Bob Shallit

Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op offering shares to finance store construction

Artist’s rendering of the new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op’s 42,000-square-foot store to be built at the corner of 28th and R streets.
Artist’s rendering of the new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op’s 42,000-square-foot store to be built at the corner of 28th and R streets. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

As a groundbreaking looms for the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op’s new midtown store, the organization is turning to Wall Street-style financing to help pay for construction.

For the second time in its history, the co-op plans to offer preferred stock shares to its members, general manager Paul Cultrera reports.

The goal: raise about $2 million of the estimated $9 million cost of the 42,000-square-foot store to be built at the corner of 28th and R streets.

Assuming state approvals are granted, members will be able to buy three different different types of shares, with annual dividend rates ranging from 1 percent for shares in $50 increments to 3 percent for people who buy $500 shares and agree to hold them for at least five years.

That’s more than people can get from most CDs and considerably less than the 5 percent or so that the co-op is likely to pay for its bank loan on the project, Cultrera said.

“It’s a great deal for our members,” Cultrera said, “and a good deal for the co-op.”

Groundbreaking is set to occur next Thursday – starting a construction process that should lead to a store opening by early summer.

Luminaries on the links

An unusually high-powered group of entertainers and sports stars will be in town Sunday and Monday for a charity event – thanks in no small measure to Bill Hammond.

Hammond is a Carmichael native who now lives in Southern California and runs Hammond Entertainment, a nationally known event production company.

He recently agreed to organize this weekend’s inaugural Allen W. Warren Celebrity Golf Classic – Hammond’s first event in Sacramento – and is bringing in Cedric the Entertainer, actors Danny Glover and Matthew Settle and sports figures Jim Plunkett, Rodney Peete and J.T. Snow, among many others.

“Most of these guys know me and trust me,” Hammond said, “and I said to them, ‘This is my hometown, please come and support us,’ ” he said.

Hammond was recruited for the charity event by City Councilman Allen Warren, whose New Faze Development is the primary sponsor. The golf tournament at Del Paso Country Club is invitation-only.

Warren said he’s hoping the event generates at least $25,000 for two local nonprofits: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento and Quest 4 Success.

His goal: Make this a big annual event – sort of like the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – that would raise money for different nonprofits each year.

Downtown eatery resurfacing

Sacramento’s popular Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery is set to reopen in late September – about four months after closing because of water damage linked to a broken pipe.

Owners initially expected to have the repairs done in four to six weeks, but it took much longer to reach an agreement with insurers over how much of the damage was due to the broken pipe and how much was pre-existing in the century-old building at 1015 Ninth St., said Anthony Priley, a partner in the venture.

Those matters have been resolved, repairs are underway and Priley said the eatery and bar will reopen with significant improvements.

“We’re trying to turn it into a positive,” he said of the temporary closure.

For one thing, Blackbird’s two bars – which were separated by about 5 feet – will be replaced by one 31-foot-long bar crafted from a redwood tree that fell this year at a farm in Marysville.

“We’ll have more seats and the same experience (for customers) all the way down the bar,” he said.

The owners also hope to have one of downtown’s first “parklets” – an outdoor seating area that replaces parking in front of the restaurant – completed by the official Blackbird reopening.