larger purchasing volume will help us control costs and bring more value to our existing owners and shoppers.
We Can Increase Our Community Impact Beyond Nevada County. A second BriarPatch will offer more jobs and careers in a values-oriented workplace- and more advancement opportunities for our Grass Valley employees. Our donations and sponsorships of Auburn nonprofits will expand our commitment to support organizations that reflect our values and make our now broadened community a better place for all. We’ll be expanding the cooperative model, and along with it democracy, independent business and consumer education. And of course, we’ll make our mark as the area destination for finding delicious healthy foods to eat in a sea of conventional markets and fast food chains along the 49 corridor.
For Our Continued Financial Viability. Simply put, we need to expand to stay competitive. We are busting at the seams at Sierra College Drive (as you probably know) and expanding to additional locations is the best way for BriarPatch to meet the continually growing interest in the goods we offer. Increasing costs and lower margins make consolidating other costs a great idea (e.g., our administrative costs can be spread between two stores). Our balance sheet is strong – opening a business is always risky, but the management team has done a tremendous amount of due diligence; this location couldn’t be a better fit for us.
2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year. We have tremendous appreciation and admiration for the BriarPatch staff, owners and shoppers who comprise our amazingly resilient community. Officially being on the road to Auburn is an auspicious way to march forward into 2021 with some much-needed positivity, good energy and inspiration.
We know you will have many questions and feedback. Count on us to keep you informed of progress. The Board and management team are planning a variety of ways to keep you apprised as the project moves ahead. We suggest subscribing to the BriarPatch enews and checking in on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Please stay tuned for updates.
We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
The BriarPatch Board of Directors