project leader
Barbara P
422 East 900 South
(The Milk Block)
latest update rss
Your Dollars Support Local Farmers

the project

The idea was born when three people moved to Salt Lake City who were members of cooperative grocery stores in the towns where they came from and couldn't believe there wasn't one here! They launched numerous community meetings and public gatherings and as a result Wasatch Cooperative Market was organized to become a full-service grocery store. Our goal is to bring together local farmers and producers with shoppers to build a healthy community. Our focus is on local and organic products. Our business model supports small- to medium-size farms and added-value product producers. The outcome is better, higher quality food at lower prices; a more robust local agricultural system; and improved environmental conditions.

The Co-op will not be a run-of-the-mill grocery store. Our core values underscore the difference in our approach and commitment to the community:

  • Source as much as possible locally
  • Be a welcoming enterprise
  • Champion honesty and transparency in product promotion
  • Exercise the principles of the triple-bottom line: people, planet and profit
  • Excel in educational outreach

We have an amazing opportunity to locate in a space that was originally built as a grocery store in 1929 at the newly established Milk Block on 900 South, a vibrant neighborhood in the heart of Salt Lake City. The challenge is to ensure the financial viability of the site. Thus, essential groundwork is needed to assess the location: market study, store layout functionality, legal fees, and promotion. 

the steps

The first step is to conduct a market study. This will reveal the potential revenues and, hopefully, give a green light to designing the space. With a design and solid financial information in hand, a lease with contingencies can be signed while also launching a rigorous outreach campaign to build our member-owner base. 

why we're doing it

We are dedicated to building a healthy community. Our business plan addresses better individual health through increased access to quality foods; improved environment by reducing the number of miles our food travels; and growing the local economy by paying farmers and producers a fair price for their goods while also keeping more money in the local economy. In the first year of business, it is estimated that over $800,000 of local products will be sold in our store. Creating a new full-service grocery will provide up to 75 new job opportunities. As an independent company, we are best positioned to work with small-to-medium sized farms and producers which will benefit all of us. 



Market study                    1,500

Analyzes and projects revenue success at the target location.

Site feasibility                  14,000

Analyzes and makes recommendations as to the functionality of basic store layout.

Financial pro forma          2,000 

Built on the market study and site feasibility, this tool guides decision-making by specifying the cost to build out the grocery as well as generate estimated revenue flow and expenses for the first ten years of operation. We have an earlier draft (not based on this site) to update and validate or adjust our initial assumptions.  

Store design                   15,000

Leveraging an architecture and design firm dedicated to co-ops and natural food stores to build out the store plan and design.

Operational readiness      9,000

These dollars go toward examining level of board expertise to address the next stage of development with the possibility of making recommendations for improvement and assessing readiness level of the Co-op’s relationship with local providers.

Outreach Coordinator     10,000

Funds to support hiring a part-time outreach coordinator that will lead member-owner growth effort by coordinating volunteers to support the Co-ops outreach events and activities.


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)


Your Dollars Support Local Farmers

The market study donors helped to fund indicates that over $800K in Utah products could be sold in the first year of doing business. Now that's worth supporting! Help support this location with a gift. If we exceed our goal, funds will be put toward the cost of constructing the interior of the store. 

Outreach Committee Re-launched

Your support is needed more than ever! Outreach Committee Chair and Board Member Erin Whitelock renewed the Co-op's outreach effort. Potential plans include hold events associated with cultural celebrations such as Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26), New Year's Day, Valentine's Day celebration, Mother's and Father's Day. Support these ideas with a gift of $5, $10, or even $100 today. Plus, if you have skills in graphic design, social media, event planning, we need you! Email us at

Good News! Pro forma Process could be More All-Inclusive

Support for this effort is growing. In addition to people contributing to this campaign, 23 people have become owners in the Co-op, bringing in an addition $7,000! The consultant updating the pro forma (financial projection) has offered to provide a new format that is less cumbersome and easier to digest.  In addition, he is willing to review and guide writing the Letter of Intent (which lays out terms of a lease) as well as the lease itself, for which he has years of experience doing. These are critical steps toward making sure there are no cost surprises down the road. Looking good!

Initial Market Study Review Looks Promising!

We're one step closer to determining the feasibility of the 900 South location at The Milk Block. Thanks to your support, we were able to contract for a market study, giving us confidence to advance to the next step: update the pro forma and present a Letter of Intent to the landlord. If you can spare a few more dollars, we'd appreciate it. Talk to your friends and family members, too. Encourage them to help bring the Co-op to Salt Lake.

Community is Coming Together!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed financially to this effort thus far. We still have a way to go. However, in addition to the financial support, we have gained an incredible number of volunteers willing to serve in highly impactful ways: updating and re-invigorating our vendor outreach, addressing website issues, organizing events, media relations and more. Together we can make this happen!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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