As we finish the year out, I wanted to share some exciting news with the co-op community. At the beginning of this year, I applied for a massive grant to replace our aging refrigeration equipment in Quincy. Last week, we were officially awarded the grant for the full amount, $240,952.00!
The Sierra Healthy Refrigeration Grant via the California Department of Food and Agriculture department funds upgrades with energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigeration and freezer equipment for small businesses located in rural, low access, low-income areas.
When we moved into our 269 Main St. location in Quincy in 2003, much of our equipment was already used at that time. 20 years later, we continue to band-aid equipment as it breaks down, ultimately resulting in the co-op battling extensive repair costs.
Beginning early next year, we will be replacing the following cases with brand new, energy efficient equipment:
- The produce case on the right side of the store
- The deli grab-n-go case on the left side of the store
- The walk-in freezer/cooler combo in the back area of the store
What this will mean for you:
As we navigate the process of replacing large pieces of equipment, the store may have to close for a period of time or have limited hours to accomplish these upgrades. We will do everything in our power to limit the downtime of our store, but inevitably we will experience some disruption.
Also, as we look to replace our walk-ins, this could result in being out-of-stock on your favorite items for a short time. This we cannot prevent, as we will be dismantling our only storage space to install a new one. What we will do is communicate each step of the way as it’s happening, to ensure you are in the know about the status of these large projects.
I cannot thank my team enough for showing me patience during this time of waiting for an announcement for this grant. Broken down equipment has cost us at least $35,000 so far in 2023, and we are looking forward to the day we don’t have to have our repair guys on speed dial.
At the end of next year, I will provide an analysis of how these upgrades have facilitated the store to become more energy efficient. I am looking forward to sharing more details as they become available.
I also wanted to send a huge shout out to co-op member, Lisa Kelly. She helped me navigate the grant writing process, while providing valuable feedback and support to me. I couldn’t have done it without her support and guidance.
Cheers to the New Year!