BUTTE-A Butte Food Co-op is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality as it's raised $20,000 in seed money so far.
On Tuesday night, the Butte Co-op Working Group hosted their third community meeting at the Thornton Building.
About 100 people showed up to the meeting for a progress update from the steering committee and other food co-op organizers.
The committee says they've raised over $20,000 from 159 donors in the community - close to the $30,000 goal for start up fees and expenses. The committee also announced at the meeting they've hired an outside marketing consultant and they'll be conducting a market study and feasibility plan, which would set the co-op up for success.
Expert Stuart Reid of the Food Co-op Initiative took the stage at the meeting to talk to the community about the benefits a co-op would bring.
"The benefits a co-op brings to a community are a lot more than just having a place to buy food because the co-op is owned by members of the community, it's engaged in the community and it buys products and services locally instead of corporate headquarters," Reid said.
The committee also had representatives from the Bozeman Community Cooperative and the Montana Cooperative Development Center give information on the phases it takes to start a food co-op.
The committee plans to host another meeting sometime next month to share the results of the market analysis. Committee members say if all goes as planned they hope to open the co-op sometime in late spring.