Pollock's Hardware Co-op Ltd.

Pollock's Hardware Co-op Ltd.

The story of Pollock's Hardware Co-op Ltd. is an amazing tale of community ingenuity and development. A timeless North End institution located at 1407 Main Street. The store has been operating since 1922 and has earned a reputation as one of the few remaining retail outlets that sold those hard-to-find doodads that the giant stores don't carry.

When the previous owners Wayne and Lois Cash put the business and building up for sale, they had no buyers and were forced to close in December 2007. North end residents and long-time customers of Pollock’s Hardware decided there has to be a better way. They launched a consumer co-op that would ensure the hardware store remained a foundation in the area. A business plan was developed that was based on raising equity capital through investment shares from interested community residents and former customers. Memberships were sold to raise working capital for the co-operative and the Assiniboine Credit Union along with the Jubilee Fund agreed to provide financing. The co-op business plan had optimistically hoped that by the end of their first year in operation, they would have 200 co-op members, and 300 by the end of their second year. Astonishingly by the end of 2008, Pollock had 800+ members and has had no shortage of customers or members entering its doors.

Membership in Pollock’s Hardware Co-op Ltd costs $25. This entitles members to vote at annual meetings and to receive a portion of patronage dividends based on personal purchases throughout the year. When the store turns a profit, the profits will be returned to the members based on how much they've bought at the store. Membership applications are available at the store or on their web site.

Pollock's Hardware Co-op Ltd.

What is amazing is the community energy and collaboration that has been seen in this project. Walking into the store, it isn’t uncommon to hear local residents connecting on more than just their hardware needs; people who have lived next to each other for over 20 years are for the first time meeting, discussing, laughing and talking of more than just hammers and nails, but their community. The store is a testament to the drive and determination of Winnipeg’s North End residents.

Hundreds of people got together at 1407 Main Street on June 21st, 2008 to celebrate their newly re-opened community-owned hardware store.

www.pollockshardwareco-op.ca

Pollock's Hardware Co-op Ltd.