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Chatham Marketplace begins construction in historic mill

By Melissa Frey
Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2005

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Co-op begins upfit of space in Chatham Mills

Pittsboro, NC -- Chatham Marketplace began renovations of their new retail space in the old Chatham Mills on October 3rd.

Construction marks the achievement of several financial milestones for the Co-op. More than 100 members of the community have loaned Chatham Marketplace a total of $318,000 through the Community Investment Note program. More than 700 families have purchased ownership shares in the Co-op. This community and financial support enabled Chatham Marketplace to close on financing with the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) in Washington DC in September.

Chatham Marketplace has hired Scott Johanns of Johanns Construction Company to act as the Co-op’s general contractor. Johanns anticipates a 95 day up-fit schedule, meaning that the Co-op should be open for business by February 15.

This million-plus dollar project is now fully under way. General Manager Mary DeMare Stivers and Project Manager Melissa Frey have begun securing coolers, display cases, shelving, computers, registers and POS systems for the site. DeMare Stivers has begun creating a staffing plan for the store and is currently establishing relationships with vendors and distributors, including local growers and suppliers.

DeMare Stivers says, “This is a great time of energy and work, bringing all the physical pieces of a store together. I am amazed at what this community has already accomplished in terms of store building. We have our financing, a customer base and a location. The next few months will fly by and this community, which has been so patient and supportive, will have the opportunity to celebrate in the aisles of our Co-op! Now I have to get back to work!”

The Co-op is still looking for new owners. More owners strengthen the Co-op's financial position during start-up and will sustain the Co-op as a committed customer base once it's open. The Co-op’s Community Investment Note program is on-going. Additional community investment at this point will help with cash flow and unexpected expenses that may arise during construction. Continued community investment strengthens Chatham Marketplace’s financial position. The more the Co-op can source its funding locally the more financial power and flexibility it retains. For more information on becoming an owner or investing, please visit the Chatham Marketplace web site or call Melissa at 919-704-6491.

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Chatham Marketplace is a co-op grocery store that will be located in Chatham Mills in downtown Pittsboro. Chatham Marketplace will offer a full selection of organically and sustainably grown produce - as much as possible from local growers. The market will also sell a full line of sustainable grocery and dry-good products including deli, bakery, meat, bulk, dairy, vitamin and health and body care items.

 
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