Timeline & Key Milestones

About Us

The Co-Op Development Process

A community-driven project like the Butte Food Co-Op takes time, dedication, hard work, support, and enthusiasm.

In order to ensure long-term success, the Butte Food Co-Op is working closely with Food Co-Op Initiative (FCI) and following their three-phase development model. This model has a track record of proven success with start up food co-ops when followed.

A general outline of this process is found below. Please note that this is a general timeline. The Butte Food Co-Op must meet each key milestone, but the amount of time it takes to reach each one depends on THE BUTTE COMMUNITY.

Butte Food Co-Op: Development Timeline

Stage 1


"Brings about the organization"

Timeframe: 2 years


Stage 1 Status


  • One or more people start with an idea
  • Recognition of a common problem or need that a food co-op could meet
  • Includes:
  • Convening a core group
  • Assessing common interest and needs
  • Designating leadership
  • Determining key processes
  • Building a shared vision
  • Committing time and money
Key Milestones
  • The community has understanding of what it takes to start a brick and-mortar food Co-Op (and the board, and the community is up to the challenge!)
  • Incorporation
  • Fully seated board or interim board
  • Stage 1 member-owner goal met

Stage 2

Feasibility & Planning

"Brings about the business plan"

Timeframe: 2 years


Stage 2 Status

In Progress

  • An organized group with commitment, interest and capacity
  • Assesses market potential and internal readiness
  • Includes:
  • Feasibility – deeper assessments of financial, market and organizational capacity
  • Planning – a business plan for financing and operations
  • Builds commitment and capacity (both leadership and management)
  • Brings about a secured site for the operation
Key Milestones
  • Market feasibility assessment complete
  • Financial feasibility work complete for stage 2 (pro forma)
  • Organizational capacity met
  • Site feasibility assessed
  • Feasible site secured (with contingencies)
  • Stage 2 Member-Owner goal met

Stage 3


"Brings about the open store and satisfaction of owner/member needs"

Timeframe: 1 year+

2023 and on

Stage 3 Status

Not yet started

  • Demonstrated capacity in all the cornerstones
  • Includes:
  • Pre-construction
  • Construction & Renovation
  • Preparation for Opening
  • Sustaining – First Year and Beyond
  • Brings about the satisfaction of member needs
Key Milestones
  • General Manager or interim General Manager in place
  • All funding needed secured
  • Contingencies from the lease or purchase contract removed

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