Dream Café co-op a go

Despite not quite reaching their fundraising goals, the Dream Café co-op has decided to move ahead with the project.

Dream Café owner Pierre Couture gives singer Rita Chiarelli a thank you hug at the very successful Dream Festival in May.

Dream Café owner Pierre Couture gives singer Rita Chiarelli a thank you hug at the very successful Dream Festival in May.

Despite not quite reaching their fundraising goals, the Dream Café co-op has decided to move ahead with the project.

“As of about two hours ago, we have made the decision to go ahead and incorporate and do the deal,” said Murray Swales late on the afternoon of June 29.

Swales, who has been acting as pitchman  for the project to create a co-op to purchase the popular café and music venue, added that current owners Pierre and Debra Couture agreed to take less of a payment up front in order to make the deal work.

“They feel the same way we do, that it is important to make this happen,” said Swales.

The co-op project began earlier this year after Pierre, who was wanting to slow down from running the busy venue, was unable to find a buyer that was the right fit.

Selling the Dream Café to a co-op and making it a community legacy made more sense, according to Pierre.

The co-op’s original deadline was to raise $350,000 by April 30, but that was moved to June 30 to allow more time for fundraising and to accommodate the Dream Festival in early May.

Swales said he expects to reach the target goal by the end of July.

“We still have a number of people who have said they are in and we haven’t seen their cheques yet,” he said. “I expect we will have all the funds in that we were shooting for by the end of July and then we will be able to complete the deal as originally agreed.”

The decision to go ahead with the deal will be confirmed at a meeting of the co-op directors later this week, and Swales expects they can file paperwork and be incorporated by mid-July.

“Then we will start the process of acquisition. That won’t happen right away, there are a couple of things that we need to get in place,” said Swales. “

“I would guess that late in July we would be in a position to close.”

Swales said it is unlikely Dream Café patrons will notice any changes, especially not right away.

“We are not going to be in a hurry to implement any changes,” said Swales. “The summer is so busy; to try and make changes in the summer would make no sense at all.”

Pierre will also remain involved, though Swales said he will probably take a break in the fall to recharge.

“He will probably be back in there before long, because he can’t sit around and do nothing. As long as he is capable, he is going to be there,” said Swales.

Swales said enthusiasm for the project remains strong among the investors, including himself. He is confident they will meet their financial goal.

“If everyone that said they were in delivered their cheque, we certainly would be closer, we might even be there,” said Swales.