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Cooperators Honored by City of Buffalo

By Jennifer Nalbone, President of the Lexington Coop Board of Directors:
“Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Yesterday the Common Council of the City of Buffalo unanimously adopted a proclamation in honor of the United Nation’s International Year of Cooperatives, presenting official copies to representatives of seven area co-ops.  
This proclamation is a special recognition of the value of cooperative businesses in Buffalo. Cooperatives are different. We embrace cooperative principles, including democracy and social responsibility. We use a cooperative business model that strives to meet members’ needs, not maximize profits for a few; rather profits are reinvested locally or distributed back to members. We believe we are stronger together than we are individually. And we strive to make Buffalo and the Western New York area a better place to live and work. 



Many people have heard of the Lexington Cooperative Market, and
hopefully folks are beginning to see how the local control and profit
distribution of Lexington is hugely different from what happens at Trader Joes,
where good food lines the shelves, but decisions come from – and profits flow
to – Germany. There are over a dozen groups in the area that use the
cooperative business model, and it’s not just about food. Some may surprise
you!

Coop-award-Buffalo-NY-1.jpg

Energy Cooperative of America:  A not-for-profit
energy company? You bet. Energy Cooperative is member-owned and provides
discounts to both commercial and residential utility customers in New York and
Pennsylvania. Since 1997 Energy
Cooperative has saved its members over $29 million.  www.ecny.org

Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union: A financial institution that knows its members and whose mission is to improve the lives of ordinary people. The BCFCU is incorporated
under federal law and provides a place where members can conduct
their finances in a fair, balanced, and supportive environment.
www.coopcreditunion.com

Nickel City Housing Cooperative: Since 2001 Nickel
City has provided opportunities for affordable community living based on principles of collectivity and sharing.
With two houses, Nickel City also provides a space for community engagement by
hosting potlucks, parties, film screenings, art events and more. http://nickelcitycoop.org

Urban Roots: A community garden center, Urban Roots
was formed by a group of gardeners who wanted to
improve their neighborhood and city and recognized the opportunity for building
a sustainable business five minutes from any yard on Garden Walk Buffalo.
www.urbanroots.org

Farmer Pirates Cooperative: A cooperative of urban
farmers currently farming on the East Side of Buffalo, who share knowledge and
equipment and buy supplies together in bulk. They just met their Kickstarter
fundraising goal to start up a composting program, so expect to see more good
things from the Farmer Pirates soon. www.farmerpirates.com
 

East Aurora Cooperative Market: Formed by a group of
individuals who joined together to establish a cooperatively owned and managed
food market in the Southtowns. A success story in the making, East Aurora Co-op
already has 650 member-owners and is scouting locations to open their first
store sometime next year. www.eacoop.com

Fancy and Delicious Bakery:  The latest start-up workers cooperative in
Buffalo, Fancy and Delicious will produce artisan bread baked with local and
organic ingredients starting this summer. True to cooperative nature, the
bakers embrace sharing knowledge, from how to make bread to starting up your
own co-op.  http://fancyanddelicious.com

In addition to the co-ops who participated in the Common
Council event on Tuesday, there are even more local co-ops working to
strengthen Buffalo and Western New York communities and economies, including:
Upstate Farms Cooperative, Clinton-Bailey Farmers Market, the Eden and Amherst
Cooperative Nursery Schools, True Value Hardware and the Eden Valley Growers,
Inc.

If you would like to learn more about what it takes to
become a cooperative, Fancy and Delicious is hosting a Worker Cooperative Forum at the Nickel City house at 208 North Street. Stop
by on Wednesday, June 27th at 8pm,
following Nickel City’s weekly community potluck. Fancy and Delicious is
attending the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperative’s Conference in Boston and
will be sharing what they learned with anyone interested in the cooperative model. For more information, email fancyanddelicious@gmail.com  or call (716) 534-8385.

Captions:

Photo 1: Councilmember Michael LoCurto honors co-ops on the
floor of Common Council.

Photo 2: Pictured from left to right in the back row are:
Patti Jablonski. General Manager of Urban Roots; Jamie Lawrence Executive
Director of the Energy Cooperative of America; Clinton Parker and Henry Raess
from Nickel City Housing Cooperative; in the center row are Victoria Kuper for
Fancy and Delicious Bakery ; Mary Aiken and Barbara Byers for the East Aurora
Cooperative Market and Brian Barrington representing the Buffalo Cooperative
Federal Credit Union; in the front row are Kelly Maurer on behalf of the Farmer
Pirates Cooperative and Jennifer Nalbone, Board President, on behalf of the
Lexington Co-op.

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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