About Our Relocation
As of September, site work is moving forward for our new location. Drive by when you’re in Blue Hill, things are changing everyday!
Want more pictures? Check out our Construction Gallery!
Why is the Co-op moving?
Over the last 45 years, the Blue Hill Co-op has relocated many times as we've grown. We have operated out of the old Sedgwick School House, the Sedgwick Redemption Center, The Barn Castle, the former Blue Moose building, the Halcyon Grange, and in the earliest days we shifted monthly to different private residences of various Owners. The Co-op has been at 4 Ellsworth Road since 1993, and though it has been a happy home for us, we can't continue to grow at the rate we have in such a small space. Any one who has ever had to park at the Co-op in August can easily see why we need to upgrade. The same goes for anyone who has been in the back room on a delivery day during the busy season.
Changing to a venue, that is not only bigger but actually designed for our needs, will enable us to continue to grow and evolve along with our community.
Click here to read newspaper articles about our move.
Thank you to the over 300 Co-op Owners who have contributed $1,852,562 towards our relocation effort. If you're interested in supporting the move to South Street, stop in or call and ask to speak with Kevin Gadsby, our General Manager.
Site work progresses, and we are expecting a Grand Opening in Summer 2019!
How Will Expansion Benefit Our Community?
Expanding the Co-op will:
• Provide additional jobs.
• Generate tax revenue.
• Provide opportunities for more local farmers and vendors to sell their wares.
• Offer a wider variety of fresh, high-quality food.
• Serve as a model for other cooperative businesses.
• Enhance our ability to support a thriving local economy.
• Provide a community room to host educational programs for everyone.
How can I help the Blue Hill Co-op's Relocation?
First: Plant The Seed
Join the Blue Hill Co-op and become an Owner. Owners are a massive part of our success and growth.
Second: Keep Shopping
Take advantage of Full Moon Sales, monthly Co-op Deals and Owner Bonus Buys.
Third: Pay off your Equity
If you are an Owner and are able, consider paying more than the required $20 per year. To date, 42% of our Owners have paid their equity in full.
You can make a non-deductible donation directly to the Co-op or make a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Eastern Maine Development Corporation (more info below.)
Join the hundreds of Co-op Owners who have contributed to our relocation!
For More Information Contact Kevin Gadsby, General Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org | 207-374-2165
South Street Solar Project
The tall, pitched roof of the new co-op storefront was designed for the sun.
The wide, south-facing roof was designed specifically to receive a Solar Photovoltaic array to receive energy from the sun that shines radiantly on our building all day long. A solar pv installation has always been part of the project, but as with other items, it was removed from the budget and put on hold due to budgetary constraints.
In the meantime, and in preparation for a future solar installation, we have been working with Revision Energy on preliminary engineering and design as well as electrical configurations in the hopes that the roof will be outfitted and complete with solar, sooner, rather than later.
There are benefits to the Co-op in favor of a solar installation in 2019. Benefits include a possible USDA REAP grant award of up to $20,000 as well as federal tax incentives of 30% of the total solar project costs. These tax incentives are set to fall starting in 2020. By 2022, the federal tax credit drops to a mere 10%.
We have been hard at work seeking for possible funding opportunities to make this happen. Revision Energy has thus far been flexible in working with us to ensure the success of this phase of our overall project. If we are able to commit by the end of the month, we could feasibly see the solar installation begin in September 2019. This would be perfect timing as the grant application is due around the same time.
In order to make this happen, we need financial support from our Co-op Community. At this point, we cannot take on any additional debt. Financial support for solar must come to us as a gift. Signing the contract with Revision Energy requires a 25% down payment, not part of our total project budget. A very supportive Co-op Owner has offered to extend an interest-free loan to us to secure the contract. We are hoping this short-term loan can be repaid quickly with additional donations. In addition, we are working with other Co-op Owner-Investors that have tentatively pledged a sizable gift that will cover a large portion of the total cost for the solar install. This is all very exciting, and so close to becoming a reality, but we are coming up about $75,000 short. The total cost of the solar installation is around $280,000.
We are asking our Co-op community to support this exciting feature of our new Co-op space by donating to the great cause of helping the Co-op Go Solar. If every Co-op Owner donated between $25-100, we would have more than enough to complete the solar installation, DEBT-FREE! If you're in a position to give more, even better. There are two way you can make your donation:
Make a contribution directly to Blue Hill Co-op. Please indicate your support for our GO SOLAR campaign. Contributions can be sent to the Co-op c/o Kevin Gadsby.
Make a tax-deductible donation on behalf of Blue Hill Co-op GO SOLAR campaign by sending your contribution to EMDC see link below.
Would you like to support the Co-op by donating to the relocation or solar project?
You can direct your donations to Eastern Maine Development Corp (EMDC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 01-0281875) that has partnered with the Co-op to facilitate the expansion and relocation project.
Donations to EMDC will be combined and granted to the Co-op at key points in the relocation process. As EMDC is a nonprofit, donations to them are deductible to the extent the law allows.
Mail donations to:
Eastern Maine Development Corp
ATTN: Blue Hill Co-op
40 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME 04401
REF: Blue Hill Co-op Relocation
If the tax benefits are not important, you can donate directly to the Co-op, care of:
Kevin Gadsby, General Manager.
Investing in the Co-op’s Relocation
Phase III Fundraising now closed.
We can still accept cash donations either directly to the Co-op or through EMDC.
What will the new store be like?
Blue Hill Co-op, 70 South Street, Blue Hill, ME
Now that the footprint of the building is visible at the work site, it’s beginning to be easier to see the scale of the new Co-op. However, if you need a three-dimensional example, it is comparable to the size of Rising Tide Co-op in Damariscotta. A building closer to home with a similar size is Blue Hill’s Rite Aid. When we say that you could fit two of our current building (minus the upstairs) inside the new store, we’re not exaggerating. What are we going to do with all that extra space? More of what we already do best! Every department is expanding their selections. This means that we will be carrying more amazing and responsibly sourced food from Maine and beyond. More health supplements and body care. More gift items and general merchandise. And more delicious food, made in the new, much larger, kitchen! Another great thing about our larger size is that we will be able to buy a larger volume and negotiate better prices with our suppliers. That means that our prices will likely go down.
We have spent lots of time and energy designing a Co-op that will not only be a great place to shop but a pleasant addition to Blue Hill’s appearance. We didn’t want to build another ugly store with a great big parking lot in front of it and not a tree in sight. Yes, we did have to cut down some trees in order to build, but we will be doing extensive landscaping, including the planting of indigenous trees. While we will have a large paved parking area (70+ spaces), it is to the side of the store, not in front. The modern habit of putting stores far from the road, showing off the number of cars parked there, is a development of the 1950s based on flawed principals and will not be followed. We both want to encourage walking traffic and show off our lovely new building. If you’re concerned about water runoff from our new parking lot, fear not. We have done extensive (and expertly engineered) work putting in an environmentally friendly drainage system. This will prevent our parking lot from damaging the forest land behind us and the property of those who live below.
While we may not be able to fit out the new store with solar power at first, we will be using several energy-saving and environmentally sound systems. For example, most grocery stores simply pump the heat made by their refrigeration units out into the world. In our new building, be will be using a method that allows us to use this excess heat for hot water and to keep the store warm in the winter. We are also hoping to offer electric car charging ports. We want this building will make as little impact on the environment as possible and to help others do the same!