Bloomington-Normal's start-up grocery store co-op has picked a veteran from nearby Champaign-Urbana to manage its store.
Michael Pennington spent the past five years as stocker, IT director and interim manager at Common Ground Food Co-op. He says he's impressed with the wide diversity of owners at Green Top.
"Not just individuals, but families, farmers, businesses and households, " Pennington said. "They want a change in their local food system."
Pennington says he has high hopes Green Top will be able to meet it's goal of raising $1.5 million in owner loans by the end of the day Monday. A recent surge in loans has Green Top at 75% of the goal with a total of $1,135,530 raised through Thursday afternoon. Pennington won't begin his duties as GM until the co-op has secured the funds it needs to proceed.
Pennington says owner loan campaigns tend to finish strong. "As far as I know, it's the most successful owner loan campaign by a start-up, ever," he said. "That speaks to their competency."
If the campaign is successful, Green Top will have the equity necessary to secure a loan, and hopes to break ground on their building on East Washington between McClun and Robinson streets this spring.