Case Study - Clifton Market

Marilyn Hyland
Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 8:30am - 9:45am

Let’s Put the Grocery Back in the Grocery Store!

On January 6, 2011, the State of Ohio closed the beloved IGA that was the anchor of the Ludlow Avenue Business District in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio.

In all the juggling to survive the recession, the owners got behind in their sales taxes.

People rallied, collected 1500 signatures asking the new Governor, John Kasich, to make a payment arrangement and save 60 jobs. He ignored us and the wholesaler, Nash Finch, found another local IGA owner to buy the property. He bought it and gutted it. Then he ran into financial challenges in his other three stores. In August, 2013 all renovation construction had stopped. A small group of people in the neighborhood and friends had a meeting to explore the co-op form of incorporation in Ohio as a way to share our money for a common goal:  “Let’s Put the Grocery Back in the Grocery Store!”

We incorporated in January, 2014 and held our first Public Meeting March 15, 2014.

We sold over 100 Shares the first day. We engaged Keith Wicks of Keith Wicks Associates, Minneapolis and Randy Miller of Cincinnati, both highly experienced in grocery market analysis and operations to help us create our Business Plan and Pro Forma. We were able to begin taking Owner Loans July 28, 2014. Phase 1 was “Buy the Building.” We met with the National Coop Bank (NCB) and Shared Capital Cooperative (SCC) in February, 2015 at the Up and Coming Conference in Bloomington.  We were able to close on the property in April, 2015. We then needed to raise the equity through Owner Shares, Loans and Gifts of $1.8M to close on  $1.85 M for construction with NCB and $1.1 M from SCC, including $700,000 from the Fiscal Fund.

Come and hear about our Marketing, Advertising, PR and Fundraising strategies as we survived:

Phase 1:  Buy the Building-- negotiating for the property

Phase 2: Fundraising for Financing and Construction.

Phase 3: More Fundraising and Gala Opening Festivities


Bring your questions and your solutions. The amazing effect of the co-op model is that “We are Building Community while we Build our Grocery Store.”  Check out our TV commercials on our website!