Española Co-Operative Market Considers New Direction

The Española Community Co-Operative Market. Courtesy/Valley Daily Post

ECM News:

ESPAÑOLA – Española Community Market Co-operative (ECM) announced today that it is considering a strategic re-direction for its health food cooperative at 312 S. Paseo de Onate in Española’s west side due to lower sales in the last year.

ECM Board members met recently and determined that last year’s poor financial performance was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions imposed on small businesses. Despite support from its volunteers and suppliers from the Española Valley during recent months, the Board members felt it prudent to seek potential partners who can provide support and how to address current challenges.

At its next Board meeting the week of Sept. 21, an assessment of any offers of strategic assistance will be conducted and a decision will be made to pursue any promising alternative that would keep the health food cooperative operating.

“It is time to make a tough decision about the financial help the store will need to keep operating at its current level,” ECM Board Acting President Harimander Khalsa. “The lower sales volume of late, now affected adversely by the pandemic restrictions, has seriously affected our ability to continue the service level that our customers have come to expect from us.”

ECM supplies fresh produce and dry goods from local growers when in season, and from the Cooperative Distribution Company (CDC) of La Montañita Cooperative of New Mexico. Customers have relied on the store’s other quality goods that include locally produced baked goods, frozen meats, eggs, spices and bulk grains and legumes.

Despite competition from other local stores in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos, the ECMC store has managed in the past to retain its customers and keep its volunteers motivated. However, its small size has always been a challenge.

About Española Community Market Co-operative (ECM)

ECM established its retail store at 312 S. Paseo de Onate in September 2012. Committed to providing organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables at affordable prices, the store has engaged Española Valley farmers and the CDC as its principal suppliers. Over the past eight years, dozens of ECM members have volunteered their labor to reduce the operating costs of the store.