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Business and Economy

Green Top Grocery Hits Fundraising Goal, Will Remain Open

Interior of Green Top
Jeff Smudde
Green Top, a cooperative grocery store, opened in May 2017 on Washington Street in Bloomington.

With a successful fundraising campaign keeping the doors open, Green Top Grocery will turn its attention to the busy holiday season.

Green Top raised $300,000 over six weeks, enough to “keep the doors open for a very, very long time to come,” said board chairman Michael Gorman. Around two-thirds of that came through loans from some of its 1,919 owners, he said, with the rest coming from individual donors, event revenue, and business donations.

“We do still need to raise a little bit more money just to have a little bit more cushion on our balance sheet. But even at $300,000, we do show we stay in the black financially for 10 years and beyond,” Gorman said.

Green Top opened in May 2017, but sales fell short of initial projections. That helped lead to a cash crunch. In September, Gorman said the store already owed $2.9 million in loans to banks and owners.

But sales have increased in recent months, and Green Top hired a new general manager over the summer.

Gorman said he was pleased with the campaign.

“It was really awesome to see so many people come together and support this campaign in so many different ways,” he told GLT. “Not everybody was able to afford the $1,000 minimum for a loan, so we saw a lot of people making donations for yard signs for many hundreds of dollars for a single sign. Everyone chipped in at the levels they could, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

The store now turns its attention to the busy holiday season. After that, Gorman said, they’ll focus on more ways to lower prices and make the store more accessible to more people.

Anyone can shop in the Washington Street cooperative grocery store, not just owners.

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