Organic Planet Worker Co-op

Organic Planet Worker Co-op

In 2002, The Jubilee Fund Inc supported an small business for a sole proprietor operating as Organic Planet. The business was an immediate success and it was determined an expansion was necessary to open a deli across the street from the existing store. However, the expansion experienced several setbacks including cost overruns that by the time it opened its second outlet, cash flow for the existing business had been severely compromised and the suppliers called in their receivables. Faced with receivership, the business closed and the Jubilee Fund loan guarantee was written off.

Five workers determined to revive the business, formed the Organic Planet Worker Co-op, and opened on May 1st, 2003 at 877 Westminster Ave.

Maxime Lampron and Emily Stevens were asked why they decided to get involved with the Co-op. Maxime stated he knew there was a demand for the products they sold and believed the business could be profitable. In addition, the neighbourhood was very supportive of the business and the products they sold.

Emily related her excitement when she heard a co-op was being formed for an organic food store and she had an opportunity to be a part of it. She indicated the business is about team work and how each member is able to bring forward their own expertise which makes for a strong team.

The co-op provides premium quality organic produce, bulk goods, local meat and other grocery items with a unique deli component offering organic take-out to an environmentally and health conscious clientele. They try to support local producers as much as possible. "It is important that we keep the money flowing in the community."

Both members had glowing praise for the Jubilee Fund. They felt Dollphine Oguna, Alternative Risk Manager at Jubilee was exceptional. She was very approachable and her assistance made the process move quickly and smoothly. In addition, the mentorship and financial advisory assistance presently provided by the Fund’s volunteers were superb.