Espanola, NM – September 15, 2020. Española Community Market Co-operative (aka ECM) announced today that it is considering a strategic re-direction for its health food cooperative – located at 312 S. Paseo de Onate in Española’s west side – principally caused by 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 the recent months, the Board members felt it prudent to seek potential partners who can provide support and how to address our current challenges. At its next Board meeting to be held on the week of September 21st, 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,” said Harimander Khalsa, Acting President of the ECM Board. “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,” he continued.
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 Taos, Los Alamos and Santa Fe, 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 Espanola Community Market Co-operative (ECM)
ECM established its retail store at 312 S. Paseo de Onate in September of 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.