We didn't make it...

Dennett's IGA
Hi Greg here... Sadly I had to rescind the contract to buy Dennetts IGA Supermarket just before 5 pm Tuesday 6th of May, the deadline to have raised all of the money (or forfeit the deposit).

On the Monday night, with 24 hours remaining, I emailed our 572 website supporters asking for any ideas on how to move forward as we were $350k short of our $2.15 million target.

All day I was flooded with offers of support - over 140 communications and they are still coming!   Dozens of great ideas, more potential investors names and numbers, phone calls and texts of encouragement - and a $100,000 offer from Alison  - thank you!

So we ended the day just $250,000 short.  In the last hour I called three of Mullumbimby’s wealthy again and asked for a bridging loan.

There is absolutely no doubt our community wanted to own their own supermarket.

So what happened?

Over the last 8 weeks I personally spoke to and met 37 of our regions very wealthy individuals as potential Founding Stakeholders.  Many are the individuals that you, or other supporters, referred to me.

I was working on what seemed a reasonable assumption - that just 4 or 5 Stakeholders could comfortably provide the two million we needed to complete the purchase, while our greater community get together and buy them out.

Without exception they all sincerely applauded the initiative and gave it fair consideration.

It quickly became obvious that if a Founding Stakeholder invests half a million dollars they would also want to be involved - understandably.

Perhaps this was the stumbling block?   It seems that nearly all of them are too busy with their current businesses and financial projects to take on what I thought was a relatively small investment in our community initiative.    Most of them are also very involved in all sorts of other community and humanitarian projects too.  So not one of the 37 invested

In hindsight maybe I needed to test the investment proposition more thoroughly with our über wealthy.   However, in reality I didn’t have the time for that – there were 3 other buyers and we needed to be the first with a signed contract.

Before approaching potential Stakeholders I also needed proof that the community were right behind this (otherwise it was "just another good idea.”)   Only then was it time to go to the Stakeholders with a well thought out proposal and the clear backing of our community.

So while I have done my best, without your support we could not have got anywhere near as close as we did… Thank you.

And there is a huge thank you due to the five grassroots community members who did commit the $1.8 million (I'll keep their names private).  You are very rare and essential people in our community.  Thank you from all of us!

I’d also like you to know who was in the outstanding team that had the confidence and trust in me to invest their time and energy…

Wroth Wall who I spent the most time with - thank you for your excellent legal advice and support. You have changed my view of the legal profession (slightly) and I now consider you a close friend.

John Robinson for you willingness to take a chance at the outset with your face in the news paper - and for all of your timely accounting work – thank you.

Robert Rosen, Graeme Williams
and Katrina Shields – thank you for your advice, counsel and support of me, and our project, out in the community.

Hans Lovejoy and the Echo team – the press exposure and your commitment to independent and balanced journalism was instrumental in spreading the word.

Ross Tucker and the Saturday Star - thank you for your coverage and support in the last two editions.

Mark Virtue for this flawless website.  Sheia and Tesla for their start up support; and Sarah-jane for all that you put in throughout this intense and demanding project.

And finally Richard Storie (and Susan too) – thank you so much for offering your 15 years of hard work and service to our community in the form of your passion and business – Dennett’s IGA Supermarket.  You have provided all of us an extremely rare opportunity to come together and to collectively own one of our community’s most valuable assets.

Is the possibility of a community owned supermarket over?
Maybe, maybe not – I really don’t know what could unfold from here!


  THANK YOU for your passion and support!

Total supporters: 580
Total pledges: 308
Total amount pledged: $685,490
Support Now!

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