Co-op Market: A Symbol For Economic Progress

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By Carol A. Clark

More than 700 households in Los Alamos and White Rock have invested financially in the soon-to-open Los Alamos Cooperative Market – a project that former County Administrator Tony Mortillaro calls “a symbol of economic development made more significant because it’s all funded through local investment.”
As of Wednesday, the co-op has raised $1,018,610 from local member loans and local member investment certificates.
“From my perspective, what has made this a very special project for the community is that it’s all local investment and locally owned,” Mortillaro said during a Wednesday afternoon tour of the new 7,000 square foot natural food store. “It’s nice to have your large corporate investors but at the end of the day it’s your local investors who are loyal and committed to this community.
“A recent example is 3M – executives at their headquarters decided the Los Alamos operation was no longer viable so they pulled out. Rick Reiss and Sam Gardner are local
developers who have taken all the risk in this food co-op project and hundreds of community members have supported the projects through financial investments and volunteer hours. This is really the first true economic development project in Los Alamos for a very long time.”

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