by Lisa Sorg
Even before the demise of the Durham Co-op grocery earlier this year (the space on West Chapel Hill Street slated to become an acupuncture clinic) there were rumblings about a new market to either supplement or replace it.
Durham Central Market announced today it receive a $25,000 Sprout Fund loan from Food Co-op 500. The loan program, financed by National Cooperative Bank (NCB), is designed to provide capital during the middle and late stages of co-op development. According to a press release, over the last three years, only seven co-ops nationwide have been awarded a Sprout Loan. The award was based on a review of the market's business plan and pro forma financial statements. Read the rest of the release below the fold.
According to Michael Bacon, chair of the board of Durham Central Market, "This loan is testimony to our careful approach to developing a new store for central Durham. It will help us secure a site and start raising money from our owners. We're thrilled that NCB understands we are a great credit risk even in these difficult economic times. Stephen Hren and Aubrey Arnoczy, on our board, deserve special thanks for their hard work in preparing our pro forma financials." The funds will be used for site assessment, capital campaign development, and management and consulting expenses, and must be matched in equal dollars by the market.
Durham Central Market began after downtown neighborhood residents began discussing the possibility of creating a grocery/market that focused on locally produced food.