ONLY ONCE A YEAR can customers become members of our CSR, shorthand for Community-Supported Restaurant.
It’s the funding model behind our Eatery and Marketplace. We call it LOCALVESTING. Simply put: You make a conscious investment in us—and we return the love by giving you food credit with a 20% to 30% return!
In fact, we were the first in Colorado to adopt this model, allowing customers to become investors.
SO, WHEN CAN YOU JOIN?
As of 6PM on August 23rd, our 2019-20 CSR membership enrollment is open - and it closes just as soon as we reach our fundraising goal of $45,000. Get in on the good stuff while you can.
Membership enrollment will close when we reach our fundraising goal (spoiler alert: we reached in last year in 24 hours!).
HOW THE CSR GOST STARTED
Before there was a CSR, Christine Ruch, Owner and Executive Chef, did a lot of research and talked to several friends, some of whom are a big part of Slow Money and Local Food Shift. We decided to model the CSR after a CSA, Community-Supported Agriculture, the funding model that’s been so essential for farms.
The idea is simple: Farms take pre-payment for the expenses needed for the future growing cycle. In return, CSA members gets fresh fruit and vegetables during the growing season. Fresh Thymes could do the same thing! How wonderful would it be to have the financial support of our customers as farmers have from theirs?
When setting up the first CSR model in 2012, we borrowed concepts from emerging businesses that matched Christine's personal ideals, such as treating customers like real “accredited investors” by giving them a return on their investment, just like other legalized and developing crowdfunding models do.
In addition, we rounded out the CSR concept with good ideas generated by New Food Economy, Impact Investing, B-Corp, the Triple Bottom Line (people, planet, profits) and “A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business” by Ari Weinzweig.
The CSR is different from a traditional “Gift Card” in which the recipient has no return - and, ultimately, no incentive to continue contributing to the success of a business they believe in. Gift card holders do not traditionally get a return on their purchase, and gift card holders are not generally treated as integral investors in the business’ success.
Fast forward four years and we're ushering in our fifth CSR season! Membership enrollment opens only once a year - and closes fast, since space fills up.
By becoming a CSR member, you choose to support a locally owned business that aligns with your values. And one that makes darn good food, too.
We call it localvesting. Simply put: When you invest in Fresh Thymes, you’re supporting the local food movement and organic farming practices. CSR membership support helps us grow (in big ways: last year we opened our commercial kitchen & catering hub!), and our food makes both bellies and brains happy. Nothing wrong with that.
HOW THE CSR WORKS
CSR membership gets you credit that can apply to future purchases at both the Eatery and Marketplace. Depending on your membership tier, you’ll get a 20% to 30% return. Meaning, you’ll have credit to spend any time you're hankering to eat at our Boulder restaurant or pick up a family meal at our Marketplace. That could mean one burger every week for a year!
Memberships last one year, so joining pretty much guarantees you’re in for, like, the best year ever. No wonder all the cool kids are doing it.
CSR MEMBERSHIP TIERS
$250 - Gets you a $300 credit (a 20% return).
$500 - Gets you a $625 credit (a 25% return).
$1,000 - Gets you a $1,300 credit (a 30% return).
WE CALL IT LOCALVESTING
There's no catch. Seriously. That’s why our CSR membership fills up so quickly. “Food with Brains” isn’t just a phrase you’ll see on our t-shirts -- it’s what we believe in, which means we make smart decisions when it comes to our kitchen and our business. We only ask that our CSR members help us make this program successful by following these guidelines:
- Our first two membership tiers, at $250 and $500, can use up to $30 from a single account in one visit per day at either of our locations. Members who purchase the $1,000 tier are the only ones eligible to use $50 from a single account per visit per day.
- Duration of CSR membership is one calendar year -- after a year, your account and any remaining balance will expire (Your balance will always be available on the bottom of your receipt, or you can ask us for your balance at any point.)
- We ask that all returning and new CSR members read and sign our standard CSR Agreement before their membership becomes active. (Once you purchase your tier online, you'll receive a separate email with the document you’ll need to sign before we can activate your membership.)
In keeping with community spirit, we’d like to offer the CSR to a larger number of customers so we’re limiting one CSR membership per person this year.
Enrollment for the 2019-2020 season opens on August 23rd at 6PM during our 6-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY.