In just under a year of existence, Yellow City Co-op Brewpub has grown to over 100 members. That's 100+ consumer owners who believe in the vision of Amarillo's first cooperatively owned restaurant and brewery and want to be owners and participants in the process.
We still have a long way to to go though, which is not a bad thing. Since we stumbled on Black Star Co-op in Austin last year and began to research their business model, we have watched as they have grown and succeeded beyond probably even their own expectations. Black Star has well over 3,000 members and, after a little more than three years of operation, is profitable and is issuing dividends to investors. However, before we set our sights higher than we should (yet), let's take a look at some key differences with Black Star Co-op.
- Black Star was incorporated and growing its membership for nearly 5 years before they opened their doors. We plan to open our doors within 2.5 years of incorporating.
- Austin is a significantly different market. Besides being the epicenter of craft beer in Texas, the population of Austin is about 4-1/2 times that of Amarillo, so we can wait patiently in Amarillo for a multi-thousand strong membership.
- Austin is familiar with successful co-ops, including Wheatsville Co-op and many others, so there was a starting point for the community to grasp the cooperative model
There are other differences, but these are good enough to underline the point that we're growing well and have lots of room to grow before we open. And also that our community is distinct, which is what we embrace in our process. We don't want to open an Austin style brewpub in Amarillo; we want to open our own brewpub that represents our community and culture and benefits our region. Here's to big things for Yellow City Co-op...Cheers!