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BLUE HERON BAKERY, AN ICONIC OLYMPIA BUSINESS, TO CONVERT TO COOPERATIVE OWNERSHIP: SEEKS COMMUNITY MEMBERS
November 1, 2022 (Olympia, WA) – Blue Heron Bakery, which has served the South Sound community and beyond for over 45 years, will become a community-owned cooperative in 2023. “Our intention is to keep the legacy of the bakery vibrant for future generations,” says current owner Evan Price. “We have been sustained through community support all these years, so it makes sense to entrust the bakery to our customers and workers.” Mr. Price plans to continue on as a worker member of the cooperative.
A cooperative is a democratically managed, jointly owned business that focuses on meeting the needs of the members, not simply generating profits. The mission of the re-named Blue Heron Bakery Community Cooperative is to “bring people together through quality natural foods, personable service and cooperative practices.” That mission is meant to serve its vision of a vibrant local economy and culture, by keeping money in the community and by partnering with other local businesses and cooperatives.
The new Blue Heron Co-op will be worker managed and owned by both consumer and worker members. Both groups of members will have seats on the board of directors. Members can vote at Membership meetings, run and serve on the board of directors, and are eligible to receive discounts and other benefits.
A member must be at least 18 years of age and pay a one-time refundable membership fee of $77.00. The initial membership fees will be used to cover the purchase of the business from Mr. Price, including legal, accounting, and administrative costs. Later membership income will be held as equity in the co-op.
Individuals can sign up to join Blue Heron Bakery Community Cooperative either by visiting their storefront at 4419 Harrison Avenue NW Suite #108, Olympia, WA 98502, or online at blueheronbakery.com/join.
Price and members of the Blue Heron staff participated in the Co-op Conversion Academy led by the Northwest Cooperative Development Center and funded through the City of Olympia via a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The Academy classes began in February and the buyout committee has been meeting since March to build the new organization.
The incorporating board of the cooperative hopes to complete the transition of the bakery by the end of 2022.
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