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Oryana Food Co-op Halts Acme Expansion Plans

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Lovely Trees at Oryana Food Co-op | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Indian Corn at Oryana Food Co-op in Traverse City | Jane Boursaw Photo
Indian Corn at Oryana Food Co-op in Traverse City | Jane Boursaw Photo

Just received this note from Steve Nance, general manager at Oryana Food Co-op in Traverse City. We’re longtime members dating back to when the co-op was up that long flight of stairs in downtown Traverse City.

While we probably wouldn’t have shopped at the new store in Acme, we were looking forward to seeing the co-op grow bigger and offer healthy foods to more people. But it sounds like they’ll be investing more into the current location in Traverse City, so we’ll look forward to that!

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Here’s the note from Steve…

To Our Member-Owners and Loyal Customers,

As you are probably aware, Oryana has been exploring the option for a second location in Acme Township. As part of our Oryana Imagined, 2022 strategic plan, we feel that controlled growth of Oryana’s business is the fiscally responsible path to increasing access to good food for all. With this in mind, Oryana identified a potential second store site in Acme Township and has been undergoing lease negotiations for the past few months.

Although the landlord has been accommodating throughout the process, our significant due diligence work has identified that this project is of higher risk than Oryana is comfortable taking on at this time. Oryana has decided to stop negotiations on this particular property and halt expansion plans for the time being. While Oryana’s financials are strong and we are a growing co-op grocery, the investment for this project did not fit our model for fiscal responsibility.

While we are saddened by this change in plans, this does allow us freedom to re-invest in our original location at a larger scale than we had originally planned for 2016. Some improvements that you can expect to occur during 2016 include interior and exterior enhancements, energy efficiency updates, a reconfiguration of the Customer Service kiosk and checkout lanes, and additional improvements to maximize the already outstanding Oryana customer experience. You can stay tuned to your email and Oryana’s social media channels for updates on these projects.

For those members who contributed to the member loan campaign last fall, they will receive a full refund with interest. Those funds were collected solely for a second location and will not be used for any other purposes.

Along with this member communication, we will be sending a press release to local media outlets to let the community know of our change in plans. We have also updated our website with the latest information for community members to reference. If you have further questions about this decision, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call our General Manager, Steve Nance, at 231-947-0191 ext. 115. As a member-owner, your questions and concerns about the business are very important to us and we would be happy to discuss them with you.

More Oryana locations to serve more of our community is still part of our long term strategy – what we call Oryana Imagined, 2022. We remain excited about future prospects in Acme, and other areas, and plan to continue to explore other expansion options in the future. We know there was great excitement from our neighbors in that area and hope that the 10th Street store continues to meet your needs until it is the right time to move forward with an expansion.

In closing, we want to assure you that Oryana’s future remains bright. Our 10th Street store continues to perform strong financially, and we are proud to be one of the top-performing co-ops in the country. A strong performance means we can give back to our staff, the community, and our owners and continue to be a thriving example of the cooperative model.

Thank you for your continued support and care for our Mission and Ends.

Sincerely,
Steve Nance
General Manager
Oryana
260 East Tenth Street
(10th St & Lake Ave)
Traverse City, MI 49684

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

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