Since opening in June of 2011, COCO Cafe has become a bustling community hub in Cedar that truly is “Where friends meet”. Now they are an established cafe that serves speciality coffees, soups and sandwiches made fresh to order from scratch using local ingredients. They offer a variety of menu selections that cater to special dietary needs such as gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
On October 28, the COCO Cafe was one of two $25,000 winners for the West Region of the National Co-op Challenge, a social media contest created by The Co-operators as an opportunity for emerging co-ops to win valuable prizes aimed at growing their businesses.
How does the National Co-op Challenge work? A panel of judges narrow the list of entrants to 16 finalists. Each finalist will produce a creative video up to 90-seconds in length that highlights their co-op, shows their commitment and enthusiasm for co-op growth, and explains how they would use the funding. Each video will then be available on Facebook, where co-op fans and the public can vote for their favourite to win.
A delighted Sydni Dines, acting manager of the café, says, “From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank each and everyone one of you for taking the time to cast your vote, and for choosing COCO Cafe & Cedar Opportunities Cooperative! We can’t express our gratitude enough.” The cafe has taken over 600 square feet of space next to the cafe, and are renovating to expand the kitchen. The prize money of $25,000 will be a big help.
Cedar Opportunities Co-operative (COCO) is an incorporated cooperative whose mission is to employ people with developmental disabilities within their community. COCO was founded by a group of families in the Cedar/Yellowpoint/Cassidy areas of Nanaimo, British Columbia, all of whom have adult children with developmental disabilities.